Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Win every load

Create Confidence

  • Talk with confidence
  • Have an answer to every question you are asked. 
  • You are the service provider if you are asked how much to do a load then give a reply, this is your job, your responsibility any delay to this answer will certainly start to build less confidence in your ability to get the job done.
  • Stop asking how much will you give me to do your load. This makes you sound like a beggar and beggars are not very confident people. 
  • It's better to overprice a load than to not give a rate at all.  
  • Always quote the load you might be the only one that does.
  • Make yourself ready to go NOW and let it be known that you are ready.
  • Give a time that you can pick the load up and when you can deliver it. (this is a good one)
  • Asking question about the load is a tremendous confidence booster
  • Make the broker feel like they are the boss they get whatever they want at your price. They are paying for it why not.   
  • The very last thing you will always do is give your rate.  

 My number one turn off with any broker I am negotiating with is an agent that does not talk with confidence. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Don't blame the broker

If you see a broker posting cheap rates on a load board, that just means that the broker practice is in finding uneducated carriers. It's not the broker that keeps the rates down it's the uninformed owner operator that goes around asking how much will you give me without having a clue at what the rate should even be. Some brokers only existence in this industry is because we will always have owner operators that don't care nor do they even know what their rate per mile is just as long as they are getting miles.

Get informed.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Yes get your authority

Should you get your authority

When I got started 6 years ago, as an owner operator the first company, I looked at was Landstar. You get to pick your own loads, and they take like 30%. This sounded like the best thing ever until I seen an advertisement for truckersedge.net and found out that I could keep 100% of the money and work with all brokers if I got my authority.

The Risk:
You will lose everything will never happen. You will always have your CDL that lets you get a job anywhere anytime you decide to give up. You can always resale the truck for something. I guess the biggest risk would be not being able to pay any debt you might have.

Load board success:
Most of my loads come from brokers and load boards, I have done this from day one with no experience needed and every year I have outperformed the average contract rate. Some people are quick learners, and business savvy, some are not. Some people are going to catch on faster than others. Using a load board to find loads is really simple.

How much money do you need:
No correct answer to this question. Some like to say the more you have, the better and that could be true but looking back at when I got started if I had more money I would have spent more than I should have. I started with no money at all. If my truck did not have fuel in it when I bought it, I might not have made it. I literally waited in a truck stop parking lot for a broker's quick pay to get into my bank before posting my truck because I was out of money and fuel.

Buying your first truck:
Commercial equipment can be hard to get loans for. I used 4 credit cards to purchase my truck at a local dealership. This was a ding to my credit score for maxing out the limit on the credit cards, but the good part was that I paid 0% interest.

More paperwork, more responsibility, you have to create your own customer base if you are not going to use a load board. You no longer get a weekly paycheck. Most of the time it takes 40 days to get paid from a broker unless you take quick pay or factor. You will not enjoy big company discounts that you might be getting with the carrier you are with now.

Who should not become a carrier:
Bad credit score or deep in debt.
People that are easily intimidated and can be fooled into taking bad loads.
Drivers that just want miles and money really isn't necessary.

Bad advice:
The people that hate the idea of encouraging owner operators to get their authority the most are other carriers that would make more money if you stayed leased to them. So many think that you have to be leased on to a company for a few years before you are ready to get your authority. This could be bad advice in many ways. I don't know what it's like to lease on to a company because I have never done such a thing but I can tell you that I would have made less money if I leased to a company that was only giving me a percent of what the truck was making.

Your spouse:
Most spouses at the beginning find it hard to adjust. It's best to hire a service to help with your needs then to overwhelm your spouse with unusual documents that need to be filled out. Saving money by doing it yourself can be learned in time.

How to survive:
Have extream fear of debt. Bad months always happen, and you might not make any money during these time. Always know what your rate per mile, write it down and keep track of this. Spend less money than you take in.

Here is a great place to learn more about working with brokers facebook.com/groups/rpmmasters/

Don't forget:
One day you will have to retire or will want to retire so open a SEP IRA and save. I know many countries that you can retire to for less than $1000 a month. Just think what the cost of a new truck for $150,000 invested in stocks that get's an 8% gain each year could have your truck driving life living it up on some tropical islands never needing to drive again.

Enjoy your freedom this is the greatest part of being a carrier and owning your own company. Take vacation whenever you want for as long as you want. Go find that island you want to retire to. My wife and I along with our kids all took a trip to Asia for free with club passes just with the miles saved from credit cards on the money spent on my one truck company.

You need to know how to work on trucks. This is such bull crap. Actually, this was my biggest fear. I know nothing about working on trucks and even the stuff that I do know how to do I will gladly pay others to do it for me.

My biggest mistakes were: 
Not getting pre-pass sooner.
Not getting the NASTC fuel card sooner.
Factoring my first year.

The biggest mistake of all = Was not getting my authority sooner.  
Here is a great blog on How to Get Your Operating Authority

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Overused with little meaning "negotiating should be a win-win outcome." Isn't all agreed upon loads a win-win?

Have you ever done a load for someone and be told we are never using you again because you took all of our money or are you the Superman that saved the day?

Amazon has 95 books that have the word win-win in the title. For 40 years people has been using the word win-win. Webster says the Definition of win–win: advantageous or satisfactory to all parties involved. Win-win is most often referred to working with brokers as to creating a relationship with the other party

I will work with all brokers even the worst agent you can think of I will go perform any task agreed upon to the best of my ability. That's also the same as saying I will almost do anything for the right amount of money. 

Maybe I am not interested in creating a relationship. Maybe the broker's perceived reputation only value is how much money is being offered to deal with the unknown problems that could come my way.

"Rate my freight brokers."
You know who they are. These are the folks that are just looking for the cheapest truck. The auctioneer phone ninja. It's possible to do a win-win with these people, but relationships mean very little with these agents based on my experience.

Then we have "MY BROKER."
My broker is an agent that I claim as mine. My broker in most cases knows what my rate is and when they don't they ask me for my rate. If extra work or loads are requested by the shipper, then I know MY BROKER will take care of all this with one phone call. I have My Broker's home phone cell phone. Sometimes my broker sends me a text asking if I will cover runs that I like to do. My broker understands that I am in charge and I got us both covered.  

Win-win slogans and master negotiating skills are not needed for the relationship I have with my broker. This person is an extension of my company where we both make significant money.

What kind of broker do you like to work for? What broker makes the most money? What kind of broker are you? 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Truck Freight in 2017

Truck Freight in 2017

Mark Montague Post

1. E-commerce was a major source of spot market freight for what is usually a quiet season.
  • Ordering online is putting a hurt on the traditional retail stores. Top stories today is about Kohls and Macy's stock getting thrashed because of weak sales. I know a lot of online orders is providing good business for the spot market and I think with good technology the spot market will provide a better, faster and more reliable service than the large fleets.    
2. Dry van rates rose by a penny, the first positive year-over-year comparison in a long time.

  • I would be interesting to see how far this goes back for a first positive year-over-year. But we do know that the demand for van hit in December was the highest ever in the past two and half years.

 National Van Demand and Capacity

3. Federal government transitions to a new administration.

  • I don't like to get my hopes up in anything quoted by politicians. That's just me, and I would say that about all parties but the election year is OVER and that means not knowing what to do and who is going to win is behind us. I would assume working on getting something done has got to be better than spending a year not knowing what will happen.
4. By mid-year, carriers that still lack ELDs will find it increasingly difficult to maintain ongoing relationships with shippers, and with the large fleets and freight brokers that serve them

  • To add to this, I can also see brokers wanting to create more of a relationship with those that become ELD compliant before the mandate. Priority loads given to a carrier that can verify the drivers hours is a huge confidence booster for the broker that can come with some good money.   
5. Should yield additional rate increases for motor carriers in 2017
  • I am thinking should is an understatement. I think we are going into the best time for the spot market that I have ever seen in 6 years. Too many great signs are pointing at good stuff to come. But Mark does make some excellent points that could diminish outcomes.  
6. It's not business as usual.