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Cargo Van Rates

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by terryandrene, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    Another recent thread in the "Truck Talk" Forum discusses the various cargo height/weight/dimensional capacities of the Sprinter. I started a new thread because I believe we have a situation slowly occurring over the past ten years, or so, that is detrimental to the bottom line of all expediter cargo van owners; Sprinter, Ford GMC and Chevrolet, alike.

    In the early years of expediting, the designation of van freight was a maximum weight of 2000 pounds and a dimensional maximum of two 4' cubes, or the equivalent of one or more pieces occupying a space no greater than 48"h x 48"w x 96"l. The typical cargo van of the 1980's and 1990's easily accommodated these capacities and they were categorized as "B" loads in lease agreements and carrier tariffs.

    During expediting's heyday of the 90's, freight was plentiful and cargo vans were in short supply. We were often asked to take a load that exceeded the advertised capacity. Most of us refused because we were at the limit of our GVWR with 2000 pounds of cargo because of the weight of co-drivers, their stuff and our sleeper amenities. Many drivers, however, took those 2000lb + loads whether within or over their van's GVWR. Repeat customers soon began to insist on paying van rates for up to 2500 pounds and eventually, one carrier after another changed their advertised cargo van capacities to 2500 pounds; many did so without regard for the actual available capacity of their sleeper outfitted van fleet. All did so without changing the van tariffs. One carrier has a reported maximum van capacity of 3000 pounds.

    Enter the Sprinter. Beginning with 2001, Sprinter owners started utilizing the huge cargo area to outcarry the standard vans. The early Sprinters did not have the lavish sleepers now seen, so they were able to easily carry three skids and 3000 pounds. Many did so and now many shippers seem to think that all they have to ask for is a cargo van and they can get 2700 pounds in at the van rates. If you won't haul it , they'll get a carrier that will. It has come to the point that carriers will pay a bonus if you take more than their specified weight or size standards. Other carriers might pay extra, but you have to negotiate to get it, and some carriers never pay extra, so it's take it or leave it. What's a driver to do?

    Well we've done it to ourselves. We built bigger capacity "B" trucks with cube vans, Aerocell vans and, most recently, the Sprinter van. We are investing $40,000+ for a Van that doesn't earn the money that equals the 1989 tariffs that we once enjoyed. If owners of these newer vans keep pushing their capacities beyond the safe and legal operating range of their vans, they are destined to put themselves out of business with increased costs to repair their drive train, suspensions and wheel bearings.
  2. davekc

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

    You are correct that van drivers have become their own worst enemy.
    Shippers now have the expectation of getting a large van and paying rates from the late eighties.
    One thing for sure, it will be a tough thing to undo.

    23 years
    EO moderator
  3. arkjarhead

    arkjarhead New Recruit

    This may be off subject. Do you think if vans are required to log in the future that Sprinters will become even more popular due to being able to have the dot sleeper and haul the freight volume required by the carrier?
  4. RichM

    RichM Expert Expediter Charter Member

    Also the C units took a major hit when the carriers raised B Freight to 2500 pounds. The window of a C unit shrank to 2500 pounds more then a B unit. There is a fair amount of freight in the 2200-2400 pound range that used to go to a C or D unit. Now the shippers demand cargo vans and pay a lower rate and as Terry said we were our worst enemy.
    Frankly when I hear about individuals holding out for a $1.00 per mile I have to wonder,why are they in this business. From 1987 through the early 2000's freight paid more and expenses to run that freight were 200% less.
  5. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    At least at E-1 we are reimbursed for the bigger load ALL the time don't have to negotiate or beg. And I personally won't overload my van. I refuse to take it. Not to sweat it,there'll always be another load.
  6. davekc

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

    I still like the Aerocell concept, but more for a large sleeper rather than increased freight capacity.

    23 years
    EO moderator
  7. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    I think the C units have taken the biggest hit with the Sprinter then CV's.
    NLM loads us up 6 of that double stacked, 8 of those. I don't care for that much.
  8. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    Ark: A DOT sleeper is 75" x 24 " so unless you run the sleeper for and aft, you can't easily get the length and still have the 8.5 feet of cargo space necessary, unless you take out the passenger seat and use that space.

    I have seen two 2007 full size Sprinters recently and neither of them could safely carry 2000 pounds, never mind 2500+. A factory sticker on each door frame showed a capacity of occupants and cargo at less than 2800 lbs. It would behoove a buyer of the newer Sprinters to compare capacities of their vans with their carrier's required capacities.
  9. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    Recent adventure: Was supposed to pick up 4 bins for about 2200 lbs when got there they had 5 ready for 2900 lbs. I said do not put on the 5th one I'll take the 4 that I was dispatched on. Shipper said he paid for the whole van. E-1 asked why I wouldn't take it when I had room and said alot of other take 3,000lbs and say nothing. I replied well that's good for them and you, but I'll be way overweight and if in an accident we'd both be in the slammer getting our butts sued off....The shipper put on the 4 and ordered a van for the remainder. Therefore two vehcles made money instead of 1.
  10. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    Good answer OVM. Let me offer another possible scenario.

    You operate a cargo van with a lease agreement that specifies a van weight capacity of 2500lbs. You have a 3000lb load on and are operating beyond the terms of your lease agreement and your GVWR. If you are involved in an accident, will the insurance company of your carrier's group plan automatically honor your request for repairs to your van, to the other vehicle or property and any personal injuries? Or, would the insurance company disallow your claim because you voided your policy when you operated an overweight vehicle in an unsafe manner? I don't know the answer to this hypothetical situation, but those who exceed their weight limits would be wise to find out.
  11. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    In this day and age of sue this and sue that. I assuming we'd be liable somewhere along the line. Overweight is just that overweight!!!
    If one takes a load of greater capacity then it's rated for, the flood gates would be opened.
  12. fastrod

    fastrod Rookie Expediter

    Here is some weigh numbers directly from the carriers websites. Panther-2000 lbs. tri state-3000 lbs. landstar-3000 lbs. E-1 van at least 2000 lbs., sprinter at least 2500 lbs. bolt express- van 2500lbs. sprinter 3200 lbs. all state-2000 lbs. tst expedited-2500 lbs. One website (carrier) I found advertizes chevrolet cargo vans that can handle 3 skids and 5000lbs. and they put trailers behind these vans and haul freight up to 25 foot long. My old ford can haul about 3900 lbs with no problems
  13. Moot

    Moot Expert Expediter

    Transit 350
    >Frankly when I hear about individuals holding out for a $1.00 per mile I have to wonder,why are they in this business. From 1987 through the early 2000's freight paid more and expenses to run that freight were 200% less.

    Rich, I am confused by this statement. My van has a gross weight of 9600#. It tips the scales unladen at 7000#. This gives me a 2600# load capacity. I get paid .80/mile for loads under 2000# and 1.00/mile for loads over 2000#. Why not make an extra .20/mile if I can do it legally?

    I know rates were better in the past. I started at .97/mile for loads over 300 miles. More for shorter loads. Up until a few years ago I was getting 1.02. I have also noticed expenses have increased. Don't know what else to say. I guess I could join Uncle Remus in the real estate business buying all those foreclosed homes and selling them to ah...selling them to uh people, yea that's it. People that are buying houses. Care to partner with me? I'll be in Detroit on October 31, picking up some HOT real estate deals.

    "Have you seen us, Uncle Remus? We look pretty sharp in these clothes. Unless we get sprayed by a hose." FZ
  14. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    Fastrod..thank for those numbers..even though they are completely useless as most carriers only use numbers as a guidline not reality. I can only hual 2300 roughly and E-1 has me registered at that...
    Bolts I find outrageously high 3500 lbs???? That would make the empty ticket at 5050 lbs....theres no way in a 2500 Sprinter can lose that much weight. Even a 3500 series it would be on the bubble.
  15. 60MPH

    60MPH New Recruit

    I with the crowd that will not over load there van's for any reason, I get so mad when I go to a shipper and they think it's okay to load 3000# because the van here yesterday did. I only accepted the load because the offer was within my capacity and some where between the load offer and me showing up at the customer the weight went magically up. Call disp and of course it's not there fault they always say " THE CUSTOMER CALLED IN THE PCS. AND WEIGHT ALL WE DO IS BOOK THE LOAD AND SEND IT TO YOUR TRUCK" and I say ok please take me off load and make sure you charge for a dryrun. Yes I know "sometimes" customers will lie about weight a pcs. but I know sometimes the disp. does not ask or confirm pcs. & weight, I get alot of "they called in a van size load". Well I work for a carrier that has 2 van sizes so which size do they want??? DUH!!! I can think of one that I deal with in mt vernon,OH. that I have to call them "the shipper" before I accept the load because I have been turned away 2 times because the offer was something like 1 pc 1000# and I get there and 3 pcs @3100#, and one more thing I get mad at the driver in a van that shows up to take that 3100# load and he can only haul 2800# legally. And I always ask why are you willing to haul that and I get 1 of 2 answers "I need the money" or "my van can handle it with no problem" I just say you go on with your bad self there super trucker have a safe day and don't get caught or have a accident with all that extra weight in there.


  16. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    I'm pleased that so many van drivers feel the same as me. This over weight problem is initially caused by each of us. When we put a van on with a carrier, we are required by most carriers to send in a scale ticket which we do before we outfit the van. After six months into our lease, we have added a co-driver and a few hundred pounds of luggage, plywood, tools, qualcomm, e-track, load bars and straps.

    Our carriers are sending us load offers based, sometimes, on the available capacity reflected in their records, (i.e. GVWR - curbweight = capacity). Carrier Safety Departments that are as concerned about weight limits for vans, as they are for the larger trucks, could easily keep van offers within legal limits by requiring a scale ticket after the van has been leased for six months. They could require the weight be without occupants. They could then add the weights listed on their copies of the occupants CDL and determine the cargo capacity of each of their vans. Sure it's a bit of work, but if a carrier's mantra is "safety first", then it'll be worth the effort.
  17. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    You'll notice it's the owners not taking the overweights more then drivers..what do they care?...a loads a load? right?
    They don't have to fix that slipping tranny or replace that blown engine or replace them springs and shocks and on and extra .05 cents a mile is not going to reverse the wear and tear over time. There's always another load!!!
  18. LDB

    LDB Expert Expediter

    >keep van offers within legal limits by requiring a scale
    >ticket after the van has been leased for six months. They
    >could require the weight be without occupants. They could
    >then add the weights listed on their copies of the occupants

    You mean the weight on the CDL(s) from 4 years and 40 pounds ago? :+

    When I weighed my truck I had just filled it to within an inch of the fuel caps and then had someone sit in the passenger seat long enough to get the scale ticket. I already had my pallet jack, clothes etc. in it and figured the weight of the extra person would offset future packratting.

    Leo Bricker, 73's K5LDB
    OOIDA Life Member 677319, JOIN NOW
    Owner, Panther trucks 5508, 5509, 5641
    EO Forum Moderator
    Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
  19. dhalltoyo

    dhalltoyo New Recruit

    Ditto to 60 MPH's post.

    Dispatchers need to verify: SIZE - WEIGHT - NUMBER OF PIECES.

    It takes only a few seconds to gather that information.

    To say, "They called for a van," is simply a way to defer resposibility as opposed to being professional.

    When any carrier has a shipper that is very vague about the criteria of their load, it is the dispatchers job to train the shipper as to what are the legal aspects of overloading ANY truck.

    I would think any carrier's legal department would want to spend some time in training the dispatchers about the absolute need to avoid lawsuits should an overloaded van be in an accident.

    If the cargo van rate was $2.00 per mile, but the load exceeded my truck's limitations, it stays on the dock and they need to call for a straight truck or an additional cargo van. I'll work with anybody to accommodate their needs, but my life and the life of my truck always has to come first.
  20. cheri1122

    cheri1122 Expert Expediter

    Good point, Leo, I have a habit of adding books as I go, and the weight adds up!
    Another point: if you don't know what your carrier's Safety Dept has your weight limit listed as, it might be a good idea to ask. I once turned down a load that exceeded the capacity of my van, and was surprised to get a call from Safety, because they had an inaccurate weight capacity listed, in spite of my having given them the accurate GVWR & empty weight.
    IMO, those who accept overweight loads are cutting their own throats, and I refuse to join them.

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