Dallas

jjoerger

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
US Army
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Phil,
Do you know how many reefer straight trucks there are in the fleet? How many reefer E trucks and how many are company owned reefer trailers? It would be interesting to know the percentage of flat rate vs. percentage rate of reefer trucks.
I'm sure there are several hundred C,D and E's now.

I know there are no flat rate reefer straight trucks and only 77 flat rate trucks in the fleet. And a lot of them are solos pulling dry vans. Isn't that less than 1% of the fleet? Could 1% be effecting the load counts as drastically as it is being speculated?
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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Phil,
Do you know how many reefer straight trucks there are in the fleet? How many reefer E trucks and how many are company owned reefer trailers? It would be interesting to know the percentage of flat rate vs. percentage rate of reefer trucks.
I'm sure there are several hundred C,D and E's now.

I know there are no flat rate reefer straight trucks and only 77 flat rate trucks in the fleet. And a lot of them are solos pulling dry vans. Isn't that less than 1% of the fleet? Could 1% be effecting the load counts as drastically as it is being speculated?

I do not know the exact number of reefer straight trucks in the fleet or ER-units either, or the exact ratio of flat-rate trucks to percentage-paid trucks. I have a general sense of the numbers and could get exact by making phone calls, just as you could; if you can find someone at FDCC who will reveal that information any more.

But even without exact numbers, I agree that it is as you suggest; namely, that only a single-digit percentage of the trucks now in the fleet are flat-rate trucks.

However, when those trucks are given preferential dispatch and dispatched two or more loads deep to keep them running, their negative effect on the percentage-paid trucks is more pronounced than their numbers would suggest.

In a typical month, Diane and I will do 10-15 loads. One or two loads will generally be good loads or great loads that make the difference between a good month and a great month, or between a fair month and a good month. But now with many good loads and great loads being preferentially dispatched onto company-owned trailers and/or flat-rate straight trucks, the game is changing.

We used to be delighted to take good load or great load to places like Washington state, Los Angeles, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Denver, etc., because we could generally count on a good load or great load to surface someplace and profitably get us out, or draw us out (deadhead to a distant pick up), and get us rolling again.

But with us now being passed over in the dispatch order and such loads now going to other trucks, we have to protect ourselves by staying east. We end up disqualifying ourselves from some good loads or great loads going west because other good loads or great loads that used to get us out of western states, or keep us busy in western states, are less frequent.

I know that FDCC is planning to raise its reefer trailer number to 40. Let's say it is 12 now (close to the actual number but that number changes depending on who you talk to). Let's also say that a persistently dispatched company owned reefer trailer does 3 to 4 loads a week.

That means that preferential dispatch is taking 36 to 48 good loads or great loads a week out of the system before we even see them. That becomes 144 to 192 good loads or great loads a month.

We only need one or two good loads or great loads a month to combine with the "everyday loads" and give us a good month or great month. But with 144 to 192 of them now going onto flat rate trailers, and with an unknown number also going onto flat-rate straight trucks, and with the same number of percentage-paid trucks left to compete for the remaining freight (assuming FDCC is not recruiting more), we see fewer good loads or great loads. The consistent loss of such loads will potentially leave us not with good months or great months, but with poor to fair monthly revenues to run our business on.

Raising the number of company-owned trailers to 40, as FDCC is committed to do, will suck 480 to 640 good loads or great loads a month out of the system. Adding flat-rate straight trucks to the equation, and flat-rate tractors pulling dry van trailers, creates an even worse future for percentage-paid trucks that look for one or two good loads or great loads a month to make the difference.

The difference is not just a month where expenses are met vs. a month where expenses are not met. The difference is a month where expenses are met vs. a month where meaningful profits are earned, money can be put away, and replacement trucks can be purchased over time.

So, jjoeger, it's not that 1% of flat rate trucks are affecting the load counts as drastically as it is being speculated (to use your words). It's that the declining number of good loads and great loads that are available to percentage-paid trucks is changing percentage-paid truck behavior and month-end results.

It's not about the number of trucks. It's about the number of good loads and great loads that are less and less available to percentage-paid trucks.

As I said, Diane and I (and other percentage-paid trucks, I presume) only need one or two good loads or great loads each month to have a great month. But when say 480 to 640 such loads vanish from the board because they are preferentially dispatched to flat rate trucks, it means that hundreds of percentage-paid trucks in the fleet will be adversely affected, month after month; such that the great months they used to enjoy will become less frequent.

Don't look at the number of trucks in play. Look at what is happening to hundreds of good loads and great loads each month and how the shift of those loads from percentage-paid trucks to flat rate trucks is affecting (or will affect) percentage-paid trucks.

That's how it is, as this man sees it. Others may see it differently, of course. I am open to and would love to discuss other points of view.
 
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BigRed32771

Expert Expediter
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As I said, Diane and I (and other percentage-paid trucks, I presume) only need one or two good loads or great loads each month to have a great month. But when say 480 to 640 such loads vanish from the board because they are preferentially dispatched to flat rate trucks, it means that hundreds of percentage-paid trucks in the fleet will be adversely affected, month after month; such that the great months they used to enjoy will become less frequent.

As you have pointed out, the lack of good/great loads coming out of the west these days and the increased dwell time while waiting for even an acceptable load coming back east must be figured in to the overall discussion as well. I took a good load to Nogales, picked up an okay regional Tucson/Las Vegas/Tucson roundtrip, but have been sitting now for 3 days. I accepted several "opportunities" but didn't get them, and have otherwise only seen piddly little dreck, including one to sit and wait 3 days then get paid $200 for a local hop.

I took the Nogales run hoping that AZ wasn't as bad as CA, but I'm drawing the limit of my western work at pretty much the I-35 corridor for now.

Once I get back east, that is.
 

TeamCaffee

Administrator
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Owner/Operator
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As a dry box with a lift gate we will still be going west and we will still be going to Dallas.

The freight for us does not appear to have changed at this point slow is slow all over and most of the DoD trucks are slow and when it is good all of us are moving with all of the companies.
 

layoutshooter

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
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Reefer trucks are getting hurt by new policies. The further west we go the less work we have. We go out and get stuck. Dallas is not bad, must further than that costs us money. This is an area where what suits FedEx does not always suit our business.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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Reefer trucks are getting hurt by new policies.

Dry box trucks will get hurt too as reefer contractors decide to play in the dry box arena. As high paying reefer loads decline in frequency, and the need to pay the bills asserts itself, it won't take much for a number of reefer contractors to go after the freight they were previously willing to let the dry box contractors have.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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The freight for us does not appear to have changed at this point slow is slow all over and most of the DoD trucks are slow and when it is good all of us are moving with all of the companies.

I do not believe it is slow all over for the reasons I stated above, but for the purposes of discussion, let's say that you are right, Linda, and it is slow all over.

If it is slow all over, it will be even slower for the FDCC percentage-paid trucks that are now being passed over by a preferential dispatch system that is designed to load flat-rate trucks first. If it is slow and the FDCC run count declines, the flat-rate trucks will see no difference. It will be the percentage-paid trucks that take the hit so the flat-rate trucks can keep running.
 

layoutshooter

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
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I think that FDCC should put this change in business practices out to all contractors. How are people going to make good business decisions on loads or even remaining with FDCC if we are not given all of the important information in writing?
 

bcordell70

Seasoned Expediter
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Well I can tell you that we are in a dry box with liftgate and have been sitting in Sparks, NV and thus far have built up 72 hrs in dwell time..Guess I just couldnt turn down the good paying load to come out this way =(

Having said that I did ask for a relocation and the reply was no relocation available at this time.. Meaning to me that either the freight is slow or they didnt like my other posts here..LOL

Either way I am with some of the others if im gonna be sitting id rather be doing it on the east coast atleast then I would know it was more than likely slow freight and not just a bad area or that something has changed in the scheme of things.
 
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