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Expediter Driver Shortage ?

Discussion in 'General Expediter Forum' started by zorry, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. zorry

    zorry Veteran Expediter

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    I was involved with 3 owners in my short time expediting prior to building my new truck.
    They are all in the Midwest and I think they all have 4-5 trucks.
    I was surprised that they all have ads on EO looking for drivers for large sleepered 2013 or 2014 trucks.

    Is it hard to keep teams in these trucks ?
    Is there that many new trucks coming on-board ?

    What's everybody seeing or hearing ?
     
  2. rymilburn

    rymilburn Active Expediter

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    Our previous owner had 15 trucks.... They had ad's on EO almost every week. They had very nice trucks to.

    I think there is an abundance of single drivers.... However, for teams it's hard to find same household, responsible teams.

    I know someone down in Texas that has a small fleet of straights.... He says finding good quality drivers is the biggest obstacle he has.
     
  3. Polish_Drive

    Polish_Drive Rookie Expediter

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    I think insurance has a lot to do with hiring drivers. A lot of owners dont wanna pay top dollar.
     
  4. Dynamite 1
    Inspired

    Dynamite 1 Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    Insurance costs are not that much. If a driver is going to be expensive to insure then the carrier probably wont qualify them. only one reason they are expensive, MVR.
     
  5. Daffyduck528

    Daffyduck528 Expert Expediter

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    It's a great question. We've pretty much decided to go the route of hiring some people new to expediting and teaching them. Then hopefully moving them to a nicer tval truck and starting over again. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. I can't find teams on eo looking though.

    It makes me wonder how some teams are content to drive some of the "more tired, non ca compliant, small bunk" trucks with such an abundance nice trucks needing teams. And I do mean drivers only, I get it if your an owner/opp.
     
  6. zorry

    zorry Veteran Expediter

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    If you have a good owner, one you're comfortable with, it may be hard to change owners. The lure of a new/fancier truck may not be enough to put up with owner issues..

    Although those three owners I spoke of could all offer me a new or newer truck with 96" sleeper, I wouldn't even consider working for all three of them again.

    Edit: I would work for one, might work for another, definitely would not work for the third.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  7. letsdrive

    letsdrive Seasoned Expediter

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    Thats interesting was trying to get in str8 truck few months ago no one wanted a inexperienced driver

    Sent from my SPH-L520 using EO Forums mobile app
     
  8. davekc
    Caffeine Fix

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    As far as news folks, I think it just depends. As a general rule, we look at folks were at least one in a team has previous experience somewhere in transportation. Not necessarily expedite specific.
    It is true, the biggest hurdle is not finding drivers, but finding good ones. For a fleet, our insurance is not affected by who we bring on. Of course it might be if they have a blemished record and then we wouldn't hire them anyway.
    I would say, it is better to wait for us and find the decent driver rather than just a "driver'. Cheaper for me to leave the truck sit rather than dealing with a host of issues with a bad one and being a marriage counselor as well. ;)
     
  9. rymilburn

    rymilburn Active Expediter

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    Owners do not usually wanna hire solo's, let alone from our west. Although, you might just be able to make a decent living out west in a straight. There's Tons of business.
     
  10. Moot
    Confused

    Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    Maybe teams are content to drive less fancy trucks because they have a good working relationship with the owner and the company the owner is leased to. For some, those reasons and making more money trumps the "ride".
     
  11. Moot
    Confused

    Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I have a feeling you don't have much of a problem finding good drivers and retaining them. Your turnover rate is probably very low.
     
  12. davekc
    Caffeine Fix

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    True. We pretty much have the same teams that we have had years ago. Most of them are former owner operators so they pretty much know what is and what isn't out here. We are very fortunate to have a great crew of folks that make it all seem easy. We on occasion do hire but it is usually either due to expansion or someone retires all together.
     
  13. pearlpro

    pearlpro Expert Expediter

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    Ive driven for two different owners who werent bad and the pay wasnt the best or the worst, they kept me busy but seems the money never really was that good for living 3-4 weeks on the road...I have tried to find a Team Partner a couple times to drive for one of these BIG NICE TRUCK owners, but they seem to throw up roadblocks, there terms or there ideas of what LIFE is....if Im going to go live on the road for 3 months, I want decent pay, not ok, not it will get there, not if youll work with me....

    Living on the road doesnt bother me when the moneys good, I feel like im achieving something, but when your out 3 months, and you go home with barely what you went out with, well that makes TEAM not so attractive...or not what was promised...

    Ive had nice Freightliner Str8S but the sleepers were small, not much room for a big guy, sleeping in a coffin sleeper gets old fast...Both Owners I drove for were nice folks, I got along good with them andf staff, but money just wasnt happeneing...and $$$$ that is what we all work for.

    Another issue is Im not married and Ive teamed with My brother who grew old of not making the coin...I put up with allot more BS then he was willing to, and after a couple slow pays, he bailed, and if your a team when that happens your sunk, Getting that carbon copy of your work ethic is tuff...I understand sometimes that pay thing is outta someones control, stuff happens, things get tight, but personally I always feel like if you didnt have the money to pay me, dont send me out on trips and then say well ya know, and Ummm, ya call me back, oh well tommorrow, BULL....

    Its hard to find that perfect safe hard working second driver....
     
  14. Dynamite 1
    Inspired

    Dynamite 1 Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    pay issues are something something we dont get with some fleet owners we have heard of. pay day is pay day, it happens every week on the same day. you should be prepared and there are very few exceptions why it should not be paid. drivers deserve to be paid and expect to be paid just the same as fleet owners. dont understand how a fleet owner can be upset if they dont get paid but are not upset by the fact their drivers are not being paid.

    the type of truck does have some impact on getting drivers as well it should. as a fleet owner you should not offer a truck for a team or solo to drive that you as the owner would not drive yourself. we have all 06 trucks with 96" sleepers, 1 has a 84" but we have worked and continue to work on making them as nice as they can be. we did alot of work to each one after we bought them to get them clean, repaired, and ready for the road and have a standing list of other small things to do while they are out running.

    while a brand new high dollar truck would be nice there is a nice payment that goes with it also which makes a difference to some fleet operation especially newer fleets. we believe finding drivers for the top tier trucks with all the extras has much more to do with the drivers themselves wanting to do that type of work and babysit those loads and all the other commitments they require. some just dont want to do it. we never ever had the desire to own a reefer / liftgate truck or do DOD. just wasnt for us. we have done constant surveillance loads and escort loads before but just never wanted to make that the focus of what we did. we believe that is part of the issue with finding drivers for those trucks.
     
  15. davekc
    Caffeine Fix

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    With regards to pay issues, there are on occasion flubs by the carrier that have delayed the pay say in to the following week. My opinion on that is the driver in these cases are contracting to the fleet owner. Our drivers get paid regardless of whether the pay is delayed from the carrier. That isn't the drivers problem. If the fleet owner can't float the weekly revenue to their drivers for say a week, probably shouldn't be a fleet owner.
     
  16. zorry

    zorry Veteran Expediter

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    It's thinking like that that keeps your turnover so low.

    Look at all those drivers you'll never meet because you don't turn over your fleet every 12-24 months. :)
     
  17. davekc
    Caffeine Fix

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    I try to see a lot of them at the Expo.:cool:
     
  18. Daffyduck528

    Daffyduck528 Expert Expediter

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    I agree. My partner and I had many discussions about this. We don't want just nice trucks but also to have plenty of capital for these occasions and if we need to fix the truck. I can't believe the stories I hear of trucks going down and the owner half a** fixing it because they don't have the funds to repair the truck. I just wish it were easier to get a team to trust us. It's tough being new to the fleet ownership business. Owner/opp is much easier. I just hope in a few years I'll have the respect of my peers and drivers that you do. I'm fairly young and plan to be here for the long haul and see no way to do that than be one of the best.
     
  19. zorry

    zorry Veteran Expediter

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    My sister once got into a newly purchased truck that in my opinion needed 8 tires NOW.
    The fleet owner projected 2 tires a month over 4 months.
    She offered to buy the tires herself, and get paid back 2 tires per month.
    And she would gauge the tires weekly.

    She occasionally gets recruited by a fleet owner because of her reputation.

    I may hire her someday, myself. :).
     
  20. zorry

    zorry Veteran Expediter

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    I had a gorgeous 96x54 shop next to my house on acreage near Valparaiso In.

    I've toyed with the idea of fleet ownership and could get this property back in three years.

    The only way I would feel comfortable running a fleet is to have them through my shop every so many miles so that I or a mechanic of my choice could go over it with a fine toothed comb.

    I figure we'd have to plan on about 24 hours planned time in the shop.
    I'd give the team a vehicle, a room, and a nice per diem.
    I should more than save that money if I could avoid forseeable problems.
    I had three service calls on the Pete I sold at close to 950,000 miles. Lost a week old set of belts that I did not install. And lost the ECM. Turned the key: dead.
    Towed in and running the next day.
    Lost the front wheel bearing.
    Also, towed in and running around noon the next day.

    I do not see how a fleet can put non-mechanical drivers in a truck and expect TA and Love's $10 per hour mechanics to keep them running.

    I got into a "Fancy" truck for a very established fleet. Moved it 20 miles as a favor to the unnamed owner. Looked it over and found the reefer battery moving wall to wall, as far as the cables would allow it,in a large toolbox. NO HOLD-DOWN WHATSOEVER !
    Every placcard holder broken.
    About a dozen write-ups on the initial walk around.
    I called the owner and said he'd have to fix a few of the items, any defective lights, and the non-operative dolly legs.
    He started with " Hey, it's an old truck."
    ( the day before it was a premium truck).

    Then he told me he had no interest in fixing the dollies. They were broke low enough to make contact by dropping the air.

    Later that evening the wife and I decided there was no use even attempting to work with this guy.

    I told my self then, the only way for me to be a fleet owner would be get a shop up and running.

    I don't want to do it while I'm on the road. When I retire, not sure I want the headaches or liability.
     
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