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Expediting is a Business

Discussion in 'Newbies FAQ' started by terryandrene, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. RLENT

    RLENT Veteran Expediter

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    Rich,

    I talked to one of my sons' drivers last night about the insurance when I ferried him down to pick up his truck from the shop. He's actually an ex-contractor (my son bought his route from him and he now just drives) - he's been around for 4 years or thereabouts ... so he outta know. He basically said that yes, contractors can buy health insurance through Fedex, although he claimed it is not the same as the Fedex employees have (which is very good apparently), and that the coverage isn't all that great. He said it might be good for younger guys buf if you are older it ain't so great (he's probably in his mid to late 50's)
     
  2. lanier1

    lanier1 Seasoned Expediter

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    Broom,

    You're right, you can't make everyone happy all the time. Does that mean a carrier should not ever try to improve the working situation of its drivers? I don't think most successful businesses are thinking the same as you are. Constantly looking for ways to improve business, working situations and profitability are vital to the continued success of any business including my business of running my truck.

    I don't think anyone has made the statement that coming into this business underfunded is the cure to any problem. As I stated earlier, the carrier should do a better job of informing potential contractors as to the amount of capital needed to better the chances of success. If, however, people ignore that advice from the carrier or this forum or wherever then its no ones fault but thier own.

    I don't believe I have disagreed with anything Terry said. In fact, I stated I did agree with what he said.
     
  3. Broompilot

    Broompilot Veteran Expediter

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    Lanier, if your going into business and you cannot figure that out on your own = WHAT DID YOU SAY? The Leasiing Companies should explaine to us in advance what it takes? You would actually take that as accurate advice when they have an agenda to fill? Nothing against recruiters here but they work for who? And I am being paid what for my time here?

    I said we are here to help, seems to me I would rather take advice from a Mentor, and from someone who is successfull than depending on FECC or Panther or anyone else to tell me do you really believe that they should be responsible for your success or failure?

    Your right not everyone thinks like me, but there are plenty of successfull people who post here continusiously who are just that SUCCESSFULL. Follow the adivce of successfull people and you just might find yourself in the same company.
     
  4. jrcarroll

    jrcarroll Expert Expediter

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    >You coud offer all the Perks in the World and large % of
    >drivers would still be unhappy. The only thing that would
    >make them happy is a very large Lazy Boy and a Remote. Lets
    >face it people just do not want to work.


    On the other hand, there are a lot of us who do get into expediting and really want to work. Then after the orientation and a few hand fed runs, things turn around. Example: week 1 ; one run, then week two; two runs, and each week is like these. All the while you sit in the truck stop and wait for the next load offer, as you see other trucks from the same company come and go. Yes maybe some are just fueling while on a run, but the rest?? If the company is going to hold you to the 'hours of service' then why does my log book have so many "restarts"

    I personally dont think that it's 'underfunded' as much as it is money management. I have seen many drivers spend, spend, spend. Then only after they are broke do they start to whine and cry about money.
    Like was said, do a business plan, or just a simple budget, Then STICK TO IT!!!
     
  5. ABEJR2004

    ABEJR2004 Expert Expediter

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    Terry,

    Good Post

    AbeJr
    TranStewart #6680
    Stand Tall & Be Proud
     
  6. lanier1

    lanier1 Seasoned Expediter

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    You're killing me Broom. Did you even read my earlier posts?

    You wrote:
    Lanier, if your going into business and you cannot figure that out on your own = WHAT DID YOU SAY? The Leasiing Companies should explaine to us in advance what it takes? You would actually take that as accurate advice when they have an agenda to fill? Nothing against recruiters here but they work for who? And I am being paid what for my time here?

    Yes, I expect honesty from my carrier, even the recruiters. I know who they work for and thier agenda and knew it from day one.

    You wrote:
    I said we are here to help, seems to me I would rather take advice from a Mentor, and from someone who is successfull than depending on FECC or Panther or anyone else to tell me do you really believe that they should be responsible for your success or failure?

    Please show me where I said you should not take advice or seek mentorship here or anywhere else. Show me where I said the carrier is responsible for my success or failure. I no more think that than you do. All I have said is it IS in thier best interest for contractors to be successful.

    You wrote:
    Your right not everyone thinks like me, but there are plenty of successfull people who post here continusiously who are just that SUCCESSFULL. Follow the adivce of successfull people and you just might find yourself in the same company.

    Show me where I have said I am failing and it is the carriers fault and they are to blame and no one else. Its really none of your business but I will tell you. I did all my own research prior to entering this business. I didn't know this site existed or I would have utilized it before getting in but I did my own research and for the most part I was close on what to expect as far as numbers go. Naturally there was much that couldn't be foreseen without, as you say, a mentor. I figured out how much truck I thought a solo could support and had decided the business would not support the 5 year old truck rule. When I found out I could go farther back I was back in with a 99 FL 70. Off to orientation and I see solos with brand new trucks and wonder if they know something I don't. I doubt it. I've been at this only ten months and have managed to scratch out a living on nothing but my own determination and wit with, arguably, the biggest and best carrier out here and have done it RUNNING LEGAL as that is the only way FedEx will do it.

    I'll ask you again. Did you even read my earlier posts? I apologize if I said something you have found offensive. It was not my intention.
     
  7. fastrod

    fastrod Expert Expediter

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    Packmule I used to be leased to a carrier. After some dissagreement with them over the rates they were charging the customers I left and got my own authority. It was the best move I ever made.
     
  8. RLENT

    RLENT Veteran Expediter

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    Do you really believe that they should be responsible for your success or failure?
    Well ultimately each individual is responsible for his or her own success or failure .....

    Having said that, I would still answer the question you pose above in the affirmative - yes they are responsible ... at least the good ones are.

    There is no reason why the carrier can't be willing to be responsible for the success of their o/o's.

    There are limits to this obviously - that responsibility only extends to what the carrier is willing and able to control.

    And the fact that they are willing to be responsible to some degree doesn't relieve the individual of his or her responsibility in the least (the idea here isn't to come up with another party to BLAME) ....... one would do certainly do best to plan for nobody else other than one's self being responsible for one's own condition ..... but when a little outside help comes along a better situation is likely for all involved. Survivial isn't solely an individual activity.

    To operate in any less than the manner above (being willing to be responsible for others to some extent) leads only to a dog-eat-dog, I'm-only-out-for-myself-kinda-world ...... not exactly a place where I care to live.
     
  9. terryandrene
    Lurking

    terryandrene Veteran Expediter Safety & Compliance US Coast Guard

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    >Actually FedEx does not have seperate companies, Ground,
    >freight and express are 'segements' or divisions of FedEx.

    Greg: For the record.

    FedEx Corporation Overview

    FedEx Corporation provides strategic leadership and consolidated financial reporting for the independent companies that make up today's FedEx: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Services, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Trade Networks, FedEx Supply Chain Services and FedEx Services.
     
  10. Packmule

    Packmule Expert Expediter

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    Fastrod,

    Good for you! I think it takes a lot of guts to jump out there and run completely independent, but those that can manage thier business and are willing to work hard should do well.
    Good luck to you,and glad you are satisified.

    Danny
     
  11. Florida

    Florida Expert Expediter

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    > First, is it really a independent business if the carrier
    >controls the pricing of the service? Second, if you are
    >really a independent contractor, you should be able to offer
    >your services to multiple carriers instead of just one. This
    >is just food for thought, but with all the stipulations
    >placed on a o/o by the carriers it looks more like a
    >employer/ employee relationship. An example is how does a
    >independent contractor get fired for a low acceptance rate?
    >The contractor should be able to accept any amount of runs
    >they desire.


    re: Rate Price Fixing

    That is relatively true not only with carriers, but brokers and shippers as well. Anyone who goes to OOIDA to obtain help in getting situated with their own operating authority, or obtains it on their on faces the same identical pitfalls of business operation.

    As a small business owner, you can set your own rates; but the question remains will the shipper, broker, or carrier pay them or go down the road to the guy who hauls cheap freight. That is called capitalism, and the backbone of how America operates - from the largest MEGA-corporations down to the single man/woman business.

    As a true independepent with 48 state common (or is that contract) carrier authority, you are free to offer your delivery services to any customer nationwide, set your own rate schedule, doing things your way - but at the price mentioned aove. You have competition. Those people want your business and will do almost anything to get it. Example: just look at those so-called "Burger Wars".

    To focus on more transportation specific related issues, just hop over to any major carrier's web site and you will most likely see a little link to connect you to a "CARRIER" sub-section. Landstar has one. Schneider as well, and many more. They have a contract for "contract carriers" to sub contract and pull their customer's loads - all on THEIR terms. It's their shippers, and their liability as well in the event of any mishap, so they have their lawyers heavily word the contract in their favor, plus spec out the terms of what you must have in order to "qualify". I don't see that as a true independent, but just an offest of their leased O.O. section. In that situation - they have the customer, they set the rates, the set the demands for insurance, driver and vehicle specifications, etc. The Lanstar carrier agreement is nice in the fact that it has no "non compete" clause, and you are free to haul for anybody you want while transporting their loads. They both distance themselves from you and potential liabiliy, but also place controls on how you will transprt their shippers freight by making certain stipulations and demands on the amount of insurance coverage, what tpe of cargo "All risk broad form", insurance agency rating of B+ or better, etc. For some reason, Landstar will not accept OOIDA's insurance binder. Wonder if that was based on any of the civil court activity involved between them?

    For you to become a true "Independent" in the true sense of the word you not only have to put on your truck driver hat, but you must also act and think like a businessman when directly negotiating with customers. That takes up precious time, and would be helpful to have a wife or girlfriend, relative, or hired employee to act as your office assistant while you're onthe road to totally focus on getting you situated with developing a customer base and getting your next load.

    That's a little hard to do while driving through a snow storm and 100% of your focus is based on trying to keep the truck on the road and stay alive.

    There is a very good article in this months issue of OVERDRIVE magazine. (go to www.etrucker.com) Feb 2007. Trucker of the Year. Man by the name of Henry ALbert. He is a shining example of a truly successful independent owner operator; does the whole 9 yeards by himself with the help of his wife. Pretty good reading material.
    He is a single man operation who owns and operates ALbert Express, with the most important help of his wife to develop a customer base.
    Page 22, article called "DREAM TEAM", picture of him and his wife in front of their $400,000 house and tractor.

    As I noted, it is very hard to obtain and retain a loyal customer base. Image and attire is important, as well as an assistant to handle the office and administrative functions while you concentrate on the trucking aspect of proper loading, securement, vehicle condition, GVW, logbooks, weather and traffic conditions, and everything else that a typical "driver" has to contend with.

    This guy contacts shippers directly. He sets his own rates, makes the deliveies, and collects the monies owed. He's smart enough to have it all down on paper in the form of a contract, which is part of the aspect his wife handles. and he basically is doing quite well. Unless that $400,000 house in the picture is fake, I'd say he has done a good job of operating a trucking business.

    While he's not into the Expediting spectrum of trucking, his values hold true for all O.O's. Best part of all is that he made a decision to limit himself to not covering the entire countryside and going into the North Pole and down into Mexico, but focuses on staying within 500 miles radius of his house. Can't beat that with a stick.
    he gets home just about every day, and makes a decent amount of money staying close to home, so he must be doing something right.

    Check out this article, as it gives a good indicator on how to become a truly independent sole proprietor business. The key is that one person simply cannot do it all alone; you need backup. Having a wife around never hurts; plus correct me if I'm wrong, you might be able to TAX DEDUCT her salary as a paid W-2 employee from your gross receipts. Best of both worlds.

    ...just another one of my "trucker's manifesto" statements.

    OOIDA MEMBER#: 708700
     
  12. bryan

    bryan Veteran Expediter

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    Hi

    One of the reasons that companies do not give alot of perks is a few years back states such as Illinois started questioning our independent contractors status.The courts decided that if a carrier helps pay health insurance,fuel or maintanence then the owner operators are employees and can not deduct these expense on their taxes.Also the carriers had to pay half of the owner operators self employment tax.

    Illinois had discussed makeing owner operators put their own name and address on their trucks in addition to the carriers name and city.Had this happened can you imagine the identity theft and insurance scandals we would be left open to.Crooks would have your name, address and license plate # which is all that is needed to get into your DMV records where they could get your SS# and CDL#.More than enough info to rob you blind.
     
  13. OntarioVanMan
    Thinking

    OntarioVanMan Retired Expediter Owner/Operator

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    quoting Terry

    If we can each agree that expediting as an Owner/Operator is a business, then why can't we each agree that success in this business is best reached by being adequately capitalized. That is having sufficient reserve funds to pay all operating expenses to accomplish the work for which we are contracted. It seems that lately, we are reading an increasing amount of posts where people want to enter this business on someone else's dime. So many people seem to want a carrier to provide benefits, or access to carrier resources that are typically provided to employees, not contractors. They want carriers to provide advance money for fuel or food, or for truck repairs in advance of work performed. They want carriers to respect the fact that they are independent contractors and then want carriers to help out with problems that are clearly outside of the terms of their lease agreement.

    Very good post Terry...I mentioned in another thread a few weeks ago about just this very thing lately..where more and more drivers expecting the Carrier/owner to help bail them out when working capitol has been exhausted.

    I have personally witnessed this where the driver next to me has been on thier last tank of fuel and not enough for a cup of coffee!

    In some cases recruiters are to blame to get thier quotas of trucks. But mostly bad business management accounts for the rest.

    I wish you all luck!
     
  14. BillChaffey

    BillChaffey Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator US Navy

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    Clearly Expediting as an O/O is a business. Whether going into business with your own Vehicle or driving someone Else's. Either way the Prospective O/O needs to do his or her investigation of the Business. BUT just as clearly the Expediting Companies SHOULD have the courtesy to try and explain at least the basics of the businesses the prospective O/O is getting into.
     
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