Flexibility when working for a carrier

Elitemgmt

New Recruit
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Greetings,
I explored this business model a few years ago and ended up moving on to something else.
I want to have the freedom to work my own hours (have my own authority) because I have restrictions in my schedule (some weeks I can work 20 hours and some I can work 40 or 40 plus).
My schedule constantly fluctuates.
But given the excessive cost of having your own authority (insurance quotes I have received are as high as two grand a month for a cargo van) I prefer to sign on with a carrier and use my own van.
I have heard from others that used to work with certain carriers that it was like working for Uber.
They accepted the loads they wanted and declined the ones they did not. Combining this with the how cost-effective insurance is (from what I recall when you sign on with Prime it was $50 or less) this seems like a deal breaker.
Can any of you share your experiences with working for a carrier? Please be specific as possible.
Under perfect circumstances I would get my own authority, but insurance costs are just too high.
How realistic is this scenario -?
- I leave S. Florida and head to Atlanta (as an example) to pick up a load (I am using this as an example as that may have to be a starting point for me depending on what carrier I use and what loads are available in the Southeast. From what I have seen I may even need to go as far as the Midwest just to start).
- Let’s say (for example) there is a load that takes me from Atlanta to Ohio.
- Then I am “stuck” in Ohio waiting on another. I can either rest, sit and wait, or both.
- I sit tight and one pops up and takes me to Detroit.
- Then another pops up and goes to California (another example).
- Get to California, get some rest.
- Rinse and repeat as many times as I can that week. Get rest as needed. Minimize hotel usage. Itemize expenses, etc.
- Start taking loads that help me go in a southeastern direction (so that its more cost effective to get home as my home base is in South Florida).
- Spend some time at home (2-4 days) then head out again (contact my carrier, tell them I am back “on” and hit the road).
Is this realistic? If not, please specify.
Is anyone aware of any carriers that do not require a van or truck that is NOT more than 5 years old?
Does anyone know of any carriers that are easy to work with as far as hours and loads go (as I have mentioned above)?
Does the carrier provide insurance? If so, are you aware of the cost?
What have your experiences been collaborating with carriers?
If you are aware of any good carriers, please provide their details.
Thanks.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Online
How does this work with "some weeks I can work 20 hours..."? You'd use up a significant portion of that just deadheading from south Florida to Atlanta. How many miles at what mpg with $4+ fuel cost? Perhaps I misread or misunderstood but part of your post sounds like expediting, going to assorted random places over many many days, and part sounds anything but expediting.
 

Elitemgmt

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Researching
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How does this work with "some weeks I can work 20 hours..."? You'd use up a significant portion of that just deadheading from south Florida to Atlanta. How many miles at what mpg with $4+ fuel cost? Perhaps I misread or misunderstood but part of your post sounds like expediting, going to assorted random places over many many days, and part sounds anything but expediting.

20 hours was merely an example.
My point is that I don't want to be committed to take a certain amount of loads or drive for a certain amount of hours.

Yes you're right. I'm about 10 hours behind just getting to where I may need to be to get a load.
 
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danthewolf00

Veteran Expediter
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Your plan will not work.
All you can do is put a mileage restriction per load.....because if they need it over night and you can't do the load you don't get called.
 
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LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Online
20 hours was merely an example.
My point is that I don't want to be committed to take a certain amount of loads or drive for a certain amount of hours.

Yes you're right. I'm about 10 hours behind just getting to where I may need to be to get a load.
With any carriers I'm familiar with you are not committed to anything but make choices on a load by load basis. That said, if your acceptance rate is 13% they likely aren't going to be offering you much. You have to be prepared to potentially go anywhere and it can be literally any direction. The 20 hours is an issue in that if you drive 10 hours to Atlanta and load widgets and drive to Toledo to unload you've used up your 20 hours for the week. What now? Are you going to drive home to south Florida and burn all the money you made in fuel to go back? Pretty much once you go out you are on 24/7 until you go back home because you don't know when/where the next income will come from. There can be times/places to go out of service a day or two and visit family/friends/museum you always wanted to visit, but mostly you have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat, or a load offer, whichever drops for you.
 

Elitemgmt

New Recruit
Researching
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Sorry, idk where I got the 20 or 40 hours from. Ideally I'd like to be on the road a week or so at a time. Just looking for carriers that are a little more lenient with there work and van commitments.
 

Elitemgmt

New Recruit
Researching
Offline
Your plan will not work.
All you can do is put a mileage restriction per load.....because if they need it over night and you can't do the load you don't get called.
Sorry, idk where I got the 20 or 40 hours from. Ideally I'd like to be on the road a week or so at a time. Just looking for carriers that are a little more lenient with there work and van commitments.
 

Elitemgmt

New Recruit
Researching
Offline
With any carriers I'm familiar with you are not committed to anything but make choices on a load by load basis. That said, if your acceptance rate is 13% they likely aren't going to be offering you much. You have to be prepared to potentially go anywhere and it can be literally any direction. The 20 hours is an issue in that if you drive 10 hours to Atlanta and load widgets and drive to Toledo to unload you've used up your 20 hours for the week. What now? Are you going to drive home to south Florida and burn all the money you made in fuel to go back? Pretty much once you go out you are on 24/7 until you go back home because you don't know when/where the next income will come from. There can be times/places to go out of service a day or two and visit family/friends/museum you always wanted to visit, but mostly you have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat, or a load offer, whichever drops for you.
Sorry, idk where I got the 20 or 40 hours from. Ideally I'd like to be on the road a week or so at a time. Just looking for carriers that are a little more lenient with there work and van commitments.

I think i took way too much caffeine when I wrote the post lol
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Online
If you lived in OH or IN that might work. I live in Houston and it's similar to Miami, there is very little expediting in and the odds of getting that unicorn run are very small. Once in a great while I'd be out 1-2 weeks and get a job close enough to decide to come home. Most times I'd be out 4-6 weeks and get a job that never would have been close enough to come home after 1-2 weeks but now is. Living in OH/IN generally means getting a job close enough to go home every 2-3 weeks, if not sooner. Expediting is a career of compromises and you are doing most of the compromising.
 
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Elitemgmt

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Researching
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If you lived in OH or IN that might work. I live in Houston and it's similar to Miami, there is very little expediting in and the odds of getting that unicorn run are very small. Once in a great while I'd be out 1-2 weeks and get a job close enough to decide to come home. Most times I'd be out 4-6 weeks and get a job that never would have been close enough to come home after 1-2 weeks but now is. Living in OH/IN generally means getting a job close enough to go home every 2-3 weeks, if not sooner. Expediting is a career of compromises and you are doing most of the compromising.

I hear you.
That's one of the biggest issues for me. Just getting to a load or out of the state will likely take upwards of 10 or 15 hours (which I'm not being paid for). From that point onwards who knows where the road will take me. Ideally I could stay out for two weeks but I wouldn't want to stay out longer than that.

Right now I'm looking at carriers that don't require a van that is within the last five years (looking for one that will accept one within ten) and then I will give it a shot. Worst case if it doesn't work out I'm going to covert the van into a camper.

I keep asking for recommendations for carriers that are lenient with their van / work commitment requirements but people keep telling me their almost all the same.
 

danthewolf00

Veteran Expediter
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Tampa or Jacksonville are the normal citys for loads to get out of Florida.
Otherwise Florida is a blackhole for loads.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Online
I suspect there will be some very long drives home with a 2 week limit on being out. Good luck.
 
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OkieSprint

Rookie Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
My 2 cents - I am a O/O expediter with a Transit van out of Oklahoma which is not in a freight lane for the company I work for. I have to drive home best case scenario from TX, but oftentimes from TN or MS or IL after being out more than a month as there is not a lot of options for me. Once home, I usually take several weeks off, then I go back in service on a Monday and do not leave until Wednesday most of the time.

I can't recommend you to view this job as hourly at all, but think of it as a rotation or "hitch" as we used to say in the oilfield. I try to do at least a month but no more than 6 weeks as I can feel myself not driving as sharp after that much time out. It might help to set an amount you want to earn, I go for 10k minimum before I even think of going home and it has worked well for me. Best of luck to you!
 
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