Looking For Volunteers

teacel

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Offline
I am as sick as the next guy when a newbie or an inexperienced expediter is given wrong information, or as some may say, ‘FLUFF’ up the numbers or paint a rosier picture than the norm. Or at least the norm through the eyes of those of us who have been doing this expedite thing for many years (at least 5 if not more) and have substantial ‘collected data’ to back up the numbers and/or opinions we reveal.

Now I’m not insinuating those with less than 5 years don’t have anything to share or the suggestions and facts they have collected aren’t true to form, but ask yourself this ‘especially’ if you are a newbie just coming into expediting.
Who would you rather get the facts from, someone who has collected 5 or more years worth of data and knowledge, or someone who only has a year or 2 worth of data? Who would you rather ask or receive advice from, when it comes to buying a truck, would it be from an expediter who has purchased many trucks, or from someone that is a driver of another owner’s truck who has never bought a truck?

I am going to compose a list of questions, and ask EO to post them in their online tools section, or somewhere on this site, but I need the help of every member on this forum.
I would like to compose a list of around 25 questions that will assist a new person in qualifying the person(s) giving him or her the information; data, opinions or suggestions, so they can better assess the information they gather. If they know the background and experience of the people they are receiving the information from it may aid in them making a smarter, more precise decision. Questions that a new person can ask me if I give advice on buying a truck, could be, ‘are you a truck owner? How many trucks have you bought as an expediter?’ If I tell a newbie he can expect to make $1000 per month or $150K per year, the newbie could ask me how many months/years am I basing those numbers on? I think you get the idea!!!The list of questions is for an entry-level person so they know what to ask the person(s) who is aiding in their research.

I am asking you ‘ALL' - EO members to think of some questions and answers to help assist a newbie. If you were aware of the data or experience behind the person giving you the information, would it have aided you in making a better decision when you became an expediter?

This type of list should have been done some time ago, but now is as good a time as any. To keep from bickering over the questions would those volunteering any Q&A’s please send them to me via a PM? I expect to receive at least 100 or so questions by the end of the month, if so I will ask for volunteers or hand pick a 4-person committee to assist in picking the top 25 or what we feel is the top 25 questions.

I expect the Moderators will be getting involved! But hope all the members of EO join in and help, as we are only helping our successors gain knowledge.

Would like to hear from you your thoughts of the question list!
 

teacel

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Offline
It has been 2.5 hours since I posted this LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS and already I have several responses with some excellent suggestions and questions. One respond-y even suggested a format of which never even crossed my mind until now. WOW Thanks!!! The mind of one is strong, but the minds of many are powerful, This Q&A brainstorm is becoming a very interesting project.

Thank you all, and please keep them coming.
 

raceman

Veteran Expediter
Offline
I think this is a wonderul idea and hope it works well and would be glad to help in anyway possible.

I do want to point something out about the internet and online information and that is, IT IS ONLINE INFORMATION. It must be used with face to face info, info from many other sources before it should be considered as good info. So many things online can be wrong, misleading or just flat out made up. A few problems with Chat rooms, email and so on, is EMOTION. It is impossible to get EMOTION by reading CHAT and emails. What the TYPER is saying and what a READER reads into it can be very different.
It is very simple to make up a character online. In other words I could answer questions about how long I have been a Brain Surgeon, where I have praticed and who my Staff is and it will all sound good, but is it true?

I agree with what you are looking to do, I am asking is it doable? I think when people are looking into any business it is important to gather information from many places and people and books etc. and then draw a conclusion from it all. If folks are really going off of only info from this site, Oh My!

I hope you see my point and that this brings up idea generation and not arguement.

Raceman
OTR O/O
 

highway star

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Raceman makes a good point here. I've read things where I have been real uncertain as to whether someone is kidding or attempting to make a serious point. I liken it to talk radio. Anyone can get on there and say whatever they want. We sometimes see yahoos that make breif appearances here and say bizarre things. We know what's up, but the newbee may not.

This is a good idea Teacel. Maybe picking a panel of some of the most wise and experienced to respond to the chosen questions would be a good idea?
 

geo

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Offline
good point

if this had been around in 92 i'm be driving a dump truck instead of
on my forth truck

one thing need you need is how much up front money you will need for truck ins, fuel etc before money starts coming in
and what other hidden expnse there are etc
and pay house hold bill's to
 

davekc

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Fleet Owner
Offline
I think it could work if it is formatted in a way that can be easy to follow.
If it gets too long and windy, the questions and answers might get lost.



Davekc
owner
21 years
PantherII
EO moderator
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
Not that it isn't a good idea but the much shorter solution than a couple dozen questions for the newbie to ask me before believing anything I tell them is to tell the newbies to ask at least a half dozen members the same questions and equally weigh the responses. They should be told (and should know it without being told but that's a different thread) not to talk to one or two individuals and consider themselves informed.

They may randomly talk to the one or two most optimistic members of the forum and get a rosier picture than is realistic simply because those individuals are the type that don't mind making lemonade when that's the only option left. Conversely they could talk to the one or two most pessimistic members and improperly believe it's all gloom and doom. The important thing is they have enough respondents to have an accurate overall picture.

Leo Bricker, owner trucks 3034, 4958
OOIDA 677319
73's K5LDB
Highway Watch Participant
EO Forum Moderator 1+ Years of Service
-----
Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
 

geo

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Offline
lets make a list of things that could be helpful for new person thinking of getting into expediting

one of the things that should be number one on the list

is what type of unit i want and after i get it and where will i park it
as on other post where do i park it
in newport news if it's under 10,000, able to park in driveway but not on the street, one more reason for a van
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
Offline
You know Teacel this is a great idea.

But I see it has a drawback, instead of trying to qualify the person who answers questions, I think it is better to come up with a group of questions that can be asked that is consistent and tested (by committee?) to help a newbie reduce the learning curve with a solid explanation what the question means and how it applies to the business. This can be grouped by financial, on the roads stuff, what to ask a fleet owner and how to a ask recruiter questions as a couple possible ideas. 25 questions, maybe, but more like 50 or 75 I think would make a better guide.

Just a thought.
 

teacel

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Offline
Like I said in my first reply after the start of this thread, the responses and ideas have been great. I composed about 60 questions so far, and am looking into ways to format according to some of those who suggested some great stuff.

What does puzzle me though, is I haven’t heard from some of the oldest expedite drivers I know via TM, EM, or by reply on this thread. I will not expose you, but do hope to hear from you all in the near future. After all, this is for the betterment (is this a word) of future expediting.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
Offline
Leo said, “Not that it isn't a good idea but the much shorter solution than a couple dozen questions for the newbie to ask me before believing anything I tell them is to tell the newbies to ask at least a half dozen members the same questions and equally weigh the responses. They should be told (and should know it without being told but that's a different thread) not to talk to one or two individuals and consider themselves informed.â€

Greg333 said, “But I see it has a drawback, instead of trying to qualify the person who answers questions, I think it is better to come up with a group of questions that can be asked that is consistent and tested (by committee?)â€

Teacel,

If you were to write a piece entitled "How to Research the Expediting Industry," which I encourage you to do, I would urge you to focus not on the value of the advice giver but on the accuracy of the facts. In other words, take a judge-the-facts approach, not a judge-the-man approach.

This is the technique Diane and I used when we researched the industry. We talked not to just one carrier recruiter, but several; reviewed not just one contract but several; interviewed not just one fleet owner, but about two dozen; talked not just to a couple drivers, but many.

We did not ask about their experience. That did not matter. We were after the facts. By gathering statements from numerous people and business planning sources, we were able to determine the facts, write a sound business plan based on reasonable expectations, enter the industry and make good money from the very first day. In fact, us two little newbies made better money in our first year than many of the more-experienced drivers we spoke to.

Newbies reading this should note this process took a lot of time and effort. We estimate we put over 1,000 hours into industry research before jumping in. Our research included traveling to truck stops and the MATS truck show, where we conducted numerous face-to-face interviews. We also read every single EO Open Fourm post in every conference going back two years, and we read every carrier profile EO had published at the time. Had the EO workshops been available back then, we'd have attended them too (highly recommended for newbies researching the industry, as is the Expdite Expo).

In the early stages of our research, we wrote down the words and concepts we did not understand and continued our research until we understood them. By the time we entered the industry, we knew the language. We knew what to do and not do to succeed.

Teacel, while your motives are sound and idea is good, you are operating on an assumption that only people with five years or more experience in the industry are qualified to give advice. I respectfully disagree.

We've all seen posts in the Open Forum from experienced drivers that are leaving the industry, not by choice, but because they cannot make a go of it any more. Yet other drivers press on and do well. In a word, longevity (years in the business) and success are not the same. Other factors enter in. It’s not just about experience. If it was, only experienced drivers would succeed and only newbie drivers would fail. Clearly, that is not the case.

Some drivers enter the business, succeed immediately, and enjoy long and lucrative expediting careers. Some enter the business and fail quickly. Others enter the business, scrape by for years or mismanage the money they make, and look back on a life of expediting with little to show for the effort.

Experience is part of the expediting success equation, but by no means all of it. Work ethic, good judgment, integrity, management skills and much more also enter in.

One of the best fleet owners we've ever driven for had virtually no experience when we started with him. He had never driven as an expediter. He has no CDL and never will because of a health condition. While he has more to say now because he has gained experience, at the time, he had no coaching to offer drivers because he knew very little about expediting. What driver coaching he can offer, he's learned by talking to his drivers and others in the industry. He is a quick study to the point that he now has other fleet owners calling him for advice.

More than some fleet owners with many-times his experience, this fleet owner successfully recruits high-quality and high-production teams. Some of his more experienced peers want to know how he does it. This fleet owner maintains his trucks, pays on time, is honest, and is a joy to work with. I would recommend him without reservation to any driving team (he only takes on teams). (Sorry, he has no trucks available at the moment.)

It would be a shame to see a newbie turn a blind eye to the opportunities this inexperienced fleet owner provides, simply because the fleet owner is a newbie too. At the same time, it would be a shame to see a newbie connect with a dishonest or incompetent fleet owner, that we all know are out there, simply because that fleet owner has been in business for years.
 

hondaking38

Veteran Expediter
Offline
i am still a rookie, only been driving for 7 months, asked many many questions on here before i got started and honestly, even though the people with more experience can give great advice, if i woulda listened to them i woulda never been expediting today..i wouldnt be seriously thinking of putting on a 2nd sprinter, i woulda never succeeded because my wife does not like the away time, sometimes the younger fresher people coming into the field have some great input .. if you want old ideas, talk to someone who has been in this field all there life and that know nothing else....if you want fresh ideas, try the fresher crowd, personally i encourage everyone to give it a try if they so desire....whats the worst that can happen???? failure??? bankrupcy??? its done everyday, however this just might work..it just might be there clicque in the world, there way of being there own boss, usually if they fail its because of themselves, not the company they drive for,and if it is the company they drive for then switch companies...so all you wanna be expeditors out there, do a little homework, then go for it...dont let anyone or anything hold you back....if the drive is there (and it is, or you wouldnt be on this site) plunge in with both feet and enjoy getting paid to see the country...
 

davekc

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Fleet Owner
Offline
With regards to experience, I think Tony and many others are looking for credibility. It doesn't mean a new person would know the exact same answer but is comes down to source. As mentioned, some of the best ideas are from someone new or at times, not even in the business.
So....I think some of it depends on the nature of the question.
If someone is seeking information on truck buying or building, finding loads, obtaining your own authority ect. I would think it would be a preference to obtain advice from someone that has done it successfully. Some items like truck buying require information through the duration of ownership which could be a three to five year cycle.
It also goes without saying that experience and reputation are paramount in searching for a owner. I think it takes both rather than one. If you are new, both are lacking.
Again, it doesn't mean a new owner can't be successful but there is certainly much more risk for a new driver. Why take more risks than are needed?





Davekc
owner
21 years
PantherII
EO moderator
 

bryan

Veteran Expediter
Offline
HI
KILL THE RABBIT!!! Hondaking thats all fine and dandy if the ones who don't make it would bow out gracefully but it don't work that way.This is why the carriers write contracts that cover their assets.Why they have holdbacks and escrow.
1. guy signs on
2. guy goes broke
3. guy seeks revenge
4. we all pay the price
I'd love to know how much money the carriers lose every year.Stolen QC's, printing charges for unused but unreturned paperwork,the cost of signing on a truck{signs, permits, oreintation and recruiting cost}and the cost of recovering the freight if the guy quits under load or the truck gets repoed while loaded.And of course there is the company bashers who had nothing but good things to say about their carrier at first and then can't say enough bad things about them after they cancel their lease.
Nothing is perfect and that includes being an o/o in the expedite industry.If your good at it and pretty darn lucky you can make a nice living but I wouldn't morgage my house to buy a truck.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
>Nothing is perfect and that includes being an o/o in the
>expedite industry.If your good at it and pretty darn lucky
>you can make a nice living but I wouldn't morgage my house
>to buy a truck.

One of the most important points that is often made but can't be overemphasized, you don't mortgage your house to expedite.

Leo Bricker, owner trucks 3034, 4958
OOIDA 677319
73's K5LDB
Highway Watch Participant
EO Forum Moderator 1+ Years of Service
-----
Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
Offline
> It also goes without saying that experience and reputation
>are paramount in searching for a owner. I think it takes
>both rather than one. If you are new, both are lacking.
>Again, it doesn't mean a new owner can't be successful but
>there is certainly much more risk for a new driver. Why take
>more risks than are needed?
>

Having been there and done that, I can say from personal experience that no matter what the reputation or experience level a fleet owner has, drivers are taking a big risk no matter what fleet owner is chosen. You are entering into a personal relationship as well as a business relationship. You are entering into an unknown. Marriages fail for many of the same reasons driver/owner relationships fail but courting couples at least have the chance to get to know each other well before tying the knot.

Some drivers and a fleet owner get along just fine where other drivers and the same fleet owner may not get along at all. For newbies, it is very difficult to determine which fleet owner has credibility and which does not. Every fleet owner can find a friend or satisfied driver in his past to use as a referral. The proof is in the pudding, but the pudding must be eaten to obtain the proof.

My advice to newbies selecting a fleet owner:

1. Interview a bunch of them.

2. Obtain and check references.

3. Carefully review contrats before signing them. Be very careful with deals that tie you to a fleet owner like a truck lease, an 80/20 split with a truck ownership carrot dangling at the end of a long tunnel, or contracts where the fleet owner retains posession of a big chunk of your money while you are with him or her. An industry-standard damage deposit is reasonable. Extended or irregular pay periods are not. Talk to drivers that believe they've been cheated by a fleet owner. Learn what to watch out for.

4. Make the best possible choice you can make.

5. Begin with an open mind but keep your guard up. Give your fleet owner a fair chance, just as he or she is giving a fair chance to you. Respect the fact that your fleet owner is taking a risk too.

6. Do your very best to develop a good track record. That will both please your fleet owner and make you attractive to other fleet owners should it become necessary to move.

7. Keep your options open and contacts with other fleet owners alive. Be prepared to change if you must. Before making a change, give your current fleet owner the chance to know why you are leaving and to make changes that may keep you on board (if he or she wants you).
 

davekc

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Fleet Owner
Offline
Having been there and done that, I can say from personal experience that no matter what the reputation or experience level a fleet owner has, drivers are taking a big risk no matter what fleet owner is chosen. You are entering into a personal relationship as well as a business relationship. You are entering into an unknown. Marriages fail for many of the same reasons driver/owner relationships fail but courting couples at least have the chance to get to know each other well before tying the knot.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The argument of experience has been debated here a thousand times over. There are always exceptions to the rules but if one is following the percentages and odds for success, then it is a no brainer.
This not only applies to expediting but many other forms of business.

In your example, if I wanted to know they keys to a successful marriage, I would likely ask the couple married many years verses the newlyweds.




Davekc
owner
21 years
PantherII
EO moderator
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
Offline
>The argument of experience has been debated here a thousand
>times over. There are always exceptions to the rules but if
>one is following the percentages and odds for success, then
>it is a no brainer.
>This not only applies to expediting but many other forms of
>business.
>
>In your example, if I wanted to know they keys to a
>successful marriage, I would likely ask the couple married
>many years verses the newlyweds.
>

DaveKC,

Lets try to put the focus not on bickering between us but on USEFUL information that can benefit inexperienced newbies who are searching for fleet owners.

You and I both know that there are bad fleet owners out there, some of whom take advantage of newbies. Their actions hurt all fleet owners and make life more difficult for newbies too.

The problem I have with your emphasis on experience is that so many other factors are in play. Below are some real-world fleet owner situations. I'm asking you, DaveKC, for the benefit of newbies, to provide advice - your experienced perspective - on how to avoid the following fleet owner situations:

1. The experienced fleet owner (over 10 years) that does not maintain his trucks, which means they break down and cost the newbie money due to down time.

2. The experienced fleet owner that terrorized and assulted one of his female drivers.

3. The experienced fleet owner that simply stopped paying his drivers for reasons unknown.

4. The experienced fleet owner that lures drivers with bad credit into contracts that hold out the promise of truck ownership after a number of years of service, but that seldom if ever ends up turning the truck over.

5. The experienced fleet owner that habitually helps himself to a few hundred dollars of the driver's damage deposit when a truck is turned in, citing a truck defect that the driver cannot easily verify.

6. The experienced fleet owner that keeps the entire escrow deposit when the contract is terminated.

7. The experienced fleet owner that does not pay on a regular schedule.

8. The experienced fleet owner that insists truck repairs and maintenance be done only at the fleet owner's location, thereby requiring the driver to lose time and miles to deadhead there.

9. The experienced fleet owner that was not available when the truck broke down and won't reimburse the driver for repairs the driver made out of his own pocket to keep the truck running.

10. The experinced fleet owner that will immediately terminate a driver if he learns the driver is looking to change fleet owners.

11. The experienced fleet owner that pays less than other fleet owners.

12. The experienced fleet owners that have loosely-worded contracts and try to change the terms after the driver is in the truck.

I know each of these situations to be true. Some of them I experienced myself. Others were told to me by drivers that I believe (There are a number of stories I've also heard that I don't believe and those are not listed above.)

To be fair, any fleet owner can produce a long list of driver horror stories, all true, and all sad. But Teacel started this thread for the benefit of newbies, not fleet owners.

DaveKC, you said, "In your (ATeam's) example, if I wanted to know they keys to a successful marriage, I would likely ask the couple married
>many years verses the newlyweds."

Very well. You have many more years experience than me in many respects. I ask you to share from your years of experience for the benefit of newbies.

How can newbies protect themselves from each of the 12 fleet owner situations listed above? Since all of the above fleet owners had years of experience, what other indicators are there for newbies to use?
 

highway star

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
HondaKing, I can assure you that most people don't have the cavalier attitude about bankruptcy that you seem to have. While there is a lot to be said for the enthusiasm and fresh outlook of someone taking on a new challenge, I would prefer my advice from a grizzled veteren. Take my advice from Yoda, I would.
 

Tennesseahawk

Veteran Expediter
Offline
I can answer that with two words... SOLID CONTRACT. By making sure those occurances, along with others that may come to thought, are spelled out in the contract, you have all necessary means to contest a problem. Also, I would recommend a clause that has an arbitrator look at any unresolved dispute, and that the OWNER pay for it. My only reason for that is because the owner is clearly in control of the situation, and is more capable of screwing over the driver. Then, if the driver is found to be at fault, then he must pay the owner the cost of arbitration.

Does that make any sense?
 
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