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Seasonal work?

mugurpe

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
Hi, I'm new here and have a couple questions. Basically, here it is: I have a small 4 truck (two 14' trucks, two 24' trucks, all under CDL) moving company located in MA. There's 2 parts to the year here for a moving company, the summer you worry about working so much it kills you, and in the winter you worry about paying the bills. I've been doing this for almost a decade and the name of the game is figuring out the winters, so here's my question... Would it work to try and pick up expediter loads in my moving trucks during the off-season? I have a bunch of excellent drivers, good trucks, and all my FMCSA paperwork is good. In the summer all 4 run every day 7 days a week, in the winter maybe 1 or 2 are out most days. Could that work or is there something I'm missing?

Right now we run to NYC once or twice a month, almost always emtpy on the way back, and on occasion elsewhere. Other than that we stay local (most of our jobs for moving are less than 20miles a day). Our trucks have between 70K and 190K on them.
 

Lawrence

Founder
Staff member
Offline
Are your straight trucks set-up to haul freight? I know some moving trucks are spec'd differently then OTR applications.
 

mugurpe

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
Nope, just regular straight trucks that we use for moving. the 26,000lb trucks are dock height with lift-gates, and decks that are forklift compatible, etc.
 

mugurpe

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
no sleepers. well, one is GMC T6500 which has enough room in the cab to lay down and make a bed behind the seats and it's got rails installed for curtains, but it's not a sleeper berth, so you wouldn't get much out of a 2nd driver. the the international 4300 has no place for sleeping.
 

cheri1122

Veteran Expediter
Driver
Offline
Lack of a sleeper is a problem - expediters don't generally DH from point of delivery, [except to a better area to get the next load], which means a place to sleep is essential. Motels are not cost effective, and tired drivers make mistakes - sometimes serious ones.
A lesser point is that winter [at least Jan & Feb] are the slow times in expediting, as well.
Guess you don't want to add a plow blade instead, huh?
 

mugurpe

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
Oh, believe me, every year I contemplate buying a plow truck or two, but snow removal has it's own problems. Plus, Oct, Nov, March, are basically snow-less around here but I still have some trucks and drivers with nothing to do. If I had more winter work I could also run a 5th truck in the summer, I just don't because I can't keep people on year round (and I don't want to hire college kids or import a bunch of guys from eastern Europe which a number of companies do). The thing is, that as it is, I have trucks and guys kicking around with nothing to do, but the summer is lucrative enough to pay for it, so really anything I can find in the off season is gravy. I should open a liquor store, people drink more in the winter I think.
 

paullud

Veteran Expediter
Offline
no sleepers. well, one is GMC T6500 which has enough room in the cab to lay down and make a bed behind the seats and it's got rails installed for curtains, but it's not a sleeper berth, so you wouldn't get much out of a 2nd driver. the the international 4300 has no place for sleeping.

You would need a DOT approved sleeper or to pay for hotel rooms, otherwise you will run into some major issues like fines and possibly prison. The government is really pushing for safety and to make sure they fine as many people as they can so they get more money. Do a search and look how many drivers and company owners end up incarcerated for falsifying log books, they don't mess around.

Posted with my Droid EO Forum App
 

Deville

Not a Member
Offline
Call around there are companies that have what would be considered "local" work, 250-300 miles, all miles situation per trip. Put a truck on & see if it;s somthing you could deal with. I think if your looking to do 4-6 months on & the rest of the year off to do your other work it could become a problem because you will incur weekly expenses such as C-link, fuel & road tax's to name a few. You could get away with going out of service for a month or so but at some point you would have to run a few weeks just to keep up with those expenses & keep the carrier happy.

Your location is a huge factor. Like if you were in California there is lot's of work in California it's self. Most drivers don't like going there because it's like a black hole. Once you get a load in you can't get a load out.

Also keep in mind your quiet time is also our quiet time as well January to March could be very slow. You have to be crafty in your load accpentance & make sure you aren't losing money on your runs. Alot of new guys will run everything at any rate, (low rates) & hope they can make it up in gross numbers. That rarely works & you wind up in the RED weekly & monthly.

Expediting is a balancing act.
 

Rocketman

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Apparently you already have your MC# (authority). Why not just pursue the short expedite runs in your area? Most of us run otr. When we get to your part of the world, all we want is to get out.... way out. The short runs are not pursued by most expediters that I know of.

You don't seem to be wanting to switch to expediting as much as your just looking to fill in the slack times. Use the trucks you have and find expedite loads that fit the business model you already have.
 
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