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Fuel for Thought

mountain road

Granny Gear

By Greg Huggins
Posted Aug 6th 2018 9:26AM

Leasing on to a new carrier brings high expectations for success. After all, why would you change carriers if not to better your business? Along with that change should come the expectation that you may not be starting at the top. You and the carrier have to become more acquainted than just the application process. Now is when the rubber meets the road, figuratively and literally. You have gone through the leasing/hiring process and passed muster, now you have to provide the services that you claimed you would bring to your new carrier. High expectations are great, we should all aspire to achieve the most for our businesses, but realistic expectations will serve you better.

Getting started at a new carrier can feel like you’re on a steep mountain ascent in granny gear. You have just started with your new carrier and there are other owner operators who have been there for years. Getting the best paying, high profile, VIP customers right out of the gate is unlikely. Why would your new carrier risk losing their customer to a new hire? That said, there should be plenty of opportunity for you as you work your way up the ranks. If not, perhaps you chose the wrong carrier or you are not putting in the required effort to rise above entry level. You get what you give, or to put it another way, you get out of it what you put in. If you want to succeed and grow your business, it takes long hours, skill and perseverance.

Do what others won’t. Be a solution, not a problem. As a driver, you probably have gone places you do not want to go again, or there are places you have never been and do not wish to go. Unless it is a safety or legal issue preventing you from taking a load to an undesirable location, as a new recruit, you might just have to take that trip to prove you have what it takes to get the job done.

You will eventually crest that steep mountain ascent in granny gear and while you may be driving downhill from there, another grade is coming, it may not be as steep and you may be in a higher gear, but there will be some leveling out down the road. Your path to success with a new carrier depends a little on the carrier but mostly on you. It may take some time to find your “fit” with the carrier, how much time varies, but if you don’t get discouraged too early, you might just find it was worth all the effort.


See you down the road,



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