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It's a Team's Life

Asking for help or sympathy?

By Linda Caffee
Posted Feb 21st 2020 7:53AM

As I listened to this conversation what I really wanted to say, “you need to look in the mirror”.  The speaker was getting themselves into a seriously bad situation and they had a very real problem by not hauling any freight.  They had been having some bad luck and financial problems and their concern were real.  What I found interesting was that they wanted to place blame on others for them being in the situation they found themselves.

The conversation continued and it was all about their situation, the rates, and that the calls with loads were going to places they did not want to go, or were to cheap a rate to accept.  For some unknown reason, they felt as if there should be compassion for their situation and everyone else should understand and adjust the rate offered and send loads going to areas they wanted to go.  

I wondered why they did not ask a lot of questions with the first question being “how is everyone else doing?” I believe they would have found that many have had a record month in January and February is looking good.  The next question would have been “what am I doing wrong?” or “can anyone give me ideas of what I need to be doing?”  There is a reason why some trucks do not do well and others do really well that are leased to the same company that does not have a first in and first out dispatch system.

The way the original question was asked left no room for mentoring or helping as it appeared they wanted sympathy, not ideas.  How can anyone mentor when someone wants to blame others for their problems?  When we look around and see that others are flourishing and yet we are floundering there has to be a reason and it is usually not “they are picking on me”. 

Too often we hear that we will not move unless we make, fill in the blank, a certain amount per mile, as we are not hauling cheap freight.  Not all areas of the country have freight and what might be considered cheap freight in one area of the country is actually a pretty good rate in a different area.  The other problem we see is that a driver’s expenses set their rate per mile.  Our expenses have nothing to do with the market rates.  The best situation is to keep expenses low as you can so you make money during any kind of market.

Trucking is hung up on rate per mile and too often how much we need to make every day is not considered.  Each day that we are away from home costs us and knowing how much that expense is will often dictate what might not be the best rate per mile but it will cover our daily expenses.  Sitting and waiting in a bad area for the perfect rate per mile will not happen and every day we sit the bigger the hole gets. 

How do you keep from getting into a bad situation when you know others are staying busy?

·      Ask questions and listen without excuses

·      Act on the suggestions

·      Are you negotiating too hard to get a better rate per mile?

·      Are you not marketing yourself well and following up with what you say you will do?

·      Are you involved in Facebook pages, Company web pages, Company meetings?

·      Do you call your company to ask questions?

Do you notice I use a lot of “you” because no one is going to hand you anything in this business that you do not work for.   Network all of the time with others to keep learning and finding better ways to do just about everything.  Once you think you really know something it will change and there will be a better way.  Remember to talk less and listen more when trying to learn.

Bob & Linda Caffee


Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

[email protected]


Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;

Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;

Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;

Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.