It's a Team's Life
Bringing the Millennial Perspective to Expediters Online
Hey expediters, it's a pleasure to announce that we have joined the Expediters Online team!
We are excited to be here, and hope to bring you insight into how our generation handles business.You might remember us from a recent interview with Brandon Baxter - that covered an introduction to who we are and how we got started. We'd like to dive in and expand on our story as we introduce ourselves personally.
We took the wheel in the trucking industry in March of 2015, having never personally known a trucker. Before going to school, we researched as much as we possibly could. As you can imagine, the trucking company reviews were not for the faint of heart and certainly weren't a welcoming introduction to the world of trucking. So we decided to go straight to the source, and drove to the TA in Cartersville, GA, where we asked drivers for their opinions and company recommendations. (In hindsight, we understood the look of dread on every truckers face, as some random kids started approaching them at the shop and in the fuel lanes, something we still laugh about it to this day) However, we were met with the same sentiment that we read in the reviews - "Don't do it", "Find another career", "It's a wasteland", so on and so forth. Now, if you've been in this industry long enough, I don't have to tell you how quickly other truckers felt comfortable interjecting when those answers were overheard, and we were glad they did. We were fortunate to have had drivers approach us with a better perspective - "Every job has it's downsides.", "I'm making more out here than I was making as a 'insert endless list of college educated and blue collar positions'", "Here's what they mean and what to watch out for..." and some went as far as pulling out their phones to show us their load boards and paychecks. A much more refreshing insight into the industry, and something we as millennials appreciated, details and transparency.
We were sold and enrolled in our local trucking school by the end of the week.
We started in OTR tractor trailer at Covenant Transport, where we were able to train together for 6 weeks with a veteran driver of 18 years. We knew within our first few months behind the wheel that we wanted to own, so we started looking at options such as lease to purchase programs, financing, and O/O companies. We were met with a problem though - as company drivers, we had no clue what it felt like to be out and not make money; we'd never seen a balance on a repair bill, and rarely bothered to look at the fuel gauge as it quickly tallied into the hundreds. We also had a safety net; a weekly minimum guarantee (even if the truck down for repairs), our hotels were paid for, and we were reimbursed for travel expenses and meals. Furthermore, we were always in a brand new truck and we were even apart of a new pilot program that included rolling satellite TV with a massive flat screen mounted at the foot of our bed. Were we going to be able to give all of this up? Was it really worth it? Would it increase our income and give us more flexibility for home-time?
We weren't sure, but we knew we had to change our situation and welcome adversity to find those answers.
Next thing you know, we caught sight of a Fedex Custom Critical straight truck at the Petro in West Memphis, AR; where we introduced ourselves to the driver and started this unforeseen journey. She gave us a quick idea of how they ran, and shared a contact within the expedite industry. It turned out that this was the job to fix our problem and we found adversity! We would become 1099 drivers, have zero guarantees, and no benefits. However, we'd be cutting our truck size in half (literally), we'd have better control of our destiny, by being able to control our income, see O/O expenses first hand, learn to budget, find our own resources, and to top it all of, we'd have more flexibility to see all of the beautiful areas that our country offers, that we so frequently traveled through and couldn't always access in a rig.
We started here in expediting with a goal to buy a tractor and head to a company we always heard so much about, but after living the expedite lifestyle, it became harder to find reasons to leave, and here we are 5 years and a handful of trucks later! A humble beginning to our growth and continued success, something we hope to share with all of you.
If you'd like to see the topics we've covered in the past, head over to Millennials in Trucking.
Please feel free to write into us with any questions you may have or topics that you'd like us to cover using our contact section.
Run Hard - Dream Big,