It's a Team's Life
Riding the Roller Coaster
Our day, week, and month can be as if going on a long roller coaster ride. The wait can be compared to a roller coaster climbing a hill slowly and then rocketing down the other side. We wait and we wait and we wait for the phone to ring as we pace, look for things to occupy our time, and sink lower and lower into the doldrums. Then in a second after the phone rings or the Omnitracs dings the wait goes from being forlorn to smiling, anticipating, and the thrill of the truck going down the road to pickup a load. Down in the dumps to exhilarated in seconds.
The decent or the downhill side of the track can be only seconds or it can last for what seems like hours as the next load can go only a few mile to over 3000 miles before delivering. The true expediter load is a ASAP pickup with a straight through delivery and often the customer can track our truck, seeing when we stop, and our last location. These straight through loads have enough time built into them to run below the speed limit, take the required ½ hour break, and fuel the truck but not much time for anything else as the customer is often waiting on the expedite truck to keep production going.
After delivery, we can sometimes see down the track as we have been preassigned on a load or we wait once again in anticipation. There can be some false starts or fake turns in the track as the load offered might have to many dead head miles in it and the rate is now to low to accept. Either way while the expediter waits for the next phone call the mind is always at the ready to head off in any direction as a moment's notice.
This next load could have twists and turns or could all of the sudden take a hard right or left as a destination could change. After the load is on the truck it is up to us to plot the route to the delivery while considering storms, traffic jams, or any other circumstance that could cause us to be stopped for a long period while the customer waits for their product. The truck can take many twists and turns as it heads across the country picking the way carefully considering the road types, construction, traffic, mountains, and toll roads to deliver on time every time.
Then there can be whoop-de-doo's as there are several short loads in a row. These sometimes are the toughest to do as they are pretty critical on the time they need to be picked up and delivered with no time to relax in the middle of the run. As a team, we do not often carry very many short loads in a row and when we do there is a lot of tension to pickup and delivery on time.
Now for the loop as we go upside down and then head back and this is comparable to a round trip which is often one our best loads. Take the load deliver, reload and head back to the starting point with no dead head. One of these loads that is across the country is "the cat's meow" and is highly desired as the pay is good and the miles are long.
Then we come sliding towards the finish of the roller coaster ride and it is home time. This is a chance to regroup, reorganize, rest and then, we are off again to ride the addictive roller coaster. Expediting is as addictive as riding roller coasters as we cannot wait to see where we are going next, how much the next load will pay, and what we will be carrying. Talk about living the life.... or you can choose to ride "It's a Small Small World" with a predictable smooth, slow steady path.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
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.