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It's a Team's Life

Same O Same O

By Linda Caffee
Posted Jan 17th 2020 10:11AM

Knowledge is power, and power is usually a better income to our business. When I worked in an office, we attended seminars, education classes, and many meetings to stay educated. Trucking is not any different. We need to remain informed, and I believe more educated then I did when I worked in an office. Trucking has a lot of rules that, if not followed, could mean I would be back at an office job. That is not the result I want.

In expediting as well as many other professions, we talk about work smarter, not harder. When I look at the back of some trailers and see the rate per mile, they are offering drivers I am usually appalled. I believe they are of the mentality to work harder, not smarter. More miles more money the same low rate. How do you get out of the rut of more miles equals more money? Yes, I know more miles equals more money since we get paid by the mile, but how about fewer miles more money? How do you get to that point?

There is a lot we have to deal with from hours of service, hazmat rules, where we can park, etc. Following all of the rules, our goal is to make the most money possible with the least amount of wear and tear on our truck and our bodies.

When we first started in Expediting in 2005, we brought with us the mentality of the throttle foot on the floor and take every load offered, and then we wondered why we got stuck in certain places. Pretty quick, we started learning the business of expediting. We learned that freight for a dry box and a reefer box truck are not always in the same cities or areas of the country. In time we began watching our speed vs. fuel mileage and that getting to a receiver or shipper hours early was not that good for our business. Some of this we learned on our own but a lot of what we gleamed was by talking to another driver, reading, or attending truck shows and talking to a lot of drivers.

Attending truck shows and attending workshops, talking to vendors, and visiting with other drivers is a wealth of knowledge that is hard to put a value on. The knowledge that we gain keeps giving back years later. When someone tells me that they could not attend a truck show or education event because a load paid too good to pass up, it is hard for me to fathom unless they are in desperate straits. The idea of education is to keep you from getting into dire straits.

The company we are leased to has many opportunities to gain knowledge from monthly safety calls, safety meetings all over the country, fun small events, and then each year an extensive educational and fun meeting. During truck shows, corporate will provide breakfast and lunch each day of the show. There is a safety meeting each day, and there are lots of corporate employees we can ask questions of. The best part, though, is the drivers that attend these meetings that share their knowledge.

During truck shows, there is always a lot going on after hours, and that is another way to gain knowledge. Meet people who are with the same company you are leased on with or drivers from other companies share knowledge. How to secure freight better, gadgets others use to make their lives easier, areas of the country with great places to park, the list goes on and on. Many friendships are formed this way and can even change your business model. I still remember meeting this couple at a truck show that talked about their specialty within trucking, and Bob and I looked at each other, thinking, “we want to do that.” With their insight and our determination, we paved the way for us to haul the same type of freight they did and changed our income significantly, and we are still friends to this day fifteen years later.

In 2020 which means to me, we can see clearly now, make this a year of not doing the Same O Same O way of doing business. Take your business up to the next level through knowledge. Mid American Trucking Show registration 

Bob & Linda Caffee

TeamCaffee

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.