State of the Industry

E6: State of the Industry Podcast, with John Elliott - The 'New Normal'

By Brandon Baxter - Staff Writer
Posted Feb 28th 2023 8:00AM

We’re five episodes deep into the “State of the Industry Podcast, with John Elliott” and the sixth installment is already on the table and waiting to be visually or audibly devoured. So, take a seat, and bon appetit!

Hopefully, there are many of you who have already been tuning in and making this podcast part of your listening, or viewing, routine. If not, why?! Obviously, John and I want you to listen to or watch this monthly podcast, which you can quickly get your fix below! 

But, in the meantime, here’s a taste of what you’ll find in the sixth episode of the “State of the Industry Podcast, with John Elliott.”

Brandon Baxter: Recording is in progress. All right, here we go. I'll count down. In three, two... Welcome to the State of the Industry podcast with John Elliott. I'm your host, Brandon Baxter. This is a monthly series. It's dedicated to discussions pertaining to the trucking industry, and it's featuring commentary by the CEO of Load1 and current TCA Chairman, John Elliot. John, thanks again for joining me.

John Elliott: Glad to be here, Brandon. It's good to be back for another month.

Brandon Baxter: One more month on the calendar, and that month being the month of January is now officially behind us, and we're into the first quarter of 2023. So let's catch up, starting with what's the latest that's been going on in your world?

John Elliott: I mean, new year, same me. That's-

Brandon Baxter: New year, new me.

John Elliott: You look a little different than our last podcast.

Brandon Baxter: Yeah, we'll tell the viewers they don't have to adjust their video screen. This is the same guy, just a different haircut.

John Elliott: That's fair. It's been a busy time, and that's nice to get through the holidays and that, starting to see now the travel schedule for work and the industry fire back up, so that actually starts for me hitting hard in about the next week.

Brandon Baxter: Oh, really? Really? What do you have planned on the old travel schedule?

John Elliott: Oh, I'm off to an event with Randall Riley down in Florida. I've got a board of directors meeting with our private equity firm. I've got an insurance captive meeting, you name it, some sales events to be at. So the schedule just rolls and rolls and rolls.

Brandon Baxter: So if we were to take a look at your calendar, most of us would probably shudder as to how much time you're actually going to be spending out and about, right?

John Elliott: Yeah, yeah. Delta Airlines loves me, let's put it that way.

Brandon Baxter: Frequent Flyer miles have nothing on you.

John Elliott: Yeah, well, when you realize that Delta, their top status is Diamond and then they have a secret status. It's only by invite only, and I'm embarrassed to say I got invited.

Brandon Baxter: Is that where they let you fly the plane?

John Elliott: I'm not sure what they give me. They sent you an email saying you had been awarded this and you wait for the package to come in the mail, and it tells you all the stuff.

Brandon Baxter: Awesome.

John Elliott: So we wait with bated breath now. Maybe I'll get a little pair of wings or something.

Brandon Baxter: There you go. Yeah, it's either that or the next step up is you get to play air marshal. I don't know if they're-

John Elliott: Yeah, I think you have a cushion for your seat or something.

Brandon Baxter: The perks of being in the-

John Elliott: Exactly.

Brandon Baxter: Right on. Right on. Well, I guess John, my first question then overall, based on where we last left things off, transitioning from what was 2022 into 2023, so far, what are you seeing across the trucking landscape? When you peer out, what is it that you're seeing right now?

John Elliott: I think it's a time of shakeup a little bit. I think from what we've seen, Brandon, I think that freight is starting to return to a pre-COVID normalization cycle. We didn't see the incredible fourth quarter across the whole trucking industry, and I think in a big part, that was due to retail. Retail inventories were up and everything I read, it wasn't that they... They have a lot of inventory, but they didn't have the right inventory, if that makes sense.

Brandon Baxter: Interesting.

John Elliott: Well, if you go back to last year, a lot of times, these retailers were ordering stuff a year in advance, nine months in advance, anything they could get on the calendar as a ship date, they were taking, because shelves were empty. They couldn't have products to sell during the prime time. So they were having to order and order and order and really having to do it like this, not knowing what the trends were going to be six months, nine months out.

So I think that retail inventories were up. I think the first quarter, you're going to see retailers take some hits-

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: ... and clear a lot of that dead inventory out, because now they're getting back to where they can order stuff 90, 120 days out, and know they're going to have it on the shelves and that, so they're not going to have to do that same arrangement this year as they had to do last year.

So I think you're going to see a much more normal retail trend into the fourth quarter. We're seeing volumes down a little bit in the first quarter across our whole industry, and I think again, it goes back to a pre-COVID freak trend where first quarter was your lowest, second quarter built up, third built on that, and fourth quarter is always your biggest quarter.

I think some companies I've talked to and peers in the industry are feeling a lot more than we are, but again, we're pretty strongly diversified. So I think that that helps us and we have a lot more direct shipper relationships, so that helps us versus people that are relying on 3PLs and bid boards and that for their freight, that volume tends to suffer more than the direct shipper volume.

Brandon Baxter: Interesting. And I mean, piggybacking off of that then, we had discussed in our previous episode about the idea of will there or will there not be some sort of a recession? I know that word gets thrown around and a lot of times, people don't seem to understand what that means.

But as far as the trucking industry goes, John, you've pointed out before that we're kind of the barometer, right? I mean, what are you seeing so far? Again, not to put you on the spot necessarily, but as we've jumped into the new year, what have you seen in that respect?

John Elliott: You've had some people out there calling, screaming "Trucking recession!" from the rooftops and this, that. I don't believe that's the case. I think what you're seeing is a freight normalization and I think that that is very bloody for a lot of companies, in the fact that a lot of companies jumped in when rates and volumes were high, they overpaid for equipment, they had to buy very expensive insurance.

The costs of capital, interest rates are climbing. But quite simply, they could make money at exorbitant rates, but they weren't structured to be able to make money during normal times. So I think you're going to see a little bit of a blood bath or a thinning of the herd there. But in general, I think a lot of that is... and sadly, a lot of it's owner-operators or small fleets that became their own authority that are going to have to migrate back to being small fleets and under carriers and that again.

If you look in past freight recessions, the industry, we were our own worst enemy. We went out and bought trucks and expanded capacity when things were hot and jumped all over it. Well, the good thing was during the last couple years of the COVID boom, trucks weren't available. There weren't extra drivers, you couldn't get trucks, you couldn't get trailers.

People were buying used trailers and used trucks for 30% more than a brand new one. And those economics don't work during normal times. They may work during a highly heated time, but not during normalization. So again, I think what you're seeing right now is really a move slowly back to normalization and that which hopefully is good for the economy, it helps to bring down inflation and other things. Now, I don't think you're going to see rates go back to pre-COVID levels.

That's not possible. With the cost of even new equipment, the costs, the labor costs have gone up, insurance costs or so many fundamentals that have risen that you're not going to see rates go back to where they were pre-COVID, but you're not essentially going to be riding the top of the wave like they did during the heat of the supply chain breakdown.

Brandon Baxter: Wow. To rewind just a second, talking about the new trucks, the orders for new trucks out there, I mean, you and I have both talked with people out there across the landscape that they're caught in limbo. They're waiting for the trucks. In a lot of cases, it's the computer chip shortage. Have you heard anything on your end? Have you heard anything as far as truck availability, equipment, that sort of thing?

John Elliott: We've seen trailer availability loosen up a little bit, and I say a little bit. Truck availability, we're still not seeing that. We're fighting for allocations still from our suppliers this year, and we're probably going to get honestly 25% of what we would normally buy or request.

Brandon Baxter: Oh, wow.

John Elliott: Now, maybe that'll improve as the year goes on. Maybe some carriers will back out of slots that they had bought, but I don't think you're going to see that happen because most of the slots are going to the larger carriers in that, versus the individual owner-operators and that.

A lot of that is just simply replacement for aging equipment. The large fleets including us, our trucks have aged a little more than the timeframe that we normally keep them.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: Because you couldn't get replacements. So I think some of that is just going to be catch-up for quite a while. It's going to be a tumultuous time over the next few years for the Class 8 OEMs. By the time they get caught up from this, you've got new emission standards coming down the pike, which if they happen the way that the government's rolling them out or saying now, it's going to cause another massive pre-buy of trucks again-

Brandon Baxter: Oh, wow.

John Elliott: ... to get those in place before the next emission standards get rolled in. Because whenever we roll out heavy, heavy new emission standards, there's a lot of new technology and a lot of things that unfortunately, reliability and uptime and those things tend to suffer as those technologies are worked out and placed into the field. So we've been through it in the past when we introduced DEF and all the sensors on the trucks. Unfortunately, the way our government is pushing, it's coming again.

Brandon Baxter: Wow. Well, I mean, I don't know. Coming off of that, John, obviously my background, a lot of it has been in recruiting, drivers, owner-operators and I've actually had conversations similar to what you're talking about, individuals who during the onset of COVID went out and they bought themselves a Sprinter van, bought themselves a straight truck because they could get into something like that.

And now you're seeing on the other side of that what's happening to those individuals, and if you can elaborate for a second on the idea of somebody like that, maybe that's somebody who's listening to or watching the podcast right now who find themselves perhaps stuck because they went out and got their own authority and that freight for them is drying up. What can they do, where can they go?

John Elliott: I think the logical move is going to be back to leasing onto a carrier. Again, during a hyper-inflated market, anyone can go out and be successful and I'm not bashing the people that took that chance and made that effort to do that. It's just unfortunately, it was a perfect storm. Equipment prices, insurance prices, fuel prices, I mean, the price of everything, the price of parts, labor, tires, it's very hard.

When you're in that kind of economy and those carrier newbies like that or startups are generally relying on third party business.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: They're getting it off bid boards or brokers or other carriers and that. At some point, you start to look at your costs as the pricing, as the freight rates come down, you look at revenue, you start looking at your costs. At some point, you're more economical to go back under a big carrier flag because we have the sales structures.

We have the direct relationships with customers and with shippers and that. Like you said, in a hypermarket, there was money to be made, but hypermarkets only last so long and unfortunately, more people should've realized that but they didn't. I respect anyone for taking a chance and doing what they thought was best the better themselves or an opportunity.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: But hey, I could've been wrong, COVID, it could still swing again tomorrow. It could mess up the whole supply chain. We didn't know if COVID was going to be a year. I mean, God, we all thought it was going to be what, six weeks?

Brandon Baxter: Right, right, right. Flattening the curve.

John Elliott: Yeah. We're getting ready in May to declare it officially over. I'm not sure how we determined months in advance that that's the date we'll declare it over, but the bad parts of it, I mean, God forbid, it could have lasted for years longer.

I mean, at this point, none of us imagined it lasting for years, so to say it could've lasted two more years longer, nothing seems out of the ordinary or out of question any longer. The realities of what could be.

Brandon Baxter: Boy, that might be about as esoteric as we've gotten in our conversation so far.

John Elliott: It's deep. It's deep.

Brandon Baxter: It is deep.

John Elliott: I'm normally pretty shallow, but that was deep.

Brandon Baxter: You're right though. That was deep. You make a good point though. I mean, in the conversations at least that I've had with folks out there looking for a place to put their truck or a lot of times, they start out by just simply, "Hey, I'm looking for freight."

And something that in a conversation I might have with somebody like that would be to try and nudge them toward a company such as Load1 for example, somewhere where they can go, they can lease their truck on and they can find steady work.

John Elliott: Yeah, I think logically, and not just saying my company, but that's the smarter long-term play. The other thing I think that got a lot of these guys hyped up was the advent of the dispatch service, which is really quite... I mean, when you see these guys on Facebook, "For $399, you can take our webinar online and we'll help you, and give you all the templates, and you can go out and be your own dispatch service."

Well, it's like Amway, I don't know. Again, I respect anyone trying to build their own business.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: But to me, those are brokers. The government's still going back and forth on this. But MAP-21 said anyone who arranges for the transportation of freight is a broker. And to me, dispatch service screams, "I'm a broker."

Brandon Baxter: Absolutely.

John Elliott: But-

Brandon Baxter: That makes sense.

John Elliott: ... they're trying to go out there and do things that professional brokers do for a living and they're doing it uninsured without the legalities, without the financial restraints behind them. Again, it's not a level of playing field, but again, a lot of these individual owner-operators of small fleet slot.

Brandon Baxter: Wow.

John Elliott: We could just work with a dispatch service or two, let them be that arm for us. And dispatch services were again going after in general, I'll say the lower hanging spot kind of freight, which was ample for a while when the market was heated, but again, I think you're going to see a lot of them disappear very quickly because there just isn't room in the market for all those people and all those layers.

You got to get back to basics at some point, and I think being with a good, established carrier that's sales team has financial stability and has the freight is really the longer term play for a successful owner-operator.

Brandon Baxter: That makes a lot of sense. I guess from the perspective of maybe somebody who let's say, maybe not a straight truck but they purchased a Sprinter van and they're just not seeing that freight. Getting out from underneath of something like that, I mean, well, we can use the example of a straight truck as well. Would that help the market?

John Elliott: Well, a lot of them jumped on with multi-carriers. Again, there were a lot of multi-carriers that sprung up out of nowhere. Again, they were reselling low-hanging freight and that stuff, and most of those carriers do not have true sales teams. They're dialing for dollars, they're looking at bid boards all day, and just bidding on trucks.

Well, we do those things too, but that's the lowest part of what we do. That is that is backfill filler freight. That is not the freight that our trucks are going to rely upon for the revenue and income. Again, it was a highly heated market with some great numbers for a little while, but anyone in the business knows that storm passes, it never lasts.

Spot market's great like that. When you get hurricanes, you get storms-

Brandon Baxter:Sure.

John Elliott: ... supply chain disruptions, things like that, but day in and day out, those bid boards are designed to try to optimize the rates for the customer and you're selling at the lowest possible dollar.

Brandon Baxter: Hard to survive on something like that.

John Elliott: I mean, short term when things are terrible the other way, yeah, those bid boards have to pay some huge rates because the tide turns on them. But in the big long picture, they're not designed. It's like somebody says they wanted to go to McDonald's and work on the line as a career. Well, it's not designed for that kind of job and bid boards were not designed to support running a trucking company.

Brandon Baxter: That makes a lot of sense. For those listening, for those watching, pay close attention because this is good information. John, switching gears a little bit, obviously we've got the month of March will be upon us here in a little bit, so becomes the end of your reign as TCA Chairman. As we get to that point, what do you think is left on your to-do list for that role?

John Elliott: There's not a lot left to do. We're getting ready to come into our annual meeting, which knock on wood is looking phenomenal. We're way ahead of registration numbers. It looks like it's going to be a record attendance. This far out, our registrations are well above normal at this point. All the exhibit space sold out well in advance. Yeah, we sold out the hotel block. We had to get a second hotel and we're at a Gaylord, which is huge.

Brandon Baxter: Oh, I've been over there. That's gorgeous.

John Elliott: Yeah. So it's really shaping up to be a pretty world-class event and I've got great leadership following me. Dave Williams, Senior Vice President at Knight-Swift will come in as chairman after me. Dave went through the whole officer line with me one step behind for years now. So we've had a great working relationship as well as the chairman ahead of me.

So I'll move to past chairman role for a year, and still be a key part of the executive management team for the association. But really, I'm happy to look back on the year and look at what we've done. I mean, there's been some great accomplishments and again, I'm just the lucky guy who is leading a really excellent group of officers and a really phenomenal organizational staff that run the TCA.

We revamped our professional driver program, professional driver and owner-operator program. We're going to have five individuals up on stage this time. Each are going to walk away with a $20,000 cash prize-

Brandon Baxter: Wow.

John Elliott: ... which is huge, and our Truckload Profitability Program, which helps carriers to understand their numbers better and work together. We have over 150 carriers now submitting data and working through these groups and the value of that in understanding your numbers is really critical.

Especially when you're going into a time that could be a storm ahead. Again, I'm not as negative Nelly as some people, in that I think if you're smart and run your business well, you'll be fine. We've revamped our whole safety competition and instead of just naming awards of who's the best carriers, we're really collecting a lot of the data and we're going to be able to package that and help carriers understand why that carrier won, and what things did they do, and what were those metrics? Because safety is something that really, it should not be a secret.

Brandon Baxter: No, absolutely.

John Elliott: The best carriers in the business, I'm really proud of our safety program, but I want the other carriers out there to have good safety programs too because one, they're on the road with my family and on the road with my trucks. Two, they represent our industry.

No one in this industry wants dangerous trucking companies out there on the roads. So it's a great common goal. We expanded our government affairs and that we now have two internal lobbyists and two full-time lobbyists out on the Hill, external, telling the story of Truckload, which I think is great.

TCA, we were able to step up and help fund the American Trucking Association's fight with Rhode Island over the tolling.

Brandon Baxter: That's right. Yes, that's right.

John Elliott: And that was a great, great victory for our industry. That was predatory tolling that just went after the trucking industry. What a lot of people don't understand is, "Well, I don't run Rhode Island, why does that matter to me?" It does matter.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: It really was a cancer, because if Rhode Island had won, New Jersey would've followed, Pennsylvania would've followed, Illinois would've followed. There were a lot of states that already had plans on the books to look at this concept. So it was a very expensive fight for our industry-

Brandon Baxter: Wow.

John Elliott: ... but one that we had to do, and I'm really proud to say that as an industry, we won that. As well, a lot of drivers may or may not have heard of NATMI, which is the certification part of our industry that certifies drivers, trainers, certifies your safety professionals, things like that. NATMI is actually a wholly owned company of the TCA and that, so that was something that really was never well-known.

We're bringing that back in house and really integrating them more to bring more value and to expand that program, the driver trainers and other areas. The other two big things really, if I look at TCA, we've joined on now in support to the initial stakeholders, and what's called the Truckers Service Association. And this is an organization put together to help fight to protect the rights of owner-operators and that business model against the attacks by-

Brandon Baxter: That's huge.

John Elliott: Yeah, by our federal government and more so by states such as California with the AB5 Test and that. Trucking, the owner-operator model's a fundamental in that. I mean, so many companies in our industry started with one guy or one girl and one truck and that's where they started their business and went from there.

I mean, that's how my family got in this business when my grandfather was a truck driver, became an owner-operator, later started his own company. And really, that's the American dream and it's an attack on the American dream and we're going to help fight that as every way we can.

The other thing that just got announced was the Clean Freight Coalition and TCA joined in with four other partners, including the ATA and some other organizations, to launch that organization or association or coalition, I should say, coalition would probably the best term, to help fight some of these regulatory emissions standards and emissions standards and that. Trucking as an industry, we want to help make this environment better.

If you look at 10 years ago, 12 years ago compared to today, one truck today, it would be compared to... How do I put this? I'm sorry, let me rephrase that. 68 trucks then put out... Am I saying this right, Brandon? More than one... Yeah, I'm sorry. No.

Brandon Baxter: Yeah, yeah, you're on the right track. I know where you're going with this.

John Elliott: You go where I'm going. It's a 68 to one ratio on the emissions of what a truck was compared to 10 to 12 years ago.

Brandon Baxter: Wow.

John Elliott: It's a phenomenal number and we support and want to keep doing better and better, but now this battle on the combustion engine and that, it's not ready for prime time. So electric trucks are a wonderful concept. I think there's hydrogen and there's other in betweens and ways to help get there, but we need logical regulation that our industry can work with to get there and bridge that gap.

The timeframes and the plans that some of these regulators have put out are not realistic. They can't be met, especially by the long haul trucking industry, or especially like expedite where you're regularly routed.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: We can't run a truck for eight hours, bring it back, and plug it in for 12 hours, and that. We don't know where our trucks are going. We don't run a set time schedule, things like that. So there needs to be some common sense applied to this and there's a coalition we're going to work to try to help educate regulators and work with them.

Again, we're not working against them, that's not our goal. They need someone who's at the table with them helping to educate them to understand the different dynamics of what they want to do. I think regulators often have good intentions, but they're not always fully informed and they don't always understand the full effects of what they regulate.

Brandon Baxter: Well, I mean, it's clear to see, we live in an economy, in a world these days of information. I mean, you've said it yourself several times in our discussion in this episode, in previous episodes, just having data to go off of and being able to use that data for the benefit of the industry, for the benefit of the individual, for the benefit of the country.

From what you're saying, it sounds like you're really on the right path and part of your role in TCA as chairman this past year has really what seems to me has helped get to that point, and then you're going forward from there.

John Elliott: Data's everything. You can look at it on national all the way down to if I look at our company-

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: ... just a few weeks ago, we rolled out a driver app, but this one's designed for our fleet owners. So really, it's the same idea. We're giving them now the power in their handheld, their iPad or their phone, their Android or IOS phone to be able to look at their fleet of trucks that they own and see the data and manage that and instead of waiting to the end of the week to get data or having to go find a computer somewhere and sign in, they can look at it anytime, anywhere.

Again, data's power, more and more in business. It's the ability to not just have big intelligence or big data. I mean, I won't lie to you, we have servers full of more data than I know what to do with sometimes, but it's trying to make that data actionable.

Brandon Baxter: Sure.

John Elliott: We were able to work with our people once again, our owners and our drivers, what do you need to better run your business? And then we figure out can we get them that? Can we extract that? You know what? In most cases, we were able to. So again, it's another, knock on wood, good win for the company and then I'm just going to help to continue to drive our growth. I mean, we just knock on wood, keep growing, so.

Brandon Baxter: You guys have shown that you've had... and when I say you guys, Load1 obviously, but you've shown that you have had that ability year over year to be able to go to your drivers, go to your independent contractors, your fleet owners, just as you're saying, ask them what is it that we can do for you to make things better? And you deliver, time and time again.

John Elliott: At the end of the day, as long as we don't lose that, we'll continue to win. I think that goes with our staff, that goes with your drivers and everyone. You need to do that both internally and externally. It's a silly part of why... Some people ask why I go to truck shows, because you know what? I want to talk to people, I want to understand, I want to hear their feedback and that I don't want get it through a survey all the time.

I don't want to get it through somebody collecting data and then presenting to me what they think it is. You get a lot more understanding just one-on-one and that, face-to-face.

Brandon Baxter: Sure. I mean, you're going right to the source. Who better to talk to than the individuals who are out there?

John Elliott: Then I get all those free swag giveaways.

Brandon Baxter: Oh, maybe in the next episode, we'll talk about my days as a recruiter at the Mid-American Truck Show and how items that are not nailed down to your table will walk away.

John Elliott: We'll be there at the end of March, and I get it. I mean, it's funny. I can remember, my daughter's a senior in college now, and I can remember coming home from the Mid-American Truck Show the Expedite Expo, it was one of them and I dropped the bag on her bed full of pens and stress balls and all that goofy little stuff and she walks back into my bedroom, drops the bag back.

She's like, "I'm 12 now. I don't want this stuff anymore." I'm like, "You loved this stuff last year." Apparently 11 to 12 is the age cutoff where truck show swag is no longer a thing. But these are lessons you'll learn in parenting.

Brandon Baxter: Good to know. Good to know. Because I'll be at MATS, and my 12-year-old son, obviously he won't be into it then, but my twins will. They're nine, so we're good to go.

John Elliott: Yep, you're good. You still got some time.

Brandon Baxter: Another year out of it. Well, John, as we near the wrap up of this episode, is there anything else you'd like to touch on before we sign off and go another month or so before we jump back in again?

John Elliott: No, I think really, everyone just be safe out there. Keep your head down, like you said, I think business is going to continue to firm back up again coming out this first quarter, the rates may not be through the roof for everybody, but keep your wheels moving.

Keep your bills paid right now, and that stuff, where watch, some guys think they're still going to get rates they got a year ago and that's not going to happen. So when your truck's sitting, it costs you. So, be smart, play the long game, and win.

Brandon Baxter: Weathering the storm. Right?

John Elliott: Exactly.

Brandon Baxter: Yep. Well, John, thank you again for this episode and to our listeners and viewers out there, thank you so much for joining us for the State of the Industry Podcast with John Elliot. I have been your host, Brandon Baxter, so join us again next time as John and I will discuss once again, we'll continue the discussion all topics transportation.

And by the way, don't forget to check out and for access to over 150 carriers. They're actively hiring and that includes Load1. Until next time. Right on!

John Elliott: Yeah, we're rolled right through that one, Brandon.

Brandon Baxter:

How about that? We're really making good with this, I'm telling you. All right.

John Elliott: The only thing we should've done at the end there is mention the Load1 phone number or website, but that's all right.

Brandon Baxter: I know we always put it in-

John Elliott: It's on the graphic?

Brandon Baxter: ... on the graphic, and any time it's brought up, we mention it.

John Elliott: Perfect. I never watched-

Brandon Baxter: If you want to do that, we can always do that.

John Elliott: ... the whole damn thing myself. I don't want to watch. I can't watch myself.

Brandon Baxter: I watch it on... What is it? The fast forward, so that I go back through when I'm editing and time coding and everything. So all right, it sounds like the next time we get together, it'll be discussing the end of TCA with what you're doing and [inaudible 00:31:22] and everything else.

John Elliott: I'm hoping to have some bigger stuff for that one.

Brandon Baxter: That's what I keep hearing. I don't want to know until it's official, because I don't want to spill the beans on anything. I'm not that kind of guy. I'm a talker, but I'm not a talker, if you know what I mean?

John Elliott: Yeah. We're working on some merger/acquisition stuff, just-

Brandon Baxter: Awesome.

John Elliott: ... got to get across the finish line, so we can do it.

Brandon Baxter: Yep, awesome. Okay. Well, good.

John Elliott: Assuming that happens, we might even do a special breaking news podcast or something, maybe.

Brandon Baxter: You let me know, I'll do it at the drop of a hat.

John Elliott: Yeah, I'll talk to Adam. Once I know we're 100%, if the other owner's comfortable, maybe even a three-way podcast to discuss the topic, but that we hold. Once it goes public, then we let that one out.

Brandon Baxter: Good to know. No, that's awesome, because the more we can do, the better. Awesome. All right. Well-

John Elliott: [inaudible 00:32:20], sir.

Brandon Baxter: Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

John Elliott: All right, Thanks, Brandon.

Brandon Baxter: All right, you got it, John. Thank you.