Driver Lifestyles

Million Mile Expediter

Success Tips from Million-Mile Expediters

By Sean M. Lyden - Staff Writer
Posted Mar 3rd 2016 1:20PM

Imagine that you could spend a few moments with successful, million-mile expediters to ask them advice from their years (and miles) of experience to help you learn the ropes and flourish in the expedited trucking business.

Well, that's what we've done for you in this feature on ExpeditersOnline.com. We reached out to four top-performing expediters -- with roles that range from solo driver, to owner-operator, to fleet owner -- to give you real-world tips to set yourself up for long-term success, so you can become a million-mile expediter, too!

Here's the advice they shared with us.

Lisa Schilling
Role: Solo driver
Carrier: A + Expediting
Miles: 1.5 Million miles
Year Started in Expedited Trucking: 2005

Success Tips:

  • Remember you're going to be spending a lot of time in your vehicle, so do the research and pick one that you are comfortable with and offers low cost on regular maintenance. Take extra care of your truck; it's not only your rolling office, it's your home away from home.
  • Set yourself up with a good expediting carrier, where dispatch to driver work well together, that treats you like a family member, and there's room to grow with them.
  • You will find that a lot of truck stops sometimes don't offer a lot of healthy food options. So, just as you take care of your truck, it's more important to take care of yourself. In between runs, get plenty of rest and choose healthy foods. Also, enroll in a nationwide gym. Not only is it a good and productive way to pass time between loads, the free showers are a welcome sight at the end of a long haul.
  • The most Important step: Never take yourself too seriously. Have some fun. A lot of my friends fight for that corner office for a good view while they work. In the front window of my office, the scenery constantly changes -- and that's always refreshing to see.

Bob and Linda Caffee
Role: Owner-operator
Carrier: Landstar Express America
Miles: Bob 1,820,000
           Linda 1,530,000
Year Started in Expedited Trucking: 2005

Success Tips:

  • Don't spend everything you make. Save for a rainy day.
  • Network. Network. Network. Get to know other expediters and industry professionals who can help you succeed.
  • Do preventive maintenance on your truck.
  • Get a good sleep schedule so that you are always ready to take a load.
  • Stay positive. Pick friends who will keep you balanced.

George B. McDonald
Role: Owner-operator
Carrier: Ceva
Miles: 1.8 million miles
Year Started in Expedited Trucking: 1992

Success Tips:

  • Learn the system of whatever company you work for.
  • Be the solution to a problem, not the problem itself.
  • Work hard and know how to load and unload the unit.
  • Don't say "no" all the time. The more loads you accept, after a while, the carrier will come to learn that you are go-to person.
  • Learn how to save money on the road. There are deals out there if you look for them.
  • Have something else you can do while waiting for next load. I've sold Mary Kay, computers, mason shoes, new and used trucks, and preheat generator sets.

Tom & Tina Evans
Role: Fleet owners (TNT Expedited Svcs. Inc.) and owner operators
Carrier: Load One Transportation & Logistics
Miles: 1.5 Million
Year Started in Expedited Trucking: 2001

Success Tips:

  • Have your personal affairs and personal expenses in order before you start.
  • Have start up cost and emergency funds saved -- 3 months minimum, preferably 6 months.
  • Make sure you have done plenty of research and have a mentor to rely on for advice.
  • Know what you per mile operating cost is going to be.
  • Whether you become an owner or remain a driver, treat it like a business. Operate it like a business and keep your business money and your personal money separate by writing yourself a paycheck each week and keeping the rest in the business.

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