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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I've learned a bunch from this forum(haven't bought a PM yet- but definitely want to). I can't justify the cost to myself YET. The company I work for will have a huge Merger soon--- and we may be layed off. I'm planning ahead- and maybe planning to add a Promaster in those plans... I'd like a full time PM rv- but trying to find a way to pay for it... I live in the Boise, Idaho area- and would like to bounce back-and-forth to Western Montana frequently (although I know you take what jobs you can get)...

So.... How do you Expediters work???

- I"m thinking you contract for smaller (1 or 2 pallets) SPECIALTY loads that aren't covered by larger Semi's...
-Probably within 5-10 hours driving distance from home???
-You're an O/O and contract for every load you transport???
-You contract to get paid by the mile???

Sorry- this seems interesting- and I don't even know all the questions I want to ask...

Is my description failry close to what you guys actually do??? Please add/corrrect me as needed...

thanks!

Jimmy
 

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Expedited freight for a van is usually 2 pallets and under 3,000lb. sometimes 3 pallets and sometimes one small box.


It's hot parts usually, I haul lots of auto parts. Companies sometime loose big bucks when they line stops producing, because of not having parts. That's when we come in play.

Its hot shot, meaning its gotta get there like yesterday but asap will have to do it.

In my opinion 80% of freight is moving east of Mississippi. Texas and nearby nortwest states are ok. Far west, you wont find much.

You get paid per loaded mile and that depends on what your contract with a "Carrier" is. Plus fuel surcharge.

You work as an owner operator so you need your own insurance, most reputable companies require commercial 1 million combined single liability and 100k cargo.

To make money and last in this business, you have to stay out on the road for weeks at a time. Not to mention you have to adjust your per loaded mile rate to the current market.

It's a tough piece of bread, as you find yourself sitting in your van for days sometimes near your last drop, waiting for the dispatchers call with another load.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Zepplin/Grasshopper,

Thank you guys for the info!

I've been reading that site off and on all day...
-so far I've learned its an industry with tight margins for drivers. I have a deeper respect for you expediter guys on this forum. The promaster doesn't seem to have a lot of issues, but the big issues cause lost revenue for you guys. I never thought of that before- I think a lot of us are looking at the Promaster for RV use- not necessarily commercial use.

Anyway- I'm not sure if this is the direction for me to go--- but I know more now. I'll be reading more- but thanks for the info!

Jimmy
 

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I could regale you with a PILE of info, but basically for you it boils down to this; you won't get ANY loads coming out of Idaho. Why? They don't make anything in Idaho. 80-90% of the expedited industry is automotive, and 50% is based out of Detroit. Parts and tooling going to Detroit or coming from Detroit. The furthest western point that I get consistent freight out of is Davenport Iowa. A tiny bit in OK. There is a freight corridor going from Detroit to Texas, where stuff is transferred to Mexican trucks and heads down to Saltillo Mexico.

But....that doesn't mean there's zero chance of combining RVing with freight. Forget about the PM/Sprinter/Transit sized vehicles, but if you step up to what's called a "straight truck" (basically a big box truck with a sleeper) and you "team" drive it with another person, you could make that dream a lucrative reality. Straight trucks are divided into two classes, under 26,000lbs and over 26,000. For the smaller class, you don't need a full CDL (commercial driver's license) you just need what's called a B class license, for which you just need to pass the written test (easy). Over 26,000 you more or less need to go to CDL school, or Truck Driving College as I called it.

A team in a straight truck could more or less afford to deadhead to where the freight is and start hauling. Seattle-Tac, Portland or San Fransciso might (I'm not really sure) have enough to get you going. Once you're rolling, you'll work your way to Michigan-OH-PA-VA-IN-IL and get in the groove there. Work as many days as you like, then head home.

Expedited is very friendly to the owner/operator. I put myself "in service" whenever I like, and take myself out of service, and I don't even have to ask. I can take a month off if I like, or work 24/7 if I like.

Because of this sort of portability, all the expedited companies are almost identical. They all pay the same, and the gig is identical from company to company. Pay is as follows:

small cargo van - .75mile + .20 for fuel
big cargo van (PM extended) .85 + .20
small straight truck 1.05 +.45
big straight truck 1.40 + .45

All that is moot if you are stuck in Idaho. But there's two options I can think of. Fed Ex Home Delivery works like regular FedEx and FedEx Custom/Critical (that's what FE calls their expedited business). All I know about Home Delivery is they use PM, and they are all owner/operators.

A second option would be dive in and just drive a semi. Go to any truck stop, and you'll pick up entire magazines filled with ads BEGGING for drivers and DYING to hire teams. They will send you to CDL school on their dime, give you a signing bonus, and they will put you in a truck no problem. Driving their truck is known as being a Company Driver. Generally, they pay .40-.50 mile, but teams will get more. Do that for 6 months, buy your own truck, and you are golden.

It seems crazy, but a responsible team can make an enormous pile of money in trucking. $200,000 a year isn't out of the question. Why? Because as a class, truck drivers are usually the dregs of society with a ridiculous turnover. These days it's often eastern european immigrants who come here, drive illegally in most respects, then go home when they get busted. As a result, english speaking team driving adults who work hard are handsomely rewarded. [the above is not intended to be racist or disparaging in any way].

I'm happy to answer any questions you have, or have an argument with other expediters who disagree with what I've said above.
 

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I'll only disagree that the percentage of auto freight in our industry is that high. If you're leased to a company that concentrates on it then it might seem so. Also, the pay is the furthest thing from identical. If you're on a percentage plan rather than flat rate the opportunities are better. Sadly, almost all of the carriers these days have gone to flat rate. Very informative post though.
 

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Im a little confused as to what you mean by flat rate. Technically, my contract calls for me to get 65% of the billed load plus fuel, with the rate to be no less than .85/mile. This almost never happens, or if it does i dont see it -I just get .85 mile. The fuel does vary a bit from a low of .12 to .21 cpm.

So am i flat rate? Sounds like i am.

I might be exaggerating how much is automotive, but its certainly all industrial. Im at tri-state, and sometimes it seems like we're All Volvo. Im writing this on a dock, about to load some kind of castings going to...Volvo.
 

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I'm loading in chicago @ 0100 heading for browns summit NC. :) this one pays flat rate of 1.00 per loaded mile. so $761.00, will cost me 80$ in gas to get there.
 

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Basically im at the same rate. .85 plus .20 fsc = $1.05 a mile.
 
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