Home > Forum > Dry Bulk Proposal To Help The Industry.

Dry bulk proposal to help the industry.

Dec 18, 2017 at 01:55 PM CST
+ 7 - 2
A couple of years ago I planned on coming out of retirement and planned on purchasing a Volvo and either a TIMPTE or WILSON hopper. Possibly a couple of each. However, due to an illness this was put on the back burner and why those of you I have talked to in the past have not seen me around for a while.
With all the interference from the government in the trucking industry, whether this concerns deregulation, the H.O.S. fiasco, or the stupid E.L.D. mandate, I believe the bulk load division has been hurt the most. Consequently, with all the time I have on my hands, I have come up with some ideas that I would like to share with you folks and receive your opinions.
What difference does it make what kind of commodity is placed inside our trailers? There should no longer be a requirement that the rates per ton have any bearing on the cost for transporting these different products. In years past there were no difference in rates for dry/refer van loads from hauling a heavy load of food products than there was for hauling a load of Styrofoam. Of course, today there is a lot of undercutting of rates from mega companies like Swift. The mileage rate, and possibly additional services the shipper demands, is all that should matter. So, let’s get rid of the dollar and cents per ton rates and fight for proper compensation.
And I would love to see the trucking industry get back to being competitive with the idea of selling “Service”.
This is purely an example of my idea and the numbers expressed are in no way intended as my recommendation of what should be charged. These numbers were thought out only for my ease of calculations for the examples.
1. $1.875 per mile, for dead heading from base, or previous delivery location, to shipper.
2. $2.50 per loaded mile, or $125.00 per hour from check in with shipper to check out with receiver, whichever is greater. Hourly rate would account for wait and loading/unloading time at each facility. This is usually referred to as “demerge” charges.
3. A full day rate designed for local running back and forth from a field to storage facility, using the Feds mandate of 14 hours, would be $1,750.00.
4. A fuel surcharge will be imposed when the average fuel cost, per a driver’s/company’s home state, reaches $3.00 per gallon. The higher the fuel cost the larger the surcharge.
5. When a shipper requires that the trailer be washed/cleaned out prior to loading, the driver/company would be reimbursed for complying to the shippers demands.
6. No more discounting payments from shippers/brokers who pay promptly. Banks, or credit card companies, do not give us discounts for paying promptly. All payments for our services should be received N.L.T. fifteen (15) days after the service was completed. Late payments should be subject to a 25% surcharge.
7. Never refer to return loads as “back hauls”. These two words are just synomonous with the words “cheap rates”. A load going anywhere is purely a load.
I know you folks reside in various states and Canada. I would love to see a movement, or a way to organize, everyone in this industry to band together to improve bulk haul carriers rates for your own self-preservation.
To the nay-sayers who state, “What about the federal government? They are the ones who shoved de-regulation down the trucking industry’s throat”. Well, what about the feds? If the Dry Bulk industry tried to organize and create their own regulations, what will the feds do? Arrest everyone? Eliminate everyone’s rights and authorities? Can you imagine the lawsuits that would develop if they tried to do this? As President Reagan stated, the Feds are the problem.
One of the goals of de-regulation was the illumination of most of the common carriers and they were successful with this. Over the years I have written many letters to public officials about de-regulation, as well as the fiasco that developed when the changes to the original H.O.S. were put into effect. I personally know John McCain and the last time we talked about the subject I unloaded on him about all the ill effects de-regulation caused. I enlightened him on several things he, and his cronies, had no idea would happen. I can honestly tell you that by the time our conversation ended I had not become one of his favorite people. I have not lost any sleep over this.
Anyway, do any of you think my ideas have any merit? It is nice being back on this site again.
With Respects,
Jerry Ashley
Replied on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 08:47 PM CST
+ 1
Jerry, I'm Jim from west Virginia. Just like you I had to drop out because of health reasons. This is off topic but I would like to come back but now with the rates like they are and with all the ever growing regs I don't know. I would like to correspond with you on the subject if possible. [email protected] Jerry Christmas everyone and God bless you all.
Replied on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 04:24 PM CST
+ 1
The government in their ever changing wisdom keeps changing the rules to suit the big companies. We have done and still do fine because our company charges for our service! The latest piece of crap shoved down our throats that was supposed to level the playing field was the brokerage bond. We are not now, or have ever been a broker, but with the wisdom of the government opened the doors to any jack wagon out there with a phone and nothing but time on their hands to become a broker. Don't get me wrong, there are a LOT of great brokers out there that were in business before the government stuck their nose in the game! We have, in the past 8 years that I have been at the helm here have only posted a few loads we needed help with to service our customers! This is not enough loads to warrant a brokerage. With that said, we will NEVER get anything sone right until the brokers as well as other carriers start holding the shipper's feet to the fire for rates! If you want to be successful, you can not haul cheap freight!

I guess my answer to your question is that it would be AWESOME if we could all stand together to work for higher rates BUT as we stand together the snakes will slither in and cut the rates to take our customers! Jerry if you have been around for several years you will know what I mean when I say there are 2 types of truckers. The keep the left door closed, get it done trucker and the trucks stop, sit at the counter and talk about getting it done trucker. We here have the best of the first type! I am proud of my group of guys and gals and would put them against any fleet in the country!

On to "Back Hauls" or "Off Season Rates", there is no such thing!!! These trucks NEED to make a set amount of money for EVERY mile that the truck travels!

I like your Ideas and it would be great if they could be implemented but truckers for the most part talk a good game but have a hard time sticking to it. That's just what my experience has taught me.

Keith
ET Trucking INC
Replied on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 06:02 PM CST
Will a Union work for the avg. truck driver? We need to joint together with one voice and make these changes you speaking of. We have too many individuals speaking on the same issue. We need one voice!!
Replied on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 08:42 PM CST
Where in manteno are you located?
Replied on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 03:34 PM CST
+ 1
Hi Jim, Ed, Corey, Brad, and to the concern of possible others.

Brad. I’m just east of 50 on Division.

A union working for the avg. truck driver, or those working in an agricultural arena? Having been a former steward and an advocate against deregulation, then having my retirement health benefits eliminated by the Teamsters prior to ObamaCare, I do not have much love for the union. I’m nervous that my small retirement check may be eliminated by lack of funding, although this is supposed to be protected through Prudential.

As some of you know, or may recall, I first started driving professionally in 1963. I thoroughly understand and have witnessed the self-centered, or less than intelligent, maybe both, individuals who think by undercutting rates they will endear themselves with shippers and feel that if they work at lower earnings this will benefit them at others expense. The “Snakes” will never learn that fighting for better rates and conditions will only improve the industry on the whole. Or that shippers/brokers really care about these individuals.

Yes, Corey, we need one voice. And I do not think this will happen through organizations like OOIDA, for example. In my opinion a new organization, or group, concentrating on the specific problems in the dry bulk industry, would have a chance to make these changes. The hard part would be to get everyone on the same page and convince them to support such an organization.

I am happy to read these responses. Maybe this new dialog will be the start of something good.
Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 08:43 AM CST
+ 4
As director of transportation for a shipper that uses 75 or so (mostly small mom and pop) tanker and hopper carriers plus operates a private fleet of over 500 power units I can see both sides of the issue.At the end of the day it is all about supply and demand. Rates have been down for several years because the lean times have not driven capacity down enough to affect rates. Frankly, too many marginal carriers try to compensate for low rates by running illegal. It's a suckers game and I feel sorry for those who have to go that route. The ELD mandate and the HOS rules will do something that the industry can't do for itself and that is drive down capacity by limiting the hours of operation, thereby decreasing supply and increasing demand. Think about it this way if 100,000 trucks worked 10 hours less per week (running legal) that would amount to one million hours. Potentially you have reduced capacity by 15 to 20%. Those miles still need to be run and now the demand has gone up and the cost to move it will go up with it. With tonnage increasing and these regulations coming in to play the coming year is going to be good for truckers.

Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 09:34 AM CST
Originally Posted by: RICHARD EVANS
Quote: "As director of transportation for a shipper that uses 75 or so (mostly small mom and pop) tanker and hopper carriers plus operates a private fleet of over 500 power units I can see both sides of the issue.At the end of the day it is all about supply and demand. Rates have been down for several years because the lean times have not driven capacity down enough to affect rates. Frankly, too many marginal carriers try to compensate for low rates by running illegal. It's a suckers game and I feel sorry for those who have to go that route. The ELD mandate and the HOS rules will do something that the industry can't do for itself and that is drive down capacity by limiting the hours of operation, thereby decreasing supply and increasing demand. Think about it this way if 100,000 trucks worked 10 hours less per week (running legal) that would amount to one million hours. Potentially you have reduced capacity by 15 to 20%. Those miles still need to be run and now the demand has gone up and the cost to move it will go up with it. With tonnage increasing and these regulations coming in to play the coming year is going to be good for truckers. "

The flaw that I see with your logic, is that the ELD won't drive down capacity in the bulk world, because of the ag exemption. They will either make it permanent in 90 days, or just keep extending it.... What I have noticed now is anyone who had there truck on dry van before, has now unhooked the dry van and started pulling a hopper, just so that they can get around the mandate......I have not noticed a sudden surge in loads on the bulk load boards, but have noticed it on other ones like DAT, for other types of freight.
Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 09:40 AM CST
I agree with Richard Evans
Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 10:15 AM CST
+ 1
Originally Posted by: DOUG MCCLUNG
Quote: "I agree with Richard Evans"

I would Agee with him too, if you had a level playing field across the board, meaning that HOS was the same for everyone, and there were no exemptions for anyone period.
Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 12:07 PM CST
I believe the 90 day exemption is only that. it will take time for the supply and demand side of things to work it self out and then rates will go up
Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 01:05 PM CST
Originally Posted by: DOUG MCCLUNG
Quote: "I believe the 90 day exemption is only that. it will take time for the supply and demand side of things to work it self out and then rates will go up"

If government issued it, it means that they recognize a problem. If the problem exists today, then why not tomorrow? A decade ago the government started issuing exemptions for all of the propane hualers, for what was supposed to be a temporary situation...... Now here we are ten years later, and guess what? They are still issuing them......... Its kind of like a temporary tax, there is no such thing........ Richard for the most part has it right though, it is about supply and demand. Jerry started a real good post, and I suggest that we continue to have a round table discussion about a rate structure, specifically for bulk.
Replied on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 01:19 PM CST
+ 1
Spot on Richard, Everyone is seeing a shortage in drivers, trucks, and at this time of year, there should be 3 trucks for every load out there, Supply and demand is a key in everything, and yes the ELD will push even more demand, if you really look at comparisions of the past and now with ELD, (This is my own study) you wil lose approx. 3/4 to 1 load/week of being on ELD, that is about a 10-15% decrease in your weekly pay , then you also take into consideration, we will lose 5% of our workforce from the Mandate. ( drivers retiring or getting out of the business) that makes a 15-20% decrease in weekly shipments being covered, that leaves a lot of freight to cover !!!
We have went ahead and started raising rates effective 1/1/18 , and this is what I hear back from most customers.. "yea we knew this was coming and yes we will continue to do business with you" , There is a old saying.. you dont know till you ask! so folks its not time to wait around, and see, I havent been looking forward to this ELD mandate either but its here and its real, so instead of being sour about it, lets take advanatage of the situatuion, and that is raising rates and imposing detention times !!
With the Elogs, It's pretty hard now for a customer to argue with you on times your truck is sitting at their location when you can print out a report and show exact times the truck was there. That I feel, is a valuble piece of information we all can use to recoupe money for our time .
Good luck to everyone in these changing times !!

Replied on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 09:48 AM CST
+ 1
The journal of commerce last week reported on a study, that stated we are at zero unemployment, for all practical purposes, and that only a fraction of a percent of the population shows any interest in becoming a truck driver. And of that number, only 2% are qualified to become a truck driver, Due to passing a drug test, or having a clean enough drivers record...... So what does this really mean for for your future? You can only shrink in size, you can no longer expand. There are companies out there paying a company driver 100k a year, and they cannot find anyone to work for them...... This is not as much about money as it is respect.
Replied on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 12:34 PM CST
+ 2
Now let's talk dump rates. In the local market, I can haul sand and gravel products and make $1000.00 to 1500.00 a day, and be home every night, participating in my family's life. In the long distance OTR dump market, that I have worked for the past several years, I can only make a $1000.00 a day, living in the truck Monday through Friday. Detention time has rarely been a issue, with dumps, so the fact that there may be paid detention time in the future, is of little comfort to me. Given the fact that I could drive a cement mixer all summer, and collect unemployment all winter, and make $70,000 a year, I really have to ask myself why I would want to continue doing this anymore.
Replied on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 04:17 PM CST
If we figure that the drivers wage is based on 25% of the gross revenue that the truck produces, and we know that a driver can make $70k a year working seasonally driving a cement mixer, that would suggest that a truck should make nothing under $280,000 a year, minimum, and probably closer to $300k per year, to be competitive. Now how many of you believe you can get your shippers to agree with these numbers, plus 10% tacked on for the brokers? I am guessing that this is the battle you will have to fight, just to keep the drivers you have.
Replied on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 09:39 PM CST
+ 1
Dave. you make a good point. I personally can run grain or frac sand where I live here in Illinois and make better money per mile then I can running over the road. it is still not enough money locally but it does pay my bills. so there is no way I would go over the road to make less money per mile and be gone from my family 5 and 6 days a week. it is crazy how things have gotten. but it is what it is I guess anymore. I guess we can put the blame on whoever we want and use that as our excuse. or should we put the blame on ourselves for allowing it to happen in the 1st place? Just to be straight I'm not trying to be an ??s or start anything negative because I think this is a pretty good post on this forum. but at this point who is really to blame?
Replied on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 09:47 PM CST
Anyways, Everyone on this post has good points and I'm happy to see know one has gotten ignorant so this just might be a step in the right direction. Everyone have a great and happy holiday.
Replied on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 11:39 PM CST
Originally Posted by: VAN HOCK
Quote: "Anyways, Everyone on this post has good points and I'm happy to see know one has gotten ignorant so this just might be a step in the right direction. Everyone have a great and happy holiday."

I think at the end of the day, we all want the same thing, to be treated with respect, and fair compensation. Solving problems begins with the discussion of them. I will stand off to the side for a while, and turn it over to the rest of you... Merry Christmas to all, and god bless you.
Replied on Sat, Dec 23, 2017 at 08:35 AM CST
Gentlemen, there have been so many intelligent and informative answers to my post that I must thank all that have responded.
Van, in my opinion all the problems with the transportation industry was caused by the government through deregulation. I do not know if you are aware of this, but, one of the goals with the passage of deregulation was to bust the unionized companies. This was accomplished within 2 ½ years after it was established, with the loss of 93% of the carriers.

When the first union company I worked for went under in 1976, I bought my first tractor and leased it on with a union company in Chicago. Before it went under I spent one year as a shop steward for the first time. I learned a lot about the Teamsters that I did not like. However, I stayed a member for the health benefits while I stayed an owner operator with the purchase of my second tractor and a refer trailer. I secured a two way contract with a meat company hauling their products to California and produce for Jewel Foods back to Chicago. It was a very lucrative operation and, fortunately, lasted two years after deregulation took effect. Of course, I was not able to negotiate the same rates when my last three year contract expired.

I had so many “discussions” with my business agent about the proposed plan of deregulation and why the union wasn’t fighting this real hard. When I mentioned how many common carriers we would lose he relayed the fact that he, and the union, were expecting some less profitable companies to go under. When I mentioned the plight of the drivers, mechanics, clerical personnel, etc., that would be hurt, he told me that it was expected that drivers who would possibly end up working for much less pay at companies like Swift, or J.B. Hunt, would help organize the drivers there into joining the Teamsters. I told him that would not work, because many of the drivers would be ticked off about the union selling them out; plus, you cannot organize drivers who are on the road for two to six weeks at a time. I was told not to worry about it because the union had it covered. We all know what happened then. The Teamsters had this delusion of grandeur thinking they would be able to organize drivers from the large non union companies.

It was also the first time one industry was held hostage by another industry, meaning truckers became at the mercy of what shippers, or brokers, were willing to pay rather than being able to negotiate their own terms to haul the freight.

I sold my last tractor and trusty Utility refer after Swift undercut my rate on a load that originally was not going to give me any profit. It was a back haul, “cheap rate” to get me home. I deadheaded there and put a sign on the rig. I also requested my “Green Card”, withdrawal card, from the union. And I dropped the Democratic Party to become an Independent.

Have we allowed this situation to happen? To a certain extent, yes, because no one has been willing to repair the damage. Individually this will not be fixed properly. Collectively a number of companies and owner operators, who would put the common good ahead of everything else, would be able to do this. However, in today’s society I do not see this happening. I wish I could be proven wrong.

Here’s hoping after the first of the year with the driver shortage, and other factors, our operations will improve. Gentlemen, Merry Christmas and Happy New years to you and your families.
Replied on Sat, Dec 23, 2017 at 10:46 AM CST
Jerry you seem to have done your home work and are very knowledgeable in this. I talked to you a little before, you and I are in tge same situation and because we do have a live for the industry it's hard for me to cut it off. Most if the dissonance makers are trying to completely run or ruin the way trucking should be run to turning owners,into beggers waiting and hoping someone with compassion will see our side. This is christmas, owner operators are like the scrooge story it's just that we are tiny Tim looking for that miracle. I know reading tge bible that it's written in the last days we will see less and less of love and compassion for our fellow man, so being a Christian I put my hope and faith in god. I love my brother and sister those who still believe in doing unto others. So I hope everyone is blessed this Christmas and more in the future. Sorry this is so long. Thanks again jerry for your knowledge and opinion in whom I agree with.
Replied on Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 05:24 PM CST
I don’t know how to reply without tagging someone but I’m tempted to take the risk and lease everyone possibly in the next 5 years for cheap to set market rates like you are proposing. That’s one way to get everyone together. I’m looking at rates at 1.15-1.25 a mile. How are you supposed to live on these rates and have the million dollars of insurance shippers want just in case I end up in a wreck that kills a family and be able to drive safe equipment that doesn’t brake down every 3 loads? It’s impossible no matter how many trucks you have
Replied on Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 05:29 PM CST
+ 1 - 1
And isn’t paying by weight coercion? It tempts people to haul heavy in hopes they don’t get caught? Just legally speaking people are trying to get you to load heavy to make a decent wage
Replied on Mon, Dec 25, 2017 at 11:40 PM CST
- 1
Dustin,

You are absolutely correct about coercion, which is why I mentioned above about what difference does it make as to what commodity is dropped into a trailer. NO MORE PRICE PER TON RATES.

What I am suggesting is that we get paid, and reimbursed, for everything in regards to our working with an individual or corporation. This includes dead head mileage to a shipper. That’s never happened before? Actually, in the charter bus industry dead head mileage from base to a pickup location, and back at the end of the tour, is charged by all, if not most, of the companies in North America. Back in the day it was $1.20 per mile D/H and $1.60 per mile live. I am sure it is higher today; however, not by a whole lot.

The trucking industry has been burned by this loss of revenue for decades. And in my examples I have only considered this at the beginning of a trip for a shipper. I am going to show you a more detailed example and, although the “Proposed rate” is not much more than the present average rates, I am sure you will see how much more a driver/company could make per trip. Of course, I personally prefer the “Ideal Rate”.

The mandated E.L.D.'s will show proof of delay, etc.


PROPOSED RATE STRUCTURE

Ideal Rates Proposed New Rates

$1.875 per mile D/H $1.50 per mile D/H

$2.50 per mile Loaded $2.00 per mile Loaded

$125.00 hourly rate charged to Shippers / $100.00 per hour charged to Shippers / Receivers arrival to completion.
Receivers arrival to completion

Shipper responsible for reimbursements of tolls.

Shipper responsible to reimburse company/driver for mandatory clean/wash outs.

Shippers load and count and Receivers unload and count. (Van or Reefer Trailer Loads) Does not include local pickup and delivery companies dealing with LTL freight.


EXAMPLE FOR 300 MILE ROUND TRIP SERVICE WITH PROPOSED RATE:

100 miles X $1.50 per D/H to shipper = $150.00
4 hours for hourly rate of $125.00 per hour (Shipper & Receiver) = $400.00
150 miles to Receiver X $2.00 per loaded mile = $300.00
Total Load Earnings = $850.00

Second run from same shipper with less delay time

150 miles X $1.50 per Dead Head miles return to shipper = $225.00
2 hours for hourly rate of $125.00 per hour (Shipper & Receiver ) = $250.00
150 Miles to Receiver X $2.00 per loaded mile = $300.00
Total Gross Load Earnings = $775.00


IDEAL RATES EXAMPLES FOR SAME SENARIO:

100 miles X $1.875 per Dead Head mile to shipper = $187.50
4 hours for hourly rate of $125.00 per hour = $500.00
150 miles to Receiver X $2.50 per loaded mile = $375.00
Total Gross Load Earnings = $1,062.50

Second run from same shipper with less delay time

150 miles X $1.875 per Dead Head miles return to shipper = $281.25
2 hours for hourly rate of $125.00 per hour (Shipper & Receiver ) = $250.00
150 Miles to Receiver X $2.50 per loaded mile = $375.00
Total Gross Load Earnings = $906.25



Merry Christmas and thanks for your response.
Replied on Tue, Dec 26, 2017 at 10:15 PM CST
Jerry as you have pointed out, the purpose of deregulation was to break the unions, and take the profit out of the industry. I am curious where you see stuff going in the future? What stands out the most to me, is not the E-log mandate it self, but what it represents, collusion between the government and the megga carriers, to break the back of the small carriers, now that the unions are gone. If the megga fleets were able to get this mandate passed, it demonstrates that they can get anything they want. How long will it be before they are able to ge the rest of what they want passed, like the 4.5 million dollar general liability policies, or surveillance cameras in your cab, or anything else that is harmful to us their competitors? Are we now witnessing a consolidation of power in the market, similar to what we have seen with the railroads? It would appear as though we are not independent contractors, but glorified employees of the megga's, since many carriers broker freight from the same people who run the ATA...(makes me think they should be paying our social security, and work comp).... We own the equipment, and the liability, but they control how we operate it, and what our income will be, by setting the market through collusion.
Replied on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 08:56 AM CST
For those who don't remember the days of regulation under the ICC the regulations that we have today are mild by comparison. Carriers were limited to what they could haul where and over what routes, whether they could have stopoffs enroute and even backhaul. You had to have an ICC certificate for everything you did and rates were by tariff and regulated by rate bureaus and the ICC. There was no such thing as undercutting a competitor. It was an orderly system and regulation made the industry safer and profitable for carriers and labor alike. The National Master Freight Agreement devised by Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters in a highly unionized industry made truck driving a sought after job that was difficult to break into. Realistically though that was a golden age and was bound to come to an end. Keep in mind that the 70's were a time of high inflation and high priced and scarce fuel. The railroads deregulated in 1976, the airlines in 1978 and Jimmy Carter signed the Motor Carrier act of 1980 in July of that year after it passed on a bi-partisan vote. Republicans supported it because they perceived it as good for business and the Democrats supported it because they believed that it helped working people by increasing competition and lowering retail prices. In addition they beleived that it would open opportunities in the trucking industry. Ultimately, it, along with the PATCO strike in 1981 under Reagan and an expanding global economy set the unions on the road to decline and the big box, big carrier industry was born. A byproduct of deregulation was that competition became a race to the bottom as thousands of unscrupulos players got in the business. Trucking safety began to suffer and fatalities involving trucks increased. That is the source of regulation today. Well organized lobbying groups (some funded by the railroads) along with technological advances have driven the regulation that we see today and has been increasing since the mid-80s. The fatal flaw with the MCA was that it threw the baby out with the bath water. Eliminating the arcane regulations were long overdue but making the industry into a free for all was a terrible mistake that we are still paying for. Utimately there was no grand conspiracy behind the MCA, it was the culmination of multiple circumstances .
Replied on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 at 04:29 PM CST
Although I do share your sentiments, and the milage rates are reasonable except for deadhead - shippers will never pay for that, if they had to pay for all miles they'd just buy their own trucks and run a private fleet. However the $2.50/mile seems too low to me, unless you're talking about a lot of miles, but we are a local/regional carrier and our trucks return home every day but our base rate is between 2.70/2.80 a mile so we'll call it 2.75 and all loads have fuel surcharges (which still start as low as under $2, cant remember the exact number - moving the surcharge to $2.50 or $3.00 sounds resonable. The reason surcharges are getting harder and harder to get is due to easier cost discovery discovery and tracking of logistics spend - and laziness, some people sitting in chairs calling for trucks working for big companies are the laziest and most triffelling people you'll ever come across (I can imagine how taking a rate and the weekly fuel cost and looking at a spreadsheet to get the percentage and then taking a calculator and taking the rate and multiplying that rate by 1.(enter percentage here) is so tediously hard (sarcasm), but I do understand how it affects our customers and makes it a little more difficult for our customers that market their products constantly and can't get the fuel until tuesday when the DOE reprt comes out. However surcharges are great and makes it fairer for to figure driver pay (which I'm not so sure I'm not just for flat percentge all in and lumping accessorials, fuel, stop charges, all together, but that's just me wondering if that's fairer or makes any difference) but it certainly seems fairer for own operators since when they take loads - they are the ones bearing the sole burden of the fuel cost so I would say that would make it easier for them to make sure their settlements are fairer by keeping fuel revenue and having percentages actually figured on the load revenue. One thing that might should be adopted so that everyone wins is quarterly surcharges - yes they can me slow going up, but they're also slow coming down - based on the averages from the previous quarters, on maybe monthly would be a good inbetween. But cost discovery and budgeting is what has shippers wanting flat rates, so quarterly adjustments may be a fair way to go where everyone wins. As for demurrage, I'm all for that and 2 hours on either side has always been the standard and demurrage starts after that, but some companies like Maverick made the jump a year or maybe two ago and dropped customers that wouldn't accept the demurrage after one hour, but charging on site, thats not realistic, afterall then you would have a few bad apples ruin it for everyone and start dragging even when they could get loaded faster and so it would be short lived and have shippers start demanding spotted trailers. Those hourly rates would be outrageous in this area too, My company is at $75.00/hour - a few old customers are still lower - and I know Thompson is at $80.00, so anyone that can get that amount for their truck per hour please let me know so I can send some tractors out.

But my reaction to those rates shows how difficult it is to do anything nationally since us moving away from the gold standard and real money and all of these non tangible financial industry creation like credit default swaps and the like have created vast market differences in reasonable rates. And history has shown general strikes and national unions aren't effective, my father hadn't been long started this company when one of the old general strikes of old got underway, well they had put up everything to buy those trucks and was working another job to make enough support the family so the company could run and payroll was met, needless to say he wasn't going to participate in the foolishness of the general strike and lose everything, I wouldn't either this day. Now I wont run for nothing, I'll park trucks before I operate at a loss. But the general strike didn't make any difference, but it cost some people everything. One of our driver's father was also running during the strike and he lost his life because someone threw something off an overpass at him (a striking trucker), luckily more people weren't killed in the wreck. Regardless, the real problem is people taking loads below cost our too cheap, and most get away with it by violating the hours of service. One company that we had lost some drivers to up the road had their drivers complaing and very dissatisfied because they immediately cut $75-100.00/day off of their checks. Well the ELD wasn't the problem (okay maybe for carriers operating illegally), but for us who run legal and are willing to work hard and long hours and meerly want fair compensation the ELDs ARE THE SOLUTION. There are far too many carriers out there pulling loads for nothing because they're working their guys beyond what the law will allow, well that has been depressing prices for the rest of us. Now I'm not saying that I don't think we need hours of service reform, far from it, but in the past the FMCSA has thrown whatever ridiculousness they wanted to into trucking regulations and except for the big boys with the ELDs, the rest of us just learned how to make our logs "look" right. We made a mistake in not calling our congressmen and senators and raising hell - FMCSA may make the rules, but Congress can force them to do whatever they deem fit and/or simply cut enforcement of (insert whatever rule here) in their funding. Now with the ELDs it will force the driver's in masse to be very aware and make their voices heard when some lifelong political hack who's never been in a truck decides they have the newest and greates rule to stop us from killing people (when Ray Lahood was in charge of the FMCSA when we got the 2013 reset disaster repealed he was tearing up in one hearing and yelled "We have to stop heavy-duty trucks from killing people", yeah I know that's what my drivers think every morning when they start out: Gee, hope cause a wreck with some soccer mom's car and kill someone today! Well now that we're all effected and can't just learn how to 'fudge' our logs to look right, maybe we can stop the ridiculous regulation and maybe even get some of the old ones back. And finally regarding per ton rates, they are fairest to both parties. It's not fair to the shippers nor carriers who run light. Some of our older trailers way as much as 15,000lbs more than our newer ones, that gives us an extra 7 tons if the product is dense enough and allows us an incentive to update equipment, plus it keeps shippers from being taken advantage of by someone not maximizing payload or using old cheap equipment and making as much off of a load as someone with lighter equipment. At any rate this is not realistic if nothing else due to accounting reasons. Much of what we haul is of low value when compared to general freigh and I've worked on may projects (we also merchandise material) where freight was the deciding factor or worth more than the cargo, so even if accounting reasons wouldn't prevent companies from going away from per ton pricing, the lost revenue from the decline of loads sold would (who here would order a bulk product and take a per load rate (sure maybe if it was someone you know and not too much freight - like a minimum 20 mile load or such and the entire load was cheap - but lets say a load of feed from two states away? I didn't think so. However, a lobbying group in Washington fighting for small companies, own operators, and maybe even just the average non-hourly truck drivers and also putting out news and prs to the general public as well. Most people are afraid of trucks - my state requires no curricular about how tractor trailers function differently than cars, not even how just because a truck may not be all the way over in a tight turn lane doesn't mean his blinkers were left on and he's not turning but does mean he couldn't make the turn otherwise and pulling and darting around is not safe. Well we sure could use someone lobbying for that, most of our, infact all of our crashes or fender benders in the past two years involving two parties were caused by the other motorist doing something stupid. Also, refers aren't a good comparison, the refer rates have been depressed in the spot market in recent years due to oversupply and there are plenty of van loads that are plenty heavy, in fact I have some customers that load low value commodities in vans or flats and they banned refers the other year because they would have to cut some of the pallets due to the weigh restrictions so when trucks were abundant, they said no refers. But overall I like the idea of trying to get together and stop the starvation rates out there, but I urge everyone to look at how ELDs can help us and not just how they're a pain in the a**.
Replied on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 at 05:10 PM CST
The real cause of cheap freight and low pay in trucking. It was still a good paying job before deregulation. It'salso why I supported Trump.

Also I'd like for people to direct blame where it should be directed to and to be thankful the we now have a President that cares about real America (basically everything think around and inbetween Wallstreet and Hollywood). Rates haven't hardly moved except recently and before that just what absolutely was required to keep fuel in the trucks - except some niches - but all and all driver pay hadn't risen since 1993 overall and still hasn't risen enough to keep up with the cost of inflation, like most other blue-collar workers in 'Real' America. This is because of Globalisim and global wealth transfers (transfers of weath from the US to third world communist nations and dictatorships where workers are treated like slaves) that they sold to the American people as 'free trade', well what they meant was a free ride for everyone wanting to ship products in but not free to any American companies wanting to ship goods to those contries. Well we saw American manufacturers drop like flies and their freight disappear, areas of the US become impovershed so spending went down and the volume of freight inbound to those areas shrienk. A lot of vegetable imports and small buying stations across the south that made the refer trade extremly profitable dissapear in exchange for giant corporate farms in California depending on illegal migrant labour working for nothing with no expenseses for things like work work-comp and massive distribution centers. In fact we saw all sectors shift to giant distribution centers with products brought in through the ports and a lot of intermodal. Well this didn't help rates because the lesser number of and creation of mega shippers was taylor made for the giants like J. B. Hunt, Werner, etc. and many required dedicated solutions or some just went for private fleets. Of course the carrier giants didn't fair much better than us because the spot market was hell for them, just like it was for us regardless what segment of trucking we served, and those mega shippers also had pricing weight too with such volume. So we all too lower rates, or didn't get increases, while expenses rose, and we didn't see the huge driver shortage which is beginning to be seem now (because Trump'o'nomics has us back to nearly 4% growth already vs. the 1% we had for a decade) because driver's could stop trucking, but unless they wanted to work in Walmart there were no other options in many parts of the country. And to top it all off before the Trump erra: Cross-border mexican trucking. Well not just allowing them to bring an inbound load to a destination, but allowing them to operate in our borders as common carriers. The pilot program was already underway, after all isn't that what free trade has been all about? I'm not arguing that NAFTA, CAFTA, whatever you call the one where we built up Red China and made them so rich that we became indebted to them, has increased the GDP of the US (even considering inflation) but what no one talks about is the distribution of the wealth. I know people that run furniture companies now that have a dozen or less emplyees that bring in containers and sell the amount of furniture that use to require 2-300 workers in a factory - good paid workers on top of that, unless it was low quallity ready-to-assemble (those production workers didn't require as much skill) - so while GDP may have increased, the rich became richer and as for the rest of America, well they still haven't caught up to wage parity with '93.
Replied on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 12:01 PM CST
AG exemption is only good for 150 miles problem is you have to many people wanting to run local to many trucks in one area fighting for the same freight drives down rates if you have 300 trucks and 200 loads its supply and demand issue
Replied on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 10:01 PM CST
Originally Posted by: KOREY SNEAD
Quote: "Although I do share your sentiments, and the milage rates are reasonable except for deadhead - shippers will never pay for that, if they had to pay for all miles they'd just buy their own trucks and run a private fleet. However the $2.50/mile seems too low to me, unless you're talking about a lot of miles, but we are a local/regional carrier and our trucks return home every day but our base rate is between 2.70/2.80 a mile so we'll call it 2.75 and all loads have fuel surcharges (which still start as low as under $2, cant remember the exact number - moving the surcharge to $2.50 or $3.00 sounds resonable. The reason surcharges are getting harder and harder to get is due to easier cost discovery discovery and tracking of logistics spend - and laziness, some people sitting in chairs calling for trucks working for big companies are the laziest and most triffelling people you'll ever come across (I can imagine how taking a rate and the weekly fuel cost and looking at a spreadsheet to get the percentage and then taking a calculator and taking the rate and multiplying that rate by 1.(enter percentage here) is so tediously hard (sarcasm), but I do understand how it affects our customers and makes it a little more difficult for our customers that market their products constantly and can't get the fuel until tuesday when the DOE reprt comes out. However surcharges are great and makes it fairer for to figure driver pay (which I'm not so sure I'm not just for flat percentge all in and lumping accessorials, fuel, stop charges, all together, but that's just me wondering if that's fairer or makes any difference) but it certainly seems fairer for own operators since when they take loads - they are the ones bearing the sole burden of the fuel cost so I would say that would make it easier for them to make sure their settlements are fairer by keeping fuel revenue and having percentages actually figured on the load revenue. One thing that might should be adopted so that everyone wins is quarterly surcharges - yes they can me slow going up, but they're also slow coming down - based on the averages from the previous quarters, on maybe monthly would be a good inbetween. But cost discovery and budgeting is what has shippers wanting flat rates, so quarterly adjustments may be a fair way to go where everyone wins. As for demurrage, I'm all for that and 2 hours on either side has always been the standard and demurrage starts after that, but some companies like Maverick made the jump a year or maybe two ago and dropped customers that wouldn't accept the demurrage after one hour, but charging on site, thats not realistic, afterall then you would have a few bad apples ruin it for everyone and start dragging even when they could get loaded faster and so it would be short lived and have shippers start demanding spotted trailers. Those hourly rates would be outrageous in this area too, My company is at $75.00/hour - a few old customers are still lower - and I know Thompson is at $80.00, so anyone that can get that amount for their truck per hour please let me know so I can send some tractors out. But my reaction to those rates shows how difficult it is to do anything nationally since us moving away from the gold standard and real money and all of these non tangible financial industry creation like credit default swaps and the like have created vast market differences in reasonable rates. And history has shown general strikes and national unions aren't effective, my father hadn't been long started this company when one of the old general strikes of old got underway, well they had put up everything to buy those trucks and was working another job to make enough support the family so the company could run and payroll was met, needless to say he wasn't going to participate in the foolishness of the general strike and lose everything, I wouldn't either this day. Now I wont run for nothing, I'll park trucks before I operate at a loss. But the general strike didn't make any difference, but it cost some people everything. One of our driver's father was also running during the strike and he lost his life because someone threw something off an overpass at him (a striking trucker), luckily more people weren't killed in the wreck. Regardless, the real problem is people taking loads below cost our too cheap, and most get away with it by violating the hours of service. One company that we had lost some drivers to up the road had their drivers complaing and very dissatisfied because they immediately cut $75-100.00/day off of their checks. Well the ELD wasn't the problem (okay maybe for carriers operating illegally), but for us who run legal and are willing to work hard and long hours and meerly want fair compensation the ELDs ARE THE SOLUTION. There are far too many carriers out there pulling loads for nothing because they're working their guys beyond what the law will allow, well that has been depressing prices for the rest of us. Now I'm not saying that I don't think we need hours of service reform, far from it, but in the past the FMCSA has thrown whatever ridiculousness they wanted to into trucking regulations and except for the big boys with the ELDs, the rest of us just learned how to make our logs "look" right. We made a mistake in not calling our congressmen and senators and raising hell - FMCSA may make the rules, but Congress can force them to do whatever they deem fit and/or simply cut enforcement of (insert whatever rule here) in their funding. Now with the ELDs it will force the driver's in masse to be very aware and make their voices heard when some lifelong political hack who's never been in a truck decides they have the newest and greates rule to stop us from killing people (when Ray Lahood was in charge of the FMCSA when we got the 2013 reset disaster repealed he was tearing up in one hearing and yelled "We have to stop heavy-duty trucks from killing people", yeah I know that's what my drivers think every morning when they start out: Gee, hope cause a wreck with some soccer mom's car and kill someone today! Well now that we're all effected and can't just learn how to 'fudge' our logs to look right, maybe we can stop the ridiculous regulation and maybe even get some of the old ones back. And finally regarding per ton rates, they are fairest to both parties. It's not fair to the shippers nor carriers who run light. Some of our older trailers way as much as 15,000lbs more than our newer ones, that gives us an extra 7 tons if the product is dense enough and allows us an incentive to update equipment, plus it keeps shippers from being taken advantage of by someone not maximizing payload or using old cheap equipment and making as much off of a load as someone with lighter equipment. At any rate this is not realistic if nothing else due to accounting reasons. Much of what we haul is of low value when compared to general freigh and I've worked on may projects (we also merchandise material) where freight was the deciding factor or worth more than the cargo, so even if accounting reasons wouldn't prevent companies from going away from per ton pricing, the lost revenue from the decline of loads sold would (who here would order a bulk product and take a per load rate (sure maybe if it was someone you know and not too much freight - like a minimum 20 mile load or such and the entire load was cheap - but lets say a load of feed from two states away? I didn't think so. However, a lobbying group in Washington fighting for small companies, own operators, and maybe even just the average non-hourly truck drivers and also putting out news and prs to the general public as well. Most people are afraid of trucks - my state requires no curricular about how tractor trailers function differently than cars, not even how just because a truck may not be all the way over in a tight turn lane doesn't mean his blinkers were left on and he's not turning but does mean he couldn't make the turn otherwise and pulling and darting around is not safe. Well we sure could use someone lobbying for that, most of our, infact all of our crashes or fender benders in the past two years involving two parties were caused by the other motorist doing something stupid. Also, refers aren't a good comparison, the refer rates have been depressed in the spot market in recent years due to oversupply and there are plenty of van loads that are plenty heavy, in fact I have some customers that load low value commodities in vans or flats and they banned refers the other year because they would have to cut some of the pallets due to the weigh restrictions so when trucks were abundant, they said no refers. But overall I like the idea of trying to get together and stop the starvation rates out there, but I urge everyone to look at how ELDs can help us and not just how they're a pain in the a**. "

Are you serious?