Home > Forum > Old Hand Newbie, Calling All Meal Haulers

Old Hand Newbie, calling all meal haulers

Aug 12, 2022 at 08:22 PM CST
+ 6

I last hauled bulk hopper 20 years ago. I'm returning to it after picking up a nice Wilson Pacesetter Tri Axle. Why am I returning? For a change after burning out on reefer, and other areas of trucking. When I hauled hopper before most of my outbound lanes was either soy meal or safflower meal. Sometimes hulls outbound, DDG thrown in for a change, and my return loads were wheat. I never hauled blood meal, fish meal or other types of meals. What can you tell me about them, good bad and ugly about the different types. How bad do they tear up a trailer (ie salt and fertilizer), difficulty in unloading and problems in hauling. I know the opportunity to haul them will pop up from time to time, and I need to understand them better in order to decide if I want to haul them. Are they worth hauling for what them pay in general? I appreciate your honest reponses and look forward to the helpful and educational responses, and will ignore the ignorant flaming responses. It is trucking after all. LOL

Replied on Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 10:12 AM CST
+ 1
Stay away from blood meal. It might pay good, but stay away from it. It is caustic. It physically made me ill. After unload i went for a shower and the powder instantly made the shower a MURDER SCENE. DDG in the summer is not good at all. I just stepped away from trucking after 35yrs.
Replied on Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 01:45 PM CST
Thanks for that info. Sounds like it should be a hazmat load
Replied on Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 05:40 PM CST
+ 1 - 1
Fish meal, meat and bone meal, feather meal, and chicken by product are all kinda in the same category in my opinion. I’ve unloaded them all and I am just glad I have vibrators. With vibrators it really isn’t to bad. Actually unloading is the least of my worries when it comes to those products. My biggest picks with all of them are, #1 almost always your picking it up at a Tyson, American Proteins, etc and delivering to a nestle Purina plant or similar. Those are all big companies that couldn’t care less about your time and I think the quickest I was ever loaded at one of those places was nearly 6 hours. I’ve waited all the way up to 24 hours for a load already. #2 Even tho its all going for stupid pet food they are almost as picky or pickier about carry over as human consumption. Pretty much always you must get a washout and depending where you are that can be a real pain in the butt. Also there are some places that will literally refuse to take a load from you if your previous was any of those products, regardless of your washout status. Purina, Land o’ Lakes can be real bad for that. But I guess on the bright side it often doesn’t pay to bad. Recently had a load of fish meal pay right over 5 bucks a mile. But that’s the exception, not the rule. But anyway that’s my take on it. Who knows what the next guy will say. I’m just a young kid of 24 and I’ve only been doing it for a couple years. Lots of guys on here been doing it since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Good luck. Hopper is a tough market right now.
Replied on Sun, Aug 14, 2022 at 10:58 AM CST
Quote: "Fish meal, meat and bone meal, feather meal, and chicken by product are all kinda in the same category in my opinion. I’ve unloaded them all and I am just glad I have vibrators. With vibrators it really isn’t to bad. Actually unloading is the least of my worries when it comes to those products. My biggest picks with all of them are, #1 almost always your picking it up at a Tyson, American Proteins, etc and delivering to a nestle Purina plant or similar. Those are all big companies that couldn’t care less about your time and I think the quickest I was ever loaded at one of those places was nearly 6 hours. I’ve waited all the way up to 24 hours for a load already. #2 Even tho its all going for stupid pet food they are almost as picky or pickier about carry over as human consumption. Pretty much always you must get a washout and depending where you are that can be a real pain in the butt. Also there are some places that will literally refuse to take a load from you if your previous was any of those products, regardless of your washout status. Purina, Land o’ Lakes can be real bad for that. But I guess on the bright side it often doesn’t pay to bad. Recently had a load of fish meal pay right over 5 bucks a mile. But that’s the exception, not the rule. But anyway that’s my take on it. Who knows what the next guy will say. I’m just a young kid of 24 and I’ve only been doing it for a couple years. Lots of guys on here been doing it since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Good luck. Hopper is a tough market right now."

Thanks for the input. Every segment of trucking is tough right now. Reefer pulling you get used to 12-24 hour delays in loading and unloading. Did you get any detention on those loads you waited so long to load at?
Replied on Sun, Aug 14, 2022 at 10:59 AM CST
+ 1

Since I used to haul cattle and hogs I figured the meal loads might be a good fit for me. I know where a lot of the kill plants are, and the smell don't bother me. The problem is, a lot of shippers will not load or unload you if one of your prior 3 loads was animal by-product. So if you are going to haul animal by-products like meat and bone meal, you should be getting paid $5 a loaded mile to do it, or it's not worth it. The loads I called on didn't pay nearly enough to justify getting a washout and extra planning on what loads I can and cannot take. Best of luck.

Replied on Sun, Aug 14, 2022 at 10:59 AM CST
+ 2

Exactly, my motto on any meat and bone meal, is just say no unless that it all you plan on hauling. Like he said trying to reload after that is not easy. Grain for cattle is a big no no after hauling MBM even with a wash.

Replied on Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 07:53 AM CST
Quote: "Fish meal, meat and bone meal, feather meal, and chicken by product are all kinda in the same category in my opinion. I’ve unloaded them all and I am just glad I have vibrators. With vibrators it really isn’t to bad. Actually unloading is the least of my worries when it comes to those products. My biggest picks with all of them are, #1 almost always your picking it up at a Tyson, American Proteins, etc and delivering to a nestle Purina plant or similar. Those are all big companies that couldn’t care less about your time and I think the quickest I was ever loaded at one of those places was nearly 6 hours. I’ve waited all the way up to 24 hours for a load already. #2 Even tho its all going for stupid pet food they are almost as picky or pickier about carry over as human consumption. Pretty much always you must get a washout and depending where you are that can be a real pain in the butt. Also there are some places that will literally refuse to take a load from you if your previous was any of those products, regardless of your washout status. Purina, Land o’ Lakes can be real bad for that. But I guess on the bright side it often doesn’t pay to bad. Recently had a load of fish meal pay right over 5 bucks a mile. But that’s the exception, not the rule. But anyway that’s my take on it. Who knows what the next guy will say. I’m just a young kid of 24 and I’ve only been doing it for a couple years. Lots of guys on here been doing it since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Good luck. Hopper is a tough market right now."

This is quoted very well. My hubby has been doing this for a little over 20 years. I have a lot of farm boys that pull my hoppers and they prefer to haul this stuff as long as it pays and they know their rules with the washouts. We have vibrators on all our trailers. I work with a lot of kill plants so I am familir with the ins and outs. Also after hauling blood meal, make sure to shower and washout trailer. If you can, try wearing a mask while unloading it. I also watch the rates due to the fact that some places wont load you after hauling blood meal so make sure to ask when booking your next load. Best of luck to you out there. LIke he said the hopper market is a tough one right now.

Replied on Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 08:28 AM CST
- 1
Quote: "Since I used to haul cattle and hogs I figured the meal loads might be a good fit for me. I know where a lot of the kill plants are, and the smell don't bother me. The problem is, a lot of shippers will not load or unload you if one of your prior 3 loads was animal by-product. So if you are going to haul animal by-products like meat and bone meal, you should be getting paid $5 a loaded mile to do it, or it's not worth it. The loads I called on didn't pay nearly enough to justify getting a washout and extra planning on what loads I can and cannot take. Best of luck."

Thank you for the insight. I'll definitely plan ahead with it.

Replied on Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 08:28 AM CST
Quote: "Exactly, my motto on any meat and bone meal, is just say no unless that it all you plan on hauling. Like he said trying to reload after that is not easy. Grain for cattle is a big no no after hauling MBM even with a wash."

I knew that cattle feed after a load of BBM would be a big no no because of MCD. Sounds like a dedicated trailer for BBM is a good way to go. Thank you for the reply.

Replied on Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 09:06 AM CST
Quote: "This is quoted very well. My hubby has been doing this for a little over 20 years. I have a lot of farm boys that pull my hoppers and they prefer to haul this stuff as long as it pays and they know their rules with the washouts. We have vibrators on all our trailers. I work with a lot of kill plants so I am familir with the ins and outs. Also after hauling blood meal, make sure to shower and washout trailer. If you can, try wearing a mask while unloading it. I also watch the rates due to the fact that some places wont load you after hauling blood meal so make sure to ask when booking your next load. Best of luck to you out there. LIke he said the hopper market is a tough one right now."

I'm having vibrators installed, having pulled soybean meal before, I can see the advantage of them. Grain they aren;'t as neccasary but with meals and other commodities they becaome indispensable. The hopper marker is tight right now, along with every other market in trucking. No good places in trucking currently, just survival mode for most. Thank you for the reply.

Replied on Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 02:17 PM CST
Quote: "Thanks for the input. Every segment of trucking is tough right now. Reefer pulling you get used to 12-24 hour delays in loading and unloading. Did you get any detention on those loads you waited so long to load at?"

A little. But 50 an hour detention doesn’t make up for what should be 150 an hour rolling into the horizon but hey! Every little bit helps!
Replied on Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 09:01 PM CST

Thinking about this subject a little more. If I were going to haul meat and bone meal full-time I would probably do it in an end dump. End dumps are easier to clean, and you can catch aggregate loads for "cleanout." I do believe most feed shippers want you washed out after aggregate loads as well.

I see a couple comments on the hopper business being tough. I believe the hopper market will always be tough. If you are an owner operator truck driver trying to compete against farmers and their hired guys you will be fighting an uphill battle. The local (home most or every night) hopper business is too cutthroat for me. I pull a belt, and I'm willing to live over the road. Good luck and safe travels!

Replied on Tue, Aug 16, 2022 at 08:16 AM CST

There a place in Mishawaka Indiana stay hell away from that place its a joke from time u turn off the interstate the route in and wait time unload is ridiculous and they don't want pay stand by time

Replied on Tue, Aug 16, 2022 at 08:29 AM CST
Quote: "There a place in Mishawaka Indiana stay hell away from that place its a joke from time u turn off the interstate the route in and wait time unload is ridiculous and they don't want pay stand by time"

WellPet. Friendly people, awful pit design for any kind of meals.

Replied on Tue, Aug 16, 2022 at 01:28 PM CST

We haul a fair amount of chicken meal. It is not bad to work with. The drivers don't bitch about it much so it must be ok. As long as your meal is not ruminent, you are ok to load for dairy. We wash out after hauling it just to be on the safe side but it still works.

Replied on Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 08:31 AM CST
+ 1
Quote: "Thinking about this subject a little more. If I were going to haul meat and bone meal full-time I would probably do it in an end dump. End dumps are easier to clean, and you can catch aggregate loads for "cleanout." I do believe most feed shippers want you washed out after aggregate loads as well. I see a couple comments on the hopper business being tough. I believe the hopper market will always be tough. If you are an owner operator truck driver trying to compete against farmers and their hired guys you will be fighting an uphill battle. The local (home most or every night) hopper business is too cutthroat for me. I pull a belt, and I'm willing to live over the road. Good luck and safe travels!"

Thank s for the reply. I tend to stay out weeks at a time myself. For the most part I avoid the MBM but am getting a lot of grain meals and feed additives. Only needed a good sweep out so far, but after this chicken meal I'm sure I'll need a washout.

Replied on Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 08:31 AM CST
Quote: "We haul a fair amount of chicken meal. It is not bad to work with. The drivers don't bitch about it much so it must be ok. As long as your meal is not ruminent, you are ok to load for dairy. We wash out after hauling it just to be on the safe side but it still works."

Loading chicken meal now for Purina. I'm sure I'll need a wash out after this load. Thank you for the reply.

Replied on Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 09:57 AM CST
I would stay away from cargill in Batavia, NY and the Nestlé in Dunkirk as well. What I'm reading in the comments is all true. There are some brokers I'd stay away from as well. Had to file against a surety bond with LS nexus to get paid just the freight let alone they detention time. Hauled for them in April just got paid and only a partial from them a week ago. I would try to shy away from the larger companies. Get everything in writing. 24 years out here and still learning
Replied on Sat, Aug 20, 2022 at 09:08 PM CST
I've had brokers make me sign an affidavit that I've never hauled animal Proteins.