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Playing by the rules

Mar 27, 2024 at 03:42 PM CST
+ 14 - 2

Greetings,

These last few months have been a struggle to say the least. Paired with a sharper than normal slowdown, I have some new competition. I am all for competing fairly, but that is not the case. I have provided service to one main customersince 2017. In 2020, we started hauling for other customers as well only because we needed to fill in. We now have established relationships with several other strong customers, although the main customer is still the lion's share of our business. A few months back this guy came into the yard and started running loads. He gets to use our customer's trailer rent free, while I am still providing my own trailers. It didn't bother me so much when it was just him, but now he has added 2 more trucks, and significantly cut intomy business. What is worse is he is hooked to trailers that I sold to the customer. This feels like a betrayal from our main customer, but we don't have enough work outside that customer to move on. If it were a fair race, I would say I can outlast him, because he is inexperienced and I am already seeing him make a lot of mistakes, but it isn't a fair race. I am and always have paid my employees on W2, withheld taxes and paid for workers comp. I know he does not. I had the odacity to ask my main customer for a rate increasein November and the response was us being nearly shut out of the yard for a few weeks (until they really needed us again), and I managed to still secure a small increase. My question to the groupis this.

I am morally opposed to the over taxation of business, but I also think that competition should all play by the same rules (even if I don't like the rules). Is there a way to report this guy? I have been at this for over a decade, and we are struggling here.

Replied on Thu, Mar 28, 2024 at 07:45 AM CST
+ 1
Loyalty and honesty are all but gone in this industry. Used to be service and experience was valued. Now it's, who can do it cheaper. Ask your customer if their insurance company is covering HIS employees if someone gets hurt.
Replied on Thu, Mar 28, 2024 at 01:38 PM CST
- 1
Quote: "Loyalty and honesty are all but gone in this industry. Used to be service and experience was valued. Now it's, who can do it cheaper. Ask your customer if their insurance company is covering HIS employees if someone gets hurt."

Great point. Because the shipper's work comp will pay claims in almost all states.

While claims are the issue everyone will discuss, the most impactful issue is when the shippers work comp carrier finds there is no work comp coverage in place for the undercutting trucker THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO ADD THE UNDERCUTTING TRUCKERS DRIVER PAYROLL TO THE SHIPPERS WORK COMP PAYROLL FIGURES AND CHARGE A PREMIUM.

While there are those who will question this, most of my adult life I was in the commercial insurance industry. This is a general statement but will ring true in most cases.

Replied on Thu, Mar 28, 2024 at 01:38 PM CST
+ 1
I completely agree with the previous reply to your post. You could mention to the customer the potential liability for what they’re doing now. The other thing I would not do is sell this customer any more trailers.
Replied on Thu, Mar 28, 2024 at 08:49 PM CST
+ 1

The sad fact of the matter is nobody really seems to care about customer service. It's all about dollars and cents. My guess is when you started hauling for other customers you left your primary customer without a truck from time to time? Somehow I doubt your customer is letting your competitor run his/her trailer for free. Your competitor is just running cheap enough to pay trailer rent... Over the past year I've seen rates get soft, demanding more money often times means losing the work all together. If you're competitor doesn't want to play by the rules set by the government, he will eventually get caught.

Replied on Thu, Mar 28, 2024 at 08:49 PM CST
Ive dealt with similar situation, tjis is how i handled itm. Show your Long term customer your work comp insurance policy and run them thru what a theoretical injury/ property damage accident on your customers property would look like. Show them how you are covering all the shippers' liability... then simply ask them if they can say the same about the other guy cutting into your loads? We business owners contract out services for just this reason, to lower liability. Once you show your long term customer how you are shielding/protecting his business and assets and even his house with your professional approach to saftey/insurance, also you provide all the equipment them how much savings is worth putting their whole business at risk. I'm guessing your competition can not produce the same insurance documents you can, and remind the customer that they have a built in "hidden" cost of paying for the insurance/risk of the "cheap trucker", and your long term customer aslo has a hidden risk of being sued for everything they have worked for their entire life! Which would effect your business also if your biggest customer was to get caught up in court. Whereas you have it all professionally covered.! You get what you pay for... approach this as you're doing your due diligence, because your objective is your customers long term success and provide the best quality and value service as possible. It will open their eyes. Just because the invoice has a smaller $# on it... it's not necessarily cheaper. Remind them of all the risk they are taking and straight up tell them your concerned it will effect them and then it will effect you.
Replied on Sun, Mar 31, 2024 at 09:01 AM CST
+ 2

Your customer does not care about your costs they care about moving their cargo as cheap as possible, we used to move very expensive cargo for GE then the cheapo trucker came along and cut the rates big time and of course the damage claims went up, I asked the GE rep. how they could afford all the down time and cargo claims his responce was when all said and done the insurance pay out and and lower rate they still were better off than us with no claims ?? my responce was have a great day later they did come back and offer us work at our rate but we found something better and we blew them off they finally ended up sending the work to Europe and the El Cheapo trucker went bankrupt we are still here, you are not a slave your truck does not care what it hauls go find other work that pays better it's there you just have to do your homework, I find it hard to believe you guys haul one thing and you will go down the drain trying to haul that one thing when there is a world shippers out always looking a good operator and the rate is not as important as qaulity work, take the blinders off.

Replied on Sun, Mar 31, 2024 at 11:59 AM CST
+ 1 - 1
Quote: "Your customer does not care about your costs they care about moving their cargo as cheap as possible, we used to move very expensive cargo for GE then the cheapo trucker came along and cut the rates big time and of course the damage claims went up, I asked the GE rep. how they could afford all the down time and cargo claims his responce was when all said and done the insurance pay out and and lower rate they still were better off than us with no claims ?? my responce was have a great day later they did come back and offer us work at our rate but we found something better and we blew them off they finally ended up sending the work to Europe and the El Cheapo trucker went bankrupt we are still here, you are not a slave your truck does not care what it hauls go find other work that pays better it's there you just have to do your homework, I find it hard to believe you guys haul one thing and you will go down the drain trying to haul that one thing when there is a world shippers out always looking a good operator and the rate is not as important as qaulity work, take the blinders off. "

The problem is all other markets are worse off right now, so that’s not a viable solution, those guys are all coming over here, PRIMES new hopper division is evidence of this, flat beds, dry vans,reefers,etc, auction houses are practically giving them away at this point, look at the latest Richie bro’s prices, there is nowhere to hide, most consumers are too broke to buy made in China at this point we are far worse off today than any other time, previous generations could still afford to buy made America, even in 1980 when interest was 20%, the chickens are coming home to roost.
Replied on Mon, Apr 01, 2024 at 04:01 PM CST

Yellow iron is a joke always been cheap always will be old saying, crawl on crawl off cheap, crane load crane unload pays better your still not looking at the big picture your still looking at what every one else does, find out what moves but is a real pain in the butt go do it and make $$

Replied on Mon, Apr 01, 2024 at 06:51 PM CST
+ 1 - 1
The PRO ACT took effect at the federal level on March 11, perhaps a phone call to the department of labor may get the ball rolling?
Replied on Tue, Apr 02, 2024 at 08:34 AM CST
Quote: "The sad fact of the matter is nobody really seems to care about customer service. It's all about dollars and cents. My guess is when you started hauling for other customers you left your primary customer without a truck from time to time? Somehow I doubt your customer is letting your competitor run his/her trailer for free. Your competitor is just running cheap enough to pay trailer rent... Over the past year I've seen rates get soft, demanding more money often times means losing the work all together. If you're competitor doesn't want to play by the rules set by the government, he will eventually get caught. "

I do know that he runs the trailer rent free. It was offered back to me rent free, as well. That doesn't help that I already have $5000/ month in trailer payments plus insurance. As far as him eventually getting caught, that is one fate that could easily befall him, of many. His trucks aren't well maintained, his employees aren't well trained or experienced. It's just while I am waiting for his foolishness to catch up to him, we are losing loads.

Replied on Tue, Apr 02, 2024 at 08:39 AM CST
You both hit the nail on the head Dave & David no one cares anymore in our industry & the funny money is starting to run out it’s going to be rough & get worse before we see any change & yes the chicken are just coming back to roost
Replied on Mon, Apr 08, 2024 at 07:17 AM CST
+ 1 - 1
Wow, just wow. I’m wondering if your going to start flattening his tires, maybe call dot on him, maybe call the sheriffs office and complain that his trucks speed. I’d be willing to bet your a cheap hauling rate cutter yourself!
Replied on Mon, Apr 08, 2024 at 01:05 PM CST
+ 2

Matt:

I know Dan personally and have even helped him work on one of his trucks right in front of my house when it went down. Your accusations of what he may start doing are completely ridiculous and hardly worth my time of replying to, but when BS needs called out it needs called out. He does NOT run his operation like you tend to say he does by falsely putting accusations of what he might do on a forum. His operation is first class and he haul's for a couple different companies in the area and has an upstanding business here in our county. I know this because I see his trucks at different operations and have never heard a complaint from his customers. Next time before you start throwing accusations or ideas that are completely false, take time to restrain yourself from being a keyboard warrior and trying to defame ones business and name without any just cause.