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What trailers should we be hauling?

Oct 11, 2022 at 04:47 PM CST
+ 11 - 4

I have been looking into new trailers. The hopper loads are not cutting it anymore. I'm tired of scraping the bottom of the pot trying to find loads worth doing. How does anyone expect a load to be hauled for $2.40/mi. That doesn't even include dead head miles. My drivers are having to stay home because I refuse to hall for less than a certain $/running mile. We wouldn't be having this issue if everyone would quit hauling cheap.

Let me know your thoughts. Hay could be a hot commodity to haul to kansas right now if we could find the hay to haul. If anyone knows of any good brome or bermuda squares or rounds let me know. I'd be glad to haul up to get truck loads of horse quality hay. Any good box trailer load boards or flatbed load boards?

Replied on Wed, Oct 12, 2022 at 07:50 AM CST
+ 1

Ouch. Wait 'til it gets to $1.40...

Replied on Wed, Oct 12, 2022 at 02:48 PM CST

I have buddies that haul hay, and I'm not so sure that market is very great right now either...unless you have the right connections. My dad's best friend makes an honest living pulling tankers in NWKS, and he only hauls for one company. I'm not sure how hard it'd be getting into that market, but he does well for himself. I push around trucks for a living in the hopper industry, and would be interested in hearing what you need to stay in the hopper market. 620-491-3345

Replied on Wed, Oct 12, 2022 at 09:38 PM CST

What trailer should you be hauling? Only you can answer that question. Generally, hopper and dry van rates are pretty tough.

What is your unfair advantage in trucking?

Do you have high value products to haul in your area/region?.... Hay isn't high value.

Good luck

Replied on Thu, Oct 13, 2022 at 10:18 AM CST
There is no magic freight especially if you run brokered freight.
Replied on Fri, Oct 14, 2022 at 09:12 PM CST
Honestly, hopper or flatbed would be my 2 that I go after. I bounce between the two. I’m getting $3/mi on average in hopper at the moment. I know it should be higher but it’s making some money and paying the bills
Replied on Fri, Oct 14, 2022 at 09:12 PM CST

Flatbed or step deck. It is the best of the bad right now in my area, easy to get started with and you can use flat loads since you are a member here. Pretty tough all around. I was in Missouri yesterday, a lot of hoppers running, they are harvesting.

Replied on Sat, Oct 15, 2022 at 09:06 AM CST
Quote: "What trailer should you be hauling? Only you can answer that question. Generally, hopper and dry van rates are pretty tough. What is your unfair advantage in trucking? Do you have high value products to haul in your area/region?.... Hay isn't high value. Good luck "

Hay most definitely is but you have to broker it too, I handle all my hay from the baler to the end user and I'm getting along just fine.

Replied on Sat, Oct 15, 2022 at 11:23 AM CST
Exactly bud, no one stick’s together anymore like we used to in the 80s, they just keep hauling, not making shit
Replied on Mon, Oct 17, 2022 at 07:51 AM CST
Quote: "Hay most definitely is but you have to broker it too, I handle all my hay from the baler to the end user and I'm getting along just fine."

When I said high dollar freight I mean something like petroleum or natural gas. The poster is from Kansas, lots of oil in that region of the country. Also, lots of refer work out of the packing houses.

Replied on Mon, Nov 14, 2022 at 07:52 AM CST
+ 1

Funny, here it is a month later, and I'm looking at changing myself. Mentioned $2.40 a mile for hoppers isn't enough, want's to look at dry vans. Only way to get $2.40 a mile in vans is to go to south Florida, knowing you'll have a 600 mile deadhead to find a $1.60 a mile load...

Replied on Mon, Nov 14, 2022 at 11:00 AM CST
- 1
Quote: "I have buddies that haul hay, and I'm not so sure that market is very great right now either...unless you have the right connections. My dad's best friend makes an honest living pulling tankers in NWKS, and he only hauls for one company. I'm not sure how hard it'd be getting into that market, but he does well for himself. I push around trucks for a living in the hopper industry, and would be interested in hearing what you need to stay in the hopper market. 620-491-3345"

$5.00 a mile plus fuel.

Replied on Mon, Nov 14, 2022 at 11:51 AM CST
+ 1
Quote: "$5.00 a mile plus fuel."

That's the dream. An unrealistic dream, for hoppers, but the dream nonetheless ((excluding harvest)). The problem in the hopper community is that the cost will always be passed onto the consumer; so in hindsight you may get a better paid load...and see local prices rise as a result. The big companies refuse to eat the cost, and small businesses can't afford it. The hopper industry isn't specialized, so you can't factor that into a bid, usually... And heaven forbid you tell a company that you run a spread or a triple, because they will then come at you with everything figured @ 27-30 ton. $2.90-3.25/mile for all miles has been our average per mile rate and we always shoot for more, when possible. Everyone's bottom dollar is different, and only you can figure out what that is. The people who are just driving to drive right now will run out of business (there are a lot of them in the hopper community), and we can be there to catch that work when they do.

Replied on Mon, Nov 14, 2022 at 02:27 PM CST
+ 1 - 1
Quote: "That's the dream. An unrealistic dream, for hoppers, but the dream nonetheless ((excluding harvest)). The problem in the hopper community is that the cost will always be passed onto the consumer; so in hindsight you may get a better paid load...and see local prices rise as a result. The big companies refuse to eat the cost, and small businesses can't afford it. The hopper industry isn't specialized, so you can't factor that into a bid, usually... And heaven forbid you tell a company that you run a spread or a triple, because they will then come at you with everything figured @ 27-30 ton. $2.90-3.25/mile for all miles has been our average per mile rate and we always shoot for more, when possible. Everyone's bottom dollar is different, and only you can figure out what that is. The people who are just driving to drive right now will run out of business (there are a lot of them in the hopper community), and we can be there to catch that work when they do."

I agree that it's unrealistic for the hopper community at this point which is why mine is parked. However, all production and transportation costs are passed to the consumer, that's part of how profit is made. I disagree that the hopper is not specialized. You can't load then on every corner like a dry van, reefer, or flat bed, and you certainly can't unload them everywhere either. Based on your comment, do you think toilet paper is a more specialized product than hopper products? I would argue without the hopper products, you wouldn't need much toilet paper, and you certainly can't stroll in Wallmart and tell them what you're going to pay for it. I think shippers and brokers would like us to believe hoppers are not specialized as a way to keep the rates down. I find it funny that commodity traders, and some brokerages post record profits, brag about aquisitions, and expansions, yet they are the same ones saying hauling their commodities is not worth a realistic rate. And, $2.90-3.25 is not a realistic rate. I definately know my bottom line, and I could run for $2.90-3.25, but refuse to run for it because I'm in business to cover my costs, make a living, and make a profit; the profit I deem adequate, not what someone else thinks is reasonable. I have zero interest subsidizing someone else's profit at the demise of mine. If I wanted to run cheap, or for my bottom line, I'd be in the general freight market. Even if people "driving just to drive" do go out of business, I doubt very seriously shippers and brokers will be willing to share the profit. They will still be tryiing to find people to haul it for $2.90-3.25 to increse their own bottom line even more. Things will only change when the carriers have had enough. To those who say they will move by rail or get their own trucks, I call bullshit. If they thought for one minute it was easier, more profitable, or dependable, they woulld already be doing it. They know for a fact they can't own & maintain equipment, stay compliant with the FMCSA, hire employees, pay for fuel, and insurance for what they are able to get away with paying carriers. But, somehow, they continue to expect us to run for our "bottom dollar". No thanks, and good luck to all that keep trying. I'll keep my hopper parked and stay where I am, "living the dream" setting my rate, and doing just fine.

Replied on Mon, Nov 14, 2022 at 03:52 PM CST
+ 1
Quote: "I agree that it's unrealistic for the hopper community at this point which is why mine is parked. However, all production and transportation costs are passed to the consumer, that's part of how profit is made. I disagree that the hopper is not specialized. You can't load then on every corner like a dry van, reefer, or flat bed, and you certainly can't unload them everywhere either. Based on your comment, do you think toilet paper is a more specialized product than hopper products? I would argue without the hopper products, you wouldn't need much toilet paper, and you certainly can't stroll in Wallmart and tell them what you're going to pay for it. I think shippers and brokers would like us to believe hoppers are not specialized as a way to keep the rates down. I find it funny that commodity traders, and some brokerages post record profits, brag about aquisitions, and expansions, yet they are the same ones saying hauling their commodities is not worth a realistic rate. And, $2.90-3.25 is not a realistic rate. I definately know my bottom line, and I could run for $2.90-3.25, but refuse to run for it because I'm in business to cover my costs, make a living, and make a profit; the profit I deem adequate, not what someone else thinks is reasonable. I have zero interest subsidizing someone else's profit at the demise of mine. If I wanted to run cheap, or for my bottom line, I'd be in the general freight market. Even if people "driving just to drive" do go out of business, I doubt very seriously shippers and brokers will be willing to share the profit. They will still be tryiing to find people to haul it for $2.90-3.25 to increse their own bottom line even more. Things will only change when the carriers have had enough. To those who say they will move by rail or get their own trucks, I call bullshit. If they thought for one minute it was easier, more profitable, or dependable, they woulld already be doing it. They know for a fact they can't own & maintain equipment, stay compliant with the FMCSA, hire employees, pay for fuel, and insurance for what they are able to get away with paying carriers. But, somehow, they continue to expect us to run for our "bottom dollar". No thanks, and good luck to all that keep trying. I'll keep my hopper parked and stay where I am, "living the dream" setting my rate, and doing just fine. "

I think the confusion here is what you call per mile. We run $2.90-$3.25 for EVERY MILE. That's from our truck's home base at the beginning of the week to home base at the end of the week. If you can't make a profit on that, then you have not streamlined your operations, and that's poor business management. Many loads we haul are $5.00 per loaded mile, but that's not an accurate picture when you have to consider every bounce mile, which is what we do when we're dispatching our trucks and brokering loads for others. Our TRUCKING side makes a decent profit, much more than our broker side earns.

Replied on Tue, Nov 15, 2022 at 11:18 AM CST
+ 1 - 1
Quote: "I think the confusion here is what you call per mile. We run $2.90-$3.25 for EVERY MILE. That's from our truck's home base at the beginning of the week to home base at the end of the week. If you can't make a profit on that, then you have not streamlined your operations, and that's poor business management. Many loads we haul are $5.00 per loaded mile, but that's not an accurate picture when you have to consider every bounce mile, which is what we do when we're dispatching our trucks and brokering loads for others. Our TRUCKING side makes a decent profit, much more than our broker side earns."

Good Morning,

I think you have me confused with someone that doesn't know what they're doing. Make no mistake, there is absolutely no confusion on my part. I completely understand what you meant by all miles. Additionally, I stated previously that I COULD make a profit at $2.90-3.25 for all miles. What you missed is why should I, when for this entire year I have done consideralby better than that? I don't subscribe to the theory that just because you CAN do something, you SHOULD do it. When you took your shot at what you believe to be my poor business management, you failed to mention your profit margin. $1.00 above your cost is profit. How much are you actually speaking of since you run such a finely tuned machine. What is your empty to loaded ratio? How long do you have to stay out? What is decent to you? Decent to you may not be decent to the next person. As an example, from my perspective, an Omega is a decent watch, on the other hand, a Rolex is a very nice watch. It's perspective, everyone's is different. For the record, my loaded to empty ratio is 50% loaded at best. I run out loaded and back empty, EVERY time. Even at a 50% loaded ratio, I'm smoking your all miles number, which is why I originally stated my hopper is parked. All I'm attempting to convey with my post is; as a group, I believe the hopper community is selling itself short. Everyone knows the rates should be better. The shippers and brokers will be the first to say it, but will also say in the same breath, as long as someone is willing to run cheap, they will gladly accommodate them. The ball is in our court, we are in charge. We just have to realize it, and come to terms with making a very good profit is ok, there is nothing wrong with better than "decent". If many others in the supply chain can post record profits, why can't we? Do we not deserve record profits? It's not our job to keep prices low to the consumer, it is however, our job to make the most profit possible, just like every other business on the planet. If "decent" is all anyone is after, a regular job without all the expenses and liabiltiy is a much easier choice. I purposfully left my numbers out of this conversation because I definately don't want anybody to think the way I'm doing things is easy, and all they need to do is switch trailers and they can do what I'm doing. Most likely it will not work out, especially if you think the loads posted here on Bulkloads are good, which they are not. They may seem better than hopper loads, but in reality, the loads posted here are worse than hopper loads, all things considered. The last thing I want is everybody to switch trailers and completely ruin the rates in my segment. If you want to know my numbers, I'm easy to find, give me a call and I'll gladly discuss them with you. If you take time to go back and read some of my other posts, you will see a common theme which is, hopper rates are too cheap, and we have no one to blame for it other than ourselves. I'm a lead by example type of person which is why I parked my hopper. It's sad because I'd rather be pulling it. I miss the agribusiness, which is why I continue to look for better paying hopper loads. When I find some, I'll quickly hook back up to the hopper. In closing, I truly wish nothing but success for everyone, and if you're completely satisfied that you're making all you could wish for and living your best life, I'm genuinely happy for you. If not, maybe you should do something about it. If I don't post before then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Barry

Replied on Tue, Nov 15, 2022 at 03:57 PM CST
Quote: "Good Morning, I think you have me confused with someone that doesn't know what they're doing. Make no mistake, there is absolutely no confusion on my part. I completely understand what you meant by all miles. Additionally, I stated previously that I COULD make a profit at $2.90-3.25 for all miles. What you missed is why should I, when for this entire year I have done consideralby better than that? I don't subscribe to the theory that just because you CAN do something, you SHOULD do it. When you took your shot at what you believe to be my poor business management, you failed to mention your profit margin. $1.00 above your cost is profit. How much are you actually speaking of since you run such a finely tuned machine. What is your empty to loaded ratio? How long do you have to stay out? What is decent to you? Decent to you may not be decent to the next person. As an example, from my perspective, an Omega is a decent watch, on the other hand, a Rolex is a very nice watch. It's perspective, everyone's is different. For the record, my loaded to empty ratio is 50% loaded at best. I run out loaded and back empty, EVERY time. Even at a 50% loaded ratio, I'm smoking your all miles number, which is why I originally stated my hopper is parked. All I'm attempting to convey with my post is; as a group, I believe the hopper community is selling itself short. Everyone knows the rates should be better. The shippers and brokers will be the first to say it, but will also say in the same breath, as long as someone is willing to run cheap, they will gladly accommodate them. The ball is in our court, we are in charge. We just have to realize it, and come to terms with making a very good profit is ok, there is nothing wrong with better than "decent". If many others in the supply chain can post record profits, why can't we? Do we not deserve record profits? It's not our job to keep prices low to the consumer, it is however, our job to make the most profit possible, just like every other business on the planet. If "decent" is all anyone is after, a regular job without all the expenses and liabiltiy is a much easier choice. I purposfully left my numbers out of this conversation because I definately don't want anybody to think the way I'm doing things is easy, and all they need to do is switch trailers and they can do what I'm doing. Most likely it will not work out, especially if you think the loads posted here on Bulkloads are good, which they are not. They may seem better than hopper loads, but in reality, the loads posted here are worse than hopper loads, all things considered. The last thing I want is everybody to switch trailers and completely ruin the rates in my segment. If you want to know my numbers, I'm easy to find, give me a call and I'll gladly discuss them with you. If you take time to go back and read some of my other posts, you will see a common theme which is, hopper rates are too cheap, and we have no one to blame for it other than ourselves. I'm a lead by example type of person which is why I parked my hopper. It's sad because I'd rather be pulling it. I miss the agribusiness, which is why I continue to look for better paying hopper loads. When I find some, I'll quickly hook back up to the hopper. In closing, I truly wish nothing but success for everyone, and if you're completely satisfied that you're making all you could wish for and living your best life, I'm genuinely happy for you. If not, maybe you should do something about it. If I don't post before then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Barry "

The point you make is exactly the point I was making. What's good for you may not be the same as everyone else. You condemn everyone who isn't earning $5.00/mile. My trucks are out M-F each and every week, home every weekend. We've had a few mishaps where a load needed to be delivered on a Saturday morning, but that's extremely rare. We drive approximately 3,000 miles a week per truck. My drivers make good money, my brokerage makes decent money, and our trucking business makes good money. It's a win-win for everyone, as it should be. Yes, I've streamlined my business. I know that's not how everyone else runs, but that's their business, not mine. If a company cannot earn a profit running $2.90-$3.25 for each mile, then they need to reevaluate what they're doing. I think it's great you're making more per mile! I think it's great you can just park your hopper and not run it. That doesn't work for us, and it may not work for other companies, either.

I do plan to have a great Thanksgiving, and I hope you do, as well.

Replied on Wed, Nov 16, 2022 at 11:37 AM CST
Well let’s be honest you can’t seem to be able to even spell correctly so how can you expect to not be taken advantage of when booking loads?
Replied on Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 09:09 AM CST
+ 1
Quote: "Well let’s be honest you can’t seem to be able to even spell correctly so how can you expect to not be taken advantage of when booking loads?"

Funny. Sad.

Replied on Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 12:18 PM CST
- 1
Who can’t spell?