These three rules are just as good today as they were when they were taught to me:

  1. If you don’t set your rate–Someone else will.
  2.  No Matter What, there will always be someone else Cheaper.
  3.  I would rather be the last man standing, than the first man out.


1.  Set Your Rate or Someone Else will

Either you decide your rate to accept to move the load, or someone else will decide your rate for you.  Owner Operators that lease to a Carrier, experience this more than most.  They own the equipment, and operate as their own business or sub-contractor to the Carrier, yet most if not all the time they are dictated what they are going to be paid based on a standard industry flat rate per mile.   This is why I prefer Operators and Fleets to lease on with Carrier’s who pay percentage of the gross—-

Fuel Surcharge is typically paid out at 100% to the truck, supposedly……however, what most find is that the Surcharge is actually, while helping with fuel costs, also is not as advertised……100% fuel surcharge is skimmed by the House in one shape or another.

I would have Carriers, when I brokered freight, call and request the BOL written up specific ways to ensure some surcharge for the truck, usually a minimum rate they expect for the operators leased to the Carrier.  However, the bigger the operating Carrier—with larger Bills of say 20 -150 loads on the invoice, The majority of the large guys will cut and skim in a multitude of ways—from taking a 10% premium off the top to being as spiteful as paying flat rate on all miles for surcharge on fuel to the operators and fleets leased to the carrier.

Manipulation of the numbers to get the Carrier a higher profit from the people who entrust them, and almost grant a trust level of never doing wrong—-is still manipulation—-why not do business straight up–this is the percentage—-on the gross—-when a load pays out $3.25 and you have Owner Ops leased on at 75%, their rate is $2.43 per mile.  It’s honest, simple, and you guarantee no mistakes.

The flat rate guys—I will say this until I roll over and have no breathe remaining—–When you sign a contract vaguely—with a guarantee rate of say $1.35 mile plus fuel surcharge (whatever that rate is dictated by the customer, or a person looking out for the Carrier’s interest—-Cause they are writing their paychecks—-That is when you get these people who call themselves professionals—yet they are only slithering snakes—Manipulating and Profiting excessively on the backs of those that built the service for the Carrier.  You signed the Contract……

Last point on this is Rule—- ALL CONTRACTS ARE NEGOTIABLE!  You cannot be forced into a contract without consent.  You do not have to accept the status quo for what the Carrier offers ALL IT’s STANDARD FLEET of OWNERS……Just remember I said that.

2.  No Matter what or where, there will ALWAYS be someone else cheaper.

This is just a fact of life.  No matter what industry, where, what, and how—–there will always be someone willing to do it cheaper.  Let them cheap asses have that cheap shit.  It ain’t worth wasting precious time, energy, and or stress—Pick up move forward to someone needing your service because it is what you need to be a successful owner.  You can have it quick, but it won’t be right; You can have it cheap, but it won’t be guaranteed; or you can have it right, but it will not be fast nor cheap.

3.  I would rather be the last man standing, than the first man out.

This is by far the hardest thing for almost all, if not all to understand——However, once you do finally understand—and do not question—-this is where and how you make your maximum earnings.

The Last Man Standing– get’s his rate for his product or service because the customer needs him/her.

The first man out- takes the rate dictated by the customer or broker or industry—-

The Last Man Standing-  while some times will get below average rates—-majority of time they are way above market for their product or service.

The First man Out-  is typically at or below market and usually finds that his freight is maxed out on time, weight to scale, both, and is not worth the headache due to excessive loading, unloading, and or deadhead.

The Last Man Standing-  Is patient because they know they will get their rate or better, always has plenty of time, usually has limited or no issues collecting upcharges, ie detention or lumper reimbursement with extra service fee attached–

The first man out—is scared of being stuck in a location for 2-3 days finding freight—

The Last Man Standing-  fears no dead space, for that space is where the greatest opportunity may lay

First man out– typically has 10-15% deadhead

Last man Standing– Can usually stay below 5% or can collect on all or a portion of the deadhead to pickup

First Man Out– Rushing causes mistakes and learning curves to take place—resulting in unprofessional service–and potentially lost customer from the inexperienced and missed communication

Last Man Standing-  typically is your “true Operator”–he knows to trust his team, he lets them perform without question–or if question it is to learn—-he understands that growth is a timespan greater than this week or next, but the growth for long term is in clear teamwork, leadership, growth, mentoring, and guidance to those he is responsible—He understands his team comes first and that if they do not grow–he does not grow either……….

Be that Last Man—Grow with your team—–you can have all the money in the world–yet if you have no one to spend it with—-the TOP can be a lonely–desolate destination—that you strove to be your whole life.

ADDITIONAL LEARNING:

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