Where Have All the Good Flatbed Truckers Gone?

Trucking is one of the hardest battles we are fighting in the industry.  Who, will go where for what amount? We have all heard the discussion, 20,000 drivers short, Electronic logs, new regulations, large companies consuming small ones etc. On top of all of that, only a small percentage of those trucks are flatbeds.

So If I am a freight hauler what is my advantage to a flatbed if it isn’t revenue?

In reality, I have to tarp, strap, over width, over length, shift loads and the list goes on.  To the D.O.T hauling, the flatbed has to be like walking in the mall with only your underwear on… Your junk is kinda of exposed for inspection. 😊

Yet, as a shipper, high freight rates can affect sales, but NOT having a truck is worse than paying too much for a truck… Right? Wrong?

So what is the answer?  None of us want to or feel we can afford higher rates. The big brokerages are telling us to align with them or we won’t get trucks. Yet they want regular loads to regular locations (Repeat)?  Many of our small haulers have given into the big box truckers or simply tapped out due to the changes.

Yet with all the changes to make the driver’s life safer, more efficient and wealthier, they still arrive to our door step, exhausted, frustrated and without information.

Communication between, shipper, broker and receiver is awful. Everybody is trying to operate in a hush hush environment.  Perhaps we have done it to ourselves? As Brene’ brown put it, “Everyone wants to know why customer service has gone to hell in a handbasket. I want to know why customer behavior has gone to hell in a handbasket.”

What is going to fix it? I am not an expert so this is just my point of view but it’s going to have to be a joint effort between the consigners, brokers, and haulers.  This segment of the industry is specialized and should be handled as such.

It is far different from the Box Truck industry and requires a special set of skills that is taught by who? Should these special service folks be recognized and handled separately?  Flatbed hauling has to be like the special forces or something right??   Brokers are going to have to work in networks and hand off trucks, truckers are going to have to work with shippers to assure Quick and equitable loading. Receivers need to get products off the trucks and get them on their way.

And lastly, We all need to show each other the respect that we all deserve to be in the flatbed business…Just as special forces folks respect all other special forces.

You are all a special breed and we should all start acting like it.

That’s how we are going to get everyone what they need…

We will all have to be NICE to each other!.