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!.


How Many Sales Associates Do You Need?

How many sales people do I need? Well, that’s easy, take your total sales for the last five years, no…the last 10 years…well maybe we can use the last 7 years… anyway, take that number, ( NO not what you paid taxes on, the REAL number) get the average of that time period. ( if you can’t do that, then go back to sales).   Anyway take the average sales for the time period, figure out your gross sales, take that number multiply it by 20%.  Divide that number by half the days in 6 years.   Multiply that number by Pi and then carry the X… hell I have no idea how many you NEED.  I don’t think they taught me that in school.

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The Leadership Factor of Kindness

I’ve noticed a trend in posts and articles on social media explaining why being kind is a sure-fire way to be taken advantage of.  The subtext is that leaders are too kind when they are agreeable, or when they ignore poor performance, or are becoming too deluded and diluted with busy schedules.  These texts lead one towards thinking the act of being kind is a weakness, with the outcome of kindness pre-destined to be problematic.

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Why Hire a Millennial?

Well, first you can’t spell it.. secondly I have been up all night thinking about it… Lastly, I am an 80’s kid farm boy from Idaho who never finished college and got to the top the hard way, so I really struggled with them, so what the hell, here we go…

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Choosing the Right Leaders For the Job.

In our current business environments, many managers find themselves scratching their head at the dozens of leadership articles crossing their desks in magazines or emails.  Even social media now seems to target those of us in management positions with the latest leadership tactics in attempts to gain our “click.”  Yes, there are dozens of leadership theories—each with valid points and weak points.  No, we as leaders will never perfect each of these theories in practice and ride away in a blaze of leadership glory. Continue reading Choosing the Right Leaders For the Job.

For Simple Structural Should You Use Reject??

Through the years Reject pipe has been called everything from Reject, commercial grade, Prime secondary and the like.  The truth is “Reject is just that, Reject.” At some point in the inspection process, the pipe did not meet the requirements. Not to be confused with Downgraded (different topic) . Continue reading For Simple Structural Should You Use Reject??

Should We Buy Structural Pipe Inventory in This Market?

Good question… We all know we can afford to buy small quantity inventories on A, B, and C items at higher prices and not get caught with overpriced inventory if the market recoils.

So the question is, will prices back off? Based on the price increases we received this week it doesn’t look that way.  As we all wait on pins and needles to see the final 232 decisions,  we can make a plan that we still need to move pipe. Continue reading Should We Buy Structural Pipe Inventory in This Market?