If I’m going to go broke I’m going to do it in my own driveway.
Why I stick with the I-5 corridor
The Los Angeles area is about two days from home. I can load, drive two days, unload, reload, drive two days, and I’m at my 70 hours to take time off at home. I eat home cooking, sleep in my own bed and can unload and then take 34 hours off. It exponentially improves my home time.
Benefits of working two markets
There’s a lot more money working two markets — one close to home and one that’s two to 2.5 days away. People start to recognize you, and they’ll call you to deliver freight.
People say I’m lucky because I have my own customers. I’m fortunate because I had to work my butt off to get them. Customer accounts carry me south to Los Angeles and cover 80 percent of my loads coming home. That freight going south pays the bills running the truck for the round trip. Loads coming north pay for health care, retirement, mortgage and savings.
Where to find business
Look around your home base and see what items are being shipped and how you can fit in the puzzle. Items I haul from here are infrastructure items. There is demand for those year-round, whether in a good or bad economy. And there’s going to be huge demand to rebuild our infrastructure in coming years.
If you’re going to do this as a business, you need to sort out where you’re going to get your information. Qualify the information you get. Just because someone says you can run a truck for a buck a mile doesn’t mean it’s true.
I only take advice from people who have done what I want to do. You have to find your own niche and what works for you.
Tilden Curl was selected the Goodyear 2010 North America Highway Hero for helping save the lives of two people before their car was struck by a train.
Curl was driving on Highway 99 near Tulare, Calif., when a vehicle went out of control and came to a stop on railroad tracks. Curl checked on the car and saw a train was coming. A woman exited the car, and Curl yelled for her to get clear of the tracks.
The driver was unconscious and trapped inside. Curl unfastened the man’s seatbelt and dragged him away seconds before the train slammed the vehicle.