channel 19

Todd Dills

Dedicated freight — an antidote to chasing rates

| June 22, 2017

Count owner-operator Keith Sampson and his Landstar-leased operation among the third of owner-operators who recently placed income stability over maximizing profitability in their prioritization of business concerns, as shown in poll results from May below:

What’s your bigger business priority, profit growth or income stability?

For owner-operator Sampson, in a team with his wife of decades, Vickie, however, the most commonly chosen answer to the poll question — that it’s hard to separate the twin concerns of profitability and stability — might better represent his situation best. After years chasing rates and high miles, over the last decade and more he’s shifted his thinking. And his example is clear evidence that keeping your eye out for dedicated-freight opportunities can deliver the best of both worlds, without sacrificing your home life in the process.

The dedicated run (meaning his power unit and trailer is dedicated to a single customer) the team has been on now for more than a year pays the same whether loaded both ways or not. He’d just as soon be light as possible, in any case — better fuel mileage, of course, allowing not just a predictable freight income, with likewise predictable schedules, but maximum profitability by keeping costs low, focusing in on just what he and Vickie can best control.

The Sampsons haul today in this 2014 Volvo VNL (with a mammoth ARI sleeper) and 53-ft. van.

Hear more detailed discussion of Sampson’s outlook, in his own words, in podcast players above and below.

Based out of Arizona today, Sampson will be familiar to regular readers for his songwriting – I talked with him in May about his “Made Me Who I Am” record. Originally from West Virginia, Sampson started the conversation with a bit of a narrative about just how he got started in trucking in the 1980s. Take a listen:

Don’t get ‘beat up’ on rates: Strong service to keep the customer honest

This podcast talk with owner-operator Monte Wiederhold focuses in on the direct-customer base Wiederhold notes he’s been fortunate to maintain through the recent "ebb and ...

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