Dinner with a seasoned expediter and new friend

| March 14, 2012

I learned today a bit about the life and times of a fellow expediter and Landstar Express America BCO. Learned by visiting with him over dinner today. I also learned a bit about the history of expediting. Learned by visiting with this BCO.

Diane and I drove overnight on a run from California to Dallas, Texas. We arrived at the delivery a couple hours before the facility opened, bumped the dock and I joined Diane in the sleeper.

The load came off the truck first thing after the company opened and we went out of service to reset our log books. The cross-country run from New York to Sacramento was a stay-awake load on which one of us had to be awake with the freight while it was on the truck. We had more time than miles on that run and therefore burned up a lot of log book hours being on duty not driving.

There were enough hours remaining to do this California to Texas run. There are enough after that to do a short run if one is offered but it is best to go out of service now to reset. Diane was already logging sleeper time so her 34 hour reset will be complete at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. My reset clock began ticking when we parked in a retail area in Denton and settled in to rest.

There is a fellow Landstar BCO, Monte, who Diane and I know through internet contact but have never met face to face. He drives a Sprinter van and is in the area.

Monte is a seasoned driver with decades of experience with a variety of carriers and trucks. He was helpful and welcoming when we came over to Landstar. We wanted to buy him a meal to express our gratitude. We arranged to meet late this afternoon.

Our ultimate destination for our layover is the Denton TA truck stop where we can get fuel and showers. The amount of time and distance you can drive your truck while resetting your hours varies from carrier to carrier. Some permit no movement at all. Some permit less than a mile. Some permit a few minutes. Some may permit more but Diane and I don’t know about that since the carriers we have been with are on the low end of the mobility-while-resetting spectrum.

We had to be careful but were able to move the truck under our carrier’s rules to another retail area in Denton where we would meet Monte. That move also put us closer to the TA that we will go to tomorrow, making another short and legal move then.

Dinner with Monte was delightful. It turned out that he drove the first reefer straight truck ever used in expediting. Expediting as it is known today is a tiny segment of the larger transportation industry. Most expediters point to Roberts Express as the company that invented the concept in the early 1980′s.

Monte ran with Roberts in those days and put the first-ever reefer truck on with that company. He has some great stories to tell about that truck and the freight it hauled. I have in the back of my mind a project to write a history of expediting. If I ever do, Monte will be a primary source.