Newbies: Could you survive events like these?

| March 30, 2012

A week ago Friday, we deadheaded to Los Angeles at our own expense to better position ourselves for freight. That seemed to be the right decision when we got dispatched on Monday morning, but that load canceled. It was rescheduled for Tuesday and canceled again.

We got dispatched on a very good load on Wednesday but it does not pick up until Monday. It requires a long deadhead to the pick up for which we will be paid, but no advance money will be payable until the freight is on the truck. In addition to paying for food and fuel to get us to the pick up, a $900+ reefer repair was necessary.

While we choose to limit our income by taking a long vacation, too many other expediters choose to limit themselves by living hand-to-mouth in this business. Either they don’t make the money in the first place, or they fail to manage well the money they do make.

Then when a dry spell with additional repair expenses comes along like the one Diane and I are on now, expediters without financial reserves find themselves in a real pickle. They end up turning down excellent paying runs that pick up later because they need cash now and taking a cheap run today puts money in their hands. Or they borrow money from friends or reluctant relatives. Or they beg their fleet owners or carriers for advances against future earnings. Or they wash out of the business.

This has not been a stellar financial period for Diane and me but we are fine. We are fine because when we make money with the truck we manage it well. We are fine because we do not live hand-to-mouth in this business. We are fine because we have financial reserves.

Another challenge many expediters have is passing time. What do you do when you have an extended period like this when the freight becomes scarce or uncooperative (canceled loads), and you have nothing but time on your hands? The answer varies from person to person.

It may be quite different for you than it is for Diane and me. We have a wonderfully comfortable truck (big sleeper with all the creature comforts). We have also developed productive and/or enjoyable ways to pass the time when we are sitting. Some people would start climbing the walls if they sat for a week. We’d be fine.


  • mekanikw7

    you consider yourself to be seasoned, i just think u been doin it a while. there is a difference. you had 2 months of sitting and seeing alt aux code and did nothing until it failed completely. u deserved to be raped out on the road. trucking is all about pm. i am a volvo mechanic and i would have never left without fixing that. you handled it like a rookie. you think it is all about having money in the bank. it is… that way you can hand it all over to me. too dumb to hold on to it yourself. not to be rude. just facts. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.