Channel 19

Todd Dills

MATS 2017

Rate Per Mile Masters founder Chad Boblett from MATS: How broker relationships saved him during recent downturn

| March 27, 2017

Regular readers will recall Chad Boblett, one-truck owner-operator out of Eastern Kentucky. I told his story in part when spot-market owner-operators were riding high on the 2014 boom. Following that time, as he notes in our podcast talk from the crowded West Wing at the Mid-America Trucking Show this past week (apologies for the profusion of background noise), he shifted from a follow-the-demand strategy aimed at maximizing rates to the truck to one that focused on long-term business health, establishing relationships in a given “dumbbell,” as he calls it — a lane with fixed points on either end with solid broker relationships for freight.

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Boblett is administrator of the fast-growing, approximately three/four-year-old Rate Per Mile Masters Facebook group, which he started to allow a platform for owner-operators in large numbers to do what comes naturally to him — talk about rates, lanes, and business strategy overall. Boblett was at the show representing the group, in part, and explaining the finer points of DAT’s load boards to those unfamiliar with them at the DAT booth.

When I found Boblett at the booth, he was talking to Tom and Louise Sullivan, whom I met last year during U.S. Xpress’ military-tribute event in Chattanooga. There, the Sullivans took the keys to one of the wrapped military-tribute trucks the company was putting in service, but since then they’ve gone independent with Team Time, and joined the Rate Per Mile Master group for load insights, among other resources they utilize.

How that came about he explains early on in the talk — he was a speaker at the DAT user conference this past fall, the first the company’s ever held and focused primarily on brokerage customers (more carrier focus is in the works for this year’s event, the company’s told me in the recent past). During that, in conversation with DAT rep Ken Harper, Boblett noted he wanted a seat at MATS, though he didn’t mean a seat quite literally, rather an opportunity to represent the group and network further with owner-operators.

…. and a seat he got …

Harper, nonetheless, always good for a laugh, took it all a step further with the director’s chair emblazoned with the Rate Per Mile Masters name you see here.

Listen in on our conversation via the podcast.

Autonomous trap, take two

Regular readers will recall I reached out through a mutual friend to British artist James Bridle, maker of the “Autonomous Trap 001” video I highlighted on the blog a week ago. A simple question, proposed by the friend — whether his cheeky trap works on autonomous trucks, too — was answered:

“Yes, it will absolutely work on trucks.”

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