Strength in numbers
Becoming part of a large carrier’s dispatch adds flexibility for a small carrier because the more extensive freight base allows small fleet owners to better accommodate their drivers’ needs.
“The owner-operator might have one driver who likes to get home every weekend and another who likes to stay out five or six weeks,” Hingst says.
Qualcomm is also increasingly available. “This allows the small fleet owner to sleep at night knowing the trucks will be dispatched legally and safely,” Leathers says. “We know where the trucks are at all times.”
ODD’s trucks run dedicated FedEx routes. Its drivers stay out about five days and always know their routes, Schriner says.
She allows that some agreements between small fleet owners and large carriers might not work. “If you lease to a carrier and you’re not happy,” she says, “then take your toys and go someplace else.”