The Two-Truck Transition
After Bench’s carrier changed the lease terms, he left in 2005 and opted to run under his own authority as Crossline Transportation. The fleet hauls potatoes to Cleveland, Detroit and Indianapolis.
Within a year, another owner-operator signed under Bench’s authority. “We have a successful working model, and if they come in and run under that model, they’ll make money as we have done,” Bench says.
Under Crossline’s model, drivers run on a six-day turnaround from Idaho to the Midwest. Each round trip is at least 3,400 miles, and drivers average about three round trips per month. Eastbound rates range from $1.80 to $2.20 a mile.
Of the four trucks Bench owns, two are leased to owner-operators and two are driven by company drivers, and each grosses about $250,000 a year. He has seven other contractors leased under his authority.
Bench wants to expand to a fleet with five company drivers. “I don’t want any more than that to manage,” he says.
His other company, DJ Truck Leasing, also signs owner-operators to lease or provide their own truck if it meets certain specs. “We dispach owner-operators and charge 10 percent of revenue,” Bench says. “Of that, 5 percent goes to a non-recourse factoring company, and owner-operators are paid within 14 days.”
Drivers can run with their own authority, too, and for $55 a load Bench will dispatch and handle invoicing. He also charges $125 a month for an electronic onboard recorder service, which he requires in all trucks running for him.