Wise move to go independent
I was a leased owner-operator for a few years and dutifully gave about a third of my gross income to some company to answer the phone and notify me when a load was ready.
In 1996, I stopped that madness and got my own authority. I should have done it long before, as it has proven to be a godsend to my mental and financial health. I asked one customer I had hauled for, and liked, if he would use me if I exclusively dedicated my truck to his freight. He readily agreed, and I have not looked back.
I have never missed being paid what I billed and have always been paid within 25 to 30 days. It is a national company with regions all over the United States. I can choose when and where I want to go, and I have ended each year with money in savings, checking and receivables.
I am now 67 and just run locally and regionally, leaving the long hauls to the younger, less arthritic guys. After almost 10 years with this company, I am the only one who is dedicated to them, even though there is much more work than I could ever handle. Some drivers have asked me to tell them how to do it, but they never follow through.
Pennsylvania roads got ‘bum rap’
My career has taken me away from long-haul trucking, but in March I drove from Nevada back to Pennsylvania. As I was coming through Texas on I-10 and I-20, I remember thinking, “Boy, these roads are bad. I’m curious what Overdrive’s Worst Roads Survey [December] is going to say about Texas,” and I chuckled because Pennsylvania was always a loser.
Lo and behold, the survey comes out, and Texas is best, and Pennsylvania is worst. There is no way any of the survey participants travel I-10. I had to keep switching lanes because the roads were so bad.
I remember thinking, “At least Pennsylvania has to deal with about six freezes and thaws a year. I wonder what I-10’s excuse is. It never freezes.” I think Pennsylvania has gotten a bum rap this year.
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