The half-century-old TBS Factoring company has been handling new-authority filings for independent owner-operators for the last 45 days, without charging any service fee or committing owner-ops to further business with the company. Says Jennifer Fogg, TBS president, “It’s an extension of us wanting to serve drivers” by “providing something that’s valuable by giving them what they need to create their business enterprise.”
The only expense incurred by operators utilizing the complimentary filing service, available at least through the end of June, Fogg adds, is the necessary $300 federal filing fee for the DOT number.
Fogg says aspiring owner-operators have taken advantage of the program in fairly large numbers thus far as a result of existing-client referrals and a limited amount of advertising TBS has done. It all is of a piece with the company’s mission, she adds, “to help create the next generation of owner-operators.”
It comes at a time when interest in trucking as an independent has gained some momentum as a result of a strong freight and rate environment in the spot market, where most independents operate. “It looks more attractive right now because the rates are up,” Fogg says, adding that her advice in any such time is “to think carefully and to not get sucked into the myth that it’s always going to be like it is right now. The business is cyclical.” If you’re entering trucking now, “you’re entering the industry at a high point that can not sustain itself forever. … We all have to adopt that winter-is-coming strategy. In the good times, you should be like a squirrel, putting nuts away” for the long haul ahead.
TBS also offers assistance in planning for insurance and other services that come along with the entire authority process, with some fees attached. This company website spells out some of the details. Fogg says she wouldn’t be surprised if TBS extended the authority offer beyond the end of June, but for now it’s a limited time offer. It comes with “zero obligations” to factor loads with TBS or utilize the company for other paid service, she adds.