Who is hauling all the cheap freight -- and why?

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In a tough market, owner-operators around the country report seeing load board postings that absolutely boggle the mind, like this semi-viral "dumba** load" posting at $1.49/mile for a 2,100-mile Florida to Arizona reefer run with two pickups and two drops. 

The obvious question in any owner's mind looking at such postings: Who is hauling these loads, and why?

"If a person’s out there and he’s got a $150,000 truck and he bought a reefer trailer two years ago for about $100,000, that's a $250,000 debt load" he's most likely still paying off, reefer hauler Steve Beaulieu said. Irrespective of the truck and trailer notes, "at minimum, that's $1,500 a month for insurance." Then there's tires, maintenance, food, fuel and more. Owners have a pressing need to pay themselves, too, of course, and sock away savings for retirement, pay for health insurance and so much more.

If one of those drops or stops gives any detention time, or parking pirates boot the truck, just add to the expense to be offset, if the broker on the load even intends to pay to begin with

 $1.49/mile just won't cut it. 

"I'd love to see a questionnaire come out that says, 'Why are all these people hauling freight that you're losing money on?'" said Beaulieu. "I don't think these guys, especially the newer owner-ops, have any idea what the actual cost is to go over-the-road. I hear lots of different versions of 'the wheels have gotta turn,' but they don't gotta turn if you're losing money. You might as well stay home and mow your neighbor's lawn." 

Good question, Steve.

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