Words to truck by: ‘You will never, ever come out ahead running at a loss’

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Updated Feb 18, 2024

Refusing to run at a loss, independent owner-operators Daniel and Phyllis Snow of Snow Trucking have been off the road for going on a month now as rates and available freight volumes have fallen and what Snow calls a veritable epidemic of “bad business” (extending from brokers to shippers and receivers and carriers, too) has taken hold.

The crisis spurred by the COVID-19 coronavirus‘ spread and attendant fear and necessary mitigation efforts, though, compounds what has been a rough year and more for many independent carriers, including the Snows. To put everything in context, Daniel says, on the same miles run in 2019, the Snows were able to gross only around 60% of the revenue they brought in with that mileage in 2013.

Market deterioration, they feel, has been the rule the past year, and they’re not the only independent owner-op carriers who believe their market is just flat-out broken right now.

The pair has been in spend-reduction mode as they try to hold on for some return, awaiting processing of loan/other assistance applications. Their story is unfortunately illustrative of the small-business difficulties of this moment. Take a listen:

Daniel and Phyllis SnowDaniel and Phyllis Snow

If you missed the Snows’ appearance in the Channel One-Nine Special edition of the Over the road podcast last week, find it here — we caught them during a better time there at the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2019, for a tour of their remarkable 1996 custom Freightliner, the Goose. Enjoy. 

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