'Power only' as a springboard for owner-operator growth: Tim DeWitt's 34-truck fleet

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Tim DeWitt is no short-term-minded person, as he says in this week's edition of Overdrive Radio, charting how the small fleet owner has begun to make good on long-term goals of improving the operating conditions for his more than 30 driver employees while achieving solid profitability. He's doing it with his authority as DeWitt Transportation, based in Southern Illinois, and without owning a single trailer.

In the podcast, lean more closely into DeWitt’s operation, detailed in part in Overdrive's recent three-part feature series covering the wild growth in power-only opportunities for owners with motor carrier authority

There are many reasons for opportunity growth in that operating segment, where a truck owner runs a carrier business with authority but doesn’t bring an owned trailer to the freight arrangements. Growth in demand for large carriers’ services and recent-history limitations on fleets' growth is one, as DeWitt's seen at his principal freight partner, the brokerage side of Prime Inc.'s business.

Hauling exclusively there, DeWitt’s own growth has been explosive over the roughly two years he’s been an employer of anyone other than himself. With steady and rising contract rates in Prime’s system, he’s made hay of long-term focus in a very short period of time, going from one to more than 30 trucks and drivers, and climbing.

How is it that he's been able to recruit all those drivers at a time when so many of his large-carrier counterparts sound like they’re facing the greatest shortage in history when they talk about the men and women behind the wheel? There's a guaranteed-pay structure involved, but a lot more to it. Take a listen.

DeWitt was among Overdrive’s 2021 Small Fleet Champ semi-finalists back in the Fall. Read more via this link.   

[Related: How to approach guaranteed pay in a power-only system]