'The spot market is not where you need to live': On building steady business with authority, growth, more

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Updated Apr 15, 2023


"It gives you the ... wiggle room when it's time to negotiate on the contract market, because I'm going to tell you the spot market is not where you need to live." -Adam Wingfield of Innovative Logistics Group on the importance of knowing your numbers inside and out to build business

The freight spot markets are undeniably tough right now, that's sure, with rates continuing their slide for vans and reefers nationally in the last week, and profitability strained for all manner of independent owner-operators and small carriers with authority. Yet Adam Wingfield, whose talk early on the last day of the Mid-America Trucking Show Saturday, April 1, makes up the bulk of today's Overdrive Radio edition, wanted to make clear to all the owners in the audience a central message: 

"You're going to be OK," Wingfield said early in his "Weathering the storm" talk.

Adam WingfieldWingfield's talk was among the most engaging of any I had opportunity to sit in on at MATS.

OK, that is, if you do the work to solidify your relationships with the brokers, shippers and others who take care of you as you take care of them. If you truly own your backyard, so to speak, and take the time to connect with freight customers in your area. You'll be OK if you predict maintenance needs with well-timed interval tracking and stay compliant to enhance competitiveness in negotiations -- the difference between good and terrible safety scores will translate to dollars on the bottom line, in the end.

And, perhaps most importantly, know your numbers inside and out, Wingfield emphasized early and often, echoing a central message of Overdrive's own Partners in Business seminar with ATBS the day before and throughout the PIB program's two-decade-plus history. (Click through this link for video of our full session, if you missed it. Podcast listeners, stay tuned for an audio-only special edition in the coming week.) 

Ultimately, though there's much more to it all, Wingfield urged owners to ignore the noise, to truly take full control of what you can control, double down on all of it, and keep your eye on the finish line. Take a listen: 

Bonus: A podcast recommendation from Wingfield to help hone your basic business approach: Donald Miller's "Business Made Simple" -- on Apple PodcastsSpotify and elsewhere.  

Howes logoOverdrive Radio sponsor Howes wants to hear from you. If you've used Howes' fuel treatments, lubricants or other products through the years, send me an an email or leave a voicemail with your story on the podcast message line. Leave your name and address and we'll get a prize pack with Howes' Diesel Defender treatment and Multipurpose penetrating oil to your doorstep: 615-852-8530.And more from my talk at MATS with Overdrive Radio sponsor Howes' President and Chief Testing Officer Rob Howes about issues of fuel quality rearing their heads more and more as the company hears of new issues from customers. Howes details results, too, of a survey in which the company asked its customers a series of questions about their fuel-treatment habits. And we’ll pose a question to you, too. Do you treat your fuel seasonally or year-round? Weigh in via the poll below. 

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[Related: 'The extra load' to boost profitability in challenging times]

Transcript

Adam Wingfield: The thing is that when it comes down to that break-even analysis, what is so, so beautiful about that is that it gives you the ability to wiggle when it's time to negotiate on the contract market because I'm going to tell you, the spot market is not where you want to live. The spot market was not designed for you to design your business and run your business around the spot market.

Todd Dills: The voice we heard up top was that of Adam Wingfield, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based leader of the Innovative Logistics Group, whose goal is in part to equip clients with the tools for success as owner-operators with a special emphasis on growth beyond just the single truck. In his early forties, Wingfield knows of which he speaks, having done the same over a couple of decades in trucking, the story he tells in today's podcast. I'm Todd Dills, your host for this edition of Overdrive Radio for April 7th, 2023 and featuring Wingfield's talk from Saturday, April 1st, the last day of the Mid-America Trucking Show last week, was certainly among the most engaging presentations I sat in on there, picking up on themes also addressed in Overdrive’ own Partners in Business session with ATBS the previous day, but more inspirational, more well, confrontational in some aspects, urging owners to do the hard work to weather the current storm. That was part of the very title of his talk, aimed to help owners navigate ups and downs like the current situation in freight markets. Weathering the Storm, he called it with an upfront message.

Adam Wingfield: And we can all agree right now, the industry is tough and the only other thing I can tell you is that number one, this is not the first time that we've dealt with a tough marketplace. Number two, I'm going to leave you with a statement and the statement I want to leave you with and I want you to think about this as I speak today is, you are going to be okay.

Todd Dills: If, that is, you do the work to…

Adam Wingfield: Solidify your relationships. Now is not the time to double down on the complaining, it's now the time to double down on the people that are taking care of you.

Todd Dills: Wingfield challenged attendees to make the most of their time at the show.

Adam Wingfield: You got about seven hours today to where you can maximize the opportunity for you to go out there and solidify relationships and so they know exactly what the hell you do. We have to take control of that and we have to be better about that in running our business and solidifying those relationships.

Todd Dills: It was truly rousing talk, all told, as you'll hear, particularly following the storm and stress of the previous day's Broker Regs-related listening session the FMCSA hosted there where Wingfield noted he heard a lot of complaints that he's readily familiar with from conversations throughout his history in trucking. His message though comes back to a central tenant of business ownership.

Adam Wingfield: The next thing is you need to check your attitude. Your attitude determines your altitude.

Todd Dills: Take full control of what you can control, double down on all of it and keep your eye on the finish line. Before the end of the podcast, too, we'll also hear from Howes President and Chief Testing Officer Rob Howes about results of a survey in which the company asked its customer base a series of questions about their fuel treatment habits, and we'll pose a question to you too. Do you treat your fuel seasonally or year-round? After the break though, Adam Wingfield first takes up his personal story in trucking and just how he came to be where he is today, assisting owner-operator and small fleet clients with breakeven analysis tools, growth consulting, audit support, and much more through his Innovative Logistics Group. Along the way, there's plenty to chew on in terms of strategies to weather the stormy conditions of the present. So stay tuned.

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Todd Dills: Find them at Howes, H-O-W-E-S, howesproducts.com. Here's Adam Wingfield.

Adam Wingfield: I am the Managing Director and Founder of Innovative Logistics Group. If you have never heard of Innovative Logistics Group, I'm going to tell you that I am good at trucking, but I am bad at advertising. I know what I know and stay in my lane. What you're seeing on the screen is me. Back in 2000 when I was a young buck, as soon as I was able to do so, I went and got my CDL license at the age of 21 years old. I've been in this business 22 years plus next Saturday, a national holiday, which is my birthday and that tells me that I'm getting older and closer to the time to where it's about time for me to retire out of [inaudible 00:05:02]. I started off in the year 2000. Three years later I started with a mega carrier. I loved trucking from the time that I was a little boy. I went with mega carrier and then three years later I decided to take the route of being an owner-operator and do it on my own.

When I started trucking, I was getting paid 24 and a half cents a mile. $300 a week was pretty good for me. $600 a week was great. I was in the flatbed division. We did actually did specialize. So I was one of the glass haulers, glass haulers with A frames with the T-piece going down the highway, that was me. I had the opportunity to learn a lot in terms of going across the country and seeing the beautiful things. But one of the things that I really, really wanted to do and the very, very, very, very young age, I was in the sixth grade was I wanted to own a trucking company. I had no idea on the components and the things required to do it, I just wanted to get behind the wheel to figure it out. So I decided to buy a truck at the age of 23 years old and I bought a truck at the age of 23 years old.

It cost me about $945 a week, which I, and at that point, you can do the math, was pretty expensive. But I decided to go on that route and I quickly figured out that just because I was good as a truck driver and I was good at what I did, being a truck and business owner is very, very different. There is a big difference between being a business owner and being an owner-operator or a fleet owner. I studied at Johnson C. Smith University from Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a small school right off the Beatty’s Ford Road in Charlotte. I then moved into supply chain management 'cause I wanted to study the big picture size. I spent over 11 years behind the wheel. I mastered a million miles plus. I did everything for reefer, dry van, flatbed, oversized, you name it. One of the things that I am super passionate about and it is funny how this comes full circle, my very first load that I ever delivered as a truck driver was in Louisville, Kentucky.

22 years later, I'm standing on the stage talking about trucking in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the things I wanted to talk to you today about though is that when I started and the things about the industry right now, and we can all agree right now the industry is tough, but the one other thing I can tell you is that number one, this is not the first time that we've dealt with a tough marketplace. Number two, I'm going to leave you with a statement and the statement I want to leave you with, and I want you to think about this as I speak today is you going to be okay. This is an article that Legal Zoom did on me. I am very big on the educational component of this industry. I'm going to be very, very frank and transparent with you throughout this conversation.

I am not a person to sugar coat it. I'm not into propaganda. I'm going to give you facts. I'm going to tell you what it is. I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt, now I'm going to give it to somebody. I'm going to give you the opportunity to win and I'm going to give you some of the steps that are responsible for helping you to do so. I am going to try to get through this in 40 minutes. I hope that by the time I get complete that I'll be able to answer any questions that you may have. So I want to talk to you about some of the learnings that I had and what I call Weather in the Storm. Last night, if you had the opportunity to go anywhere around here, it was a little bit of rain that was happening last night.

But the thing about last night, I looked on Twitter and I saw the damage that was done on 65 last night, all the way from here, all the way up to Illinois. It was pretty bad and even as I was out last night, it was a extreme, extreme weather condition. But when I woke up this morning and I pull the blinds out, that's what happened. That's what I noticed. The sun was here. But that tells me and what I'm telling you, that no matter how much rain takes place, the sun is always going to shine. So I'm going to go through this and I'm going to go through it pretty quickly. So if I sound a little bit rushed, I'm doing it very intentionally. But I want to go through this and I'm going to give you some steps that I learned as a fleet owner because by the time I turned 30 years old before I had grays on the chin of my hair and before I even had hair down here, I was staring down the faces that owned six trucks at that point.

So what I'm going to do is talk to you about some experiences that I had because I also remember one of the worst times in this industry that I went through, I was getting paid a dollar, dollar 20 a mile, but diesel prices were at $4 and $5. So I want to talk to you about how you're going to navigate that and how I did it. Now, one thing I'm going to tell you is what's good for the goose may not be good for the gander. What worked for me may not work for you. But the one thing that worked for me that can work for anybody in this room is that if you change your mindset, your mindset will match your grindset. So the first thing that you have to do in terms of Weathering the Storm, and this is one of the most important things to me, know your numbers.

Know your numbers. How many fleet owners and owner-operators I have in this room, raise your hand high. Raise them really high. I got to see them. These lights is extremely bright. One of the things as a fleet owner and owner-operator, if you do not understand and do not know what this is, then that's an opportunity for you to grow because what you're looking at on your screen right now is your breakeven point analysis. As a owner operating and fleet owner, you cannot move your truck one mile without knowing what your breakeven point is. Your breakeven point is a point at which your truck starts making money. Now, one of the things that I want to add as a caveat, and I want you to understand this point too, is that if your wheels are not turning in a clockwise motion, then you're not making money, number one.

But number two, as your wheels turn in a clockwise motion, every single term is paying for every single thing that was responsible for the operation of your truck. No matter if you have one truck or a thousand trucks. And what I mean by that is that if you look on the screen, and I know it's very, very small to see, but sometimes when we negotiate, we're negotiating rates with brokers and we're talking about things like that. We consider fuel, we consider driver expenses. Sometimes we call by insurance and then we're talking about negotiating on the load. Well, the issue with that is that your truck, the things that you're responsible for within your truck, the plates, the EFDA, your 2290, it doesn't care on what load that you're hauling today or what load you're hauling tomorrow. Every single mile that you operate is amortizing your entire P and L for that year.

And what I mean by amortizing is taking your entire bill and it's chopping it up down into the mile. So you have to understand at what mile your truck makes a profit, number one. Number two, if you tell me today that your breakeven point is $2 a mile, you are lying. Your breakeven point changes every single day. Every single time that you operate, and this is one of the things that I've learned and I had to realize, and I'm going to give you an example. Back in 2003, I used to run from the east coast to the west coast. I used to run a load all the way from Monroe, North Carolina all the way to Tracy, California. Tracy California is way up Northern California. By the time you hit to California on I40, you hit the California line. You got about 400 miles north to go.

One of the things that I realized very, very quickly is I have to calculate 800 miles plus in my mind because by the time I got into California, I did not want to pay fuel prices in California at that time. So I had to make incremental decisions to make sure that I was able to stay within my breakeven point. Now the thing about your breakeven point, it can change at the drop of a hat. And what I mean by that is that if you have a major repair, if you have a minor repair, if you buy fuel at an elevated rate, you have to go in and quickly reevaluate your breakeven point so you can stay within that number. The one thing on the bottom of this screen, and I know it's very, very blurry, if you can't see it, I apologize, but on this screen it says that this particular carrier has a breakeven point of $2 and 24 cents per mile.

I want you to think about something. If my breakeven point is $2 and 24 cents a mile, the NTI, anybody in here know what I mean when I say NTI? Raise your hand high if you know what I mean by NTI. All right, I want to teach you about something. NTI is a National Truckload Index. It's the average spot market rate all the way across the board. That's something that you have got to know. If your NTI, and I want you to hear what I'm saying, if your NTI is lower than your break even point, there's major problems.

If your NTI is lower than your break-even point, you have major problems and you need to stop and slow down and evaluate your operation. The reason why I say that is because if the NTI is $2 and 25 cents and your break even point is $2 and 50 cents, then no matter what you do when you put yourself in positioning, you have your back against the wall because you fighting up against that. The beauty about your numbers is numbers can be manipulated. And the reason why I say manipulated and I mean manipulated in the very best way, when I say manipulate it is that if you measure it, and if you can measure it, you can improve it. And when I get to the back of this slide, so I'm going to show you some action, I'm going to talk to you something about that, but on the bottom of this screen, my break even point is $2 and 24 cents a mile.

But also within that my projection, I put $245,000 as my projection. So I did that for a reason because the NTI at that point when I did this example was $2 and 41 cents a mile. The average truckload runs about 101,471 miles a year. That's including 8% deadhead miles with all of that is just number related. But from a standpoint of just implications, the one thing I want you to know is I want you to know one, you'll breaking point. So if you leave here today, you've got to learn that that's the most important number that you got to operate. Number two, you need to know this National Truckload Index. You can go online and you can find the ATRI, which is a very, very trusted source. My perspective on a research perspective, they provide great information around that as well.

You need to know what that NTI is. You need to know what you're breaking the point. I'm going to give you one more. You need to know your operational run rate. I'm going to tell you what an operational run rate is from a truckload perspective. If I say at the beginning of the year when I handle my business and I say, "Hey, you know what? This year in 2023, I want average a 20% profit." I have to take my breakeven point and I have to multiply it by what?

Speaker 10: 1.20.

Adam Wingfield: There you go. 1.20, 20%. What that'll do, it'll take me, for example, if my breakeven point is $2 a mile and I say I want to make a 20% profit in 2023, what do I need to make sure that I stay on average, because you're going to win something, you're going to lose something.

What I got to make sure to do when I'm bidding on my loads, when I'm booking my freight or when I'm getting ready to go to my dedicated side, what do I need to make sure that I get on every single load If I want to do a 20% profit and my break-even point is $2 a mile, what do I need y'all? What do I need? What's that? Say it loud so I heard it.

Speaker 10: $2.40.

Adam Wingfield: $2.40. So I know, okay, you know what? Every single load that I booked, I know I'm not going to get $2,40 for it, but I know that average, the NTI right now is $2.41. I know that I'm shooting in that direction. And then what I have to do is as a business owner, I have to reevaluate my business at the end of every opportunity. I've worked in a lot of different... When I was a kid, I used to work in Subway. That was my very first job. I was a sandwich artist.

I was a proud sandwich artist. And I mean that because everything I did, I put a hundred percent into it. No matter what it was. I was a sandwich artist at the age of 15 years old. I was working these long hours, out of labor laws in South Carolina y'all. I'm from South Carolina, so just excuse me. But one of the things that I respected from the owner is that I would make a sandwich and I'm going to give you a little bit of experience and they still to this day do this. So next time you go to Subway, watch them. When you make a sandwich, a foot long comes with four slices of tomatoes. A six inch comes with two slices of tomatoes I'm going to talk to you a little bit about efficiency. So when I would go in and I make my sandwiches like three on the six, I might put five on on a foot and then one day the owner would come in and he would do an evaluation on his business every single week.

The owner, raise your hand again, if you are a fleet owner, raise your hand again. If you're an owner-operator, raise it up high. The owner would do an evaluation on their business every single week. As an owner-operator, you have to evaluate your business every single week. As an owner, you have to evaluate your business every single week. I don't care if you have a trucking company or if you have a subway, you have to evaluate your business every single week. So he would evaluate that business and one day I got pulled into the office, 15 years old. He said, "Adam, we got a food shortage problem." "What the heck does that mean?" "Well, we ordered tomatoes by the case. We're evaluating the amount of sales that we did on a six-inch sandwich and we notice that we're shrinking out tomatoes. Have you noticed any bad tomatoes lately?"

No. "Have you been giving away tomatoes lately?" No. Well, what I've noticed is what he noticed is that because on every single sandwich I added one slice. A tomato only has six slices on it. So for every time I would give an extra slice for six sandwiches, that's one tomato gone. We have to manage our business to the microcosmic level. So what I just said, and I want you to take that away. If you owner-operator and your fleet, at the end of the week when you doing your business and when you're handing your business, you need to handle your business. You need to pull your numbers out, you need to pull your paperwork out. You need to evaluate what the NTI is, do your research, do your breakeven analysis and break it all the way down to the bottom column.

And the thing is that when it comes down to that breakeven analysis, which is so, so beautiful about that, is that it gives you the ability to wiggle room when it's time to negotiate on the contract market because I'm going to tell you the spot market's not where you need to live. The spot market was not designed for you to design your business and run your business around the spot market. For me, the spot market became me. I'm from South Carolina. When I got my first refrige trailer, I did what I thought at that time was the best thing to do.

And now looking back at it was the best decision I ever made on a Sunday morning. One morning I got my reefer trailer sitting out there and I'm from South Carolina and I had these things that they used to make back in the day were they about that high. They were called a child booster seats, but they were yellow and other people call them phone books. So when I would go in and one Sunday I was like, "You know what? I'm going to look up farms. I'm going to look up farms in South Carolina and what I'm going to do is I'm going to call farmers and I'm going to let them know what I do. I've got reefers and I'm going to move prods."

So you know what I did? I picked the phone up, I started calling. I started calling. I started calling. Called a couple of people obviously got, da, da, da. And I got the one person who was pulling strawberries and I'll never forget it. To this day, me and this guy keep in contact to this day, who's a local farmer. He had four farms in the area and he was running produce out of South Carolina up into New York. And we put potatoes, potato is bag. But the spot market was designed to get you back home to your head hall market. Your head hall market is the market that you belong in.

Your head-haul market is your home market. You got to own your backyard. Now I'm going to ask a question and I don't want to answer, but I want you to think about this. Wherever you from, I don't care where you from, wherever you from your business where it's established at, those local distributors, manufacturers, the shippers, if they don't know who you are and what you do, and if you have not made connections with them, then guess what? You are part of the problem. And that's okay because the thing about it is it's cool that we can all do a drive. See the owner-operators back here. Driving a truck is one thing, but owning a company and a business is another thing. We have to start learning how to bridge the gap. That's the one thing that I want us to focus on. So the next thing I want to talk about is staying compliant.

The funny thing about it is that if I got my carrier over here with the M and M's decking, if he's running the operation, he has an safety score and then I've got my partner here, Myron, he's running his operation, he's got an F safety score. You call me and I'm a broker, it ain't apples or apples. He calls me and says, "Hey man, I see the loads you got posted a thousand dollars worth. Hey, this is where I'm sitting at as far as my rates concerned, this is what I can do it for. How about throwing extra $200 on this load and let's make both of those happy when we're walk away." "Yes sir. Cool, let's do it." My own problem with that, not ninety, I'll give you $954 because at that point I'm taking a risk. And the reason why I'm taking a risk and we have to understand why we're taking a risk is because when I pull up his safety score, I look on the FMCS a and I look at their safety.

If everybody in here knows what their safer score is, raise your hands. When I pull up my safer score and when I look at my OOS, which is out of service, and if your vehicle out service or your driver out service is higher than the national average, you are a risk. You are a risk because guess what? I'm a customer. I'm your customer. I'm your customer. I'm your customer. You are a risk to me because if I put the freight on his trailer and he has a 1% out of service rate, but I put it on his trailer and he has a 75% out of service rate, I'm taking a risk because the chances are is if he pulls into a waste station, he can that red light, guess what they going to do? They're going to sit his butt down for at least 10 hours because it's something that's going on.

And at that point it's messing up that relationship. It's not apples to apples. So we've got to manage our business correctly. You want to make more money, improve your safety scores. You want to make more money, be compliant, run your business. That's the next thing. And when it comes to compliance, there are other components that measure that when you're doing that, because if you're a single truck owner-operator right now, I know your vision is not to sit behind the wheel of the truck for the rest of your life. I know you want to escape. I know you want to do better. I know you want to produce better results. I know you want to change your family's trajectory. I know that. I've been there. I know what's inside of you. I know what you're thinking, but you can't do that when you're not monitoring and managing the micro components of your business.

That's important. So when it's comes to stay compliant, especially, especially if you are a fleet owner, you got to make sure you got to look at the things that are being measured the most. The FMCSA is dialing in and doubling down on enforcement. I hate to tell you this, they're doubling down on enforcement and no, I don't like propaganda and I'm not going to sit out here and spit it to you. They do not want to put you out of business. When I'm on the highways and byways and I'm going past my fellow owner-operators MV in my car, when I go past your fleets in my car, I want to make sure that we ride side by side and the people that's in the car with me is just as safe as I am.

And that's what it's part of. So know what your safety route score is, and if you don't know, go to the FMCSA website, go to the Safer site, pull up your Safer, go into that and pull your safety scores up. And if you don't know how to do that, please, I'll give you the contact information, how to get in contact with me at the end of this presentation. Reach out to me and I'm going to help you find out how to get your safety scores up. So when it comes to a marketplace like this, you have to be competitive. Staying competitive is an opportunity to do better. Now, the one thing I want you to tell you too is that you have to have a differentiator. Something has to differentiate you from somebody else.

If I pull my truck up right now to a shipper or receiver, however side of the coin you want to play, if I pull my Peterbilt up and my 53-foot dry van up, Schneider's right beside me, there's no difference. Same truck, same trailer, same goal, same end goal. But what Schneider has is they have a competitive differentiator over me as a small business owner. As a small business owner, I have to come to the table with a lot stronger metrics in order to lock down that customer. One of the focuses that I want to have with you when you leave here is I want you to focus on running your own business with small businesses as well. The next thing you have to do is you have to predict your maintenance. There's a difference between predictive maintenance and breakdown maintenance. There's some people in this room that only focus on fixing their truck when it breaks down, and that's cool.

It's not. You have to predict your maintenance, especially when you buy a used truck in these marketplaces. The one thing that makes me extremely nervous last year when truck prices went vertical, what was happening is that they were selling the bottom of the barrel. Yeah, whatever they had left, whatever they had left they were selling. You go to a dealership back in 2022, 2021 and you trying to get a truck, you buying the bottom of the barrel. And the thing about that is that when you go out and you purchase a used truck, before you even buy that truck, and one of the examples that were made last night is you have to tell yourself and you have to talk to yourself as a business owner. Take that CEO hat, put the CFO hat on together and you need to tell yourself that I need to prove to myself why I should not buy this truck versus why I should buy this truck.

So when it comes to talking about predicting your maintenance on this screen right now are recommended services. For me in my operation, the one thing that I wanted to make sure I did is I over promise my service levels. Even if Detroit says, "Hey, you ain't got to bring this thing down in for 16,000 miles for a PMA, I'm putting it in maybe 10 to 12,000 miles 'cause I want somebody else's eyes on it besides myself. I've got a baby that truck, especially if I got 600, 700, 800,000 miles on it, I got to take care of it. I got to make sure that what I'm doing is what I'm doing. Your DPF system y'all, and I'm going to tell you something. DPF system has spelled death to two trucks to me personally.

I left a truck in Connecticut because I bought a 2012. I'll never forget it. I left it in Connecticut because at that point, during that time, 2012 Max Force... Yeah, I know, I heard that. I'd leave it, because they could not figure it out. But the thing about it is you have two things that you're responsible for when it comes to a DPF system. You're going to do a non-thermal and you're going to do a thermal cleaning. Those are the things that you have to do. If you have any issues, and we're going to talk about fuel here in a minute, one of the primary cohorts of your fuel, if you over sucking fuel because that doser valve is not dosing anymore, it's not doing what it's supposed to do, that doser valve, you need to be looking at as opportunity to change it every 150, 200,000. But these are the things that we have to do as fleet owners and I get it. You're an owner-operator. You're a single truck guy.

You got a lot of things on your plate, but you make the decision to be a business owner, you got to put that CEO hat on and act like it. These are some of the things that come with it. Fries come with this shape when you buy it. So at this point, we have to take these intervals and we've got to make sure we plan these intervals within your ELDs. I recommend planning it with an ELD because it make it easy to me, however you want to do it, whatever you do automatically. It's like some of the things that I do. I have an iPhone, which is the superior phone when it comes to Android, Apple phone, but in my iPhone, I have to put intervals for just about everything that I need to do.

Put interval for, "Hey, you know what? It's time to read. It's time to read tonight. It's time to read your 10 pages tonight. Interval, right. Hey, you know what? It's time to go out and turn the water off." You should have intervals set for every single component of your maintenance because what you don't spend, you get to keep. And some of these maintenance things like tire blowouts and things like that, I get it. A lot of that stuff's preventable. You see that stuff? If you eyeball that stuff and take that pre-trip inspection a little bit more seriously, you might catch something on a pre-trip that can save you on down the line. It'll save you from that crippling tow bill. I'll never forget, and I got to get through this, I'll never forget the worst tow bill that I had and we can call it predator return. I blame myself for it. My truck broke down there, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

I got it towed up to Enfield, North Carolina. So if you know how close that is, you can google it yourself. I don't know, it's probably about less than a 20-minute route. That tow cost me $1,700. When you are out here and you not doing what you got to do or if you out here in a position where you got to take care of yourself, they going to get theirs. So I have to do a better job of making sure I position myself so I'm not going to sit in a position where I'm going to have a breakdown. So do your best. The next one, solidify your relationships. Now is not the time to double down on the complainant. It's neither time to double down on the people that are taken care of you. I'm going to say this and I'll say it a thousand times in the next 10 minutes if I have to. Are there bad brokers? Yes. Are they great mid brokers? Absolutely. Are there good owner-operators and good fleet owners? Absolutely. Are there some bad ones? Hell, yes.

Now is the time to solidify these relationships because this is not going to be like this forever. I promise you. You can come find me two years later if we're still in the same boat and I will do whatever I need to do to make sure that you get out of this. But you need to solidify those relationships. Relationships are the new currency y'all. And I'm not talking about the relationships on the CB radio either. I'm not talking about the relationships when we sitting at the truck stop and we're just going around and a round table, I'm thinking that this conversation, this truck stop is going to make things better. You are sitting in the world's largest truck show, but you are not here as a fleet owner to walk around and be entertained. You need to get out here and if you have not been to the West Wing and you stop and you talk to these folks and you tell them exactly what you do and you build the relationships down there, you are selling yourself short.

You got about seven hours today to where you can maximize the opportunity for you to go out there and solidify relationships and they know exactly what the hell you do. We have to take control of that and we have to be better about that in running our business and solidifying those relationships. I can't tell you how important relationships within this industry have changed my life. I don't brag, I don't boast. I don't say things to impress you. I say things to impress upon you. You can Google Adam L. Wingfield Truck and it'll tell you everything you need to know. I've been here. I rolled my sleeves up. I got the T-shirt. I've almost went out of business twice until I figured it out. Until I figured out that the thing about it is that I can sit here and complain or I can go in here and have the right relationships and change things around. I was in that FMCSA listening session yesterday and I'm going to get off my high horse. It's a full house, packed room.

Todd Dills: Wingfield is referring there to the Broker Regs related listening session that took place the day prior, Friday, March the 31st. Catch reporting on it from earlier in the week at overdriveonline.com.

Adam Wingfield: Standing room only. I had to stand over in that corner right there. You know why? Because it's easier for us to complain, but it's harder for us to double down within our business and figure out what we need to control and the things that we can do. I'm going to tell you that if you focus on solidifying relationships, it's going to help you improve your business. The next step y'all, I'm going to tell you, I hated this. I was a company driver for Schneider in the very beginning. Yeah, I heard that. And we were governed at 63 miles an hour.

Todd Dills: That right there was the sound of Adam's right foot coming down hard on the stage as he mimicked the driver's pose, arms straight out on the wheel.

Adam Wingfield: Foot on the floor, pumpkin truck going down the highway, 63 miles an hour, God forbid. And another pumpkin truck pulls up beside me and tries to pass me. And we're both, and we are still like this for about 10 miles down the highway and it didn't register to me. And I never forget. The only reason, and I'm going to tell you one of the main reasons why I wanted to buy a truck so early just 'cause I just wanted to go faster. I did. I wanted to go faster. I wanted to get a truck and hell yeah, I want to put my foot to the floor. So I did just that. I did just that.

And boy, when I started swiping that fuel card, I was like, man, something gotta give, something gotta give. The crazy thing about that is that the average national diesel price changes, up and down. It's a variable expense for you. It's one of those costs that the diesel prices you can not control. Okay? I hate to break this to you. No matter what you say, no matter how many Facebook rants that you do, no matter how many people you blame for it, you can't control that. As a business owner, I am a control freak freak.

Somebody missed that. As a business owner, I am a control freak. I focus on every single thing that I absolutely control. The things I can't control, get the hell out of my face with. I'm not interested in them because I know the things that I can control, I'm going to double down my focus and my efforts on. National average of diesel fuel about two weeks ago, and this was back two weeks ago, it was $4 and 24 cents a gallon. If you were paying that during that particular timeframe or anything above that, there's two things that I need you to do and there's one thing that I'm going to show you example of.

When I was driving for Schneider, this is one of the things I hated too. I had a Qualcomm, if you remember that Qualcomm reminds you of a beep, big beep, that's all it was. One screen had a red light at the top. Sometimes you use that red light to see if you would get a load the next day, whatever, whatever. Anyway, I would get a load. If you running from Megan, you know what I'm talking about. I will get a load from Charlotte to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It'll give you the load information. It will give you the second thing it will give. You what it was? Was the second thing you think came across that spring when that load came across. Say it out loud if you know what I'm talking about. [inaudible 00:36:55] Say it loud.

Speaker 10: Fuel stops.

Adam Wingfield: Fuel stops. Either A, you go to the fuel stops that we tell you to go to or B, you try to go to another one of those fuel stops and we don't tell you to go to and you put that card in, that's your embarrassment, not mine. They did that because number one, they had volume discounts so they was able to get that fuel cost and that's the one thing that they were able to control. They couldn't control the pump price, but they can control the pump selection. When you go on a trip, you got a trip plan. And if that means, and Al, my best friend, we use a team drive. We get from Monroe to Tracy in a day and a half. By the time we get up to Tracy, California, I would hiss him off because he's a convenience person. I'm a control freak, sometimes convenience and control clash.

He was a convenience person. Hey man, remember, hey, we going to Disney World, we're going to drive into that thing. It's empty. When it gets empty, we're going to stop wherever we're going to stop, we're going to fill it on up. It is what it is. But as a control freak, I'm going to look at the very cheapest fuel station that I possibly can find in the highest fuel market and I'm going to get just enough gallons to get me the hell up out of here.

And if that meant that if I'm up in northern California and I'm only buying 35 gallons of diesel fuel to get me a little bit further out of here and that's what I'm going to do, discipline is everything as a business owner and sometimes you have to extend your discipline in order to get where you need to go. Did you know? Let me bring this up too. So it goes back to my point. Did you know that if you drive 75 miles an hour, the truck that you just zoomed past in a hurry get to the next load or in hurry, get wherever to the bathroom, whatever, that truck that you just zoomed past is saving 27% more diesel fuel than you are. As a fleet owner, as an owner-operator, did you know that you're going to buy about 14 to 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year.

Your job is to lower the amount of diesel fuel that you're purchasing. So this is a calculator that we use. I'm a calculator guy. I'm an analytics guy because if I can measure it, I can approve it. So we use this calculator from when it ever came up to a trip plan because with this calculator, it'll tell us based on how much we have left in the fuel tank, how far we can get to our first fuel up. So just like in this, for example here, I got 340 miles to get my first fill up. So if I'm in Miami, Florida, I can almost go clear to Jacksonville before I got to fill up again.

And these are the things that we have to do is we have to double down on the things we control and we got to take the time to trip plan and we have to be the mindset of the mega. If you want the results, if you want mega results, you got to think of the mindsets of the mega, what the mega carries on what they do, just duplicate it. I'm not asking you to be a fan of them. I don't care if you like them or not, but these are the companies that are bringing success and able to scale your business. You might want to take something and learn from. The next thing is you need to check your attitude. Your attitude determines your altitude.

Back when I was a young buck, trucking was different. If you've been in this industry as long as I haven't, I'm looking in this room. I know there's some OGs in this room that's been in it longer than I have, but it was different. I can go down the highway and a driver blow a tire. I'm taking it over to that left lane to make sure that you got that room. I'm going down and I'm at a shipper or a receiver, and if I see a new driver struggling with backing into a dock, instead of me getting on a CB or getting on Facebook or TikTok and filming them, "Hey, look at this dumb ass", getting out there to help him. We lost that. We lost our way. It's cooler now to make fun of somebody than it is to go and help somebody. But you know what? But you know what? Karma is a you know what.

Some of us are struggling because it's karma. Check your attitude and change your attitude because when you change your attitude, you'll change your altitude. My message back in 2000, when I first started in this industry, I delivered my first load right here in this city. I stepped out and I went into the truck stop and I looked around and I looked at the faces, I looked at the people, I looked at the pain and I said, you know what? I don't care what I want to do. I wanted to own a hundred trucks at one point. That changed quickly because I wanted to impact more people. I wanted you to know that you could be successful in this industry if you double down, if you focus on your education. So what I wanted to do, and what I still want to do to this day is I want to leave this industry in a better place than I found it.

How many people in this room have heard of me before? Raise your hand high if you've ever heard of me. That will change. I promise you. And you're going to hear about me for the right reasons because I'm going to be in your business without you even knowing about it. You are going to start focusing on your break even points to ensure that you're running better. You're going to get on the phone with these brokers and you're going to have better conversations. You're going to understand what your operational run rate is and you're going to be able to manipulate that so that you can help make yourself a profit. Number seven is learn your lanes. If you ever heard the word the term yesterday's price is not today's price, is never more evident than now. The lane that you was running that you would get a three and $4 a mile. That lane ain't doing that no more. So now I have to learn a different lane.

DAT does a phenomenal podcast every single Tuesday. And one of the benefits that you have that I didn't have when I was coming up in this industry is you have technology. Podcasts are phenomenal and it's not just about trucking podcasts that I recommend you listening to. You need to be pulling any business development podcast you possibly can listen to. My favorite business development podcast is Donald Miller, Business Made Simple, not Trucking Made Simple, not Brokering Loads Made Simple, Business Made Simple.

And my last, but not least: mind your damn business. And what I mean by mind your damn business, I'm going to go back to what I saw yesterday. I get it. Tensions are high. It's always that way. Rates go down. Brokers are screwing us. Rates go up, hell you going to stick it to the problems. Get it, get all that. I don't want to talk about that, but you need to mind your damn business because if you are the same person that can sit up here and complain about that, you need to be the same person that understands what your break even point is.

You need to have that same energy about sitting down every single week, every week as a business owner and reevaluating your business. Do you do quarterly forecasting as an owner-operator? Do you do quarterly for forecasting as a fleet owner? Do you do end of the year planning? You got a website? You have social media? If the answer is no, mind's your damn business. We've got to get better at being better business owners. We got to get better at being more prudent. You, the CEO of your company, I don't care if you got one truck or if you're like Night Swift Transportation now has 98,000 trailers. Your CEO hat and the CEO over there is the same size hat. We put our pants on the same way. I'm no different than anybody else in the room. I don't care what your background is, I don't care where you came from.

I don't care how much money you got in your pocket. You can sit down there and have a conversation about trucking and I'll run circles around you and I mean that from the bottom of my heart because I want you to be able to do the same thing. I want you to win. I want you to survive. I want you to weather the storm, but you got to check your attitude and you have to mind your damn business. And I want to get better at that. And if you focus on being a better business owner, the results will change. I'm going to leave you with this quick story. Really quick. Three minutes. And I don't know if he's in the room, I can't see, these lights right as hell, but one of my mentees, he asked me last week on a call, "He said, coach, I got a question for you. When do you realize that you were successful?"

I think, not really sure. The reason why is it led me to this story. So I'm an athlete. I don't know if you can tell it or not, but it is what it is. And you can get 43. You look like me too. When I was was a big track star. It was my thing. I was a track athlete, I was a hoof. I retired from hoofing. I also retired from track too, but I'll never forget. So quick story. I lost my mother when I was 11 years old. May 17th, 1990. I want you to remember that date. The state championship meet in 1997 came very quickly during my state championship game. I had a high ankle sprain and if you know anything about track, it overlaps at basketball. So I had high ankle sprain, those things would suck. And all year I had to run with an ankle bracelet on, well not bracelet, but an ankle brace that was about that high.

And being the jock that I was, I was never used to losing. Every single meet that I ran in, I got 100% blasted to the point I was embarrassed. I was a 100-meter dash runner and I get down in the blocks, everybody's finishing, I'm just coming across, hot and across the lane. I ran all year like that. I didn't win one race. I don't even think I placed in any race. May 17th, 1997, Skizer State Championship, you can Google this and you'll find that too. May 17th, you remember, my mother passed away? May 17th, 1990, May 17th, 1997. I woke up that morning in Charleston, South Carolina in State Championship meet. Stomach was on fire because I was nervous as hell. I get into the meet and my coach said, "Hey, Wingfield." "Yes coach." "You're in heat one." "What?" "You're in heat one. Come, get on it. Heat one." If anybody know anything about track, heat one is where it's at.

And I'm getting in there and I'm getting in the blocks and my whole attitude sunk. And it sunk because I look to the left and I look to the right and I look in the stands and I see how many people are in there. And I'm thinking to myself, man, I'm about to get embarrassed in front of everybody. My father was in the stands, who was the most important person in my life and still is to this day. He passed away as well, but he's still the most important person in my life. My father was in the stands at that race. That was the only race that he was ever able to come to. And I'm like, "This coach has put me in this thing and I'm about to get embarrassed again." So if you know anything, if you got any track athletes in there, you get to the line and dude is shaking their legs. I'm sitting there, looking at these dudes shaking their legs and I'm like, "Shit."

So I just took a deep breath and I want you to take this parallel to Weathering the Storm. Took a deep breath and I shed a tear and I said, "I'm about to embarrass myself, but I just hope that I can finish." So I get on the line, I got to wrap it up. I got video shoot. VHS is kind of grained up. I'm running. In my mind, you know what I'm thinking about. All right, somebody's getting ready to pass me. 10 yards, had this big bulky ass brace on too. 10 yards. Somebody's about to pass me. 30 yards, somebody's about to pass me. 40 yards, somebody's about to pass me. But you know what I never did. I never did that.

Todd Dills: He never looked side to side or behind him to see who was coming on.

Adam Wingfield: I never did that. So I'm just running. I'm focused. I want you to understand why I'm coming with this story. I'm focused. I'm focused, still running, 60 yards. All right Adam, somebody's getting ready to pass you because this is usually the point where things of shit just go sideways. 70 yards. Nobody pass me. 80 yards, I can see the finish line from here to the projector. I just need to get to the finish line. Hunter. Boom. I break the tape. I'm like, "Oh shit." But you know what? When I broke this tape and I slowed down, I turned around. They were still coming. I dominated the only race that year, which probably was emotionally driven. But the one thing I was focused on so much is I was focused on the finish line and I was focused on running all the way through. So when it comes to this, it's easy to be like broker shippers.

Everybody's out to screw me. Everybody wants to use some truckers. Nobody wants to be successful. You got all that stuff that's going left and right of you, but your why should be the finish line. And if your why is big enough, your how to figure it out. My name is Adam Wingfield. I hope you have a great day and I want you to be successful. I want you to take what I told you and not take it personally. I love every single one of you in this room and the reason why I love you is because you've been there where I've been and I just want you to be successful. Have a great Saturday.

Todd Dills: I do imagine indeed that we'll hear more from Mr. Wingfield and his Innovative Logistics Group in the coming weeks, months, and years. You can find the outfit with a focus on mentoring, audit support, business organization, and more for owner-operators and small fleets via innovativelogisticsgroupllc.com and the business's social profiles.

Now, onto that talk with Rob Howes who we heard briefly from last week about what the company was doing this year at the Mid-American Trucking show, plans for its next Howes Hall of Fame Induction and more. But more importantly perhaps Rob Howes' Company President and Chief Testing Officer spoke to results of a recent survey Howes put out to its customer base as well as those among its broader contacts about their fuel treatment patterns, finding that a majority do in fact treat their fuel with something year round. Here's Rob Howes speaking to those survey results.

Rob Howes:Well, the nice thing about having as large of a following as we do is that we can lean on them on a regular basis for just insights on the industry, our products or any of the above. And currently our email database consists of around 10,000 truckers, so that's where we sent this survey out to got a fair number of responses in it. We do things like this every once in a while to get updates and everything. This was a larger survey that we did and had a lot of participation. Some of the interesting things that came out of it were some insights on how many are actually dealing with cold weather. Now we expected it to be a little higher because it's our customers and we're known as one of the top anti gel diesel additives, and diesel additives [inaudible 00:53:58]. Yeah. So it wasn't surprising to see as many as 80% seeing temperatures below freezing. Now I expect that, A, because they're close customers, B, because the weather patterns lately have been pretty, I mean low in the country. You've seen low temperatures, freezing temperatures down as low as South Carolina over.

Todd Dills: Here in sunny Nashville, Tennessee, it's sunny today anyway, back in late December too, it's hard to forget a day here with a high of plus two degrees Fahrenheit. No heat, power out too. Anyhow.

Rob Howes: The other insight that came out of it was we asked a question of how often are you treating? Are you treating year round? Are you treating just in the winter? Because so many people seeing cold temperatures. All right, are you just using an anti gel or are you handling field problems throughout. More than we expected we're treating year round from our respondents, but again, close customers. So it's likely that they're following our advice and treating throughout the year. 73% is what we had, we're treating year round. What concerns me about that, and I know just from shows like Mid-America and others talking to customers that a lot of people aren't treating year round. And if we have 20, what is that 7% that aren't treating year round, just on our own survey, how many outside of a close dedicated diesel additive user are treating year round.

And the reason that's concerning is because of the fuel issues that we're having now. A lot of calls that we get, and we're very good about picking up the phone if you give us a call during hours, there's always somebody that's going to answer and talk to you. We hear a lot of questions about fuel quality and problems that have already happened. You get a call and it's, "Oh, my filter's black or there's stuttering and I can't figure out what's going on. Your products, can you help?" So on and so forth. And some of the questions coming in now are, "Are fuels getting worse or is it just me?"

And the answer is no yes, yes no. The reason being is fuel, once we switched to ULSD, obviously you lost a bunch of lubricity, but since then they've been trying to create a lot of alternative fuels. So you end up with fuels like biodiesel and more recently renewable diesel. Biodiesel, it fixes issues. You don't have to rely on traditional refineries and the process behind it. You can grow it. It's a renewable fuel of itself. The problem is it has a whole bunch of negatives. So the first and foremost being cold temperatures. You're going to gel up at 40 degrees and above if you're using a straight bio. So they started mixing smaller percentages in there, and it's becoming extremely common. 5% is almost a guarantee at this point. 20% is getting pretty common. They dial it back usually in the winter, but some states don't. And then you see people gelling up more often. The bio portion of the program is really hard to treat. When you're treating with a traditional anti gel additive, you're treating the petro side. The more bio you add in it, the potential for more problems in the winter. But that's not just the cold weather that's a problem. It's also the water that it draws in, which remember that whole, "Oh, my filter's black." Your filter's black because you have a bacteria problem, and that's because you have a water problem. So water creates a home for the bacteria and the fuel is a food source. So once it gets in there, it causes all kinds of havoc. They multiply, you get black filters, it comes up and you might think you gelled up, you didn't. Well or you did, but it's a whole different kind of gel.

The one good thing about bio is that it added a lot of lubricity. However, because of all the other problems, the industry said, "All right, well what if we hydro treat this fuel?" Which means the best analogy for that would be distilling water or distilling if you like it, Vodka. You're taking all the impurities out. Same concept here. It's a whole different process, but it's a good analogy at least. So a hydro treated is called renewable diesel, and that's a new thing coming and it acts more like petro. In that better colder weather handling you can see down to zero again from 40. They can make it better than that using a really complicated process that I won't go into. But the cold weather being fixed, it also pulls the water out being super hydro treated. So you end up with less bacteria problems.

The bad news about that, you're also pulling out all the things that help like lubricity side. So now you're back to, it's actually worse lubricity than petro. So now you need to add all that back in. Every fuel has its own problem. That's the point. The other thing is you don't know which fuel they're putting in your truck at any time. So they don't have to tell you that they're adding renewable. They don't have to tell you that they're adding bio. A lot of them will, and especially if you ask. So it could be different each filling? When they get a new delivery, it could come from a different supplier. Even if it's from the same supplier, it could just be a different blend and you really don't know what you're getting at any time. And different refineries do different things too.

You see better and worse cuts anti gel for petro diesel. There are fuels that are easier to treat and there fuels that are harder to treat, just by the cut of the fuel from the refinery. It's called narrowband and broadband fuels. So you may have an issue and think that it's a product related thing or it's a fuel related thing and you get the same fuel a week later and you don't have that problem.

Because it's a different fuel or at least, yep, a different cut. So one product that we've been talking about a lot lately is our Diesel Defender, and that's what we consider our summertime additive or just warm weather additive, heavy duty injector cleaner, lubricity, additive. The nice thing about Defender is it fixes a problem regardless of what fuel you're using or blend of fuels. It adds lubricity back in the fuel where you have a renewable diesel cut in there, you're going to solve that problem. If you have biodiesel, it's going to help clean out the system. Super dirty fuel, you need extra detergent. If you have a regular petrodiesel, pretty much does all the above. Petro is not as bad in any of the bad categories, but it sells all the same problems. Your OSD has been known for lubricity problems. No matter what you do, it does something.

Todd Dills: Your winter additive, the Diesel Treat product, it's my understanding that it does have the anti gel character to it, but it also to an extent does the same things that Defender would do.

Rob Howes: It does. It's what we call the maintenance dose or a keep clean. What is in Diesel Treat is the same IDX4 detergent, we just don't put that on the bottle because it's not the full dosage of it. What it is it'll keep you clean throughout the winter. Defender has enough in it to actually clean up existing problems. And that's a key distinction because you want to treat with something in the summertime, you want to clean it up. The fuel's a little bit better in the summertime so use that opportunity to clean the whole system out, get your fuel mileage back up. It actually brings up an interesting point about cetane and a lot of products out there have cetane and people search for that and they want specifically out of it power. What are the other things that they say it's going to do?

It's going to clean up the fuel. You get more mileage, better, stronger, faster, all that stuff. The interesting thing about cetane is it doesn't do those things. It does help with some stuff, specifically cold starts, but all the products that really tout cetane seem to be summertime additives, which is weird to me. Your biggest benefit from a cetane boost would be in the winter.

It also does clean up the burning a little bit. A little bit better burning. So you might feel a little smoother when you're using it, but it's more about the cold starts even then that. The bad news about cetane is it takes a ton of cetane improver to actually improve fuel. So if you usually you're looking for about a five point boost-

Todd Dills: A five point boost in cetane number that is. To get that, Rob Howes went on.

Rob Howes: You need about 60 ounces of cetane improver for 320 gallons. That would be the entire bottle of product essentially would have to be cetane, which is a specific chemical that people are using. Very bad chemicals. The problem, it absorbs into the skin. It you inhale it can cause feinting. It can cause-

Todd Dills: Dangerous to work with, right?

Rob Howes: Yes. But the other fun thing about that is cetane itself, the chemical there will go through what we like to call a temperature runaway or a thermal runaway. What can happen is if it hits certain temperatures and they can be under a hundred degrees, it can start increasing rapidly and without control, until it eventually catches fire, explodes, et cetera. So there is a rule out there that you can't have more than 15% in a retail product or you have to treat it as if it's a hundred percent cetane.

So it's almost guaranteed, unless you're buying a bottle of 250 ounce or something, you're not going to see much of a cetane boost because it's less than 5%. In the end, I don't mean to bash cetane. The point that I'm making is that we don't have cetane in our products, but there's a reason for that. It's very caustic, it's very problematic to people and it doesn't do much. What we focus on is our detergent package and our lubricity to give those benefits that you were looking for to begin with. When you're looking for more power, that's what Diesel Defender provides. If you're looking for the lubricity, that's what diesel provide. Cleaner burning, that's what Diesel Defender provides.

We do all that without the harmful chemical. What we hear from customers and what we see in the lab as well as was we run test vehicles, we perform quite a bit of testing on a regular basis. What we're talking about is really extending the life of the parts. So when you're looking at lubricity and the cleanup side of things, the detergency, what you're trying to do is extend that component, whether it's injectors or fuel lines, fuel pumps, they all wear over time. When you have low lubricity fuel, fuel pumps, they're going to wear quicker. Even the injectors themselves wear quicker because it's more friction on there, more heat.

The deposits that are cleaned up by Defender help extend the life there as well. You get better spray patterns. You don't have to replace them as often, and that's also what gives you better fuel mileage because you have the proper spray pattern, you're burning the fuel correctly because it's the right fuel to air mixture in there. If you're cleaning the system out, you're burning fuel cleaner, you're going to have less output, which means you're going to have less regent cycles required. A monitored service is not time driven. It's based on how much air is making it through, how much fuel is making it through. If you don't dirty it as much, you're not going to have to clean it as much. And that's what a regent cycle really is. It's burning off the excess. So.

Todd Dills: So do you treat your fuel? And if so, only in the winter or year-round? In the post that houses this podcast for April 7th, 2023, find a poll question to that effect. Replicating Howes internal surveying toward perhaps figuring out what the broader numbers are among owner-operators. Answer those questions for me on our podcast message line at 615-852-8530 and leave your name and mailing address and I'll send you a bottle of Howes Diesel Defender among other products from Howes. That's 615 852 8530. Here's a big thanks to Rob Howes and Adam Wingfield, both for the time and insights here this week. Next week we'll dive in with our March Truckers of the Month, the team of Tim and Shelley Pulli in their three truck food grade sugar hauling fleet out of the Chicago area. Congrats to them on the nod, putting them in the running for our 2023 Trucker of the Year Award.