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Old 10-08-2010, 07:06 PM
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Default 900 mile deadhead

I was sitting in Calgary, AB and didn't see any good loads on the board. Called a few agents - nothing. Then I started looking for loads in nearby Canadian provinces ... and finally found a flatbed load around Winnipeg, MB, 900 miles away from me. It paid $2,400 for 900 loaded miles from MB to Montana. Having nothing better to do, I plugged in the numbers in Google Maps and determined the trip from Calgary to the shipper to the consignee was 1,800 miles. So I got the Agent's email address from the online directory and made an offer to move this for $2/mi for ALL MILES. Guess what? They said yes! With the wind blowing in the back, I did 8.5 MPG US cruising from Alberta to Manitoba at 62 MPH. Picked up the load and instead of the 20,000 lbs described in the bill of lading, it was only 4,000 lbs. So, I hope to get some great fuel mileage on the way to Montana too. Anyone ever deadhead this much? I guess the morale of this story is that sometimes when the shipper posts a cheap rate for a load in a "dead" area, they are shooting themselves in the foot and will not be able to find drivers willing to take it. When this is the case we shouldn't be afraid to give them our own price, no matter how high it might seem at first. You don't lose anything by asking.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:01 PM
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Good for you man! We all need some good things every now and then.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:40 PM
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Good going Tracer thats the way to do it at Landstar. Know YOUR rate and try your hardest to get it. After a while if you use the same agents they'll know what you'll work for and what you won't.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracer View Post
I was sitting in Calgary, AB and didn't see any good loads on the board. Called a few agents - nothing. Then I started looking for loads in nearby Canadian provinces ... and finally found a flatbed load around Winnipeg, MB, 900 miles away from me. It paid $2,400 for 900 loaded miles from MB to Montana. Having nothing better to do, I plugged in the numbers in Google Maps and determined the trip from Calgary to the shipper to the consignee was 1,800 miles. So I got the Agent's email address from the online directory and made an offer to move this for $2/mi for ALL MILES. Guess what? They said yes! With the wind blowing in the back, I did 8.5 MPG US cruising from Alberta to Manitoba at 62 MPH. Picked up the load and instead of the 20,000 lbs described in the bill of lading, it was only 4,000 lbs. So, I hope to get some great fuel mileage on the way to Montana too. Anyone ever deadhead this much? I guess the morale of this story is that sometimes when the shipper posts a cheap rate for a load in a "dead" area, they are shooting themselves in the foot and will not be able to find drivers willing to take it. When this is the case we shouldn't be afraid to give them our own price, no matter how high it might seem at first. You don't lose anything by asking.

The longest that I can remember deadheading is 2,289 miles. One thing that I have found over the years is that unless you ask you will never know whether you can get a better rate unless you ask. If more people asked they might be surprised at the rate they could get.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:39 AM
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I've done deadheads like Gman. Part of the game in high $ freight.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracer View Post
I was sitting in Calgary, AB and didn't see any good loads on the board. Called a few agents - nothing. Then I started looking for loads in nearby Canadian provinces ... and finally found a flatbed load around Winnipeg, MB, 900 miles away from me. It paid $2,400 for 900 loaded miles from MB to Montana. Having nothing better to do, I plugged in the numbers in Google Maps and determined the trip from Calgary to the shipper to the consignee was 1,800 miles. So I got the Agent's email address from the online directory and made an offer to move this for $2/mi for ALL MILES. Guess what? They said yes! With the wind blowing in the back, I did 8.5 MPG US cruising from Alberta to Manitoba at 62 MPH. Picked up the load and instead of the 20,000 lbs described in the bill of lading, it was only 4,000 lbs. So, I hope to get some great fuel mileage on the way to Montana too. Anyone ever deadhead this much? I guess the morale of this story is that sometimes when the shipper posts a cheap rate for a load in a "dead" area, they are shooting themselves in the foot and will not be able to find drivers willing to take it. When this is the case we shouldn't be afraid to give them our own price, no matter how high it might seem at first. You don't lose anything by asking.
Good for you, you're learning. Try to do this for every load, they'll pay a reasonable rate when they need to move it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
The longest that I can remember deadheading is 2,289 miles. One thing that I have found over the years is that unless you ask you will never know whether you can get a better rate unless you ask. If more people asked they might be surprised at the rate they could get.
Got that right. Since I went totally on my own at the end of August I have learned a lot about this business. The most important thing I've learned........... Patience, Patience, Patience. Especially trying to get out of Baltimore. I will not run this truck at cost to get out of this area. So far I've managed to do very well getting out of Baltimore, but it takes work.

What really amazes me is when I call on a load and they quote me the rate and their not even interested in negotiating. Next thing you know it's gone off the board, and I sit there just astounded that some one would take it.

That's why in the other thread I posted about UTI. I've never called UTI and got even close to a reasonable rate quote, and they are never willing to budge, next thing you know the load is gone. Freakin idiots.

Same thing goes on in every business, this one is just faster paced.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:52 PM
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When you know that a broker only has cheap freight you could stop calling them. As I believe that I have posted previously, I have limited the number of companies that I normally do business. I will occasionally do business with someone new if my old contacts do not have something. It takes time to establish yourself and find good people with which to do business. If you start out not taking cheap freight you will save yourself a lot of time. In fact, I don't even waste my time on brokers who call with cheap freight. There is more double brokering going on these days than ever before. I have found that most of the time when a broker offers a cheap rate it is because they have either under bid the load to get the business or double brokered the load. Unless it is a new broker it is most likely double brokered. In any case, they can find someone else to take it.

Rates are down about everywhere. I don't know of anyone who is getting the rates they would like on every load, but you can keep on trying and stay away from those loads which don't have any profit in them. One problem new people have starting out is that they don't understand how the freight market operates and what it costs them to operate their business. Many will take what is offered because they are afraid to sit. After all, they have expenses and don't want to take a chance of not having any money to pay bills. Cash flow doesn't necessarily mean that you are making a profit. I can't see operating at a loss while everyone else involved in the load makes money. I would prefer to either sit for a day or deadhead out. Without the truck no one makes money. We need to change out attitude about this business. The shipper cannot get his raw products without a truck. He cannot ship his finished product without a truck. The broker cannot make his commission without the truck. Now, you would think that something that is so integral to the success of everyone would be able to demand and receive a fair rate. It is unfortunate that many don't value their time or service. You don't need to give your services away to stay busy. If you go to an area you know is bad for freight then get a good enough rate going in to afford to deadhead to a better freight area. If you ask for a decent rate you have lost nothing if you don't get the load. If the shipper or broker accepts the rate then you have a good load. Every load is a negotiation.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
Every load is a negotiation.
With this particular load there's at least 2 middlemen involved that I'm aware of: my agent and then some big brokerage she kept referring to as "our customer". When I offered to move this load for my own rate, it took them awhile to re-negotiate with the actualy shipper. I think rates would improve dramatically if only ONE broker/agent was allowed to sell the freight. Shipper - Broker - Driver. Not: Shipper - Broker 1 - Broker 2 - Agent 1 - Agent 2 - Agent 3 - Driver It's like passing a piece of cake through a line of hungry people - by the time the cake reaches the end of the line (the driver), only 1/10 of the original is left. The only way to beat this is to bring my asking rate to a profitable minimum. Then if the shipper really wants to move the load, he or she will put pressure on the middlemen and they stop biting big chunks off the "cake" Working directly with shippers of course is another way to get a fair rate but for now I have to work through Landstar agents.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:54 PM
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Just a curiosity...Was that $2.00 a mile the whole rate, or your cut?
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