I recently posted a question on Truckers Report regarding new or used vehicles. I’m hearing that used is the better way for now. My company has just lost our contract with Belvedere Chrysler in Belvedete, IL. I understood a few years ago that it wasn’t a high $$ contract to begin with. Apparently the manufacturer asked us for another rate reduction. Every time you turn around manufacturers are always trying to get transporters to reduce their rates. Not sure who under bid us. I know we lost Toyota/Elwood to United back in November. At the same time we seem to keep signing new contracts with other manufacturers.
Car hauling seems to be getting cheaper and cheaper. I usually run from Baltimore to Milwaukee and Appleton, Wisconsin. Then I would come back down to Elwood, IL and do another Wisconsin. Then I would head down to Chrysler /Belvidere and load my East Coast load for Baltimore or Delaware area. For those three runs I would average about $2300 per wk.
The only thing we have coming out of Elwood is Wisconsin and Illinois Freight. We weren’t really making that much money out of Belvidere so I can’t imagine how somebody could get away with cutthroating us. I have no intention of running all the way up to Appleton, Wisconsin and then have to deadhead all the way back to Toledo, Ohio for my next load for a lousy 400 miles. it just doesn’t make sense to run all those deadhead Miles when you’re not getting paid for it. It’s getting pretty scary out here.
On a sidenote: This isn’t about non-union companies coming in and stealing jobs from Union companies. We have a lot of former Jack Cooper and Cassens drivers working for us.
America was built on Capitalism. Nobody can last out here, union or non-union if the manufacturers are going to keep on asking for rate reductions.
There was a time when you used to really make a fortune hauling cars. I’m talking like over $3,000 a week just by driving a company truck. It all started with deregulation around 1980 and it’s taken the car hauling division time to catch up with the rest of the trucking industry. The other problem is everybody found out how much money there was to be made hauling cars and now everyone and their mother is showing up with these wedge trailers and 7 or 8 unit trailers that you can pull with any commercial truck tractor.
I’m trying to make a transition into real estate investment using other people’s money. Until I get that going full time trucking is all I’ve ever done. The industry is going to have to reinvent itself and I don’t think that robotic trucks is going to save the trucking industry from the driver shortage.
More and more I hear of drivers coming and going in this business and lately I’ve heard of people getting into car hauling for a couple of years and then packing their bags and going elsewhere. Aviation has had the same kind of problems. The only difference is that it costs a lot more money to go to school and come out with an airline transport pilot endorsement.
I know that the aviation industry is starting to create programs that pay for pilot training and offer more attractive pay scales. They too have had a shortage of people to fly planes because of the lower entry level pilot wages.
It’s always been in the name of saving consumers money but there’s always a price to be paid. It reminds me of when places like Walmart started showing up. Little by little factories closed their doors and opened up new doors overseas.
You can still make good money in car hauling but you have to work a whole lot harder to do it. Trading your time for money has always been the worst equation for financial success and nowhere is this more sadly realized than in the trucking industry.