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  Facebook Group Chases Best-Paying Loads

http://www.dat.com/blog/image.axd?picture=%2f2014%2f05%2fChadBoblett_RatePerMileMasters_52114.jpgBy Joel Weiler, Marketing Content Developer, DAT Solutions

 

Most drivers will face challenges when they make the

transition from company driver to running on their own

authority. DAT customer Chad Boblett faced many

challenges, too, in his journey to becoming a successful

owner-operator.

Text Box: Successful owner-operator Chad Boblett (right) created the Facebook group "Rate Per Mile Masters."
 
While working as a company driver, Boblett underwent

a series of surgeries that left him unable to drive. He lost

his job and, unable to make ends meet, was forced to

rent out his house, sell off assets and move his family in

with his in-laws, who live in Japan.

 

When he was finally able to drive again, he decided it

was time to make his own way—under his own authority.

 

“I had to get my life back,” says Boblett, “I always wanted to be an owner-operator but every time I would talk to someone about it, it was always negative and no one ever makes it. At this point it couldn’t get any worse though, so I put my plan together and got it going.”

He took a chance, buying his own rig and trailer on credit cards. Now, three years later, he and his family are back in their home and his truck, trailer and credit cards are paid off. “I’m loving life as an owner-operator,” he says.

Now Boblett has found a way to share his success and encourage others to take the leap themselves. He recently started a private Facebook group called “Rate Per Mile Masters,” and the group has grown to nearly 1,400 members in just a few months.

“I have always talked to other owners and tried to provide advice to them to get them where I am, and I found that starting a group would be a better way to connect with those people that I would try to help,” he said.

Boblett believes communication and education are critical for owner-operators to succeed. “Lack of communication between owner-operators is the biggest struggle in the business,” he says. “For years, owner-operators had little negotiating power regarding rates. We hope that by having open dialogue on the topic, we can better educate one another and become more successful in our operations.”

Unlike many other online trucking forums, the group makes a point to keep members laser-focused on the business of trucking. Boblett has gotten help from other successful owner-operators to moderate the discussions, including Rico Muhammad, who hosts a podcast that many group members participate in. His weekly AudioRoad Rates & Lanes podcast is affiliated with Kevin Rutherford’s Let’s Truck.

The group focuses on understanding market supply and demand and how to research information on spot market rates, using services including DAT RateView, free weekly DAT Trendlines reports, and other available resources, like the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Truck Rate report.

They also talk about how to establish more effective relationships with brokers. “We focus on building solid business relationships within the trucking community, and with brokers specifically, and how we can be more successful owner-operators in terms of better financial management and providing excellent service through better communication,” says Boblett.

That includes discussions about how to leverage the best load boards, such as DAT's, and tools and features like freight rates, broker credit scores, and Company Reviews, where drivers can read about others' experiences with brokers and shippers .

By tapping into the knowledge of the group’s experienced membership, new and veteran owner-operators alike are learning from each other. “Having truck drivers work collectively towards any goal until now has been an impossible task, yet here we are helping ourselves by helping each other,” says Boblett.

You can find the group by searching Facebook groups for “Rate Per Mile Masters” and owner-operators can request to join. Group moderator Rico Muhammad’s weekly podcast is every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern on Blog Talk Radio. You can call in at (347) 884-8327.

OTR Driver Tax Services partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo148 or enter “promo148” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in May 2014

 

 

 

Should Drivers be Paid for Detention Time?

Posted on 21 May, 2014 By Kevin Scullin 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposed four-year, $302 billion transportation bill includes a new rule that drivers be paid for the time they’re detained at shipper's and receiver's

 

facilities.

Driver waiting

The Grow America Act, released by the White House on April 29, states that the Secretary of Transportation may require motor carrier employers to:

 

Track the on-duty (not driving) time of an employee whose base compensation is calculated in a manner other than an hourly wage, and separately compensate the employee for any on-duty, not-driving period at an hourly rate not less than the federal minimum wage.

In a separate analysis of the bill, the DOT explains that drivers are frequently detained for extended periods at shipper or receiver facilities and are on duty but not compensated. According to the analysis:

 

This situation often results in pressure for drivers to drive beyond the federal hours of services limit as a matter of economic necessity, risking driver fatigue and jeopardizing highway safety. FMCSA believes that safety could be significantly increased if drivers were compensated for these waiting periods.  

What do you think? Should drivers be compensated for time they’re detained? And, just as importantly, who should foot the bill? The current proposal states that drivers should be paid by the motor carrier employer, but says nothing about charging the shipper or receiver who may have caused the delay.

 OTR Driver Tax Services partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo148 or enter “promo148” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only