Hey Old School Or Other Flatbedders

Topic 25327 | Page 1

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NeeklODN's Comment
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Question: What is your average length of haul? I'm consistently making every appointment on time (oftentimes early). Most of the time they are morning apts, so I always get as close as possible the night before even parking at the shipper/receiver if possible. Problem is, I can't seem to get more than 2200-2400 miles. This is mediocre I think at best. I'm thinking it's because all my runs are in the 300-400 mile range, so I'm unloading and getting a reload every day. Thoughts?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Jamie's Comment
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I'm not a flatbeder but I get a lot of short hual runs from Schneider, usually 300-500 miles at a time, sometimes only 100 miles. I get around the same amount of miles as you do, and I push all the time to get more miles but nothing, always around 2000-2500, sometimes like this past two weeks I only got 1000 miles each week, first I was kept in an area with very short loads, then I had to sit at an OC for a day and a half to get my truck fixed, then another 25 hours to pickup a load I was assigned bringing me home for my home time which was only like 980 miles.

Then I see drivers at other companies getting 1000-1500 mile runs, so I just assumed this is more of a Schneider thing. rofl-1.gif

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Jamie, my experience exactly.

Solo's Comment
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I'm paid off percentage, so I don't really worry about my length of haul with regards to pay, but clock mgmt (will I be able to make it to my consignee at night, so I can start my clock AFTER I've been unloaded).

BUT, in the spirit of answering the question, my avg run currently: 814mi.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I'm thinking it's because all my runs are in the 300-400 mile range

In the coming months you'll prove yourself to be highly reliable. You'll become more efficient at securing loads and you'll manage your clock better. Then you'll start getting longer runs with more miles. My guess would be that they're starting you off a little easier to make sure you can handle it before ramping you up to bigger miles and longer runs.

If you know you can take on more miles then start lobbying dispatch. Let them know you're ready and anxious to do more. Just make darn sure that you make all of your appointments on time and that you really can handle the extra work. You don't want to ask for more work and then start missing appointment times.

In trucking, the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. Stay on dispatch about it. Keep putting it in their ear that you're looking for more miles. You'll get your opportunity. Make the most of it.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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My average length of haul is 900 to 1000 miles, give or take. I do get loads of 400 to 600 mile, usually to get me to, and from hometime. 1000+ is normal. We are a very otr oriented company though, too. My weekly avg is 2900 to 3100. I did have a 614 mile week once, because my hometime fell in an awkward time frame. That was rough to see, lol. But we knew, and planned around it.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Turtle's Comment
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Brett beat me to it. I was also going to suggest lobbying dispatch for more miles. Show them you're ready to amp up your productivity, and they'll likely hit you up with longer runs.

You're still relatively new there, correct? If so, you can't really expect to get the gravy runs, when you're dispatcher already has proven reliable drivers on his board. Stick it out, pay your dues, and the gravy will come.

Sometimes you got to squeak a little to get that grease, though.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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I'm going to agree with what others have already mentioned in regards to getting comfortable, becoming more efficient with securement etc. I'd definitely start asking about some longer runs though as you prove yourself along the way. I personally don't run a ton of miles because we're paid on percentage and the freight we haul pays more than the majority of what you'd call general freight so I can make more on fewer miles.

Old School's Comment
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Hey NeeklODN. I agree with the idea of letting your dispatcher know you'd like the opportunity to turn more miles and take on some longer runs. When I started on this dedicated gig at Knight I was having the same experience as you are now. Everything I got was under 500 miles. I handled it all like a champ, but it wasn't getting any better for me. After about three months I got the opportunity to sit down with my dispatcher and I just told him I was feeling confident in my new position and I'd like to get put on some longer runs.

He told me that he'd been just sort of testing me out to see how I handled everything, and if I thought I was ready, he had some better loads I could start doing. He also warned me that it was critical that we not screw up with some of these better loads. From that point on he never looked back. I have big challenges every week, and the big paychecks that go along with meeting those challenges.

When you get the chance I'd just be professional and have a little discussion with your dispatcher. Let them know you really are enjoying working with them, but you'd like to turn it up a notch or two. Tell them you're ready to turn some bigger miles. See what that does for you. We talk about communication a lot and how critical it is in this job. This is just one more part of that critical component. Ask your dispatcher how he thinks you are doing, and if he's got any advice on what you can do to improve your overall performance.

Remember, you are the new guy. Your dispatcher has some guys he has worked with for years. He knows they're reliable. He's still making a judgement concerning you. Keep up the great job you're doing, and keep letting them know you're ready for more. It will happen, but you'd better be ready when it does. Not long ago I got an email from a manager on our dedicated accounts. They mentioned in it that I was under a daily microscope, for all the right reasons. Sometimes doing well at this brings more attention than you really want.

Hang in there and be ready for the challenges that will be coming. It sounds to me like you're doing a great job. They will listen to your request for more miles, they just want to make sure you're ready to run with the big dogs.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Nick, and anyone else interested in turning more miles, here's a link to an article that shares some insights into turning more miles, and shows some strategies for improving your numbers.

How To Get Yourself Dispatched 5,000 Miles In One Week

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