Working On Making Trucking Industry Better. Need Your Help - Looking For Answers And Opinions.

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Anton's Comment
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Here are questions:

1. Would you like to have full guide on how a shipper/receiver works with truck drivers (where to wait, what dock to go to, where bathroom is, what is average waiting time etc.) before you come to location? 2. How likely would you change your mind about taking a load if you could read several reviews from other drivers about same location you will have to go to? Let's assume you read five reviews and all five say that at this location you will most likely to spend a lot of time waiting and staff is not cool. 3. Is there anything that you want to know about shippers and receivers related to the U.S. trucking industry?

Would like to hear your 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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I don't care if you make a million dollars off this info or use to to wall paper the white house. Either way it's no big deal. Your going to be dealing with truck driver opinions. And you might get some facts but they will be colored by the opinions of the person you are talking to.

One of the number one complaints of all or almost all refer drivers is any and all Walmart dc's is wait time. Now you ask someone that actually knows how Walmart dc's work and I will tell you it's not that bad. Sure the wait times can be long but most trucks come in with 2k to 3k of different products and Walmart wants to make sure it's all there and the got what they paid for. Can't blame them. Hence the long times. So no I don't thing it's that bad.

You have millions of businesses trucks delivery to everyday. And yes I said millions. Even if you could get around the issues of people giving you opinion versus fact how would you go about even getting a quarter of them?

Here is another issue. We have all been to the same places time and time again. Or we know other people that have. We talk to each other about places and share what we know. Whether you do a book or website or whatever form of media you will use how will you make your products so much better than actually talking to our peers about this info?

How would you market it to make people want to spend money on it verses turning on the cab radio and getting that info for free?

We already have apps on our phones that do this sort of thing you are speaking about. We have truck stop apps to rate truck stops. Yelp is a awesome app to read how other people rated a place. There are tons of rating and opinion giving website that are with in reach of our fingers on our smart phones.

I know this is not what you wanted coming here but I felt you needed to know what your up against.

We say here on this website all to offer that one person's experience is theirs alone and it will not be the same for anyone else. A prefect example. I drive for Werner. Hardly anyone has anything good to say about them but I happen to think they are an awesome company to drive for. I get more than enough miles and some I can't do which is a good problem to have. Excellent insurance. Great equipment. Great support staff. But then again that is my opinion based only on my personal experience.

Now if your going to base your research off of truck drivers opinions and views..... Well good luck cause there are about 3.5 million drivers and you will never hear the same view on a subject more than once.

Well however you plan to market it I wish you good luck and perhaps we shall see this project of yours in a few years.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I had thought of this same idea myself a while back but I haven't tried to execute on it. I figured I could use crowdsourcing (drivers entering information) to get directions, hours of operation, and comments on things like which entry to pull into, whether or not they have overnight parking, are they appointment only or first come first serve, and things like that.

The main challenges I thought of were:

1) The scale - this would be a massive amount of information to collect. Even with a rather large army of drivers it would take a considerable amount of time before you had enough information for the app to be helpful. It could take years.

2) Unmoderated user feedback from the general population is complete junk. You would have to verify every piece of information that came in because inaccuracies would make it useless. So this would require heavy moderation.

3) The major trucking companies already have this. They have directions to their customers, comments, hours of operations, and all sorts of information in their systems already. But there are still plenty of drivers on the road without this at their company.

4) Drivers have access to so much already for free on the Web with Google Maps, business directories, existing apps, and the like.

The scale is the main problem. I just don't know how you'd get enough shippers and receivers into the system with quality information that people find helpful and can't find easily anywhere else. It's certainly not an impossible task, but from a business standpoint I don't see how you'd make money from it. You can't consider selling the app until the app has a great reputation and it won't have a great reputation until it's filled with useful information. So how do you get the information in there in the first place? You'd have to hire an army of drivers to take your blank slate and start filling it in. That will either take years to pull off or a really large up front investment to pay everyone. Sure, you can fill in the basics from business directories to get the ball rolling but that isn't helpful, unique information. So all it would be is a Phone Book in the beginning. You couldn't even release that publicly because it would get slammed by low ratings.

I don't know man.....this would be a tough one from a business standpoint. It would likely take years to build it into something really effective and it would take a huge pile of time and money. If done really well it would be incredibly helpful. But getting it built up to that point would be challenging.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Guy, thank you. Have a question. You said it is easier to call your peer and ask about location you are going to. And you also mentioned huge number of businesses out there. How likely is that your peers know about a shipper you are going to now? Unless you all are going to the same places all the time.

See that's just it. Due to company contracts we(meaning all drivers) go to the same places time and time again cause of the contracts our companies have worked out. And almost also we you go to a place you will see many other drivers there from different company. There is a lot of cross over on contracts. Any many times you will see the same people.

And about the places I am going on the contract I am working now? Lol I am hauling double trailers for ABF. The teamsters union is all over the place at many companies so yes many of my peers(fellow drivers) know about the terminals I am going to. ABF is one of the larger Union less than truck load carriers.

I have been driving for 16 years. I have met a lot of people through the years that I keep in contact with. And with the guys and gals on this site. We exchange numbers and the newer people can get a hold of someone with experience far faster when they need an answer right not and can't post to the forms.

While there are a lot of businesses out there there are as many truck shippers and receivers which is what we deal with.

Flatbed is pretty specialized cause they deliver to sites that are building the distribution centers that we all go to but that not withstanding we may never see each other at these Dr's but at one time or another we have all been to them.

An then some places can be lumped together. Pretty much without exception Walmart Distribution Centers are all the same. The same thing happens at each one cause they follow a strict company policy for shipping and receiving. Never changes.

In the past two weeks(BTW I driver for Werner but pull ABF trailers) I have been to most major ABF terminals from Washington state to Little Rock AR. Without fail they are the same across the board cause of Union contracts. With these two examples you can concur, and rightly so, that most companies that have multiple facilities are ran the exact same way as their parent company.

And then there is the CB Radio. What a glorious tool. Any driver can hit a city pretty much any time of the day and ask for local information about a particular place they need to go and without fail someone will respond with directions and any warnings or "do nots" when going there.

People may think that truck drivers are lonely and isolated in these trucks and that maybe true for the most part but one thing we almost all have in common.... Once we start talking we don't shut up. We may go hours, days, weeks or in some cases longer without any meaningful human conversation or interaction but when we do have them a lot of information gets exchanged mostly in the forum of Trucker stories. Now granted I guarantee you most the stories are embellished but there is always something to be learned. Now it maybe a few year down the road but you will be in a situation and then you will remember what a driver said a few years ago and it helps you out of what you are dealing with.

Here is the deal and Brett mentioned this as well.... If you could vet each piece of info for validity and have it based in fact only and then consolidate all that info in one place as a sort of one stop shop then that would be awesome. But to do that it would take an army of people and cost more than a dump truck could carry in money to see the project to completion. If you have thought this through even a little bit you most have a general idea of what the cost might run to pull everything together. Could it truly be affordable, knowing the cost projections for the project, and be affordable enough to make people want to use it and pay for it rather than do what we have been doing for 70 years now and for free?

I know drivers very well. If you can get them excited about an idea then they may just help and write down the info as they come across it but be warned truck drivers are worse than kids with a ADHD. They will loose interest very fast if the results aren't completed and on the open market within a few months.

I know we are not being encouraging in the least but we also know the task you have set before you and what your up against. It's akin to trying to scoop the ocean up a spoonful at a time and except to see results.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like a DAUNTING task, what's your motive? Are you a driver? Are you doing this for profit? How are you even going to know where to start w/ such a task, i.e. obtaining your data, sifting through data, etc... You have my curiosity, and suspensions shocked.png

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Ooops, make that suspicions. Unless if you want to read 'suspensions' as a gesture of faith in suspending my cynical disbelief ... rofl-3.gif

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

In this case of this site - it is pretty much dedicated to "new entrants" in the industry.

1 - Would be interesting to see a product like this - but…

2 - 99.9% of site users here are "company drivers" running "forced dispatch". Highly unlikely that a driver could (or would) tell their DM/FM that they refuse the load, because the shipper/receiver sucks.

3 - See #1

It is a common problem in the industry, that drivers are the "low man on the totem pole". While wait times, etc., have been looked at and commented on, at the regulatory level - I doubt that anything is going to change to our (the drivers) benefit.

Rick

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.

Dm:

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.

Fm:

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.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

How would this individual even begin to compile such an enormous amount of data? How many shippers and receivers exist nationwide? The whole idea seems preposterous. But Rick S. makes some very practical points. This forum is probably not the ideal audience, it being a site mostly for rookies.

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.

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Not speaking to the validity of a project like this, but when we pull directions to shippers/recievers they generally have notes on if washouts are available, overnight parking, where to wait, how early you can arrive, etc... I would imagine most of the larger companies have the same.

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.

Anton's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like a DAUNTING task, what's your motive? Are you a driver? Are you doing this for profit? How are you even going to know where to start w/ such a task, i.e. obtaining your data, sifting through data, etc... You have my curiosity, and suspensions shocked.png

Yes, it is quite a big project to do. My motive is to make difference for people who work in trucking industry in the U.S. I am not a driver. And yes, I plan to get profit from doing this - it takes a lot of time to put all the data together, as you understand by yourself. It is impossible to do it all alone, and human resources will be used for that.

Anton's Comment
member avatar

In this case of this site - it is pretty much dedicated to "new entrants" in the industry.

1 - Would be interesting to see a product like this - but…

2 - 99.9% of site users here are "company drivers" running "forced dispatch". Highly unlikely that a driver could (or would) tell their DM/FM that they refuse the load, because the shipper/receiver sucks.

3 - See #1

It is a common problem in the industry, that drivers are the "low man on the totem pole". While wait times, etc., have been looked at and commented on, at the regulatory level - I doubt that anything is going to change to our (the drivers) benefit.

Rick

Thank you, Rick. What do you by "but..."?

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.

Dm:

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.

Fm:

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.
Anton's Comment
member avatar

How would this individual even begin to compile such an enormous amount of data? How many shippers and receivers exist nationwide? The whole idea seems preposterous. But Rick S. makes some very practical points. This forum is probably not the ideal audience, it being a site mostly for rookies.

Why would you say that this idea is preposterous? Because it is bad idea or because you can't imagine this kind of data storage to exist?

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.

Anton's Comment
member avatar

Would any of you participate in such project by writing reviews about shippers/receivers you are going to? Creating smth like Yelp, but for trucking industry?

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.

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