I thought I’d start this year by doing another mailing campaign and try to get some new direct customers lined up since the load I thought I had set up for today hasn’t materialized. And I’m feeling a little sorry for myself, which usually results in me throwing myself into some form of constructive activity to fight off the urge to throw a pity party.
Of course, before I could get started I had to beat my computer into submission after it shut down and didn’t want to start up again. I suppose I can chalk that up to being too cheap to replace this poor old thing, but it’s served me well and I don’t want to let it go. It’s a laptop that actually has a full-sized keyboard unlike most of those little ones (and my tiny cheapo version that travels with me) so typing on it is so much easier.
Anyway, I am already rambling….
Once the computer was up and running I managed to get a dozen new flyers printed up, stuffed into envelopes along with several business cards, and now have a neat little stack ready to go in the mail. I did more research and targeted a handful of companies near me who I know use hot shots, unlike my last few attempts at just sending out flyers to anyone and everyone I could think of.
Whether this will be a better approach remains to be seen. Hopefully it will be!
I also got a call this morning from the guy I haul trailers for when the better paying stuff is slow, but I’m not really too eager to get back into that gig just yet. I’m hoping, and working toward getting more and better loads, not just settling for stuff that doesn’t pay as well. Which means less stock trailers and more oilfield. Which is where the real money is in this part of the trucking business.
Call me an ingrate, and in a way I feel like one, but it’s disheartening when you have time and money invested in a hot shot business and people who just want things hauled at mediocre rates are the ones you have to fall back on when it’s slow.
Even though I like the guy and he’s good to work for, it’s just not the type of freight I need, or want to haul to make the most of this little venture. At the same time, it is a paycheck, and if I can’t get anything better going here fairly soon, I may have to keep hauling that stuff to keep ahead of the bills.
And despite my feelings in general about brokers, I still have to resort to taking their loads too. I’d like less of that and more direct dealing with shippers. Of course there’s the money side of it, but I like having shippers who know my name and call me directly when something has to be somewhere pronto.
I just need more of them so I can avoid sitting and worrying as much as I do now…
So in the past month I finally got myself all set to haul haz-mat, (I know, I’m starting to repeat myself) but it’s an important step for me and could just be the break I need to get into consistently good paying loads.
All I’m waiting on now is a flip-placard for the front of the truck and a little haz-mat spill kit that I ordered to get here, then I’ll go make a visit to the shipper down the road and see if I can get some work with them.
As I’ve said before, it’s always something, and a lot of waiting for this or that before I can make it to the next step up the ladder. And as I’ve also said before, I’m not the most patient of souls.
But I’m trying. In a lot of ways.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about today is other hot shotters who lease out to big companies doing a lot of the oil field work. I found some to talk to and it sounds like they’re doing a whole lot more right now than I am.
Some days I wonder if I should consider it again, but I got so burned right out of the gate by leasing I’m not really desperate enough to take that route again. So I suppose I’ll just have to keep plugging away and keep working at making new contacts in the business.
I guess that’s about where I’m at today. I’m not as discouraged as I sound, but I’m still at a place with my business that I know I have a long way to go to get where I want to be. I’m just not ready to settle for hauling cheap freight like I had to do way too often last year, particularly now that I know there’s better work out there to be had if I can just figure out how to get it.
That said, I better quit my whining and get busy.