I decided this week to take a load that I normally wouldn’t have touched.
Just call it a second chance that I felt like giving a certain broker I’ve worked with in the past, who mostly treated me right, but once pulled a little stunt that made me stop hauling their loads for several months.
Now this particular load came along at just the right time to fit into my schedule.
I’m off later today to a family wedding several states away, (and yes, if you’ve been following this blog, the dress fits great and BB’s diet worked) so I needed one run for the first half of the week just to cover fuel for the trip I’m making. None of my other regulars had anything moving, things have been sluggish, and this load looked like it might pan out to be a good entre’ back into working with this broker.
Well, maybe not so much…
Without giving out too much detail (I’m not bashing anyone, just telling the story) the load was a trailer that needed to be picked up in the midwest and hauled down to south Texas. After running the numbers, I figured my costs would be about $800 which would leave about a grand of profit, so I agreed to the load.
This is where it gets fun… of course when I got to the pickup location there was a huge paperwork snafu and it took far longer to even get custody of the darned trailer than my schedule allowed. And the trailer turned out to be a 40′ long fancy-schmancy horse trailer with full living quarters in the front two-thirds of the thing.
And it was heavy as heck. It actually made my truck squat when I hitched it up. That’s a first…
To make a long story short, I hitched the danged thing up and headed back south with it. It was so heavy that my poor truck was sucking down diesel like a thirsty barfly tossing back doubles. About two hours into the trip I knew I’d been snookered again. So I phoned the broker and made him a deal. He agreed, and I ended up making delivery to his yard instead of dragging it all the way down to Texas.
When I dropped it in his yard I had spent the entire budget for the trip just getting it that far, and I only dragged the thing 1000 miles. Due to the extreme weight, the fuel alone had put me $0.20 per mile over my operating budget. He lined up another driver to relay it to the final destination, another 400 miles away.
And the broker’s comment was, “Dang, that’s a big ole thing. I didn’t know that was what they sent us for. They shouldn’t have put that on you.”
Now, this guy is just as nice as brokers get. He pays on time every time and no monkey business with the numbers on the checks. But this is twice now that I haven’t gotten the whole story up front and ended up taking a hit in the pocketbook.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice,… well, this time it’s my fault.
In all fairness to the broker, I just wrote up my paperwork showing the miles I dragged the trailer and told him to send me a check for what he thought was fair since I didn’t haul it on down to Texas. Even if he shorts me by $400 for having the other guy take it on down (and I figure that’s about what he’ll do) I come out a little ahead, not the profit I wanted, but some profit for the deal. At least I didn’t put another $300 into fuel to get it to the final destination, and didn’t spend another full day in transit with it.
I could just suck it up and go haul some more for this guy, knowing full well that there’s always something else to the story that I won’t know until I get there, or I can stick to oilfield loads even if they have been sparse lately and actually make far more money for the time invested, with less wear on my truck and less frazzling of my nerves.
It’s a no brainer…