If you’ve been following this blog, you already know I sort of left things hanging with one of my recent posts, and now it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and give you the rest of the story…
You remember, the post about getting the heck out of hotshotting. There was a lot going on at the time, so I sort of skimmed over the issue and just set the details aside until everything was finalized, which, now everything is finalized and I feel free to finish my little tale.
So, anyway, let me start back at the beginning and just tell the whole story, start to finish, in my typically blunt way. If anyone gets their feelers hurt, well, then so be it, but I promise you, dear reader, I won’t be the one to blow smoke up… well, you get it.
Back in my starry-eyed wanna be hotshot dreamer’s state of mind, oh, ’bout three years ago, I went out, traded off my old Ford on a 2-ton Dodge and hit the road running. And true, I ran a lot. Trouble was, at first, if you recall, I ran for a crooked outfit and made no money doing all that running, but spent a bundle moving their junk.
I smartened up pretty quickly, told them where they could place their so-called job, and got my own operating authority, and ran fairly happily for the next almost 2 1/2 years, until the rug got pulled out from under me when my tiny stable of good customers all stopped shipping anything at-all at the same moment in time, which just about did me in business-wise.
Which brings me to my last wah-hooie in my little hotshotting adventure, out of sheer desperation I held my nose and signed on with a big hotshot outfit, hoping that the stories they were telling me would be true.
And honestly, they mostly were. But just not in enough volume to do me much good.
The biggest hurdle I had to get our little terminal over to make things successful here was to get the company’s biggest customer (and our biggest local potential customer) to start calling our terminal with loads.
Well, let me just say the “Good ol’ boy system” is alive and well here, which I already knew, and no amount of wheedling, donut deliveries, leaving little goodies like hats, calendars, etc., even got close to getting my little foot in that firmly closed door. So I did what any frustrated terminal manager would do, I called corporate and begged them to get me a real salesman on the case to get this particular customer woke up and calling us.
And it never happened. Oh, they talked a good game, had a real salesman who already serviced the same customer call me, made promises, but in the end, they did not a single thing to shake loose local business from this particular oilfield powerhouse of a company that could have saved our sinking ship.
Not a thing.
In fact, my area manager pulled the real salesman off of the case, put his sidekick on it, and then just let us sink. That wasn’t quite the help I had asked for, or expected, I do have to say.
So, it was the utter lack of support on the sales end from our said corporate folks that finally broke this skinny camel’s back, and is why I finally pulled the plug and rinsed them on down the drain, which in my humble opinion, is a better place for them than on my back.
And that’s the unvarnished truth. My own “company” didn’t care enough about the terminal here to even lift a finger to try to help. They were happy enough just raking in lease fees and the profits my guys and I generated while we were barely scratching up enough moolah to keep the tanks fueled, then had the audacity to tell me I needed to put on more trucks when we couldn’t scrape up enough work for what we had.
Hence my bad attitude and unwillingness to keep swimming upstream when their boot was planted firmly on my head, keeping me stuck in the current. I may be stubborn, but I won’t intentionally drown myself to make someone else rich, and the fact that they expected me to told me a lot about the character of the characters I was dealing with, none of it very good…
Here’s the trouble with modern hotshot work… too many people make too much money off the backs of too many trucks that get signed on strictly for the leasing fees and insurance payments they generate.
These big outfits make a bundle of dough letting (no, really, making) their terminals knowingly sign on way more trucks than they have loads to put on them, and each of those trucks generates XX amount of revenue if each of those trucks gets roughly one load a week.
And no hotshot who relies on rolling to make their living can stay in the business at one load per week, unless it’s one heck of a good load, and most of them honestly, are not so good loads.
Which brings us up to now, with me retired from the biz. The fact is, these days unless you have a golden goose laying reliable weekly load golden eggs, and you don’t have to pay another outfit for the use of their operating authority, you probably won’t make much of a living hotshotting.
And as far as I can tell, those golden geese and independent hotshots are disappearing fast, in fact, they’re pretty much gone. Probably for good.
It’s sad but true… And that folks, is the rest of the story.