Home > Forum > How Can Anybody Run For Sub $2.00 Per Mile?

How can anybody run for sub $2.00 per mile?

Sep 20, 2022 at 06:23 PM CST
+ 77 - 2
Just curious what some think on here about running for less than $2.00 per mile? I get a load list everyday from a grain company out of Oklahoma (not going to name them but some will know who I'm talking about) and they are posting rates that are below break even. I've done quite a bit of hauling for them in the past and their pay was decent but now it looks like they are not one bit ashamed to pay us below minimum wage! Is there a way to band together and not haul for them (like the railroaders did)?
Replied on Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 10:50 AM CST
+ 2

Im with you!

Replied on Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 10:50 AM CST
+ 5
This one should get interesting! That is exactly why my hopper is parked. A couple years ago, several of us ran exclusively for one of the big grain companies, they post loads on here every day and I don’t have any hard feeling towards them so I won’t mention any names, and I’ve made the same comment to them I’ll make here. We ran farm to customer every day for them. As we ran we saw the exact same loads we were running posted here on Bulkloads. Every time they found someone cheaper, the rate dropped. Loyalty, dependability, caliber of equipment, the fact we were local hauling off neighboring farms meant nothing. The ONLY thing that mattered was the money. When I questioned the situation I was told, as long as we can find a cheaper rate, thats direction we are going. If we can’t get it moved, the rate will go up. Guess what, we have all pretty much moved on, and they have no problem moving grain. I don’t think we will ever be able to come together on this. If you look around at the world we live in it has become less about “us” and more about “me”. Hell, we can’t even come together on pulling forward at the fuel island, or properly disposing of urine bottles. I don’t see any way we can come together on the more complicated issues such as rates when we can’t seem to come together on the simple things. There always seems to be someone willing to run at a loss just to run.
Replied on Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 01:21 PM CST
+ 2
The railroads belong to a union that at least supports the concept of a strike, truckers belong to organizations like the ATA or OOIDA that condemn the concept of a strike, rather they believe that Just simply asking for more money is the way to succeed, it makes me wonder if they also believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and Tooth fairy also.
Replied on Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 02:36 PM CST
+ 4
They do it because rocket scientist paid 200k for a 3 year old pete with 400k miles. Once those people lose their shirts things should improve. At 2 dollars per mile and national average of $4.96 for diesel you aren't actually making anything. I don't have a hopper and have some not so nice thoughts about those that pull them. Hoppers constantly uncut pneumatics then complain about rates. Hoppers are what ruined sand hauling in the oilfield. That's why I don't bother with post that list multiple trailers. The only way to fix it is for you all to leave the cheap stuff sitting. I get calls about 2 or 3 dollar pneumatic loads all the time. I never take them. But I haven't carried any dept since 2008. Since then I buy all my equipment cash. At the end of the day truck drivers get what we deserve. Which is nothing. Because we refuse to work together. FYI FMCA is considering looking at the pre 2000 eld exemption. But we'll just roll over and take it. Like usual. The railroad workers were from different unions and different companies and they got it done. Hats off to them.
Replied on Fri, Sep 23, 2022 at 06:58 AM CST
+ 1

Ya "Don't haul thier cheap stuff"!!!

Replied on Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 08:36 AM CST
Not only that they post different rates every day sone are not even pay the tolls
Replied on Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 08:36 AM CST
- 1

I have to agree we has drivers, fleet owners and carriers has to one way or other get together and stop talking about it and start stop taking the cheap loads. Truckers are not together they talk the talk but would never do anything about it. How many times trucking organizations has tried to get truckers together in the past. When the trucker hear that they have to stop the truck or there operations they back up and don't have anything to do with it. I've been in the transportation industry for 35+ years and I see the same crap coming out of peoples mouth. So yes until we all as truckers get together we will never get what we all deserve.

Replied on Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 08:36 AM CST
I don't recall a point when hauling grain was ever worth doing.
Replied on Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 08:36 AM CST
- 1
Railroad did not get it done. They white house did it for them and after they read the new contract they were not happy. They can only go to the doctor Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, with 60 day notice, I go when I want.
Replied on Sun, Sep 25, 2022 at 09:04 PM CST
Quote: "Railroad did not get it done. They white house did it for them and after they read the new contract they were not happy. They can only go to the doctor Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, with 60 day notice, I go when I want."

It isn't over yet
Replied on Sun, Sep 25, 2022 at 09:04 PM CST
+ 1
No one to Blame except the guy who hauls it
Replied on Mon, Sep 26, 2022 at 08:54 AM CST
Quote: "No one to Blame except the guy who hauls it"

That is absolutely correct. It all starts when the person you see in the mirror decides to quit subsidizing some else's profit and starts looking out for your own, regardless of what the next person is doing. If not hauling cheap freight means you will go broke, then most likely you are already in serious trouble.

Replied on Wed, Sep 28, 2022 at 08:56 AM CST
Quote: "I have to agree we has drivers, fleet owners and carriers has to one way or other get together and stop talking about it and start stop taking the cheap loads. Truckers are not together they talk the talk but would never do anything about it. How many times trucking organizations has tried to get truckers together in the past. When the trucker hear that they have to stop the truck or there operations they back up and don't have anything to do with it. I've been in the transportation industry for 35+ years and I see the same crap coming out of peoples mouth. So yes until we all as truckers get together we will never get what we all deserve. "

Before a industry can have unity it first needs to have retention, everywhere we look there are these supposedly smart people around us, yet none of them can get the rates up enough to retain help, all they can do is over promise and under deliver, during the past two years every restaurant, factory, or whatever has doubled or tripled wages, meanwhile here in trucking drivers wages are unable to follow suit. In a period of hyperinflation how much longer can drivers afford to give their labor away? I see a mass exodus from this industry coming.
Replied on Thu, Sep 29, 2022 at 09:15 AM CST
+ 2
Anybody that states he's waiting for the cheap freight people to go out of business and all will be roses and sunshine is either absolutely new or a stupid moron. I've heard that story for 40 years. Art Pfluger
Replied on Thu, Sep 29, 2022 at 09:15 AM CST
+ 2

simple formula price of fuel $4.65 divide it by your fuel mileage mine is 5.5 average so $4.65 divided by 5.5 =84.5 cents a mile for the fuel x 3 =$2.53 is my break even point at the minimum. i usualy take it times 4 and shoot for that when i bid work so 84.5 x4=3.42 to put some meat on it.

Replied on Thu, Sep 29, 2022 at 01:38 PM CST
Quote: "Anybody that states he's waiting for the cheap freight people to go out of business and all will be roses and sunshine is either absolutely new or a stupid moron. I've heard that story for 40 years. Art Pfluger"

Damn Art, have you had too much caffeine today? That's a little strong.😂😂 Look out everybody, Art is in the house with guns a blazing!😳😂😂

Replied on Thu, Sep 29, 2022 at 03:38 PM CST
+ 1
Quote: "Anybody that states he's waiting for the cheap freight people to go out of business and all will be roses and sunshine is either absolutely new or a stupid moron. I've heard that story for 40 years. Art Pfluger"

If you're referring to me I didn't say I'm waiting for cheap freight haulers to go out of business. I said things should improve. Also I don't run a hopper. Hoppers consistently undercut pneumatics by at least 50%. I'm not willing to compete with stupid.
Replied on Sun, Oct 02, 2022 at 09:58 PM CST
+ 1
Quote: "simple formula price of fuel $4.65 divide it by your fuel mileage mine is 5.5 average so $4.65 divided by 5.5 =84.5 cents a mile for the fuel x 3 =$2.53 is my break even point at the minimum. i usualy take it times 4 and shoot for that when i bid work so 84.5 x4=3.42 to put some meat on it."

That's the way I figure it as well. The price of fuel per mile times 4 to be profitable and make a decent income.

Replied on Mon, Oct 03, 2022 at 09:26 AM CST
Quote: "simple formula price of fuel $4.65 divide it by your fuel mileage mine is 5.5 average so $4.65 divided by 5.5 =84.5 cents a mile for the fuel x 3 =$2.53 is my break even point at the minimum. i usualy take it times 4 and shoot for that when i bid work so 84.5 x4=3.42 to put some meat on it."

I've never heard it done that way. I'm not going to use that formula because I get 7.5mpg and that would only be $2.48/ mile but interesting

Replied on Mon, Oct 03, 2022 at 09:26 AM CST
+ 1
Quote: "simple formula price of fuel $4.65 divide it by your fuel mileage mine is 5.5 average so $4.65 divided by 5.5 =84.5 cents a mile for the fuel x 3 =$2.53 is my break even point at the minimum. i usualy take it times 4 and shoot for that when i bid work so 84.5 x4=3.42 to put some meat on it."

I hope that is $3.42 for all miles and not just loaded miles. If your $3.42 is loaded miles only, I think you are selling yourself short. What if you can't load back, or get stuck out waiting to unload and can't get detention? Your $3.42 quickly becomes $1.71. I know no one wants to pay hoppers, but in my opinion, they are specialized. You can't load them on every corner like a dry van, reefer, or open deck, and you surely can't unload everywhere either. Your rate should be good enough to get you home empty and still make a profit. It seems to me EVERY hopper load is a backhaul rate, and I don't even believe in the whope backhaul concept. I had a fertilizer company tell me "this isn't an out and back rate, even though I know you will run empty one way". Guess what happened next? Your rate should not be based on the any other load, period, this isn't the dry van market. And yes, I've had too much coffee this morning.

Replied on Mon, Oct 03, 2022 at 10:23 AM CST
Quote: "I don't recall a point when hauling grain was ever worth doing."

I totally agree, and yet people are doing it every day...

Replied on Tue, Oct 04, 2022 at 09:41 AM CST

Tell me this why is Bulkloads letting all these load brokers post that cheap low ball **** ?? And also where is all the direct shippers that supposed to be on Bulkloads?? All I see is the same old ******** *** brokers putting the same old $2-$3.00 a miles crap on the Bord’s .I have haul some $6-$10 a mile direct customer freight, and I don’t mean haul a 1or 2 hundred mile $6-$10 a mile freight. That’s how I got a good understanding of what the brokers was doing. Keeping $7-$8 dollar’s after they pay us 2-3$ a mile. If you think I am lying call some of these shippers and ask for traffic some of them will tell you. Or just book a load with them then you will see just how bad a broker has been doing you !!

Replied on Tue, Oct 04, 2022 at 03:11 PM CST
+ 1
Quote: "Tell me this why is Bulkloads letting all these load brokers post that cheap low ball **** ?? And also where is all the direct shippers that supposed to be on Bulkloads?? All I see is the same old ******** *** brokers putting the same old $2-$3.00 a miles crap on the Bord’s .I have haul some $6-$10 a mile direct customer freight, and I don’t mean haul a 1or 2 hundred mile $6-$10 a mile freight. That’s how I got a good understanding of what the brokers was doing. Keeping $7-$8 dollar’s after they pay us 2-3$ a mile. If you think I am lying call some of these shippers and ask for traffic some of them will tell you. Or just book a load with them then you will see just how bad a broker has been doing you !!"

Why you ask? Bulkloads is a for profit service, you pay the subscription fee and you're in. Good for them bad for you. At the end of the day, no one is gonna look out for your bottom line, it's not their job. That's totally on you brother. All you gotta do is PASS.

Replied on Mon, Oct 10, 2022 at 10:01 AM CST
Quote: "Tell me this why is Bulkloads letting all these load brokers post that cheap low ball **** ?? And also where is all the direct shippers that supposed to be on Bulkloads?? All I see is the same old ******** *** brokers putting the same old $2-$3.00 a miles crap on the Bord’s .I have haul some $6-$10 a mile direct customer freight, and I don’t mean haul a 1or 2 hundred mile $6-$10 a mile freight. That’s how I got a good understanding of what the brokers was doing. Keeping $7-$8 dollar’s after they pay us 2-3$ a mile. If you think I am lying call some of these shippers and ask for traffic some of them will tell you. Or just book a load with them then you will see just how bad a broker has been doing you !!"

God damn, from doing ny research it seems to be true. Customers are willing to pay 8-$10 dollars per mile But on these boards brokers will try to give. You the pennies..... know your worth!
Replied on Thu, Oct 13, 2022 at 07:57 AM CST
For the past theee months I’m averaging 3.65 all miles don’t know where y’all get ur loads but I use the bulk loads and that it got a few brokers I call but if they know know that u don’t rely on th and will call elsewhere then they start acting different and paying more hopper game is hot has been for me personally for 3 years plus my per mile is always just what reefer amd step is doi g its all about where u finding ur loads
Replied on Wed, Nov 02, 2022 at 01:20 PM CST
Quote: "Damn Art, have you had too much caffeine today? That's a little strong.😂😂 Look out everybody, Art is in the house with guns a blazing!😳😂😂"

Go get them Art!
Replied on Wed, Nov 02, 2022 at 07:15 PM CST

With $5 fuel and 25% driver compensation. My break even is around $2.35 with newer trucks and trailers. That's if $0 repairs happen. I believe my number is a lot closer to $2.85 to break even overall.

Replied on Thu, Nov 03, 2022 at 09:43 AM CST
Meanwhile the Fed keeps raising those interest rates moving us closer to 1980 2.0, Only this time the freight rates are already gutted going into a economic decline, you now leave the house on a backhual rate and come home on one. How many of you folks out there would like to see the shippers buy their own trucks as you all become hourly employees of the shippers?
Replied on Thu, Nov 03, 2022 at 01:44 PM CST
Quote: "With $5 fuel and 25% driver compensation. My break even is around $2.35 with newer trucks and trailers. That's if $0 repairs happen. I believe my number is a lot closer to $2.85 to break even overall. "

I've figured in all monthly expenses - insurance, workman's comp, repairs/maintenance, supplies, trailer payment, office supplies, fuel at $5.50/gallon - and our break-even is $2.45/mile. That includes driver payroll, but not business profit.

Replied on Thu, Nov 03, 2022 at 10:10 PM CST
+ 1
Quote: "For the past theee months I’m averaging 3.65 all miles don’t know where y’all get ur loads but I use the bulk loads and that it got a few brokers I call but if they know know that u don’t rely on th and will call elsewhere then they start acting different and paying more hopper game is hot has been for me personally for 3 years plus my per mile is always just what reefer amd step is doi g its all about where u finding ur loads"

It sounds like you think that's good, and it might be for you. What was your loaded to empty ratio? Were you loaded most of the time? How many miles did you run for the $3.65. Finally, how did you do for the nine months prior to that? The problem is, EVERYBODY in the hopper segment, shippers brokers, and carriers, know the rates are too low, however, they will also tell you, as long as people are willing to haul it, the rates will stay low. Brokers tell me all the time, we (carriers) are our own worst enemy because we just keep coming back for more. Just because you can run for $3.75 should you? Are you not worth a real profit just like everybody else we deal with in this industry who makes real money? There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more than scraping by. It's my opinion, hopper freight going any direction to any location should be in the $5.50 a mile range PLUS a fuel surcharge, washout, and detention, EVERY TIME. One load should never subsidize another, and you should make enough money to go back to where you started empty to get another load. If you decide to load back, that is your decision, and it shouldn't be any cheaper than the first. Your expenses are the same both ways. I'm tired of the cheapest guy on the road setting the rate for everyone else. Before anyone says hopper freight doesn't have enough value to command freight rates that high, to you I say this; is toilet paper more valuable than grain? Because without grain, you won't need much toilet paper. If everyone else in the loop can post record profits, who's shitting who here? I'm sorry to go off on a rant, but this shi.. no, stuff makes me crazy. Every one of us in this business is worth more than this. We just need to realize it. I'm gonna have a cocktail. Have a great evening everyone😉

Replied on Fri, Nov 04, 2022 at 08:34 AM CST

Rule of thumb. Fuel 5.00 a gallon. Divide by 6 mpg =.83 cent a mile. Take .83 times it by 6.. That's the cheapest you should haul for. I don't crank a truck right now for anything less than 5.50 a loaded mile.

Replied on Fri, Nov 04, 2022 at 03:39 PM CST
+ 1
Quote: "It sounds like you think that's good, and it might be for you. What was your loaded to empty ratio? Were you loaded most of the time? How many miles did you run for the $3.65. Finally, how did you do for the nine months prior to that? The problem is, EVERYBODY in the hopper segment, shippers brokers, and carriers, know the rates are too low, however, they will also tell you, as long as people are willing to haul it, the rates will stay low. Brokers tell me all the time, we (carriers) are our own worst enemy because we just keep coming back for more. Just because you can run for $3.75 should you? Are you not worth a real profit just like everybody else we deal with in this industry who makes real money? There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more than scraping by. It's my opinion, hopper freight going any direction to any location should be in the $5.50 a mile range PLUS a fuel surcharge, washout, and detention, EVERY TIME. One load should never subsidize another, and you should make enough money to go back to where you started empty to get another load. If you decide to load back, that is your decision, and it shouldn't be any cheaper than the first. Your expenses are the same both ways. I'm tired of the cheapest guy on the road setting the rate for everyone else. Before anyone says hopper freight doesn't have enough value to command freight rates that high, to you I say this; is toilet paper more valuable than grain? Because without grain, you won't need much toilet paper. If everyone else in the loop can post record profits, who's shitting who here? I'm sorry to go off on a rant, but this shi.. no, stuff makes me crazy. Every one of us in this business is worth more than this. We just need to realize it. I'm gonna have a cocktail. Have a great evening everyone😉"

It's a balancing act. We all know that where we have direct customers, we get higher paying loads. For me to think that I am going to do well out of Georgia when I am a North Dakota carrier over a Georgia carrier is probably not attainable. I do have Marlene Doar that I work with down there when I get in that area and we do good out of there but not nearly what we go down there for. To me, the key is to stay loaded as much as possible. Keep those bounce miles down and at the end of the week if you average a minimum of 2.50/mile on every mile you put on, you will not go broke. Most weeks are better and some are a penny or two below but you will remain viable and in business for as long as you want to be. Now for the balance, you must have your direct customers and keep them happy so you remain busy and can make money. I honestly think that if you plan on making 4-10 dollars for all miles, you are not living in reality. Will that statement remain true? I have no clue but I would think that if fuel and operating cost keep rising that we will see higher rates, BUT with higher rates, we will see inflation on our cost of living. It is a vicious circle that just keeps going.

I guess my final question is how do we juggle with wanting to make 4-10 dollars per mile when our break even is in the lower 2's while knowing that the cost of living for our families as well as others who are not in the transportation field go up. We all know that added costs for freight are going to be passed on to the consumer.

Have a great weekend and stay safe and profitable!

Keith

Replied on Fri, Nov 04, 2022 at 03:39 PM CST

A couple of questions.

Ten empty trucks in Dallas looking for a load. Two loads available. Who gets the loads?

The formula of $5.00 fuel and 6 mpg. If I get 8 mpg, do I use the same formula?

FYI: I saw a van load in a customers e-mail list (direct shipper) on Wednesday. New Jersey to California for $1.40 per loaded mile. The load was not on Thursday's e-mail list.

Replied on Fri, Nov 04, 2022 at 09:00 PM CST
+ 1

I drove empty all the way from Temple TX, no load paying decent rate, I wish no one haul for them, my MC is 6 month old and they are offering to me half of what other carriers make, no way it will cost me the same amount of money and time to get the load from point A to point B, I'm willing to sacrifice myself not making money than working for almost free and hurting other truckers, please say no to low, low rates, Brickers making more money jus sitting on a chair. That's B S.

[email protected]

Replied on Fri, Nov 04, 2022 at 09:00 PM CST
Quote: "A couple of questions. Ten empty trucks in Dallas looking for a load. Two loads available. Who gets the loads? The formula of $5.00 fuel and 6 mpg. If I get 8 mpg, do I use the same formula? FYI: I saw a van load in a customers e-mail list (direct shipper) on Wednesday. New Jersey to California for $1.40 per loaded mile. The load was not on Thursday's e-mail list."

I would answer the questions this way:

1. If you got good enough money going to Dallas, you roll out empty and head back to get another load from your first customer, or to a better area if YOU want to load back, not because you NEED to load back.

2. While I don't use that formula, I would say Simply yes, you do, why not? You'll make a little more profit due to your fuel efficient truck. What's wrong with that?

I guess my point is, if brokers are telling us we are running too cheap, maybe we should listen.

Replied on Sat, Nov 05, 2022 at 06:32 PM CST

Because they think it is way cheaper to go back empty. Tires last a lot longer when not loaded and fuel economy is double They have been thru marketing school and are thought to keep rates just above poverty. And there are enough "new truckers" that need to make payments

Replied on Sat, Nov 05, 2022 at 06:32 PM CST
You never see a salesperson on a car lot sabotage their own sale by devaluing the product, they never tell you that the product is not worth the asking price, and that you should go buy a product from the competitor, HOWEVER you do see truckers do it all the time, every time there is a discussion about detention time Rates or hourly pay, some dipshit comes out of the woodwork and says, Duh I’m a trucker and I don’t think drivers should be paid for everything they do, and completely devalues the product that the rest of us are trying to sell, and then makes a retarded statement like everyone should stop complaining and quit if they are unhappy.... Then when some drivers take their advice and quit they whine how nobody wants to work and they can’t find drivers, and wonder why truckers are looked at like idiots.
Replied on Sat, Nov 05, 2022 at 09:21 PM CST

Is $2.00 per loaded mile, or total miles?

Replied on Sun, Nov 06, 2022 at 05:12 AM CST
I get 4.5 mpg. I can pass everything but a fuel pump. My miles are heavy terrain. Trailers aren't fuel efficient. I'm here for the glory.
Replied on Sun, Nov 06, 2022 at 05:12 AM CST
+ 1
My beautiful bride of 42 yrs just ran Az to Ohio to save our customer. There isn't a haul of fame for it, vbut wives that can and do save the day with style and grace are special. I'm very blessed and proud. I would have nothing without family. How many of us celebrate the people in our lives that go above and beyond. She's also a black belt and gorgeous at 67. You all should be so lucky Art Pfluger
Replied on Sun, Nov 06, 2022 at 05:12 AM CST
We damn sure didn't do it for TQL. What and Insult? You get what you deserve.
Replied on Mon, Nov 07, 2022 at 07:40 AM CST
+ 1
Quote: "Is $2.00 per loaded mile, or total miles?"

Doesn’t matter, It crap either way..
Replied on Tue, Nov 08, 2022 at 10:22 AM CST
+ 1

It will continue to be hard on the small guy. These really large freight companies are putting their hands in everything bidding the freight cheap then brokering it to the little guy for pennies. I refuse to run for peanuts as we all should. If a load can't be profitable even if I have a breakdown then I can't run it