Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers.
We decided we wanted to get into expediting as a husband wife team and it took us about two years to prepare.
Our first step was to spend hours reading the Expediters Online Forums and absorbing everything we could about expediting. We read about all sizes of vehicles with all companies. Almost all of the expedite companies do not own their own trucks they use owner operators or fleet owners to move their freight. The other huge difference with Expediting is that most of the companies do not have directional dispatch so it is much harder to get home on a regular basis or to make appointments.
Expediting is also a very volatile business meaning one week we will run till we run out of hours and the next week we could sit all week. Another tidbit is that it is much more difficult to make it as a solo driver in expediting as almost all loads are straight through pickup to delivery. Our overall miles for the year are usually comparable to a hard running solo driver but the main difference is our length of load.
In a short period of time after reading everything we could get our hands on we determined that we wanting in a D Unit straight truck or a truck that was 40' long and could haul 13,000 lbs. We continued to read and discuss with each other posts with tips on how to succeed once we made the leap.
Next we attended the Expe
dite Expo to talk with recruiters, truck salesman, and to drivers. We spent two days taking a plethora of notes and talking till we about lost our voices. All of the workshops were attended and more questions were asked. Those two days were a blur of making new friends, learning more about expediting, and determining which carrier would fit us the best.
Once we got home the notes were organized and we decided that expediting was in our future. With this decision made we knew we needed to sell our house in southwest Kansas to get nearer to an interstate. We went from a three-bedroom ranch house on seven acres to a very small apartment in Saint Louis, MO. Basically we sold everything and put that money away till we were ready to buy another house.
I also started getting our finances in order and perfecting my online banking abilities. Since we knew that expediting was non directional we knew we would probably not see our home for several months at a time. The bills were gone over to see what could be paid on line and what I would need to keep track of so that we would not be late. We started gathering truck "stuff". A truck friendly GPS was a must as well as a port-a-potty. A smaller printer, scanner, copier that is wireless is also a must. A small file box is also necessary to keep important papers in and also to keep track of receipts. This box is basically my desk and I keep my pens, envelopes, stamps, and necessary paperwork contained here. Another must is a waterproof-fireproof-lock box to keep important documents in and I keep some spare cash in here for emergencies.
I would recommend anyone that is looking at getting into expediting that does not have truck experience go to work for a fleet owner first to determine if this is a good fit. We had previous experience in the truckload sector of trucking and knew that we enjoyed living on the road and that would transfer to trucking so we bought a truck. Next came orientation and that first load.....
The following is basically the Expediters Creed written by Terry O'Connell
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.