Being diverse in what I haul is something I attribute to my success over the years quite often. I like to think of myself as a problem solver of sorts when it comes to how I approach certain situations and circumstances presented to me by some of my customers. When one of my brokers that I do driver assist loads for from time to time had a load available, he knew I was the “go-to guy” for this kind of work, knowing I am never one to shy away from making a little extra coin to hustle some freight back in the box. This especially rings true during these summer months, when most drivers don’t want to be back in the trailer when temperatures outside can be well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The catch to this haul being offered though, is that it required the driver to use their own pallet jack on both ends, even though it was a very light load. This is where the problem solving came in, since I was usually accustomed to tailgating freight with the shipper or receiver’s pallet jack.
Since he was sure he wanted me to haul this load for him, I presented the idea of renting a pallet jack from a local equipment yard that I have used before. After discussing what the cost would be, he obliged and added it to the rate confirmation. When I called in to get the actual rental price, it was inline with my estimates and was not a cheap transaction. I started to wonder if the price we added to the haul might actually cover just purchasing a pallet jack of my own, helping me to have on hand all the time as another tool that would help diversify my freight-hauling portfolio. After calling around to a few material handling stores and tool stores, I found a nice 5000-pound capacity pallet jack for just a few dollars more than the rental would have cost for 2 days. It’s not often I get to buy a new tool on someone else’s tab, but I jumped at the opportunity to be able to accept loads that require my own pallet jack that I get offered from time to time and have generally turned down in the past due to the inconvenience.
Whether it’s keeping your tanker endorsement to pull liquid totes in a dry van, or getting a nice new tool like a pallet jack that won’t quite fit in the average toolbox, adding things that make you haul different types of freight can help make you a hot commodity yourself. There are those out there that will shy away from a lot of these hauls that require extra effort and a bit of problem solving, but that just means the rewards for those out there willing to take the time to figure it out are all the better! I could’ve been like most and just passed on that load to move onto the next, but thinking outside the box in this situation got someone else to buy me a nice pallet jack and a handsome haul rate as well! Buy tools, diversify, and make yourself stand out in the world full of many that are quite content not having to do so, but will be the first to complain when the “easy” freight dries up.