For anyone that follows my blog they know I am a believer in continuing education and I am constantly trying to learn more about the trucking profession and to keep our business profitable. 
Years ago in our first year of Expediting I enrolled in ATBS' CABS (Course for Advanced Business Standards) to learn more about the business of trucking.   Everyone knows make the most per mile and you will be profitable...   Sounds simple so what is the problem?
There is a lot more to becoming profitable, from learning to pick the best loads, how long to sit, keeping costs under control, and how to figure all of our costs and keep good records.   This course gave me a more in-depth knowledge of our business and how to keep us out of the red. 
We started looking at loads differently and taking into consideration how long we had been sitting, where the load was going, time of pickup and delivery, and what we had all ready made that month.  All of the sudden some of those good loads did not look so good and some of those poor loads looked a lot better. 
Here is an example:
Load picks up in Louisville, KY delivers in Little Rock, AR 520 miles which load do you pick?
ASAP pickup on Monday load pays $2.00 a mile and delivers on Tuesday Morning
Load 1 $2.00 X 520 = $1040 
Or you are offered the same load more money but have to sit a day
Load 2 $2.30 X 520 = $1196 Picks up on Tuesday delivers Wednesday morning have to sit Monday
Which load is better to accept? If you choose Load 2 you might want to consider taking CABS and learn what you fixed expensed are and how they affect how much you need to make each day.
We had all ready purchased our truck but I still learned information on how to buy a truck and anyone looking at purchasing a truck it would benefit.  The fuel mileage tips when I first took the course helped us to get started on getting better fuel mileage and now we have fine-tuned that art. 
The course teaches business planning to how fuel tax is figured.  What is the average numbers that we need to stay on the road in a year to become profitable? How freight cycles work and when to stay out on the road and when to plan home time.  CABS goes over some of the rules and regulations that we must follow each day to stay in compliance.
After each of the 12 sections there is a great dialog with a fictitious Owner Operator who has recently figured out he is not doing as well as he thought he would as an Owner Operator.  I enjoyed the dialog between the owner operator and his contact at ATBS talking through his problems and how he could improve his situation.  This O/O wanted to blame everyone but himself for many of his problems and he also considers many quick fixes that they talk through.
I took the course on line and I found that much easier then before when I used CD's.  After each section is a quiz and this really helped to reinforce what I had learned.  Yes I did learn a few things and I will use what I learned to even further fine-tune our business.  If considering becoming an Owner Operator this is something I would highly consider going through before you get to the point of researching trucks.
For members of Freightliners Team Run Smart web site the cost is $199.00 and for non-members the cost is $249.00.  Remember the cost for joining Team Run Smart is $0.00. Click here to get more information on CABS. 

Comments (4)

Linda Caffee

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 where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

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April 07, 2014 12:11:23 PM

It is important to know your business like the back of your hand so you can make decisions quickly when choosing the next load.

March 23, 2014 11:16:43 AM

Jeff I agree with you on where is the freight going. If we have to dead head out of an area it eats away at our HOS and we might not be able to run another load and this is even more serious for a solo.

March 23, 2014 6:38:26 AM

Mile pay is only one of several things to consider when taking anything. great points! Time has value. One of my considerations is -where is the load taking you? Is it taking you towards an area that generally has high paying freight-or no freight.

March 23, 2014 4:42:41 AM