There are several different ways in which to operate a trucking company. Some may include local shipping, regional, long-haul/l 48 states and even international should you operate in Canada or Mexico.

Years ago, when beginning my trucking company I decided to obtain my own operating authority and run a particular corridor along the eastern seaboard. When I began in 1996, my son was just 2 years old and it was important for me to be home on a regular basis. I also thought it was a good idea to establish our own customer base without having to rely on brokered business. My previous employer had a supplier in the Philadelphia, PA area. This manufacture agreed to utilize my transportation services in order to ship to Charlotte, NC where I lived at the time. This proved to be quite an advantage as I only needed to find customers in my local area who shipped into the Philadelphia area.

I found this type of operation had many advantages for a small start- up company. I was able to be home every other day and weekends. It became second nature picking the best fueling spot, sleeping, eating location and even which routes to take depending on the time of day, weather conditions and known traffic patterns. If a traffic jam occurred, it was easy to reroute myself, as I was familiar with all the secondary roads. In other words, I always had a home court advantage. Another advantage of running the same corridor each week was a great knowledge of the current going freight rates for each location. I’ve made many long term friendships over the years as I see the same people every week. This means from truck stops, restaurants, repair facilities, shippers, consignees and even the scale houses. Not all of the above advantages apply if you are leased to a carrier with a nationwide freight base.

Let’s discuss another type of trucking operation called “irregular routes.” This type of operation has some unique advantages all its own. In fact, I’ve always had a bit of envy toward these drivers as they run anywhere a shipment is required. They have the opportunity to meet many “new” people across their travels. They are somewhat on an adventure and get to experience new places on a daily basis. They definitely get to see all the different regions of our country through all four seasons. If by chance they have an unfortunate layover, they might decide to take in some sightseeing nearby.

There are advantages to all types of trucking operations within our industry. What works for you may not necessarily work for someone else. Each of us has our own set of circumstances and priorities which can dictate which operation we choose.

Comments (4)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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Agreed ... this industry has a niche for almost fill.

September 10, 2013 8:05:02 AM

Exactly the reason I have made a business out of running around the area most avoid like the plague, Los Angeles! The main motivation was being able to make a decent living while still remaining close to home to be with the family we have started. Now that my daughter is nine months old, it is all the more important for me to run in an area where I am no more than a day away from home in case I am needed back home for an emergency. The relationships in my home area have proved very valuable to my business and have definitely attributed to my success as a local/short-haul owner-operator!

September 08, 2013 10:22:03 AM

This reminds me of the saying "To each his own". We did not get into over the road trucking till our last daughter left for college so we had no need to be home on a regular basis. We wanting our trucking experience to first make money, second to see the United States and third go home as needed and for us as needed can be three months away from home at a time.

September 08, 2013 5:26:22 AM

One of the best things about the trucking industry is its diversity. We can all find our own niche.

September 08, 2013 4:17:34 AM