SHOULD I BE HAULING BULK?

Jan 02, 2019 at 09:11 AM CST
+ 1
Hi all. I’m a new carrier. Right now I have a dry van and am hauling general freight. Honestly, I’m not that crazy about it. I’m wondering if I should get a hopper bottom (something else? what’s best?) and haul commodities or something. I cut my teeth driving during harvest, in and out of fields, grain bins, elevators etc. I’ve always heard that it doesn’t pay, but I see all these people on here that seem to know what they’re doing, and read all the testimonials about being profitable using BulkLoads etc.
How about some advice? Care to share your wisdom? Hopper or end dump? Thanks folks, see you down the road.
Replied on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 10:59 AM CST
+ 1
Personally I've had good luck with a hopper. I lucked out and made some good contacts thanks to bulkloads. I know that if I didn't have those regular, reliable customers, I probably wouldn't be very profitable. Those steady customers are the only way I can make it work. I'm grateful to those customers and luckily it has worked out for me. I just started a year ago. Good luck.
Replied on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 12:33 PM CST
had mine for about a year now am doing alright however think I could be going better
Replied on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 03:21 PM CST
I have run a dump trailer the last 4 years recently I bought a new hopper. the money is sixes..it is profitable if you have a light truck and are willing to go beyond the front porch for work. You can get you loads off Bulk loads or get a regular broker. After doing both the money for me is once again sixes. However with me getting my own loads I have more freedom in where I go and when I get to go home and how long I stay home.
Replied on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 04:12 PM CST
Thanks to all for the response thus far, keep it coming! The freedom is a big deal for me. I didn’t buy a truck, go through everything to get my Authority to “hire” a broker who doesn’t have a nickel invested in my truck to tell me how to run it, where to go, how long to stay out.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:41 AM CST
If you get in the the right people, using a few brokers is beneficial. I have my regular weekly trips, and I contact them about filling in the empty miles, or they contact me, and i build a run from whatever they need moved, to get me home. I hear ya, the operating authority and all that fun stuff is a nightmare when new, but if you get in with the right people, it makes everything alot easier. It another useful resource. Its tough to know which companies to use, i guess its a gamble, but it seemed like if i contacted a new company about a load, the first load didnt pay amazing (they are taking a risk on you being a pain) but after a few times, it seems like they are much more up front with better rates once you establish a little competence.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:41 AM CST
+ 2
Honestly if you are pulling a van and making good money id stay. I've seen the van and reefer rates and they are alot better than hoppers. I have friends who pull reefer and stay out 2 weeks at a time. what takes me a month to make they can make it 2 weeks with a reefer. yes there are some arm pits but take the good with the bad. im looking at buying a used reefer to fill in on the slow times with a hopper. thats my opinion but to each there own.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:42 AM CST
Originally Posted by: DAN EISCHENS
Quote: "Honestly if you are pulling a van and making good money id stay. I've seen the van and reefer rates and they are alot better than hoppers. I have friends who pull reefer and stay out 2 weeks at a time. what takes me a month to make they can make it 2 weeks with a reefer. yes there are some arm pits but take the good with the bad. im looking at buying a used reefer to fill in on the slow times with a hopper. thats my opinion but to each there own."

I agree made alot more money with a reefer but alot of aspects of it I hated as well but I'm also not that well established with a hopper either....have a few brokers that I run for consistent and go where the load takes me with in reason
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:42 AM CST
Originally Posted by: DONALD KEIFER
Quote: "I agree made alot more money with a reefer but alot of aspects of it I hated as well but I'm also not that well established with a hopper either....have a few brokers that I run for consistent and go where the load takes me with in reason"

I've pulled a hopper for 14 yrs. have done reefer, flatbed and food grade tanker during the hopper slow time. never really liked the reefer either but the money seems good right now vs hopper rates. i still pull the tanker and i honestly make more money pulling tanker and its easier money.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:44 AM CST
+ 1
If you need to ask people you even don't know, I would say your answer is no.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 10:12 AM CST
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No stay where you at we have enough cut throats out here as it is
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 10:49 AM CST
sell the truck and buy a ice cream truck and start selling marijuana where its legal. That would be about the only no fail job. The hopper would make you money and stepping out could take some time to get the ball rolling with good contacts and decent loads. If your not scared to scratch around and get dirty and work hard then it should work. best of luck
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 10:49 AM CST
Originally Posted by: BRIAN JOHNSON
Quote: "I have run a dump trailer the last 4 years recently I bought a new hopper. the money is sixes..it is profitable if you have a light truck and are willing to go beyond the front porch for work. You can get you loads off Bulk loads or get a regular broker. After doing both the money for me is once again sixes. However with me getting my own loads I have more freedom in where I go and when I get to go home and how long I stay home."

What does sixes mean. Please educate me I’m not down with this cool language.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 04:40 PM CST
+ 1
I think he's saying he makes a 6 digit profit.
Replied on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 05:02 PM CST
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Originally Posted by: DARRYL BRUBAKER
Quote: "I think he's saying he makes a 6 digit profit."

Either that or he has enough left over to buy a six pack.
Replied on Fri, Jan 04, 2019 at 12:46 PM CST
+ 2
Originally Posted by: DARRYL BRUBAKER
Quote: "I think he's saying he makes a 6 digit profit."

I know I always make a six digit profit. That’s what Alfred taught me!
Replied on Sun, Jan 06, 2019 at 10:19 AM CST
I never advise anybody to buy a hopper buy a 40 ft spread end dump. Hopper rates are to low you are stuck hauling grain .shippers know it and will not pay a fair rate.it will not change until we convince everybody that a hopper is specialized equipment. Most of my work is 40 to 150miles one way and pays2.65 to 3.45 a mile.any thing over 200 mi.must pay 2.45 minimum. Also I want to gross 800 per day. Another benchmark is figure driver wage at 25% before taxes after all expenses including your wages and taxes you should have 6% left for being the owner of the business. YOU. Am I out of line.
Replied on Sun, Jan 06, 2019 at 10:20 AM CST
+ 1
Daniel,i run 48 state hopper mile for mile on truck I'll bank more than you will pulling bucket, and i DO NOT HAUL GRAIN...
Replied on Sun, Jan 06, 2019 at 10:20 AM CST
+ 1
Originally Posted by: DALE WILLIAMS
Quote: "What does sixes mean. Please educate me I’m not down with this cool language."

"sixes" is a term that comes from rolling a pair of dice. I suppose you could use any other number as a reference but it just means "THE SAME"..and as far as money is concerned if your not making a 6 digit net income through your personal bank acct. then it's not worth it.
Replied on Mon, Jan 07, 2019 at 07:18 AM CST
+ 3
Now I know why dump rates are so cheap anything under 200 need to be round trip rates only 800 day wow just wow
Replied on Tue, Jan 08, 2019 at 10:22 AM CST
+ 1
the biggest thing to understand is what freight is moving within reason of your own lily pad and adapt your business to that. you may not be able to haul grain and live if you spend 200k on a trophy winning truck that a normal 50k rig can do just as easy
Replied on Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 06:29 PM CST
Originally Posted by: ELI HOSTETLER
Quote: "Now I know why dump rates are so cheap anything under 200 need to be round trip rates only 800 day wow just wow "

Sorry I wasn't more clear. The per mi. rates I mentioned are minimum rates and are round trip. That 800 per day means if I can't make at least that much per day considering the per mi. rates I will not do it. I hope that is clear now. The post that mentioned cost of new and used trucks. You need to consider this:if you add the cost of a used truck,all repairs,and lost revenue you will be close to the cost of a new truck plus interest.