Overdrive Magazine

April 2019

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32 | Overdrive | April 2019 W ith its under-10,001-pounds regulatory category, cargo- van hauling might seem to hold the key to addressing some of the biggest complaints among Class 8 owner- operators. Outside of placardable hazmat hauling in a van, such owner-oper- ators do not have to cross scales, keeping them out of the prying eyes of temperamental inspectors. Parking well away from crowded truck stops and rest areas is easy — many van operators make use of camp- grounds and RV parks, often with shorepower available. Home time often can be achieved more easily, given vans are capable of well more than double the typical fuel mileage of a Class 8. Empty somewhere late on a Thursday? "When you can get 18 to 20 miles per gallon," says Landstar-leased van owner-operator Darren Ayres, it might make sense to deadhead a few hundred miles to "be home and spend the weekend in the house." And perhaps most important to some operators: Outside hazmat, vans by and large do not have to adhere to federal hours of service regulations or the electronic logging device mandate. The cargo-van niche also has attracted attention inside and out of Overdrive's traditional Class 8 owner-operator audience in recent times for other reasons. There's a lower barrier to entry in terms of equipment costs and licensing. For most van operators, a commercial Owner-operator Tim Paxton and his 2017 Ford Transit Van at the 2018 Expedite Expo, where he was named Expediter of the Year by Expedite Now magazine. Todd Dills THE LOWDOWN ON DOWNSIZING The easy-in reputation of the cargo-van hauling subset of expediting is somewhat deserved, but the small- vehicle niche brings its own big set of challenges. Those who employ enhancements to get a competitive edge can thrive. BY TODD DILLS

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