Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

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8 | Overdrive | September 2019 Visit Senior Editor Todd Dills' CHANNEL 19 BLOG at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19 Write him at tdills@randallreilly.com Twitter: @channel19todd Regular readers will recall small-fleet operations manager Tim Les- ter's 2018 thoughts on what many independents and others have been experiencing amid what is definitely a soened spot freight market com- pared to where we were a year ago. Lester urged owner-operators to work hard on relationship-building with whomsoever they were dealing with for freight, even when rates were ripe for the picking during the go-go spot rates period that directly followed the ELD mandate. Chasing rates from broker to broker and load post to load post, with no regard for potential ongoing relationships, wouldn't sustain you when things got tough, Lester noted: I would rather give $50 back to the broker and keep getting load offers daily than gouge for all I can now and get nothing else from him again. Owner-operator Randy Carlson's example a year later in some ways proves Lester's point. He spoke in July aer a long falloff in spot rates punctuated by a short blip upward in spring. Amid no shortage of angst over spot rates doldrums from many owner-operators, Carlson added that "right now, trucking is the best it's been in that entire 25 years" that he's been trucking with authority. e owner-operator has put together regular hauls on a lane between Min- nesota and Springfield, Missouri, with regular customers, and he's prepping a second truck for his Arkansas-based son-in-law to run under his authority to capitalize further on those relationships, with brokers and a direct contract. e son-in-law will be just as busy on the same lane Carlson runs — Minnesota to Springfield and back weekly. "He'll run the same thing I do, just start Monday in Springfield when I start Monday in Minnesota." Read more about Carlson's operation and mechanical prowess via the July 25 post on Channel 19. Revisiting the so-market banana peel for spot rates chasers Oops! Double-check military facility ID requirements Much has been made about the vari- ability in procedures when it comes to delivering a load to one of the un- told number of military installations. Independent team William and Mandi Jo Pinheiro got a reminder of that in June at Naval Base Kitsap's installation in Bangor, Washington, along the coast. e Pinheiros recently updated their CDLs to Idaho's "Star Card." It's a new Real ID law-compliant license that, they thought, would get them into most military locations. Naval Base Kitsap's Deputy Public Affairs Officer Lonnie Collier III says that when an order needs to be trucked in, "the requirements to get on base are sent with that order. In many cases, those requirements are not delivered to the actual driver, so they do not have the required paper- work to get on base." e Pinheiros mistook a reference in the requirements to "Enhanced Driver's Licenses" for what they had, the basic Real ID-compliant license. Turned out "Enhanced Driver's License" refers to RFID chip-enabled licenses issued in some northern bor- der states to grease the skids crossing into Canada and back. "We check in, and we hand them our superpower driver's license from Idaho," Mandi Jo Pinheiro notes. ey were turned down and given a list with nearby tow companies that had the required clearance. ey paid $276 for a little more than an hour's work — an expensive (or lucrative, depending on the perspective) mistake. "at was our only option," she said, other than to leave and come back with a passport, a birth certifi- cate or another acceptable ID. Bottom line: If you have any doubt about ID requirements, double-check with the base itself, whether with your inside sponsor contact or, if un- successful, visitor control, as Collier also emphasized. Independent owner-operators Mandi Jo and William Pinheiro (and their dog, Luka), cooling their heels in June after being held up at the gate of a military facility. Read more about the incident via the Aug. 5 blog post.

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