We tell our drivers again and again that four good days make a good week in expediting, which is all well and good when you’re looking at pay statements. When you’re stuck on the west coast and not sure where your next load will come from, it can really test your patience and make you question your decisions. Here’s what’s been happening on the TempusTour.
On the West Coast
Tom and I wrapped up last week by delivering a load in San Diego, CA, first thing Friday morning. Our board position was #2, so we started for Los Angeles, hoping we would get a load offer at some point in transit. No load offers came all day Friday. On Saturday afternoon, we got an offer for a load from Las Vegas to Conway, AR, which would pick up Sunday morning. We accepted that load and deadheaded to Vegas.
The Vegas load was picking up at the convention center. We checked in at the marshaling yard, where we were told we would be called when the load was ready. We waited…and waited…and waited. Four hours past the appointment time, we were informed that another truck had picked up the load we were waiting for. Our load was officially a dry run.
We got a first out from Panther, which means we should be offered the very next available load, and were added to the Los Angeles board again. LA had 10 other trucks waiting at this point. We had a decision to make. If we took an empty move back to LA, we risked getting a crappy load. If we turned down the hypothetical crappy load, we would lose our first out and find ourselves in position #11 on the LA board. If we ran the hypothetical crappy load, we would come back to LA and sit at position #10 again.
Taking all of this into account, we decided to sit in Vegas a bit longer. We knew that load out was going to come eventually, but it was really testing our patience in the meantime. The weekend was coming to a close, and it was essentially a loss. We were frustrated.
By Monday afternoon, we still had no load out of Vegas and were beginning to see movement on the LA board. We decided it was time for an empty move to LA. By this point, we had missed the chance to get a Monday load but were hoping for a strong day on Tuesday. Sure enough, Tuesday morning dawned, and we were offered a 2,300 mile load from LA to Michigan.
Don’t let the system get you down
A 3-day span like the one we just had can be very trying for new drivers. Heck, it’s trying for experienced drivers, too! The important thing is to keep your faith in the system—that big load is coming, and not knowing when it’s coming can been a powerful mental trap. Be available, but try to find ways to enjoy your downtime. Whether that means you’re seeing the sights where you’re sitting, watching Netflix in the truck, or catching up on laundry, making the most of downtime will help it to pass.
One other note: we pay drivers their full rate on all dispatched miles, which means that our dry run out of Vegas would pay out to a driver at the same rate as running a load. If you’re on a revenue split, you’ll see a much lower cut on deadhead, so it’s worth considering what type of pay arrangement will be the most profitable in the long run.