How to discover more freight opportunities in the bulk commodity sector

Connectivity can be a key to success, especially in today’s world. BulkLoads.com utilizes this line of thought in their online community by virtually connecting those with materials in need of transport to truckers ready to haul. Jared Flinn, Operating Partner for Bulk Loads, spoke on the Successful Driver Podcast about how this network of shippers, brokers, and carriers can help a driver find success.

Jared shared the testimonial of a driver who had been on the verge of bankruptcy prior to finding BulkLoads.com.

“[He] found some freight, found some established contacts and now he’s having one of the best years he’s had in his business. For us, he went from one spectrum to the other in his business lifecycle.”

Operating within the bulk commodity niche, BulkLoads.com serves the industry by forming the connections needed to streamline business. To date, $4,087,252,260 worth of commodities have been moved through Bulks Loads in 2021. Jared says the difference is “that they’re finding connections, that they have more connections and that they even have more work than they ever need to do. That’s how we know that we’re doing our job.”

BulkLoads.com makes finding and maintaining these connections easy with their community-driven website. The site offers a variety of helpful tools, including (but not limited to); a load board, a truck board, and a forum. To make things even easier, Bulk Loads’ mobile app helps you find loads on the go.

 

Visit BulkLoads.com to explore their offerings, especially if you’re looking to haul grain, feed, fertilizer, aggregate, or any other bulk commodity. Interested in learning more? Listen to Episode 23 of the Successful Driver Podcast. Dive further into the conversation by checking out Bulk Loads’ Podcast, we suggest you start with Episode 155, featuring Arrow Truck Sales’ own Trae Viser.

How DEX Heavy Duty Parts Helps Keep Drivers on the Road

There are three types of parts offered by DEX Heavy Duty Parts: renovated, recycled, and surplus. One of DEX’s main goals as a company is to eliminate as much down time for a trucker as possible when a breakdownn or accident occurs. It’s no secret that time spent waiting on repairs is money lost for a driver. That’s why DEX’s parts solutions can be so pivotal when a trucker is faced with time off the road.

Darin Redmon, Manager of Operations at DEX Heavy Duty Parts, spoke about this issue on the Successful Driver Podcast, saying, “in the event they do have down time, we’re focused on that solution to get them back up and going.” DEX understands that their success as a company is determined by the success of their customers and, in order to be successful, a trucker’s wheels have to be turning.

“If they’re not moving, they’re not making money,” Darin shared with us. Knowing this, DEX focuses on this company motto; “we don’t sell parts, we sell Dexperiences.” The Dexperience, according to Darin, leans heavily on efficiency. Since time is money for a trucker, the total repair experience goes well beyond a part. That’s why DEX wants to make sure the process they offer is as streamlined as possible.

Curious to learn more about what DEX Heavy Duty Parts has to offer? The Successful Driver Podcast is featuring them in a five-episode series. The series continues this week with our third installment. Check out our DEX series playlist now to catch up on our previous episodes and make sure to subscribe to Arrow Truck Sales’ YouTube channel to get updates when a new episode goes live.

 

Operation Safe Driver Week 2021 is Approaching!

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week starts on Monday, July 11th! Throughout the week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving. Identified unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning.

Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors. By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.

The emphasis this year is on speeding. “When you look at the data, speeding has gone up,” said Kerry Wirachowsky, the Director of CVSA’s Roadside Inspection.

The event doesn’t just focus on trucks but any vehicle on the road. “Operation Safe Driver is a little different in that it doesn’t just take into consideration trucks, but also cars around large trucks,” said Wirachowsky. “When the police are out their patrolling they’re looking for cars cutting off trucks, it’s a lot of traffic enforcement.”

For more information on Operation Safe Driver Week you can check out the CVSA website: https://www.cvsa.org/programs/operation-safe-driver/operation-safe-driver-week/

We talked to Kerri Wirachowsky, the Director of CVSA Roadside Inspection about the event and so much more!

Planning for the future is a key to truck driver success

There are variables in a truck driver’s life that can affect his or her monthly income. A lot of successful drivers have found ways to navigate the variance in income with forward thinking. Some months may be more lean than others, but if you’re planning and budgeting for the future, it can help take some of the potential volatility out of it.

“Sometimes freight pay really well and you’re doing a lot of miles,” said Arrow Truck Sales’ Jason Church. “Setting money back is tough to do sometimes.”

“Planning for the future is a really big key and something that’s hard to do,” he said.

The intermingling of personal and truck finances can make things difficult at times, but planning ahead to maintain your unit is crucial, says Church. “When your tires are wearing thin, and the check engine light is on. You do need to keep up the equipment so you can lean on it. That’s what makes your money.”

Proactivity with maintenance can help save money – especially if you’ve purchased a used commercial vehicle. “Waiting too long to make a repair typically can snowball into something much worse – and very costly,” says Church. “Consistently putting a little money back (is important). A used truck will break. A used truck has used truck problems.”

You can watch the full episode of the Successful Driver podcast with Jason Church here:

How to maintain the resale value of a truck

Jason Church, a member of the purchasing department at Arrow Truck Sales, has seen a lot of trucks in his life. Whether it’s prior roles as a salesman and branch manager, or his role today, the man has done a lot of deals on used commercial vehicles.

When it comes to resale value, Church has some suggestions on how to get the most out of your used truck.
“Whether it’s a truck, a car, a bass boat, a house, people like to buy nice things,” said Church. “When you look at two different trucks, and they came from the same place, and two different people had control of its outcome. If one is clean, the bumper got scratched but they took care of it when they could, and the tires match.”

Beyond keeping things clean and consistent, Church also preaches proactivity. “Making sure there’s not oil leaks to the ground. If you get a simple oil leak today, just fix it. It becomes a massive leak down the road and sprays all over the truck.”

It can be tempting to collect insurance money on minor issues and not resolve issues with the truck, but Church cautions against that. “If you get dinged. Instead of taking the insurance money and saying ‘When things slow down, I’ll get it fixed’. Just get it fixed.”

Church mentions that if at all possible, resolving issues in a timely fashion is important. “I know there are bills to pay, there is a reality to everything, but if you can’t stop right make sure you do.”

A proactive approach to cleaning and maintaining your truck will help improve the resale value when it comes time to sell. “Keep it clean, keep it nice. It speaks volumes and pays more when you do it.”

Watch the full episode here:

What truck drivers need to know about their HVAC

We were lucky enough to spend some time with Stan Saunders, HVAC Product Support for Road Choice on the most recent episode of the successful driver podcast. We asked him several questions about HVAC and he provided some great answers about what truck drivers need to know about their systems.

Heat check

The environment has been on an upward trend with regard to temperature.

“The temperature outside has changed more so in the last few years, to where it’s super hot. And I don’t see that going away,” said Saunders.

Beyond just rising temperatures though is truck-related heat. “The temperatures around the truck because of the EPA is getting hotter,” said Saunders. “We’ve got EGR, DPF filters. All these things generate heat that we didn’t have in trucks in 2007. With the additional heat from the temperatures outside and the technology with the regulations, the temperature around the truck is hotter than it ever has.”

While the temperatures rise for various reasons, the technology for HVAC in trucks has been stead for the last 25 years. “We’ve been using the same AC refrigerant for 26 years,” Saunders said. “The technology is there, we’re doing the best we can when we’re making trucks.”

If your unit isn’t able to keep up even running correctly, it may be time to look for help. “If that’s not satisfactory then maybe they need to look at some auxiliary AC.”

Early indicators of issues

Truck drivers need to proactive about monitoring their HVAC. It can be an uncomfortable experience being without AC or with a failing unit for extended periods of time.

One thing Saunders suggests is monitoring the temperature of the cab. “I’d keep a constant eye on the temperature coming out of the outlets,” he said. “When a system fails, it’s usually one of two ways. It fails very abruptly or it fades away. I always recommend for drivers to keep a dash outlet thermometer. What you’re looking for is about a thirty degree drop from ambient temperature outside. If it’s 90 degrees outside, you’d want the outlets to be at about 60. If you see that you’re not getting your thirty degree drop and it’s gradual, you know that your AC isn’t working properly. It’s going to be a matter of refrigerant or components that need to be cleaned.”

If you are starting to experience issues, it’s important to get it addressed quickly. “Non-working AC systems laying around will get more damage, more contaminants in the system if it’s open for any reason and make the job more expensive to repair.”

You can find more insights from Saunders on the Successful Driver podcast.

The CVSA Road Check is fast approaching!

Next week is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Road Check 2021! The event starts on May 4th and runs through May 6th! The emphasis this year will be on lighting and hours of service!

We spoke with Kerry Wirachosky, Director of Roadside Inspection Program with the CVSA in the lead up to next week! Here’s our full discussion:

What one finance and insurance manager sees in successful drivers

Arrow Truck Sales – Philadelphia’s Finance and Insurance Manager Carrie Shingleton has never been a truck driver. She will be the first to tell you that. However, in her role at Arrow she works daily with owner-operators to help them set up their business for success in their most recent purchase with the company. She sees a lot of different of people from a variety of backgrounds – representing a variety of industries in trucking. Here are some of the key things she thinks are important for successful drivers.

Equipment Research
“Your business is on wheels. You don’t have an office. You really have to put a lot of thought into it – starting with the equipment,” says Shingleton. “You have to have a reliable truck. You need to think about protecting your truck. It’s an investment in your business. If your truck goes down, you’re not making any money.”

Budgeting
“Another big thing is budgeting. You can’t have money coming in and out and not really think about where it’s going. You might have your truck payment consistent but you have other stuff going in that can fluctuate depending on how much you’re driving or how much diesel you’re using,” say Shingleton.

Being meticulous about the dollars and cents – even smaller expenses can go a long way. “Even little things like eating,” Say Shingleton. “It sounds like nothing but just throwing money at things and not thinking about it – not having a system in place to track all of your money. You can lose out if you’re not thinking about it.”

Support system
Having people with a vested interested in your success can help you achieve your goals.

“One of the under talked about aspects of being a successful driver is the importance of a support system, says Shingleton. “Whether it’s a business partner, accountant or significant other that has some system in place to ensure you are successful. Because if you’re just haphazardly doing things – you could be in trouble.”

Haul source and networking
“Haul source is crucial,” says Shingleton. “There’s a lot of people out there promising things to drivers and they don’t deliver.” Reaching out to connections in the industry can help you get answers. “You need to be networking – figuring out who has the best loads and what they’re paying. If you’re doing the load boards are they taking a percent of your money? You have to think things through and research them. Networking is amazing because if you talk to other people and get the truth.”

It’s a unique perspective from someone who is so intimately involved with driver success. You can see our whole discussion with her here: