Student Driver Placement

May 2016

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2 May '16 T h e long-term goal of many inde- pendent owner-operators with their own authority is to expand the business to more than just the sin- gle truck. O en, the prime focus to that end is to raise capital over me in order to invest in addi onal trucks, but some long me veterans have discovered that such an approach could be faulty in that it puts the equipment before the most important part of the equa on the op- erator who will be behind the wheel. For a small fl eet operator who still drives him/herself, fi nding a self-start- er kind of individual with a passion for trucking, or such an individual with clear potential to develop such a passion, is key. Absent employed dis- patch and in-house maintenance per- sonnel, and given the time constraint placed on a small fl eet operator who still drives, the employed driver to one extent or another will need to be able to take personal control of and effectively manage his time and truck maintenance, and manage his own loads within the small fl eet's uni- verse. Such consideration could be the lynchpin in long-term profi tability. Ted Bowers, owner of two-truck Ted Bowers Trucking of Kingston, Tenn. (Bowers in addition has one owner-operator leased to his busi- ness), reported having recently sold two trucks for reasons having to do directly with the trucks' drivers' inabil- ity to do the things listed above. One driver knew nothing about the truck's systems themselves, "and he'd tell you that," Bowers says, though in many instances the driver was dependable when dispatched. But in the end his lack of knowl- edge and generally reactive ap- proach to freight proved more burden than it was worth. If the truck/driver situation in small fl eet expansion present a chicken- egg type conundrum, Bowers sug- gests, operators would do well to focus on the driver fi rst. |Feature | Driver before the truck in small fl eet expansion By Todd Dills Ted Bowers, an independent fl atbedder from Tennessee

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