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The seven secrets

April 17, 2009
“The Chinese have a great saying: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing the same way each time while expecting different results.’” –Tim Brady, author, consultant and former owner-operator I’ve said it before in this space and I will say it again: ...

The Chinese have a great saying: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing the same way each time while expecting different results.’” –Tim Brady, author, consultant and former owner-operator

I’ve said it before in this space and I will say it again: Knowledge is power in the trucking industry. Because if you truly know, down to the penny, how much it costs to operate your trucks on a per-mile basis, you’ll know instantly whether to accept or reject tendered loads – regardless of whether you are a fleet executive or owner-operator.

However, my good friend and work compatriot Tim Brady takes that a step further in his “Seven Secrets of a Successful Trucking Company” – building into that cost per mile a salary figure so truckers can figure out a set cost per mile “break-even point” below which they cannot go. That way they still get to put money in their pocket even though they are hauling freight at their bottom dollar level.

It sounds simple, but it isn’t, because it takes hard work and consistency to make it happen. But once you get the concepts into your bones, it becomes instinctive – much like riding a bike – and allows a trucker to not only understand the total cost of their operation, while also taking home enough money to feed the family, pay the mortgage, etc.

That’s why I am helping Tim bring his concepts to a wider audience with a new webcast series we’re calling – appropriately – “The Seven Secrets of a Successful Trucking Company.” Our goal here is to help carriers large and small (down to the one-truck owner mind you) learn to make their trucking business profitable – period. Here are some of the things we’ll be examining:

• Set hauling rates in the new economy which meet your carrier’s long range plans.

• Get your cash flow running in the black on a consistent basis.

• Develop a plan to retain the customers you have and find new ones.

• Grow your freight lane strategy to increase your market share.

• Control and lower your insurance rates

Our first webinar in this series is “Setting Profitable Hauling Rates in a Recession” on May 19 at 1 p.m. eastern. You can get more information about it (and register, too) from our sister publication, American Trucker magazine. (Conveniently, I’m the editor of that – how original.)

Now, sure, this is a paid endeavor – $30 a session if you are an American Trucker subscriber, $40 if you are not (but then the subscription is free; that’s an easy sell, isn’t it?) – but here’s the thing: we won’t be talking in “Wall Street,” with all sorts of fancy terminology and acronyms being bandied about.

This is simple, solid information – trust me, if a history major like myself that barely squeaked by in algebra can understand this, you can too. It’s not tricky – you just must apply the lessons Tim provides consistently to your operation in order to reach profitability.

[And if you want to get a feel for what we sound like, check out our latest “Trucking Business Insights” podcast on American Rig Radio.]

Let me add one final note. The best thing about the information Tim offers is that it’s not theory gleaned from the plethora of business books and courses out there. He applied the very same principles he teaches back when he drove a truck hauling household goods for a living. (Yes, he’s a former “bedbugger” – I always DID like that particular descriptive!)

He’s also taught these same principles to others across the freight-hauling spectrum and THEY’VE been able to make money with them. That’s some pretty good proof if you ask me.

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