Super Dispatch Profiles: EM Logistics and Exotic Car Hauling

EM Logistics has found the car hauling sweet spot in exotic car haulingauto hauler elog and BOL app for car haulers

It’s no accident that EM Logistics hauls almost exclusively exotic cars across the United States. This transport business was created to service the St. Louis-based company Exotic Motors Midwest. Using nothing but Featherlight trailers, Super Dispatch’s Transportation Management System and good old-fashioned customer service, EM Logistics has expanded to five trucks with five full time salary drivers. Check out how they have become so successful in under a year:

 

Do you have a niche market in car hauling (or trucking in general?) Let us know!



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The Ultimate Guide to ELD and Hours of Service

Super Dispatch has all the information you need to know about the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Hours of Service from the FMCSA!

Truckers are still processing all the nuances of the ELD Mandate that officially came into effect December of 2017. Super Dispatch has noticed a lot of questions coming through the Support Chat Window about this mandate, and we want to address the confusion. Over the next few weeks, we will address some of those questions in a series of videos. Through this post and the accompanying videos, we will cover:

  1. the ELD definition
  2. Hours of Service rules
  3. ELD mandate exemption
  4. Rules for exempt drivers
  5. Elog Device requirements
  6. Super Dispatch’s tips for buying Elog devices
  7. How to use an Elog Device properly while driving
  8. What ELD data transfer means and how to do it
  9. Super Dispatch’s tips for using Elog devices
  10. The common controversies surrounding ELD and HoS
  11. History and future of the Elog and HoS debate

There are a lot of nuances to this mandate, and we will be updating this post with more videos, helpful checklists and tips.

Definition and Rules

Video 1 of 10

Definition and Hours of Service rules

ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICE DEFINITION

OFFICIALLY: “Electronic hardware that is attached to a commercial motor vehicle engine to record driving hours. The driving hours of commercial drivers (truck and bus drivers) are regulated by a set of rules known as the hours of service (HOS).”

TRANSLATION: An electronic device that plugs into a commercial semi-truck engine to automatically record when the truck is running or not. The device forces a commercial semi-truck driver to automatically record the hours he is driving his truck (in accordance with the FMCSA Hours of Service to which all commercial drivers must adhere.) Because HoS affects the ELD mandate, we have defined the Hours of Service rules below:

HOURS OF SERVICE RULES

(according the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)

  • 11 in 14 hours rule:
    11 hours in 14 hours trucking rule ELD FMCSA Super Dispatch
    Official FMSCA HoS rules, from fmcsa.org

    According to the FMCSA website, a commercial driver can only be ON DUTY for a maximum of 14 hours after his required 10 consecutive hours OFF DUTY. (Drivers regulated by the Hours of Service regulations must take 10 consecutive hours OFF DUTY after every work day.) Within that 14 hours, he may drive his vehicle for a maximum of 11 hours. The 14 hour “ON DUTY” clock does not stop ticking. The 11 hour DRIVING clock can start and stop whenever necessary.

  • 70 hours in 8 days rule:
    truckers are not allowed to drive more than 70 hours in 8 days FMCSA Super Dispatch ELD mandate
    Screengrab from the FMCSA website.

    This rule requires that drivers can not be ON DUTY more than 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. This rule combined with the 11 /14 hour rule means that a driver could potentially be forced to wait days at a time, so as not to work too many consecutive hours. This is why, after much debate, the FMCSA decided on the…

  • 34 hour restart rule: This is a rule that allows a driver to “restart” his 8 day clock. For instance, if a driver has been ON DUTY a full 14 hours each day, Monday – Friday, he would have to wait 72 hours until he could legally drive again. The 34 hour restart rule cuts that wait time in half.
  • 30 minute break in 8 hour rule:
    FMCSA 30 minute break rule does not apply to short haul drivers.

    For the first 8 hours of his 11 hour DRIVING window, a driver must take a 30 minute break. It doesn’t matter when he takes the 30 minute break, as long as it falls within the first 8 hours of driving.

ELD EXEMPTIONS

Video 2/10

In this section, we are going to get into everyone’s favorite question on the ELD mandate – AM I EXEMPT? Few exemptions apply to commercial car haulers, but we will outline here the exact parameters of these exemptions. Exempt drivers fall into two categories: HoS exempt or ELD exempt. Short Haul and Agricultural drivers are Hours of Service exempt, while older vehicles and towaway services are only ELD exempt.

LIST OF EXEMPTIONS:

  • Short haul (also known as the Time Card Exemption or the 100 air mile exemption): When a commercial driver operates within a 100 or 150 air mile radius. (CDL required drivers have a maximum of 100 air miles while NON-CDL required drivers have a 150 air mile maximum.) In addition to this requirement, the driver must meet a few more:
    – Start and return to same location during operating time

    • Drive no more than 11 hours
    • Have ten consecutive hours off between shifts
    • Operate no more than 12 hour days

If you meet these requirements, you do not need to record your Hours of Service using a federally mandated Electronic Logging Device. IN FACT, you do not need to record HoS AT ALL. You do need to use “time records” to prove (during random compliance checks) that you consistently fall within this exemption category.

  • Agricultural exemption: Like Short Haul, Agricultural drivers that operate in a 150 air mile radius are not required to log Hours of Service at all, and only need to record a time record. Because agricultural exemptions rarely affect car haulers, we will not cover this topic in depth. FMCSA has a short PDF that covers the specifics better than we ever could.
  • Recreational: This is for drivers that operate large trailers recreationally rather than commercially. This definitely does not fall under the work our customers do, so we will also not go in depth here.
  • Pre-2000 engines: Trucks with engines older than the millenium (2000) are not required to record Hours of Service using an electronic logging device. Sometimes, engines will not match the model year on the VIN (this disparity happens when an engine is rebuilt using a “glider kit.”) Drivers must remember that this requirement applies to the engine, not the VIN. Engines need to have electronic control modules to connect to ELDs.
  • Driveaway/Towaway service: If you are operating a towaway service (driving multiple personal vehicles) it’s impractical to install an ELD in your constantly changing workspace.

FAQ

What are air miles?

Think of air miles in flight terms: Air miles are the straight line from Point A to Point B, as opposed to the literal distance it would take someone to travel from Point A to Point B.

E.g. Houston to Austin, TX is about 165 miles in road miles, whereas it is only 145 in air miles.

How do I calculate air miles?

Here is a handy air mile calculator that you can use to estimate.

What if I occasionally exceed the 12 hour rule or other parameters of the exemption?

That’s okay – FMCSA knows that short haul drivers do not drive short distances all the time. If you do not exceed these parameters more than 8 out of every 30 days then you are still exempt. 30 days means every 30 day period, not every month (i.e. May 15 – June 15 is a 30 day period.)

How do I record my drive time on days I exceed the exemption?

As long as you don’t exceed the exemption for 8 out of 30 days, you must record your

What is a time record and how is it different from RODS?

A time record is a simpler version of a RODS. It is not an official legal document and can be recorded in any format. These are the elements a time record (or “time card”) should have:

(A) The time the driver reports for duty each day;

(B) The total number of hours the driver is on duty each day;

(C) The time the driver is released from duty each day; and

(D) The total time for the preceding 7 days in accordance with 395.8(j)(2) for drivers used for the first time or intermittently.

To be safe, we suggest you follow this format (or print off this form and use it.)

You are not required to produce any sort of proof that you record this information at the roadside, unlike with RODS.

Bonus video 2.5

RULES FOR HoS and ELD exempt drivers

ELD exempt drivers fall into two categories: Hours of Service Exempt and somly ELD exempt.

Hours of Service exempt drivers: requirements

Hours of Service exempt drivers do not need to adhere to the paper log requirement that most do. These drivers do have to keep “time records” to prove that they are indeed Hours of Service exempt as we explained earlier in this post.

“Time records” are not specific legal documents like RODS, and can vary in format. Both CDL required and NON CDL required drivers are required to record in this manner. These are the only specifications for time records:

As per 395.1, the only thing that has to be done is that the motor carrier must maintain and retain for a period of 6 months accurate and true time records showing:

(A) The time the driver reports for duty each day;

(B) The total number of hours the driver is on duty each day;

(C) The time the driver is released from duty each day; and

(D) The total time for the preceding 7 days in accordance with 395.8(j)(2) for drivers used for the first time or intermittently.

The driver must return to the place he started within 12 hours.  This is all determined on investigation or a compliance review.

Drivers must record these time records daily, but are not required to produce them at roadside.

ELD only exempt drivers: requirements

This is the simplest one: if you are an ELD exempt driver, you just need to record to your logs as usual, within the Hours of Service mandate that we covered in the first section of this post. Unlike HoS exempt drivers, your hours of service must be on an official Hours of Service log.

ELD and HoS EXEMPT RULES: FAQ

Super Dispatch asked the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (the group responsible for International Roadcheck) and a Safety Investigator at the Missouri Division of the US Department of Transportation about the specifics of a few of these rules:

[HoS] Do I need to produce these time records at roadside inspection?

“Nothing, other than the drivers statement that he is operating within the 100 miles has to be produced at the side of the road. The only time a driver must produce something at roadside is when he is required to keep a RODS in some form,” said Kerri Wirachowsky, Director of Roadside Inspection Program at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The safety investigator at the DoT agreed on this point.

[HoS] Do I have to keep these records on paper?

No, as long as the sections in 395.1 are recorded in some way, the format does not matter.

[HoS or ELD] Can I record in electronic programs, such as the Super Dispatch Hours of Service recording feature?

The simple answer is yes, as long as you are recording accurately, electronic recording software (that is not an ELD) is compliant. But, if you are pulled over at roadside and you must be able to produce physical records that you can sign and hand over to a DoT officer.

[HoS or ELD] Can I email my electronically recorded logs at roadside inspection?

If you do not have an ABORD (the electronic recording system that was grandfathered in to the ELD mandate for another year) you can not email or show an electronic PDF of your logs, they must be able to be printed.
This means that you either need a printer on board that can connect to your phone, or you need to record on paper for the time being.

 

We at Super Dispatch prefer the permanence of electronic records. They don’t feel as permanent as paper, but they are easier to keep and carry with you everywhere. Thus, our official suggestion is to log your hours electronically and keep 7 days worth of paper logs on hand in case of inspection.

Do you have more questions? Let us know!

COMING UP:

ELD REQUIREMENTS

OUR TIPS for buying

HOW TO USE while driving

DATA TRANSFER

OUR TIPS for using

Controversies

Laws and History

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ELD and ELD exempt FAQ’s: Obscure Electronic Logging Device answers

Recently, our customers have been asking us some specific questions about the ELD (or Electronic Logging Device) Mandate. As Roadcheck Inspection Week approaches, we wanted to published a quick FAQ of the questions we have seen so far. Whether you are already using an ELD or are ELD exempt, keep reading on!

Let’s jump in!

1. What are my HoS rules?

Generally, car haulers are required to follow the 11 and 14 hours rule:
– Each day, a driver can work for 14 consecutive hours maximum (On-Duty)
– Of those 14 work hours, only 11 hours can be driving time
– During a work day, a driver is REQUIRED to take a 30 minute break sometime in the first 8 of his 11 hours.
– After his On Duty hours are over, he is required to rest 10 hours before his next shift.
– A driver is not allowed to exceed 70 hours of work in 8 consecutive days.
– Finally, a driver can “re-set” the 70 hour clock by resting for 34 consecutive hours.

2. How do I know if I’m ELD exempt?

For car haulers and auto transporters, there are few exemptions to the ELD rule. The most common exemption is the Short Haul exemption. A short haul driver would be ELD exempt if:
– The driver starts and ends his workday at the same geographical location (same city)
– He or She works no more than 12 consecutive hours a day

– They have a 10 consecutive hour rest breaks after each shift
– The driver works within a 100 air mile radius

3. What is an Air Mile?

An air mile is the miles a plane would make from one place to another; it is a shorter unit of distance than a traditional traveling mile, because it is a straight line. For instance, Houston to Austin is around 160 miles. But in air miles, they are only about 140 miles apart. This distinction could mean the difference between hundreds of dollars for an ELD for many drivers.

4. What if sometimes I fall into an exempt category, but not always?

FMCSA and DoT know that truck driving is not a predictable job. If you generally fall within the guidelines for “exempt,” but occasionally work more than 12 consecutive hours or exceed 100 air miles, there is leeway for you.
A driver may continue to use paper logs if he falls within the exemption rules 22 of 30 consecutive days.

For instance, if you drive between Kansas City and St. Louis three or four times a month, you would not be required to keep an electronic logging device on board.
If you exceed your exemption more than 8 days out of 30 consecutive days, that is when you must record your Hours of Service using an ELD.

5. If I am exempt, can I use the Super Dispatch app to record HoS?

The TMS by Car Carriers, for Car Carriers. Helps track hours of service for ELD exempt driversAccording to the Director of Roadside Inspection Program at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, you CAN record Hours of Service by using Super Dispatch or other MANUAL electronic recording devices. BE WARY: you are required to be able to print out paper logs on the spot, if requested by a DoT officer. Some Drivers find it more feasible to continue using paper logs because of this rule. Other drivers find that the Super Dispatch DVIR and HoS recording feature saves enough time and money that it is worth it to buy a small wireless printer for their truck.

Do you have more questions? Let us know what other questions you have, and we will update this post!


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International Roadcheck Inspection is June 5 – 7 this year!

International Roadcheck CVSA ELD and hours of service compliance
The CVSA works with the DoT and the FMCSA to conduct International Roadcheck Inspections once a year.

Gear up or check out: International Roadcheck Inspection is June 5 – 7 this year!

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA,) the Department of Transportation (DoT,) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) run the International Roadcheck every year in the first week of June.

DoT officers conduct Level 1 Inspections on random carriers for DoT compliance as they travel across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The CVSA says that 32 percent of drivers were placed out-of-service during 2017’s inspections due to Hours of Service violations. Because of that, inspections for 2018 will focus on Hours of Service and ELD compliance.

Many drivers across forums and Facebook groups claim that they skip “DoT week” every year. Truckers on forums plan to take vacation or plan for a three-day break at home this year, as well.
But if you aren’t in that group, we want to help you prepare.

What does “focusing on Hours of Service and ELD Compliance” mean?dispatch BOL Super Dispatch car hauler

For this story, Super Dispatch spoke with the CVSA and some Owner Operators. SD asked the CVSA Director of Roadside Inspection, Kerri Wirachowsky how CVSA plans to “focus” on ELD compliance if all carriers are required to have Elog devices since April 1st.

“Make sure that drivers know what type of record of duty status they are keeping,” Wirachowsky says. “What we are finding is that a driver knows that he’s got an electronic device, but he doesn’t know if he has an electronic logging device, a grandfathered automatic onboard recording device, if he has a paper log, is he allowed to be using a paper log, and does he know why he can still do a paper log because there are some exemptions…so that is the sort of information we want to focus on with the driver.

Many drivers equate the CVSA “focus” to be a crackdown of rule enforcement. Wirachowsky says that enforcement is part of the blitz. But she says that the actual purpose of a “focus” for International Roadcheck is to focus on a topic for the drivers and industry. Wirachowsky says that CVSA creates educational flyers and hands them out during the initiative.

“They’re still going to be inspected to ensure they are not over the hours of service rules, no different than how they would be checked at any other time or in previous years when we focused on brakes or cargo securement.” Wirachowsky says. “But every year we trying to give out educational material and focus with the driver on something specific, so this year it’s hours-of-service rules.”

How to prepare for Roadcheck:

  1. Proper Trip Inspection before leaving

    • “If you aren’t compliant out there, you’re going to get a violation eventually. It’s just a law of numbers, it’s just going to happen… You are supposed to be compliant all the time. So you should always be prepared to go through a DoT inspection.” – Mark Guinn – Super Dispatch customer and Owner Operator of El Porico Logistics – says. “
  2. Minimal paperwork

    • ““Make sure it’s neat. Make sure you don’t have several expired registrations, insurance cards and other documents…… only carry what you need.” – Wirachowsky
  3. Know your ELD

    • “There are well over 150 electronic logging devices registered on the FMCSA’s website now. The driver only needs to understand how to use the one he has. Inspectors are never going to understand all the intricacies of every device. So when the vehicle is stopped for inspection, and the driver has no idea how to show the inspector his records of duty status and/or transfer files and do all the things that are required of the driver, it doesn’t go well…don’t leave it up to the inspector to try and figure it out.” – Wirachowsky
  4. Most importantly: be patient.

    • “Try to be patient and be get along with the inspector and listen to what the inspector wants you to do. Stay in your truck, provide the necessary paperwork and operate the controls. If the driver does that, and there are no issues with the driver or the vehicle, they’re through it in about 40 minutes, hopefully, with a clean inspection and CVSA decal(s) applied to the vehicle(s).” – Wirachowsky

 

Super Dispatch will be releasing a video “Everything about ELD” next week for all the small ELD regulations.

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Why we built Super Dispatch for Car Haulers

What is Super Dispatch?

Super Dispatch is a comprehensive Transportation Management System. We designed our technology to help independent car haulers run their entire trucking businesses more efficiently. Super Dispatch allows truckers to import loads from load boards, dispatch loads to drivers, run financial reports and take the pressure off of the most confusing aspects of car hauling.

The history of Super Dispatch

Super Dispatch started as independent car haulers
Bek Abdullayev as a dispatcher in 2011.

Our product did not start out as the comprehensive Transportation Management System that it is today. Three years ago, Bek Adbullayev went from an independent dispatcher to creating Super Dispatch.

In 2015, he and a small development team released the first version of our product to a few curious carriers. That first version was a clunky application that only did Bills of Lading on mobile phones. But because of those first carriers brave enough to use a brand new technology, our system has grown into what it is today.

Where we are in 2018

Now our Transportation Management System has found its way into the hands of 6,000 amazing carriers. Our customers constantly help us change and improve our technology. We serve any company, from Owner Operators to fleets with hundreds of drivers. They haul anything from personal vehicles to RVs to exotic cars.

Every day we gain new customers and learn and change with the industry.

BOL Transportation Management SystemNow that we have established ourselves as a company, we want to share our thoughts on every aspect of the car hauling industry and it’s future. We plan to do that over a series of videos in the coming months.

But before we jump into the big topics like ELDs, broker apps and more, we wanted to create a video explaining the history behind Super Dispatch and how it became the Transportation Management System that it is today, so that you might understand our purpose and direction.

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How to be successful in your first year as an Owner Operator

How to be a successful Owner Operator in your First Year

Know your numbers and treat your Broker like your best customer?

That’s what Kevin Rutherford thinks. Rutherford is an Owner Operator Coach and a Sirius XM radio host of the program Lets Truck. Last month, he spoke at the Mid America Trucking Show and gave a seminar called “Don’t be a One and Done: Survive your first year trucking with authority by knowing your customer.”

Though Rutherford spoke to general freight truckers, Super Dispatch put together some of his best suggestions as they apply to car haulers. Take a look:

Super Dispatch's guide to be a successful Owner Operator. Quoting Kevin Rutherford from Mid America Trucking Show.
Kevin Rutherford had a lot of advice for first year Owner Operators at the Mid America Trucking Show 2018. Super Dispatch applied put that advice together with some tips for our first year car haulers.

Know your numbers: keep track of your finances.The TMS by Car Carriers, for Car Carriers

Obviously, Super Dispatch is biased – we absolutely agree that keeping track of your accounting is the most important part of car hauling. Our car haulers are incredibly successful because they use our reporting features, like Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Company Revenue reports. Though we integrate seamlessly with Quickbooks Online and Desktop, some of our car haulers only use Super Dispatch to run their trucking business year-to- year.

Regardless of our biases, finances are the most important part of your trucking business, no matter how exhausting the day-to-day trucking is. Even if you don’t use Super Dispatch, Owner Operators should also find a trucking-specific accountant or financial advisor.

The Broker is the customer?

Not everyone agrees with Rutherford, especially about Brokering, and he knows that. Often, Owner Operators don’t trust Brokers and vice versa. Many haulers don’t view the Broker as a customer at all, but simply a necessary evil to their business.

What do you think? Do you use load boards and/or a variety of Brokers? Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with Rutherford.

 

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Review of Auto Hauler Association of America Conference from Super Dispatch

Auto Hauler Association of America AHAA

 

In April, a few members of Super Dispatch attended the Auto Hauler Association of America Conference in sunny Atlanta, GA. AHAA is an association of car haulers that was created to fill the black hole of information that plagues the auto hauling industry. The association holds the conference a few times every year to further it’s goal to “focus on the needs of auto haulers and vehicle logistics providers of all sizes.” The event was filled with car haulers talking about efficiency, business practices, Elogs and much more.

Super Dispatch’s Head of Sales Emily, and Super Dispatch’s CEO Bek, sat down to talk about their biggest takeaways from the conference:

Bek’s biggest takeaways:

  • “A lot of the haulers have to be more competitive, especially at these new rates, to compete [in the space] of OEMS. So efficiency is ever more important.”
  • “Electronic Logging Mandate has done a number on these carriers. A lot of them are struggling with poor technology and especially with [decreased] capacity. This [will] continue to be one of the things that the carriers and technology providers have to overcome.”
  • “I think that it’s more important, especially as [car] carriers grow, to keep all their information in one place. And keep everyone notified.”
  • “One of the most exciting parts for me, was to meet our customers face-to-face. Not only to see how they use our product, but to get feedback on how we can continue to improve as their needs change.”

auto hauler elog and BOL app for car haulers

Emily’s biggest takeaways:

  • “Just seeing what these car haulers go through on a day-to-day basis. It makes me feel good about the technology that we are selling, to give these carriers more autonomy
  • “[I really want to continue to focus on] how Super Dispatch can give them back so much more time. It doesn’t matter if they are away from the office, like at a conference. They can check in on their phone or iPad, and get a really good grip on what’s going on that day.”

Did you go to the Auto Hauler Association for America Conference? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Why are there over 50,000 loads on Central Dispatch right now?

“11 cents a mile you see on there [for some loads.] I can’t drive my Chevy Malibu for 11 cents a mile!

 

As of the last week of April, the largest car hauling load board Central Dispatch, surpassed 54,000 load offers. Spring is usually a busy time for trucking, especially car hauling, but 54,000 is quite a bit higher than the average. In years past, Central Dispatch can range in load offers from 25,000 to 40,000 that sits on Central at any given time. So what gives? Why now?

Super Dispatch spoke with broker and owner of Easy Car Shipping David Mistzi as well as transporter and Owner Operator Ziggy Keller on their personal theories. David has been a broker for 14 years and Ziggy is an equally experienced transporter, as well as founder of the Independent Auto Transporter Alliance and the famous Facebook group Auto Transport Everything. Their views differ at times, but both agree that the cost of transporting cars in America has started to outweigh the load offer prices. Ziggy thinks that newcomers are being educated on the costs of being a transporter in recent years, and that is why low rates are staying on the boards longer. Here are some of the their theories:

“With the Elogs coming on, people believe they are responsible for 20% less capacity for those entering into the Elog market that weren’t previously in it”

Electronic Logging Devices

The letters on everyone’s lips are E. L. D. The ELD has slowed carriers down a lot, which leaves many loads left unclaimed on Central Dispatch.

“With the Elogs coming on, people believe they are responsible for 20% less capacity for those [truckers] that are entering into the Elog market that weren’t previously in it,” Ziggy said to Super Dispatch in an interview last Friday.

“The typical order has taken an extra 2-4 days to dispatch,” David said of his own brokerage business in California. With the new backlog on Central, David has started to warn customers shipping personal vehicles of the extra wait time. To solve his stagnant load offers, his brokerage has become more creative, even calling some carriers directly with offers.

We have many car haulers testing our ELD solution on their mobile devices and if you wish to get your hands on it, please sign up HERE. We are asking for team-driver testers at the moment.

“Operating as a carrier has gone up considerably in the last few years, [more so] than the compensation.”

The Rising Costs of Being a Transporter

Truckers hauling vehicles one-by-one on Central Dispatch isn’t as profitable as it might have been a few years ago. Overall, the cost of operating a transporting business has gone up; gas is more expensive, insurance premiums are rising and the price of buying a trailer continues to rise, while wages fall stagnant.

“Overall, compensation has only trickled up,” David said of the transportation rates. “Versus the actual costs of operating. Operating as a carrier has gone up considerably in the last few years, [more so] than the compensation.”

This means that one-off loads won’t be picked up quickly. The added logistics of patchworking 3-8 single cars onto a trailer is no longer worth the low pay.

alpha elite transport, successful car hauler, super dispatch

The Economy is good

“There’s a lot more people willing to pay for the transport, versus driving from Point A to Point B,” David said, in a surprisingly positive spin. David theories that when the economy is in an upturn, more people are willing to pay for their cars to be hauled across the country.

In a similar vein, Ziggy attributes the competitive load prices that happen in Spring as one of the reasons he personally doesn’t look for loads on Central Dispatch. “Snowbirds” (customers who migrate south to a second home in the winter and then back again in the fall) are coming back north in the Spring and offering more competitive prices for car haulers than identical loads on Central Dispatch.

“If I have an opportunity to move a load from Florida to New York… and right now snowbirds are paying quite well, [brokers on] Central Dispatch still want to list [that type of load] at $300 a car…even at the height of the season when everyone is at capacity plus.” Ziggy said.

“I can’t drive my Chevy Malibu for 11 cents a mile! If you look on a mileage basis, what’s a car worth to move, if I drive my Chevy Malibu down to auction to rep my company, the IRS gives me a 53 cent per mile mileage deduction.”

The rates on Central Dispatch are too damn low!

In the end, both Ziggy and David think that the industry is not profitable enough for transporters to take the lowest rates on Central Dispatch. Besides the occasional one-off load, Central Dispatch is historically a place where newer owner operators find their first loads before establishing lasting and consistent business relationships with shippers or brokers. Inexperienced transporters and one-off load postings mean that the rates will naturally be lower than in other parts of the industry, but it seems that now the rates are too low for even beginner transporters.

“They are a load board, they aren’t the monitor, they’re just a place to list your cars. But until they weed out the abusive practices of some of the listers you know…” Ziggy said of Central Dispatch. “I mean 11 cents a mile you see on there [for some loads.] I can’t drive my chevy malibu for 11 cents a mile! If you look on a mileage basis, what’s a car worth to move, if I drive my chevy malibu down to auction to rep my company, the IRS gives me a 53 cent per mile mileage deduction. How can you possibly operate a 300,000 truck with freight at 11 cents a mile? You can’t.”

But why now?

The rates have been low for a while, but Ziggy thinks organizations like IATA and the Auto Haulers Association of America have been working on educating newer transporters on what it costs to operate, and that has changed how people interact with Central Dispatch and other load boards.

“When [transporters] can understand their cost per mile, then they can fairly market their own services. A lot of smaller companies don’t know what their cost per mile is, and until they know what that is, they won’t know how to price their own services,” Ziggy said.

At Ziggy’s suggestion, Super Dispatch took a look and compared the total available loads on Central Dispatch to the total available loads above .50 cents a mile. over 33,000 are above .50 cents a mile.

loads on central dispatch, super dispatch, brokers

What do you think? Does this prove loads are paying better or worse? Do you think .50 a mile is sufficient? Let us know in the comments.

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How to pick up a car at an Auto Auction: Manheim

Chances are, if you have a trailer and are ready to pick up cars, you have seen the word Manheim. With over 80 locations in almost every state, Manheim (owned by Cox Automotive) is one of the largest auto auctions in the country.

To find a load, get to Manheim, find the vehicle in the lot and load it onto the trailer can be tedious, so we made a handy guide for your first time at Manheim.

With a Manheim Auto Auction here in Kansas City, Super Dispatch interviewed some carriers, brokers, and even a Manheim lot manager for the scoop on how to survive your first car pickup.

We spoke with Sue, a long-time Dispatcher and part time broker of Murphy Auto Transport; Charles, the Owner and Dispatcher at Alpha Elite Transport; and Kansas City Manheim Lot Manager Sam to give you the best starter tips.

 

First we are going to show you the Reader’s Digest of the entire process.
Then give you tips
) wherever we have found them:

 

Manheim, Super Dispatch, auto auction, helpful, tips, car hauler

Super Dispatch, ManheimSTEP 2: DISCUSSING SPECIFICS

“Always verify if the car is inoperable or not,” says Sue of Murphy Auto Transport. “A car can’t be moved to a trailer by one person if it’s inoperable and it will cost you more more money and time to get a wench. If you don’t verify this at first, you won’t know what invisible costs you are eating.” A dispatcher or Owner Operator might be able to do this by directly asking the Broker if a car is operable or not, or by asking what lot the car will be in. If a car is in a TRA lot, that means it is an inoperable car.

P.S. The auto auction parks inoperable cars in the TRA (Total Resource Auction) lot, but Drivers will often move vehicles and leave them wherever is the most convenient. Always make sure a car is operable even if it’s not in the TRA lot.

Super Dispatch, ManheimSTEP 3: GATE PASS VERIFICATION

“Gate passes, gate passes, gate passes,” says Super Dispatch customer Charles of Alpha Elite Transport. “Always check the gate passes.”

What Charles means is, make sure that the Gate Passes for the cars you are hauling are actually available. A Driver proves that he is allowed to pick up a car using the ID numbers on the Gate Passes. Charles has had experiences where Brokers haven’t secured the Gate Passes for the cars they posted on a load board – which means that Charles can’t send a driver pick them up. If a Dispatcher or Owner Operator doesn’t get the Gate Passes in an email from a Broker, a Driver will have to wait until his Dispatcher gets them.

Sam of Manheim told Super Dispatch that Manheim legally can’t give out information on cars parked in their lots to just anyone. A Dispatcher or Owner / Operator will always have to call the Broker for that information. Though it’s not common, a Dispatcher can ask a Broker if he or she will put the name of the Dispatcher or his company on the Gate Pass. That way, the Dispatcher will be able to contact Manheim directly to ask about the cars, instead of playing phone tag with a Broker

Super Dispatch, ManheimSTEP 4: MANHEIM HOURS VERIFICATION

“You think that the Manheim in St. Louis is 24 hours like the one in Detroit, but you’d be wrong,” Charles said to Super Dispatch. “We learned that one the hard way.”

 

Super Dispatch, ManheimSTEP 6: GUARD SHACK CHECK IN

Guard Shacks are the gatekeepers to the car lots at Manheim and an employee is always there during business hours. Make sure your drivers know that – time permitting – employees at the Guard Shack can:

– drive your driver to his or her load pick up spots
– jumpstart cars with dead batteries
– provide gas to empty cars

These services won’t always be available to Drivers, so there are ways to save time (and money.)

Super Dispatch, ManheimSTEP 7: FINDING THE CARS

Even if a Guard Shack worker can drive your driver to his or her car pick up location, they won’t know if the car has been moved by another driver. A Driver can spend hours looking for each car at Manheim if he or she is inexperienced, which costs tons in ELD hours, money and time. Sue suggests something else.

“Car pullers are people that will charge you a fee for pulling cars [out of the lot] but they will make all the damages and do everything my driver is supposed to do.” said Sue. “Then all my driver has to do is drive in there, load [the car] up and go.” 

 Car pullers will charge anywhere from 5 or 10 dollars per vehicle.

“It’s well worth what you save, especially with the new ELD law…” she said. “I’ve had guys sit there for 6 hours looking for cars.”

Sue suggests looking on Facebook pages like Auto Transport Everything to find car pullers in each city before your driver arrives. A Dispatcher can give this person the ID number for the Gate Pass and the Car Puller can have the entire car ready before the Driver ever arrives.

If you use a Car Puller, make sure they take photos of their Gate Passes for your own records.

Super Dispatch, ManheimSTEP 8: MARKING DAMAGES

In fact, Drivers should always take photos of their Gate Passes before handing them off to the auto hauler elog and BOL app for car haulersGuard Shack. Unlike using Super Dispatch, once you fill out a Gate Pass damage report and hand it to the Guard Shack, it’s out of your hands forever.

“I always tell my drivers to take a photo of the gate passes after you have marked damages and before you hand them to the Guard Shack, because once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Sue said.

 

Do you have other tips for surviving at pick up at Manheim? Let us know in the comments!

Alpha Elite grows with Super Dispatch in car hauling

Charles Jones has lived all over the United States – from Atlanta to Los Angeles – and has started five businesses in the course of his life. Creating jobs for great workers is a part of his life philosophy.

“I believe in creating a system for more people to thrive and succeed in…if I can’t figure out how to instill success in other people, then I’m looking for another opportunity to do something.”

Right now, he has found satisfaction in instilling success in the truck drivers of his new car hauling transport company, Alpha Elite Transport.

Charles Jones runs his three-person car hauling company out of a small office park 20 minutes south of Kansas City, Mo. He works with his brother and business partner Alfonso Gill. Jones also runs one of his other businesses, a credit repair company, out of the same building.

Getting into trucking

Though he has had family in trucking for years, Jones only just started dispatching a year ago. He was tipped off on the idea from his accountant who suggested he get into brokering as secondary source of income.

“She was telling me what the breakdown [of the money] was. And I’m like, okay the only way this is going to work, is if there’s a problem. And if there is a problem, and we can provide a solution, then I’m with it,” he recounted telling her. “But if it’s just for the sake of making money…I can make money doing anything.”

“If there is a problem, and we can provide a solution, then I’m with it….But if it’s just for the sake of making money…I can make money doing anything.”

Jones’ accountant told him that most truckers don’t trust brokers, because it’s common for brokers to scrape large fees off of a load price, which leaves truckers with very little income. His accountant informed him that certain brokers would even hide the original price of the load from haulers in addition to taking the large percentage off the top. After thinking about her idea for a few days, Jones agreed that he should get into brokering. But he proposed to take a smaller fee off a load and show them the original load offer, instead of skimming more off of the top.

Alpha Elite Transport, Super Dispatch, successful Car Hauler
Jones dispatches at his computer in his small office in Grandview, Mo. on March 28, 2018. Jones works with a dispatching partner at Alpha Elite and runs a credit repair business through this office.

He began building relationships to become a broker, but in 2016 a doctor diagnosed Jones’ wife with COPD and and gave her only a month to continue her job as a hairstylist in Lee’s Summit. Jones had to rush to find another source of money to cover the loss of income. But he was confident the trucking industry could provide a stability for his household.

“I told her, ‘Give me a month, I’ll figure something out,’” he said.

Starting out as a dispatcher

With only a month to start, Jones instead fell into the dispatching side of the industry through the encouragement of Alfonso. After purchasing a truck outright, he joined Alfonso dispatching drivers to haul cars from Adesa and Manheim auto auctions across the United States. Though he had background knowledge of the industry and an experienced partner, Jones’ first year in the trucking industry wasn’t an easy road. 2017 was full of drivers leaving abruptly, trucks breaking down, mechanics overcharging and brokers filing false damage claims.dispatch BOL Super Dispatch car hauler

Jones was able to circumvent a lot of these setbacks due to his proactive business nature. Jones attributes a lot of the success he has had in the past year to his business background. He thinks he works smarter, not harder. For instance, within a few months of dispatching with paper to keep track of loads, payments and taxes, Jones turned to technology to simplify his business.

Using the right tools

Through googling “dispatching software,” Jones found Super Dispatch to manage every aspect of his business. After nearly a year using the service, Jones doesn’t use anything but Super Dispatch to dispatch orders, create BOLs, send invoices and calculate his driver’s paychecks.

“I don’t have to use anything else [to manage my business,]” he said. “Just Super Dispatch, my bank account and my accountant for taxes at the end of the year.”

Super Dispatch isn’t the only thing that he uses to efficiently run his car hauling business. He has created a business rhythm. In the last year, he found committed drivers, predicted maintenance costs and created lasting relationships with brokerages. He sat down in an interview to talk a bit about how Super Dispatch and his business background has allowed him to run his business more efficiently:

After this first year, Jones is already interviewing for his fourth driver position, and is only looking to grow Alpha Elite more. In even better news, his wife’s first COPD diagnosis was a false positive.

How did you get into trucking? Share your story in the comments!

 

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