15 years of oversize trucking online.

After over 15 years of serving the oversize and heavy haul trucking industry online we’ve pretty much seen and heard it all. We’ve grown while we continue to grow with you we’ve seen many companies throw in the towel as well. If you happen to be thinking about it while now might seem like a good time you may want to wait for a few more years. Opportunity is actually abundant in our industry for companies that can manage their profit properly. Here’s why:

During the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and even the turn of the century drivers of specialized loads didn’t share their trade with anyone else. Why would they? During these decades while the economy fluctuated drastically if you had a trade that fed your family well would you be prone to train others to do your job? Replace yourself? Of course not. We’ve got a serious shortage of drivers and this shortage is expected to grow.

Equipment isn’t cheap by any means and this is creating a big problem. A large percentage of oversize loads that are shipped these days are over-weight and this is a big problem. The days of finding a oversize or heavy haul trailer behind an barn that a handy fellow can salvage are pretty much gone. If you’re lucky enough to find one there’s little chance a lender will finance you to buy an item that is 30 years old. Even less of a chance is getting the trailer insured. So for experienced carriers to even try to get into the oversize/heavy haul trucking niche are doomed from the start. This is creating a huge problem and will continue to as the North American infrastructure continues to fail.

The bottom line is we need more oversize and heavy haul carriers on the road. Diversity is the key to success and there’s no doubt our industry needs to be much more diverse as well as resourceful to compensate for the self imposed shortages it has imposed upon itself. We need new aspiring carriers and drivers to continue on into the future.

Oh boy! The big FMCSA news.

FMCSA releases a mandated “Corrective Action Plan” for the CSA program.

FMCSA news.

Cutting through the commentary here are the nuts and bolts. The actions the FMCSA stated it will take in its 10 page corrective action plan will include:

  • Moving forward to develop and test an IRT model. That model will be used to inform the agency’s work, with opportunities for public input. As recommended by NAS, if the new IRT model performs well, it will replace the existing SMS. FMCSA will not substantively modify SMS while we are testing the IRT model “to ensure we have a stable comparison to evaluate effectiveness.”
  • Agreeing that more frequent and more detailed Vehicle Miles Traveled data from motor carriers would reduce the need for FMCSA to use substitute values and would improve the quality of the data in SMS. FMCSA currently only collects carrier VMT data every two years. Access to this data, by State, on a monthly basis is not currently feasible, but the agency will continue to identify possible sources for this important data.
  • Agreeing that additional information about carrier operations might improve the agency’s analysis and identification of non-compliant motor carriers. However, the collection of this data would come at a cost, and the benefits are unknown.
  • Agreeing that there could be benefits from making MCMIS data available to researchers and carriers. As a result, the agency’s first effort will be to improve data availability. FMCSA will develop a web page where researchers, carriers, safety consultants, and the public can obtain simplified MCMIS data snapshots.
  • Gathering public input from motor carriers, insurance companies, and shippers regarding the ways in which the public uses SMS data. Using the data collected in these public listening sessions, FMCSA will scope and complete a study specific to the issue of percentile ranks and the usability of public scores.
  • Once IRT modeling is complete, FMCSA will evaluate the use of absolute measures for set intervention thresholds. Absolute measures and percentiles are products of the SMS system. At this time, it is not known how these would be affected once the Agency completes the modeling recommended by NAS. Therefore, FMCSA defers action on this recommendation until it is confirmed this would be relevant.

Everyone is giving this new agenda the big thumbs up. Sorry to say but we’ve only got our big finger up as none of this helps out a niche industry operating within a over regulated industry already mandated with curfews, holiday restrictions and travel time restrictions. So, you get nothing and you get to like it folks.

Heavy haul trucking in the 2019 winter.

Heavy haul trucking in the 2019 winter.

Here we are again. As most of you know the over size and heavy haul trucking industry (as a whole) has enough trouble with weather in the winter months. Freight volumes are lower due to travel restrictions. A government shut-down (20%+ less freight) is newer territory for our industry and with current low winter volumes (less more) we’re all going to feel this for at least the next 90 days. If you have a hard time seeing these numbers consider, NASA, DOD, FEMA, all kinds of goods for other agencies, direct gov’t contracts as well as all of the “sub” contractors. This is a fine mess.

So, hopefully you all stashed 6 months worth of pay away so you can afford to pay your electric bill – forget about truck payments! Sound crazy? Yes it is and we agree. In a section of the transportation industry that already has a shortage all the way around we’ve got to wonder how heavy haul carriers, as well as pilot cars will be available for the 2019 big summer freight push?

It is this authors personal opinion in this day and age a “gov’t shut-down” should not be able to effect the daily operations of our nation as this just doesn’t seem like freedom, justice nor liberty. Perhaps companies in the same shoes we wear should be subsidized so we can do a little sitting on our rears as well while we wait (with 1/4 million+ dollars in equip. in the driveway) for the higher ups to get it right?

Interesting idea. Subsidizing important providers that are essentially on standby by. Of course our country needs our services to grow but without a payday nothings going to be growing anytime soon.

Moving past the political realm. As usual there’s already a shortage of freight. It looks to be a harsh winter and if it continues the way it started frost laws may be in effect well into May in the Northern states. I suppose time will tell.

If you’re operating a heavy haul trucking company and would like to share your thoughts we’d love to hear them. Please feel free to use the comment box below.