The Driver Scramble Is On

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promover2
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:29 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby promover2 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:12 pm

Hang on to your drivers!! The driver squeeze is in full effect. I have had drivers from every major van line walk through my office door in the past 3 weeks looking for a new gig. (just stole two really good ones -- one from Atlas and one from United). Most of them have been high quality contractors based on my meetings w/ them and looking over their qual packages. One guy said he was making 57% at United!!! Yikes, are agents really paying that much! We are up to 55% for our drivers that achieve van line recognition, but 57% seems awful high for an o/o. I hope he's embellishing.

Anyway, this steady stream of drivers that are fed up w/ their van line may be an indication of a slow Fall, or just the normal end of summer scramble. We haven't completely slowed down, but September was summer-like and October is a bit slower. But it appears others have slowed down considerably. So, sit tight, watch the stockmarket tumble and the debaters debate, go vote and pray one of these jokers gets the stock and housing markets turned around.

bigmove
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:56 am
Location: California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby bigmove » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:59 pm

The economy is deep in sh*t. I think it is a safe bet that many agents will continue to go under and downsize. I think the sky might actually be falling right now.

I was very disappointed in something I saw two weeks ago regarding drivers. An Averitt Express driver came by our location looking for a job. He was 6 foot 4, 250 pounds, well built, probably 35 years old, and had over 10 years experience driving for Averitt Express. I gave him first class treatment, as I led him to our Operations Manager. Our Ops Manager looked bothered and said, "do you own a tractor" the driver said "no". Ops manager said, "sorry but we are only looking for guys who own a tractor". At this point in the game, I would have tried to sell this guy on the HHG industry, and tried to get financing. Match him up with an experienced helper until he learns the ropes. Refer him to the Atlas commercial truckload fleet or something. I wonder how many times this has happend all over the country, as everyone complains about the driver shortage? Is it that difficult to get a driver financing right now?

Jim
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: Sunny Southern California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby Jim » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:21 pm

Is it that difficult to get a driver financing right now?


I would imagine it's damn near impossible to get any sort of financing right now and it may be this way through the beginning of 2009, or at least until the credit markets loosen up.....
It's Sunny Somewhere In The World

BigLeeCalif
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby BigLeeCalif » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:40 pm

Our top rated guys get 56%, and the agent sets the percentage they are willing to pay to be able to retain top quality drivers.

We've had a few drivers in looking for jobs, but mostly I get 2 - 3 daily calls from drivers looking for tonnage their van lines don't have.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

bigmove
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:56 am
Location: California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby bigmove » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:27 am

I guess it might be tough for an owner operator to get financing right now, which couldn't help the driver situation. I know I read that Toyota is the only car manufacturer without financing issues, because they have their own financing company which is healthy. I wonder if International or Kenworth, or some of the van lines or even OOIDA have a way to get Owner Operators financing?

bosoxfan
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:36 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby bosoxfan » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:29 am

I thought Unigroup drivers were making tremendous amount of money, based on the size of their trucks - so many have trucks that look like a RV (sleepers) and that has to cost a pretty penny.

promover2
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:29 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby promover2 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:16 am

bigmove wrote:Our Ops Manager looked bothered and said, "do you own a tractor" the driver said "no". Ops manager said, "sorry but we are only looking for guys who own a tractor". At this point in the game, I would have tried to sell this guy on the HHG industry, and tried to get financing. Match him up with an experienced helper until he learns the ropes. Refer him to the Atlas commercial truckload fleet or something. I wonder how many times this has happend all over the country, as everyone complains about the driver shortage? Is it that difficult to get a driver financing right now?


Yeah, sometimes you have to be creative. If the Ops manager was an owner that has to jump in a truck every time his drivers can't cover a self-haul, he would think differently about the situation. Even though it's a long shot converting a freight driver to a good HHG driver, it's sometimes worth a try. Most van lines require 2 years of HHG experience before they will qualify, so you would have to make him a local driver for awhile. Like anything else, it's worth the investment if it works out in the long run.

Techsan93
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:48 pm
Location: Tx

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby Techsan93 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:25 am

I would agree that this year might be a little different than others, but doesn't the "Driver Scramble" take place every October? Same old ballgame, the pitches are just going to be harder to hit I am afraid...

T

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:51 am

Some of the pitches are in the dirt, and some are brushback's. Some of them the umpires cheat and favor the other team.

blue
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:51 pm
Location: USA

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby blue » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:37 am

The economy is deep in sh*t. I think it is a safe bet that many agents will continue to go under and downsize. I think the sky might actually be falling right now.


This could be the 'big one'. Hang on to your cash.

Jim
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: Sunny Southern California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby Jim » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:16 pm

The economy is deep in sh*t. I think it is a safe bet that many agents will continue to go under and downsize.


That very well may be the case, but that in and of itself will not materially affect the driver scramble. If a vanline craters, the entire dynamic will change on both sides of the equation. Now, do I think it's possible an entire vanline might crater? YES, I think that's a possibility - it all really depends on the credit market and whether institutions start getting nervous and call their paper from the lendee. Everyone I know is watching and waiting......
It's Sunny Somewhere In The World

bigmove
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:56 am
Location: California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby bigmove » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:38 pm

Not to pick on North American or Allied, but what does happen to Sirva at this point? I know they emerged from bankruptcy after restructuring the debt, and are privately owned by some of the huge debtors, but what happens at this point? I think North American and Allied are still profitable and will be ok one way or another, but what about Sirva?

Jim
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: Sunny Southern California

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby Jim » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:36 pm

I think North American and Allied are still profitable and will be ok one way or another, but what about Sirva?



Good question! I suspect the plan for Sirva's independence from its DIP financiers is probably going to be deferred pending the housing market recovery or the economic recovery, whichever is first. If there are hard date certains as to when the DIP financing needs to be repaid, then I think you'll see the debtors renegotiate their financing to push out repayment based on what is happening now. If the debtors won't refinance and the situations looks dire, look for Sirva to potentially sell one of its companies to generate the necessary cash to repay the DIP financing. I doubt it will come to the latter.....
It's Sunny Somewhere In The World

smatwilly
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:23 am
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Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby smatwilly » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:57 am

I have actually booked more moves this month than I did in any of the summer months!! Up to 14 right now.

In Maine we have literally NO drivers---we need to keep the ones we have because they are so few & far in between---our freight company has over 100 drivers but they refuse to do hhg because they dont want to TOUCH anything---lazy bums! :lol:

promover2
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:29 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: The Driver Scramble Is On

Postby promover2 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:28 am

bigmove wrote:Not to pick on North American or Allied, but what does happen to Sirva at this point? I know they emerged from bankruptcy after restructuring the debt, and are privately owned by some of the huge debtors, but what happens at this point? I think North American and Allied are still profitable and will be ok one way or another, but what about Sirva?


Actually NAVL and Allied are probably more profitable than other van lines as they now have no debt. Don't know if the others are involved as much as Sirva was in buying homes, etc., but I would assume those that did not file BK are hurting more than Sirva which has no debt and actually just got a very large loan.


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