Types of road transportation

dump truck business

Dump truck? Why not?

When thinking about the idea of owning and operating a dump truck there are many things to take into consideration.  Make sure that you understand what the job requires.

coal-preparation plant. Big mining truck at work site coal transportationA dump truck driver’s job requires the driver to transport loose materials, such as coal, dirt, sand, gravel, or other materials to and from building and landfill sites.  Operating a large vehicle of this size requires good driving skills and quick thinking.  Drivers often drive though dangerous conditions and the load needs to be safely delivered along with the driver.  Safety is the number one rule of all workers.  Not only are you required to make sure you are safe and abiding by the laws but it also ensures the others around you and driving along with you on the roads are safe.   Drivers of a dump truck also work on a very strict schedule.   Loads are required to be picked up at a certain time and delivered on a certain time.   Make sure you are willing to meet the demand of the load schedule before taking on the job.

Paperwork is also a large part of the job so make sure you are able to complete administration duties as well.  The suggested skill set required for a dump truck operator are: being able to handle the necessary machinery and trucks effectively, being able to maneuver a trailer pulled behind a truck, the ability to be able to calculate the fuel cost, mileage, and completing the driver logs, along with understanding the vehicle maintenance.  Maintenance to any vehicle is a vital part of ensuring your investment is well taken care of and is kept at a condition that is expected of your clients as well.

When starting a new business of any kind there are risks and rewards.  To start a new business owning and operating a dump truck you must first obtain your commercial drivers license through the department of safety.  A commercial drivers license is also known as a CDL.  The CDL is required nationwide to operate a vehicle of this size.   It is always a good suggestion to complete a truck-driving course to get yourself ready for the CDL exam.    Once you have completed your course and your exam you are ready to start operating.

It is better to learn the industry from the pros.  Working for a local company driving and operating the dump truck is a way to learn from your mistakes, rather than opening a company on your own to quickly and making the mistakes on your time.  This gives you a chance to save money for your own dump truck and startup money for the business.  A used dump truck can be purchased for as little as $1,400.00 and as much as $79,000.00.  This price will depend on the age, engine size, and bed size.  To make sure that you are ready financially for the purchase of the truck a decent down payment and good credit help with obtaining a loan if needed.dump trucks

When purchasing a dump truck there are a few things to think about.  Make sure you choose a model with enough power and a large enough bed to be able to complete a variety of jobs.  It is always a good idea to have a used truck checked over by a mechanic to ensure there are no mechanical issues.  Used trucks may have mechanical issues sooner than a new truck, but buying a new dump truck will cost considerably more money.  Taking those things into consideration make sure you can afford the truck before you purchase it.

Starting in the negative with a business is never a good idea.  Also make sure that the truck has a clear title, is mechanically sound, and all the hydraulic systems are all in good working order.

After you have made a decision on the truck you are going to purchase it is time to get auto insurance on the truck.  Make sure and shop around.  The power of the internet is great for things like this. Once you have located an agency that you are happy with have the agent guide you in the appropriate amount of commercial insurance you will need, also make sure to include liability coverage.  It is important to make sure you have the correct insurance when starting a business.

Now it is time to start up your business.

First you want to build a client base.  You can use contacts that you have made when working with your previous company.  It is also important to connect with local construction companies, contractors, and truck companies.  Make sure to let them know you are now in business as a dump truck owner and operator.   You can also make fliers to mail and hand out offering specials and services for free for natural disaster recovery.   This allows you to build your reputation when doing the best job possible during those times.  Going out to the local landfills is helpful , as often times you may need to dump you load at a landfill.  Speaking with the landfill operator will help with understanding the fees to more efficiently bid on a job.  During some jobs you may only have to move resources from one location to another.

Learning to bid a job is very important.  Make sure to research what other local companies are charging for their services.  Different services cost different amounts so always keep that in mind.  Some jobs to ask about may be, moving construction materials to a site for new construction and another may be cleaning up after a demolish job.  Using these quotes will help you with your proposals and designing a pricing system.  It is often a good rule to try and undercut the competitors by 5% for some of your very first services.  A helpful tip is to always match your working schedule with your client’s needs.  If the job starts at 7:00 AM it is always a good idea to show up at 6:45 AM.  This adds to your reliability and helps build your reputation.   With some hard work and smart financial planning you should be on your way to building, you very OWN dump truck business in no time.

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auto transport and organic food delivery

Just do your reseach! It will make your life easier!

With the digital world exploding our expectation about deliveries evolved.

We expect everything to be delivered to us. From our mail, the one our delivery from Amazon, pizza, car, and even our house. The cheapest type of delivery is road transport. It’s convenient, flexible but also not that eco-friendly like other types of transport. The secret for all the companies that chose to deliver is to respect a few important rules:

  1. Getting it right the first time. Many companies offer delivery services for a cheap price but when they send out the wrong product or the product gets to you damaged the will not pay for the return cost. The customer will be upset not only that the product they ordered it’s not the one they received, but now they have to pay extra money to send it back and wait extra time for the right product to arrive. A small business can’t afford to make these mistakes because the customer might not buy from them again.
  2. Getting the product or services to the customer as fast as possible. Maybe overnight delivery for some businesses it’s impossible especially the ones that use trucks for delivery. Drivers spend a lot of time preparing for transportation. Before they hit the chaotic roads, they need to secure the load they transport. This could take several hours depends on what type of products they deliver. Its is important to deliver as fast as you can because the happier the customer is the chances that he will use your services again will significantly  increase
  3. Standing out from the crowed. Adding little touches to the delivery service will influence the decision of the customer to become a regular customer and use your service again or just turn to others next time.
  4. If a product is damaged during the transportation the delivery company needs to take care of replacing it or if it comes to a product like a car repairing the damage made or paying for repairs.
  5. Offering a tracking system for the product or service that need to be delivered is a must these days. You want to know where the book that grandma sent to you is all the time, or where is the new car that you purchased last week.

There are so many types of delivery vehicles out there but some of the most used are:

  • Temperature controlled vehicles are used for controlled ambient, frozen and chilled products. These are like giant lunch boxes, insulated and ice-packed. They can be smaller vans or the big 18 wheelers. Some of them even have a temperature control system built in. These are called reefer. These are mostly used by stores to deliver perishable products on their shelves, catering companies, floral transit or pharmaceutical companies. There are many companies that offer temperature controlled shipping solutions. Some products that help keep the temperature down are insulated boxes or thermal Thermal blankets applied over the pallets it keeps them insulated during transportation by maintaining a temperature range of 59F-86F

For some of us who hate the hassle and frustration of supermarket shopping, there are many companies out there who will deliver your groceries for you in a temperature controlled vehicle.

Fresh red apples in a basket standing at doorway

Fresh red apples in a basket standing at doorway

I have my organic fruits and vegetables delivered to my home every week on Wednesday. If I’m not home I just need to leave the cooler in front of my door or a designated place. By the time I get home from work, I have my fruits and vegetable without having to spend the next 2 hours driving and bumping into people, parking-lot angst, checkout-line wait, and junk food offers in a grocery store. Did I mention they are organic?

It’s a new trend to buy organic but eating organic can be expensive. Before I found the company that is delivering my fruits and vegetables I used to go to the farmers market on Saturday morning. If I got there later than 9 am some of my favorite things were sold out. Seriously? Who goes to the market at 8 am on Saturday? Not me. I got so frustrated that I can’t get what I need at my local farmers market, and I had to drive around in the next town that I decided I have to find something to fix this. I spend 2 hours researching everything I could about organic produce home delivery. I have read all the reviews; I have compared prices, and then I found my match. I am so happy I did. I don’t have to drive around to buy my fruits and veggies or pay more for my food than I need to. It’s such a nice surprise to find the fresh fruits and veggies in front of my door every Wednesday. I don’t even have to worry about paying a stranger every time I am buying from somebody else; I have a subscription with them, and they are charging my credit card after delivery.

The same thing goes with the meat. I order what I need for that week, and they will deliver in on Friday. They send me out an e-mail with what they have fresh in stock that week and I just pick what I need. 1 day before delivery they will send me an e-mail with the approximate time of delivery and a request of letting my cooler outside if I’m not home.

This way I don’t spend extra money on something that I don’t need like I was when going to the supermarket.

 

  • Auto transportation trucks. These trucks are the ones that you never think of before you need your car moved, or you bump in one on the freeway. If you have bought a new car on eBay, cars.com or other online dealer and you want it in front of you house without any extra mileage on it, this is the way you go. If you are moving cross country and don’t want to drive 1000-2000 miles, or going back and four between college and home you don’t want to spend your time driving just hire an auto transport company to move your car.

There are so many transportation companies out there, that are affordable and reliable but also lots of them promise you thing that they never do and overcharge you.

When I bought my car from a dealership in VA and needed my car home before going on summer vacation, I couldn’t take another week out from my work to drive from Texas to Virginia and back. I searched online for auto transport companies, but all I found was brokers over brokers. I have filled out quotes on their websites, and my e-mail, and phone were flooded by broker offers promising me the best price, the fastest delivery, and other shiny things.

The only question I asked and was important for me was” who is going to pay if my new baby is damaged.” Aaaaaahhhhh….the transporters insurance company” Then why should I hire you? What exactly are brokers doing? Most of them charge your credit card for a deposit before even doing something. After they charge your credit card, they post the job on an online load board where they are paying a monthly fee.

The load board is like a market where the broker and the transport company meet each other. If the broker sales your job at a fair price then a transport company will get in touch with the broker to get your job ASAP. You could have your car booked in no time. If the broker posts your job for such a low price that no transport company is willing to move it,  than your job will end us sitting there for a long time. How do I know that? It happened to me.

I told you that after numerous calls and emails from brokers I picked one to go with. O NO. He wasn’t the cheapest one like you think. After I paid my deposit and 4 days past without hearing back from “the broker” I called him and asked what is going on. He told me that no driver is going to Virginia right now, and I need to be patience. He will call me when he has someone! Really? That’s not me!

auto transport company

I started doing research again, called some friend, but some of them were using brokers too (and not happy). Finally, I found a few real transport companies and started to call around to see if they have any trucks in Virginia and coming to Texas. I was even willing to drive further,  to another town in Texas for delivery. And Surprize! There are many Companies willing to move my car. Even the price quoted by them was lower then the ones quoted by brokers, and my phone wasn’t flooded with sale calls!

I just picked the one who could transport my vehicle faster. Remember I needed it before vacation.

I didn’t ask for insurance, but the dispatcher was so friendly that she explained to me how the thing works. Everyone can verify if a transport company has insurance or not by going to the  Department of Transportations website and checking the company’s authority to operate. This is public information. I don’t need a broker to do that! I can do it myself! You don’t even need the authority number just type “company snapshot”  in the search bar and type in the company’s name.  You can see the insurance information and who you need to call if something goes wrong. That’s it!

I had many of my questions answered before even calling them. Their website www.bsktrucking.com had a whole page with answers to the most common questions. Just do your research.

Overall I had a good experience with them. They picked my car up from the dealership in time, and I could track the location of the car on their website. The delivery was fast and what’s most important I had NO damage. I will recommend them to my friend with bad broker experience J

The question is really what is the type of commodity shipped? As all of us know, bricks are different than glass.

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blog banner- usa mail

Why delivery?

 

Nowdays the delivery business brings in a lot of revenue for those who chose to deliver for their customer. Starting from the big fish like the ones who are doing mail and package delivery, grocery stores to the local dry cleaning store they all choose to diversify their business by adding these service to their portfolio.

My goal is to study all of them with positives and negatives of choosing and paying for a delivery service, analyzing the big players and also the new comers in the market.

I will start with one of the biggest and oldest delivery service in the world the mail and package delivery.

The Biggest players on the market ar:

  1. UPS
  2. USPS
  3. FedEx

USPS was the first mail and package delivery servicein the United States.

Because they had a monopoly their prices were often too high.

In 1852 Wells Fargo was formed to offer mail and package delivery and also banking services.

In 1869 Mail and package delivery moved to the railroad, which was faster and way cheaper. This service became a feature of the railroad service.

By 1913 Wells Fargo left the delivery business and focused on the banking service.

The growing numbers of automobiles and the affordable price of them made the motor freight service to arise as the gasoline and diesel trucks are introduced to the market

UPS started as a private currier service. After the World War II and the improvement of the roads and highways, UPS became a nationwide service. Because of these the railroad mail and package delivery was hurt and ended up losing most of their customers in favor of the highway delivery systems

FedEx was the first one who conceived the air mail in 1918 known as Federal Express at that time. They were the first ones who implemented overnight delivery through most of the country.

As the consumers options for mail and package delivery increases,the delivery time and prices decrease.

The largest mail and package delivery companies today are:

  1. United Parcel Service (UPS) has its headquarters in Sandy Spring, GA, US.UPS owns the largest number of trucks and over 200 aircrafts. They reported over 15 million packages delivered in over 220 countries.
  2. DHL has its headquarters in Bonn, Germany and has over 500.000 people working for them all over the world. They own a large fleet of trucks and aircrafts.
  3. FedEx has its headquarters in Memphis, TN, US and it’s the proud owner of the biggest aircraft fleet in the world.
  4. United State Postal Service (USPS) has its headquarters in Washington, DC. It’s limited delivery service for continental US does not makes them less profitable. In contrary USPS was the second larger employer in the US after Walmart. USPS has the largest number of vehicles in their fleet in the world.
  5. Schenker AG has its headquarters in Berlin. Germany and is the biggest competitor of DHL in Germany with over 91.000 employees around the world.
  6. TNT N.V. has its headquarters in Hoofddorp, Nederlands. They operate their services in 8 European Countries being the largest shipping company in Europe
  7. YRC Worldwide has its headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas, US. They are the biggest heavy weight shipment providers for industrial and commercial shipping worldwide.
  8. Parcelforce Worldwide has its headquarters in Milton Keynes, UK and it’s the largest delivery service in Europe, servicing 24 countries.
  9. Royal Mail has its headquarter in London, England. This is a state owned company and very profitable.
  10. Japan Post Service has its headquarters in Tokio, Japan and it’s also a state-owned giant.

Let’s compare the 3 giants from the US: USPS, UPS and FedEx:

FedEx vs UPS vs USPS comparisonsAll 3 companies deliver mail and packages around the world, but the delivery time and the service price may be different between these 3.

USPS will deliver Priority Express every day including Sunday and Holidays for a surcharge

FedEx delivers Saturday for an extra charge also has an extra service for the same day delivery all year

When You chose to ship mail or a package under 10 pounds the best option to ship is the next-day or the second-day delivery offered at the cheapest price by USPS.

For packages over 10 pounds I found that the cheapest service would be the three-day delivery or ground delivery from FedEx.

UPS looks like being the most expensive in both cases.

Overal USPS has the best price for a small business or an individual wanting to ship a mail or package, has pick up option and a wide array of packaging, which most of them ar free.

All of the 3 companies offer insurance ( for most of the shipping services) and tracking on the shipment at an affordable price, but USPS tracking system includes less details then the ones offered by UPS or Fed Ex.

Fedex vs. UPS vs. USPS compared

The internet is full of complains about late delivery or missing package. If you have the option to add insurance to your shipment I usually add it. If your package is missing and you have the insurance you will be reimbursed with the value you have declared but if you do not have insurance then you could be out of luck cause nobody is going to pay for your missing package.  Of course customers are not happy when they mail is late or not arriving at all but reading the online complaints it looks like that happens way often than it should.

Also the value added for the next day delivery service, Saturday, Sunday or Holiday delivery service are overpriced and for the cost- conscious customers like me it just doesn’t worth it.

While I recommend shipping with UPS as being the cheapest one, when you need to ship heavier packages I would deffinetly use UPS or FedEx.

A 4 day shipping of a 10 lb package is cheaper with UPS and FedEx compared to the same service at USPS that can take to a week to deliver. The same 10 lb package shipped by FedEx is cheaper than a 2 days shipping by USPS

Fedex vs. UPS vs. USPS price comparisons

Also the weight limit is different. While FedEx and UPS weight limit for shipping a package is 150 lb, USPS has a weight limit of 70 lb.

This is my opinion about the today’s mail and package delivery systems. I made this material with the help of the following sources:

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