Fuel Costs Climbing - President Has The Key

As fuel prices continue to increase and the memory of the summer of 2008 comes into focus for our country, let's hope the past repeats itself - or is at least given a chance.

Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/

The per barrel oil price peaked in July of 2008, right along with the national average of diesel fuel. While we are far from the pinnacle of both, we are rapidly on course to meet them soon. The difference should be the painful memory of filling up to get to work at the expense of not eating or not paying bills.  All this while hearing daily conversations and declarations that it was a defining moment in the behaviors and policies of not just Americans, but people through-out the world.

Apocalyptic banter of a greedy President lining the pockets of his cronies filled the airways along with talk of new technologies taking over if the cost of fuel continued to increase (electric cars, wind and solar power, hydrogen powered cars... etc).

In the end it is just a memory to most.  But why? What happened? What turned the tide?

Malcom Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point - How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. This book defines and demonstrates the strange phenomenon of everyday struggles that change in an instant.

Make More Money in RV Transport - 5 MORE Things to Know

When looking at what it takes to make more money in the business of transporting RV's, it would be great if there was one fail-safe, fool-proof fact that would be like a switch between making a killing and slowly putting yourself out of business.  Unfortunately (and like so many other things in life) the answer is more complicated, with more nuances and comes down to experience and discipline.

This article follows in the series on how to Make More Money in RV Transport, and expands on the previous "5 Things to Know" article.

These are good beginner articles to give a prospective driver an idea for what to keep an eye on, as well as a good refresher for the long-time trucker that just needs a quick reminder.

Two words to describe this list might include "planning" and "frugal".  Most of the time when people think of self employed they think of sunny and sandy vacations while other people do the work.  Have you ever heard about the cheap-skate though?  You know, the one that has so much money but won't spend it?  Some people are critical of that approach while other say that habit is the reason they have money to begin with and they spend their money where it is most effective instead of just throwing it around.

I tend to agree that it is a habit that perpetuates itself.  When you work in a service industry measured in time, and where time is money, frugal habits are what make the difference.

5 MORE Things to Know

The Truth Behind Backhauls - Considering Time and Money in Backhauls

In the first article we defined what a backhaul is, as opposed to a linehaul.  The purpose of this was to classify a haul more by it's character than by what someone else might be calling it (in other words, just because someone tells you it's a backhaul doesn't mean that it is).

This article will build on that and get another layer deeper in breaking out the different components of a haul and help you to calculate your costs.  I understand that some don't want to break things up into pieces, run the numbers and see what they come up with.  I've found that it's a good way to pass the time and keep the mind sharp - but it will also help you either make better use of your time, or simply make you more money.

To begin, let's look at the different parts we will assess and evaluate.
  1. Deadhead miles to home base (Std Deadhead = SD).  In RV transport from manufacturer to dealer, this is the second half of the trip.  This is the half of the trip that you don't get paid on.  You need to use this as a baseline for comparison purposes.  You'll need to look at time and costs to compare with your other options.
  2. Deadhead miles to backhaul pickup (Pickup Deadhead = PD).  No matter the direction, this is the miles from your outbound delivery to the backhaul pickup point.
  3. Loaded miles on backhaul (Loaded Backhaul = LB).  Again, no matter the direction or number of miles, our calculations will account for these appropriately.
  4. Deadhead miles to home base after backhaul (Delivery Deadhead = DD).  This is self explanatory and may include back-tracking if you go past home base..
We are going to answer the following questions when it is all said and done.
  • How much will be in my pocket - will it be better to deadhead or backhaul?
  • Will it take too long - would I have made more money by deadheading and taking another load?

Make More Money in RV Transport - 5 Things to Know

This, the third in the series How To Make More Money Per Mile Now, is a listing of 5 common things to know for a more successful career (or hobby as it may be) in the RV Transport industry.  There are actually 10 in the list, but to make it easier to read through, there will be a follow up article (5 MORE Things to Know...).

These are good beginner articles to give a prospective driver an idea for what to keep an eye on, as well as a good refresher for the long-time trucker that just needs a quick reminder.

The first two articles of the series How To Make More Per Mile included Fixed Costs (part 1) and Knowing Your Break Even (part 2).  As costs change over time, the specific numbers in those calculations and this article become outdated, but the concepts remain relevant.  So, make sure you don't get hung up on the numbers, looking instead to the conceptual aspect of each item.

For now, let's get to the first five in the list.

5 Things to Know To Make More Money in RV Transport

  1. MPG = Knowing your Miles Per Gallon, both loaded and empty, is one of the most important factors of driving.  While MPG can vary greatly  depending on the weather conditions and size, shape and weight of your cargo, you need to know what your MPG is short term and over the long haul.

The Truth Behind Backhauls - What Qualifies as a Backhaul

Did they tell you the backhaul was an airplane?
There are as many views on backhauls as there are on politics and religion (What's the old saying, "never bring up politics or religion"?).  If you're hauling single RV's then you know it's just as important to know about backhauls as it is any other aspect of RV transport.  But with so many different opinions it can be difficult to determine if you are doing the right thing by coming back empty, routing to another part of the country or getting a load coming back to the Indiana (or where ever your point of origin).  We'll lay out some of the opinions and throw some facts in there to clear things up for you.

By the time you finish this series of articles you'll have the information you need to be assured that you're doing the right thing when it comes to backhauls.  You should also be able to articulate why you are doing it and how much it is making you (or costing you, as the case may be).

First - let's define backhaul as applied in the world of RV transport - What Qualifies as a Backhaul

This is where the first debate begins, as some drivers say, "there is no such thing as a backhaul, all loads are