September 2019 | A STRONG GROUP

Monthly Archives: September 2019

Dry Van – Is this the trailer to go?

Dry Van vs Flatbed, which is the better choice today?

Dry Van division at Strong Group is one of the highest-earning divisions in the US. Most of the newcomers even hesitate a bit and find it hard to believe that our Dry Van division drivers make more money than most of the Flatbed drivers of other trucking companies in the country.

Even right now with the current state of the market, our drivers are still getting 0.60 CPM with 3000 miles a week on average.

How is Dry Van different and in what aspects compared to Flatbed today?

According to the DAT trucking industry trends, the demand for Dry Van is much higher than Flatbed today.

While in the past month the demand for Flatbed dropped for 17.6%, the demand for Dry Van went up for 8.2%.

Although the industry is a bit slow at the moment, the Dry Van loads are 50% more in supply compared to Flatbed.

Just to be clear, Dry Van load supply didn’t jump for 50%, but they’ve had a significantly smaller drop when compared to Flatbed loads.

In the last two months, there have been a lot of ups and downs, and every single time Dry Van loads were on top of Flatbed in performance.

It remains to be seen how the recent fuel price changes will affect all divisions since there’s a lot of speculation that diesel prices will continue to rise.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • This trailer can be used to haul almost every load. Its versatility is its strongest trait. If you focus on it, you will miss only oversized and hazardous loads.
  • Your load will have great protection against weather, theft, and damage.
  • With this trailer there’s a good chance that you can get short hauls, giving your schedule a lot of flexibility.

Cons:

  • With this trailer, you won’t be able to haul food (you’ll need Reefer trailer for it), perishables and fine art.
  • These trailers are used to transport a lot of valuable goods, that often mark them as a target for theft.

Flatbed pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to load, usually higher-paying rates.
  • It can be used for oversized loads, it’s not limited by the dimensions of the load.
  • A variety of Flatbed trailer types to choose from to fir your hauling needs.

Cons:

  • The load doesn’t have much protection.
  • In some cases, you will have to do a lot of tarping
  • Hauling loads in bad weather conditions can be quite challenging

Which is the best choice for you?

It all goes down to one simple choice. Do you want more money or more flexibility?

If you want to be paid more, then the obvious choice would be Flatbed.

For more flexibility, go for Dry Van.

Now you’re probably thinking how can we recommend Flatbed when in the previous text Dry Van proved to have a better supply of loads.

Simple, we have plenty of loads for all trailer types, and we offer 70 CPM and 60 CPM rates!

Contact us or apply online to get the best rates in the industry with more than 3000 miles per week!

 

Trucker salary – Going up or down?

Trucker salary numbers have seen some ups and downs, and recent dynamics in the industry made it go on a mini rollercoaster. So what can you as a truck driver looking for a better salary make of it?

What can you expect, if you were out looking for a new position right now? Did the changes in the economy and the industry make an impact on the price of your labor?

We discuss all these topics today.


The current state of the market

As of today, the average trucker’s salary is a bit lower on average when compared to what it was 2 years ago. The drop in the supply of loads for all types of trailers took its toll on every segment of the industry, and trucker salary is no exception.

This month alone a couple of companies have already shut down, from small and family-owned all the way to large companies. Around 5000 drivers have lost their jobs due to shutdowns of various companies in the past month.

Even though there are a lot of claims that certain policies made the freight market plummet, others argue that it’s just the aftermath of bad decision making of companies that have shut down.

The truth is, as most of the time, somewhere in between. Even though the freight market has slowed down a little bit, the situation is not as fatal as some claim. The market changes daily and claiming that doomsday is just around the corner based on a few bad months, is not that realistic, although it should be a warning. The business strategy of carriers has the biggest impact on the trucker salary. They do adjust it according to the state of the market, but that’s not the main determinant.

Average trucker salary today

According to indeed.com salary submissions, the average trucker salary is around $1,106.00 per week as of 09.08.2019.

Even though we’ve seen decent increases in trucker salary last year, due to truck driver shortage, brokers are lowering the rates to the amount of demand for freight accordingly.

With last year’s jump in the freight market, a lot of companies bought extra trucks believing that the expansion will continue at the same rate.

Since the market slowed down, carriers were left with those trucks without the freight to haul. This gives the brokers space to bring the rates down because there are more trucks than loads.

Lower rates lead to lower trucker salary, depending on the size and capability of the carrier.

What would be the best move for a trucker looking for a driving position?

The best advice for the trucker looking for a new company driver position, and owner operator as well, is to get the most out of his time and truck. Do business only with the best paying carriers, which is still Strong Group USA.

Despite the slowdown of the freight market, we still are doing great, and we can afford to pay our Flatbed drivers 0.70 CPM, and our  Dry Van drivers 0.60 CPM.

As for owner operators, 88% of the load gross goes towards them.

Strong Group was, and still is, the fastest-growing carrier in the US, our pay rates do the talking for us.

Make more money with us, apply today!

Trucker Equipment

Trucker equipment is one of the most important factors for a trucker looking for a job, right after the payment, and since truck drivers average salary is going up, the equipment is more in the focus at the moment.

When we say “trucker equipment” we don’t only mean what kind of trucks and trailers does the company offer, but also in-cab accessories that we know truckers appreciate deeply.

Trucker equipment you can expect with Strong Group

Trucker safety and wellbeing is our priority, so we pay special attention when purchasing when purchasing our trucks and trailers.

We choose only the safest and top quality trucks and trailers. Currently, we aim to refresh our fleet every quarter of the year as much as we can, that’s why we already bought the newest 2020 Volvos for our best drivers!

Our fleet consists of Volvos 670, 760 and 860, Peterbilts 579, Freightliners Cascadia, and Internationals Lonestar and Prostar all 2014-2020. Currently, we’re on a mission for our fleet to consist mostly of brand new trucks.

trucker equipment

Most of our trucks are Volvos because they are one of the most reliable and quality built trucks in the market. From the experience we had so far, Volvo trucks have proven to be one of the best ones out there, and they will remain our 1st choice until some other brand steps up their game.

trucker equipment

Photo: http://www.peterbilt-truck.com/listings/2019-peterbilt-579-stk-638892/

Of course, we had to include Peterbilt in our fleet. Peterbilt is one of America’s most trusty brands that is loved by many drivers. If Peterbilt is your truck of choice, you will have the opportunity to get one when you start working with us.

Best accessories for your truck

All of our trucks come standard with a 2000W inverter and a fridge. Some of the trucks have a TV and a microwave. What’s convenient for our drivers is that they can buy whatever accessory they need and we reimburse 50% of the price!

This means you can virtually buy anything and upgrade your cab space and you will only pay half the price!

Any of the best and most useful accessories can be yours, all you need to ask.

Some of the accessories our drivers usually pick are:

  • Digital TV/DVD Combo 13.3 inch Flat Panels
  • Microwaves
  • 32″ Televisions
  • PlayStations
  • XBoxes
  • Air fresheners
  • WiFi Hot-Stop devices

This is not a list from which you can pick the accessory of your choosing, you can buy whatever you think will make your driving more enjoyable! We’re here to make all of our drivers enjoy their driving experience, a happy driver makes a happy company!

As you can tell, we’re serious about trucker equipment, if so are you, and you’re looking for a truck driving position, give us a call or apply here.

 

Dry Van Freight Rates – The Time is Now

Dry Van freight rates have seen lows throughout the summer (Jun, July, August) of 2019, but they have started going up in the first week of September.

As a matter of fact, they are higher than the previous 3-month average. Right now they are at $2.38.

It could be just a temporal jump, however, because most of these rates went up due to the news of hurricane Dorian so shipment urgency made the rates go up accordingly.

According to the DAT.com volume of loads for Dry Van went up by 8.2%.

Even though there is an increase in load-to-van ratio (more loads than trucks), the yearly ratio is still lower than it was at this time last year.

This may, and in some cases already has, resulted in carriers reducing the pay for company drivers. Until now you were able to find a company driver job with Dry Van freight rates going around 40-50 cents per mile.

This is why drivers are usually shocked when they apply to work with us and find out that we offer 60 cents per mile for our Dry Van division.

Things that impact Dry Van freight rates the most are:

  • Demand for Dry Van transportation
  • Number of active Dry Van trucks looking for freight
  • Fuel prices

As of the first week of September, the fuel prices went down for 0.4% compared to August, and they will probably go down a bit more in the coming period.

Even though fuel prices are constantly going down lately, it’s still not a big enough drop to keep the Dry Van freight rates where they are.

You probably saw a couple of companies even closing down due to Dry Van freight rates going down.

Now, you’re probably thinking how can we offer 60 cents per mile (70 cpm for Flatbed), which is the best pay for company drivers at the moment, while other companies are lowering their rates or even closing down?

We strongly believe that we can attract the top professionals with higher pay, and exactly because of that we have an expert team of dispatchers and drivers who work together and get the best paying loads in the country!

This is how we can afford to pay the best rates in the US and still make a profit. If this still sounds too good to be true and you think you won’t get enough miles with that rate, we have great news!

Our average driver does over 3,000 miles per week!

That’s around $2,000 going towards drivers every week! ALL MILES ARE PAID, EMPTY AND LOADED!

We’re constantly in demand, and always on the lookout for new drivers, if you have a clean MVR and at least 2 years of experience, our recruiters would be glad to hear from you!

Click here to give them a call, have a chat, and you might just score the best paying driver position in the country!

We run 35 states, we don’t go to the west coast and New York City. Depending on your location home time may vary, but 3 weeks is a minimum we require for a driver to be on the road unless you’re close to us, then we might manage 2 weeks out. We’re located in Homewood, IL, south of Chicago, where you can expect your orientation to be. Orientation is only half a day and you will be dispatched the same day! No time wasted!

So contact us, and let’s get those loads!