58 episodes

Chris has years of experience helping others start their own trucking company. Now he’s going from behind the desk to behind the wheel to put his money where his mouth is. Follow the highs and lows of starting a trucking company through our podcast Haulin Assets.

Haulin Assets haulinassets

    • Business

Chris has years of experience helping others start their own trucking company. Now he’s going from behind the desk to behind the wheel to put his money where his mouth is. Follow the highs and lows of starting a trucking company through our podcast Haulin Assets.

    #56. June Financials

    #56. June Financials

    As always, head to HaulinAssetsLLC.com for full show notes and documents from this and other episodes!
    We're still experiencing the roller coaster ride of a tough economy and a volatile freight market. With that being said, we still made money in June, it just wasn't much. Like my dad always says, "It's better than a swift kick in the butt. The biggest difference this month that really affected our financials were much higher than normal maintenance and repair expenses.
    What To Expect From Episode 56
    Here are the numbers for the month. Craig and I go over them and talk in detail about what made the monthly profit lower than we like to see.
    Total miles ran – 12,765
    Deadhead miles – 1,178 (A bit higher than I like, but a lot of it was one load that was a good paying load, even with the deadhead)
    Total revenue - $19,889.62
    All-in rate-per-mile - $1.56 (Not very good, we had a hard time with rates for freight that was moving from east to west)
    Full days on the road - 17
    Partial days on the road – 4
    In the end Haulin Assets realized a profit of $169.63.

    • 16 min
    #55. The Ten Commandments For Owner Operators

    #55. The Ten Commandments For Owner Operators

    As always, head to HaulinAssetsLLC.com for full show notes and documents from this and other episodes!
    The Bible teaches that if you live by God’s Ten Commandments, He will bless you. Similarly, if you follow my Ten Commandments for Owner Operators, you’re likely to find success.
    What To Expect From Episode 55
    These are great rules for an Owner Operator to live by. You don’t necessarily have to follow them 100%, but the closer you adhere to them, the lower your risk and the greater your chance of success. That doesn’t mean success will be guaranteed, because sometimes things happen that you can’t control.
    However, these Ten Commandments will help you focus on the most important things that you can control that will have the greatest positive impact on your trucking company.
    My Ten Commandments for Owner Operators
    During the episode Craig and I dive deep into each one of the commandments. You’ll notice that the first 4 focus on finances and the last 6 focus on practicing great business principles.
    Build a cash reserveA savings for unexpected expenses
    A slush fund for operating expenses
    Pay yourself no more than what you’ve been earning as a driver
    Maximize your revenueDirect loads from shippers
    Follow the good paying freight
    Develop great relationships with brokers
    Manage your costsFuel
    Maintenance & repairs
    Know your numbersUse a good accounting system and keep it current
    Generate a monthly profit and loss statement
    Know your fixed and variable costs-per-mile
    Maintain your equipmentDon’t defer maintenance
    Be a problem solver
    Don’t blow off the FMCSA Safety Regulations
    Be stingy with your hours of service
    Constantly improve

    • 38 min
    #54. How I Made Over $200K My First Year as an Owner Operator

    #54. How I Made Over $200K My First Year as an Owner Operator

    As always head to HaulinAssetsLLC.com for full show notes and documents from this and other episodes.
    Over the past year, I have laid out the blueprint for the first year of operation of a one truck, owner operator trucking company. In this episode we talk about some of the keys to my success, some of the challenges I faced, and what the end result has been. I truly feel like there is no reason anyone can’t follow my plan and be just as successful as I was. In fact, I think most people can do better than I did.
    Most owner operators won’t experience some of the same challenges I faced, like having to park the truck for 4 weeks because of my Army National Guard Duty or having no driving experience. The first time I drove a truck with more than an empty trailer was the day I picked up my first load.
    What To Expect From Episode 54
    The first year of any business is the hardest. I feel incredibly blessed that I was able to bring in just over $200,000 in total revenue during my first 12 months as an Owner Operator. Although revenue is important, the number that really matters is the bottom line.
    We cover that and so much more during this episode of the podcast, where Craig and I review the highs and lows from the startup phase through the first year in business of Haulin Assets.
    Here are some of the topics we talk about:
    The excitement of the startup phase and my total startup costs
    My successesMaking a profit (listen in to hear how much)
    Building something that is mine and will benefit my family and not someone else
    Saving money
    My challengesMy truck getting hit by a deer
    Dealing with shippers and receivers
    The stress of owning a business
    What I feel like are my biggest rewards so farFreedom
    Pride of ownership
    The understanding that I am setting myself up for financial success
    Financial Statements
    There are a couple of things I want to point out on the financial statements you see below.
    Other Expenses and Tax Benefits
    If you go all the way to the bottom of the profit and loss statement, you will see there is a net income. Then, there is a section for Other Expenses that you don’t normally see on my monthly P&L. That is because it includes my annual depreciation expense for my truck and trailer. I usually only make that adjustment once a year, so it is only included on my annual financial statement, not my monthly one. 
    The cool thing about a depreciation expense is that it really is not cash out of your pocket but is purely a tax benefit. The simplified version is that because of the depreciation expense, even though I made a little over $32k, the IRS only taxes me on $17,992. This is one of the beauties of owning a business, you get a lot of tax benefits that you just don’t get as a company driver.
    Retained Earnings
    The retained earnings on the balance sheet is negative. That is because all my startup costs are included in that. So you can see, at the year mark, I have almost completely recouped all my startup costs.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #53. Hiring a Truck Driver, Screening Drivers

    #53. Hiring a Truck Driver, Screening Drivers

    When I first started working on this series for hiring a truck driver, I was only planning on 3 episodes. As I got further into the process, I realized that the screening process needed its own episode for two reasons. First, it is so important. The screening process is 90% of what sets you up for hiring a good driver vs being stuck with a bad egg. Second, it has a lot of parts to it. In this episode I cover the 7 steps I use when I hire a driver.
    What To Expect From Episode 53
    One of the biggest problems I see within the trucking industry is companies grow faster than their ability to hire GOOD drivers and their performance suffers and they have high driver turnover. You can never completely avoid making wrong hires, but you can greatly limit the likelihood. How? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take your time hiring to make sure you get the right person who is the right fit for your company.
    Here are the 7 steps I use and a little about each one of them. We Craig and I go over each one in detail during the episode.
    Develop your minimum hiring requirements
    Post a relevant ad
    Conduct a thorough interview
    Obtain a PSP Report (Pre-employment Screening Program)
    Search the FMCSA drug and alcohol clearinghouse portal
    Screen them with your insurance agent
    Get a copy of their MVR
    To see the full show notes, including all the details and forms we mention in the episode, check out the full show notes.

    • 48 min
    #52. May Financials

    #52. May Financials

    May was much better than April, in fact, we were able to turn a healthy profit. The freight market was better than April, but still unstable. It seems hit and miss. One day an area of the country has decent rates and a few days later the same area crashes and rates go bad. With that being said, rates on a whole are definitely improving.
    What To Expect From Episode 52
    Here are the numbers for the month. Craig and I go over them and talk in detail during this episode.
    Total miles ran – 12,202
    Deadhead miles – 1,244 (high, but not as bad as I thought it was going to be, we had to chase a few loads to get out of bad spots and to keep from sitting)
    Total revenue - $20,489.01 Solid Month
    All-in rate-per-mile - $1.68 (Still not very good, but at least 10 cents a mile better than last month. I really need to recalculate my cost per mile, with the reduced fuel prices, lower insurance, and a few other things, I think my cost has dropped.)
    Full days on the road - 21
    Partial days on the road – 7
    20 full days were Mike’s and 5 partial were his. I had 1 full day and 2 partial days. (Big reason for the success. Only 3 days parked) That is a Haulin Assets Record.
    In the end Haulin Assets realized a profit of $4,043.84. Almost made up for last month’s loss.
    Check out show notes and past episodes at HaulinAssetsLLC.com.

    • 18 min
    #51. Hiring a Truck Driver, The Process

    #51. Hiring a Truck Driver, The Process

    Hiring a truck driver is probably one of the trickiest things about owning a trucking company. The right decision will be one of the best things you have ever done, and the wrong decision could make for one of your biggest nightmares. You want to do everything you can to do it right. I'm going to give a bunch of pointers throughout this episode to help make the process run as smoothly as possible. The screening part of the process is very involved and will be covered in detail in episode 53.
    What To Expect From Episode 51
    As the title of this podcast indicates, hiring is a process and one you don't want to skip steps or take shortcuts on. I'm going to cover 6 steps.
    Where to find drivers
    Screening driversGood ad
    PSP (Pre-employment Screening Program)
    Drug Clearinghouse
    MVR (Motor Vehicle Record)
    Extending an offer
    First Day
    Where to Find Drivers
    The more you know about someone the better because there are fewer surprises.
    Someone you know personally. (I won’t hire someone I know unless I am very, very confident they'll work out)
    Someone known by someone you trust
    A referral from someone you don’t know well or don’t trust is no better than hiring someone off the street.
    Posting an adLocal listing, i.e. Craig’s List
    Think about where you went to look for your last job
    Use a recruiter
    Screening Drivers
    This is probably the most important step so it warrants its own episode. We're going to cover it in detail during episode 53.
    Always go for a win-win. You are going for a long-term relationship here.
    What should you negotiate:
    Amount of home time.
    Extending An Offer
    Always extend your offer in writing. That way there is less chance that there will be a misunderstanding between what each party understood the terms to be. I will include an example of the offer letter I use.
    There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed during the hiring process. It is part of building your Driver Qualification File. The audit folder system that we use at Motor Carrier HQ includes all the required DOT forms and makes the paperwork part of hiring as simple as possible. You can learn more about the system or purchase it by clicking here.
    Application for employment
    Inquiries of DOT regulated employers for last 3 years
    Driving record
    Copy of CDL (If applicable)
    Medical examiner’s certificate
    Medical examiner’s national registry verification
    Pre-employment clearinghouse query
    Pre-employment Screening Program report (Recommended, but not required)
    Pre-employment drug test chain of custody form
    Pre-employment drug test results
    Driver’s previous 7 days of Hours-of-service records (If applicable)
    IRS Form W-4, you can find it by clicking here.
    Form I-9, you can find it by clicking here.
    Pay documents required by your payroll system/company. i.e. direct deposit form.
    First Day On The Job
    There are a lot of things that need to happen before your new driver is ready to head out on the road for the first time. You want to make sure everything is covered before heading out to reduce frustrations. You can download our checklist that will help you make sure you don’t miss anything.

    • 30 min

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