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Freight Tec News

Best Podcasts for Truckers

Listening to the same music over and over gets old when you’re out on the road all the time. It isn’t always possible to be driving when your favorite radio program comes on, but it’s important to keep your mind active and stay up with industry information. Podcasts are a form of broadcasting that you can download to your smartphone or computer to listen to on your schedule. Both Android and iTunes offer podcasts through their store. Instead of waiting for the radio to provide the show you want to hear, download some of these podcasts while you’re behind the wheel.

Trucker Dump

Todd McCann has been on the road with his co-driver since 1997. He’s going to talk to you straight about trucking. If you’ve ever felt all alone when you’re on the road, check out his podcasts that cover everything from giving directions to why truckers don’t have butts.

This American Life

Ira Glass is the host of this podcast which gives stories about individuals around the world. Although it’s not directly related to trucking, you’ll laugh and cry while learning more about different cultures and traditions.

Trucking Podcast

This podcast bills itself as “probably the best guys’ podcast in the world.” Buck Ballard and his son host the show. They’re both truckers, and they’ll cover whatever they find interesting. It’s a family-friendly site that deals with everything motors and wheels. If you’re into cars, trucks, and racing, you’ll love these two guys.

Ask the Trucker

Allen Smith is an opinionated veteran driver who is trying to change the industry, one podcast at a time. The last couple of months, he’s been focused on health issues, but he talks about everything related to driving and business. He’s probably the leading blogger in the trucking industry. You can’t go wrong downloading his show to listen to when you’re on a long stretch of highway. Smith is going to tell it like it is. Learn more about the best freight broker and know how to do business.

Good Job, Brain!

Pick up some knowledge with this podcast that gives you offbeat news, trivia, and general information. Learning is one way to prevent boredom, and as you age, it’s important to your cognitive health. Keep your brain engaged and have plenty to talk about when you get back home with this informative and fun podcast.

Notes in Spanish

In today’s society, knowing another language makes you even more valuable in your field. Listen to a podcast that teaches you Spanish, French, or German. You don’t need to be fluent, just learn some basics in case you ever need it.

3 Ways Freight Tec Won’t Take Advantage of You

The transportation industry has not always been good to agents of freight brokers. At Freight Tec, we take a different approach to the agent-broker relationship. Not only do we protect agents’ interests, but we also provide the support they need to do their job successfully. Learn more about how we treat our agents to understand why we won’t take advantage of you when you agent for us.

We See Agents as Our Partners

Instead of putting our independent agents low on our priority list, we see the relationship we have with them as a true partnership. We guarantee that we will never steal from our agents, and we put it in writing. This is a rarity in our industry. You will not have to compete with any internal brokers or sales departments at Freight Tec, because we don’t have them. By providing back-office support and our expertise to our agents, it becomes a win-win situation for both of us, just like a partnership should do. Commissions are shared generously with our Agents, which lets you grow your customers base and profits while never having to worry about any relationships, profits or business being taken away from you.

We Depend on Our Agents

Because we do not operate our own sales force, we are required to rely on the agents who work for us. We are not going to steal your business to line our own pockets. There’s no conflict of interest, and we focus on the success of our agents. It is the connection of our team that encourages growth and innovation. We communicate with our agents on a regular basis in ways that are effective for doing business quickly and smoothly. When our agents do well, we do well.

We Empower Our Agents

Operational support for our agents provides the vehicle for power. We want positive interaction with those with whom we do business, and we will not belittle or diminish your success. It is our treatment of our agents that sets us apart from other freight brokers. We want your business to grow and succeed. To that end, we dedicate our resources to your success.

We have the technology and willingness to stay ahead of the rest of the industry. Our company passes these technologies and tools on to our agents, so that they can grow. Partners work together to build a business and be successful. Competitors work against each other’s best interests. We work as a partner with our agents, and we are in it for the long haul when you join our team. Our company is much different than the others in the industry. Let us show you how we can work together and both enjoy success.

Freight Agents: How Internal Brokerages Kill Agent Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial individuals have been shown to possess certain character traits—passion, risk tolerance, leadership, and others—at a higher percentage than the rest of the professional population. All of these characteristics are important, but the trait that sets many entrepreneurs apart is a strong desire to enjoy the fruits of their own success.

Freight agents are truly the entrepreneurs of the transportation industry. Most of them founded and continue to run their own businesses. Nearly all of them possess a desire to work hard and to enjoy the results of that hard work. Unfortunately, many freight agents end up working with transportation companies that also have internal brokerages. By preventing them from capitalizing on their own hard work, those internal brokerages can kill the spirit of entrepreneurship (and the motivation) of freight agents.

As entrepreneurs with an independent streak, most freight agents run very small operations. Oftentimes, these are one-man or one-woman operations. They work hard to find, convert, and close prospective customers that they hope will grow their businesses. Sometimes, however, when those accounts do grow, the small operations of independent agents can no longer manage the associated workload. Unfortunately, it is at this point that many independent freight agents lose control of their own accounts.

While independent freight agents sometimes have trouble scaling their resources, large trucking and transportation companies have plentiful resources and can scale up or down easily. For this reason, they often “step in” to fill the deficiencies of their freight agent partners with their own internal resources. Most transportation companies pull in business from two competing sources—independent freight agents and internal brokers. Unfortunately, that line can become blurred when an account grows beyond an agent’s ability to manage it and their resources become mashed with those of an internal brokerage. Of course, this also complicates the attribution of revenue and, therefore, the distribution of gross profit.

Certainly, agents have the option to hire additional help. Indeed, many agents try to bring on a second person (first employee) when an account begins to grow. But hiring and managing an employee is an entirely new undertaking for most agents. Many find that they lack the experience to bring on an employee and get them up to speed quickly. And, in a fast-moving industry, those delays can be extremely costly. Transportation companies understand those costs and, therefore, quickly apply pressure to supplement using company resources. It is through this seemingly logical process that some agents have their accounts stolen by the internal brokerages that claim to support them.

Freight-Tec is entirely different than other trucking and transportation companies. Freight-Tec has never managed  (and will never manage) an internal brokerage. From the beginning, the company’s success has depended upon its healthy relationships with independent freight agents. As the sole source of the company’s business, freight agents are highly valued and actively supported through an industry-best freight agent program. Among other things, the purpose of that program is to respect and nurture the entrepreneurial ambitions of independent freight agents.

Freight Agents: Building your business on a Level Playing Field

In business, the notion of a level playing field is essential to long-term success. A level playing field is defined as an “economic and legal environment in which all competitors, irrespective of their size or financial strength, follow the same rules and get equal opportunity to compete.” Great business people can be clever, cunning, and shrewd, but they always respect the need for a level playing field. Unfortunately, level playing fields are hard to find for freight agents.

The vast majority of trucking and transportation companies run their own internal brokerages, while also soliciting freight from independent agents. In doing so, they have failed to create a level playing field for their agents. For obvious reasons, this system creates numerous conflicts of interest within the company. Sharing a single set of resources, internal and external agents cannot be expected to play by the same rules and cannot receive equal opportunities to compete. In nearly every instance, the needs of internal agents will win out over the needs of external, independent agents.

In these environments, transportation companies do not view freight agents as true partners. Rather, they are seen as lead generation vendors—a channel for supplementing the leads brought in by their internal brokerages. Naturally, independent agents find themselves low down a long list of priorities for the brokerage. In extreme cases, independent agents have even seen their freight customers stolen by an internal brokerage.

At Freight-Tec, we built our business differently. We don’t have an internal brokerage company. In fact, as our only source of business, our agent program entirely determines our success. That reliance on freight agents is a primary differentiator for our company. Because our agents are so important to our business, we view them as true partners and we take customer service very seriously. Local, personable, and responsive, our offices provide agents with everything they need to succeed. Most importantly, Freight-Tec is the only company that will guarantee, in writing, that it will never steal from its agents.

Freight agents looking for a level playing field must seek out a transportation partner that does not manage its own internal brokerage. Unfortunately, such companies are a rarity in the industry. Many agents select a transportation partner, only to find that they are competing with an internal brokerage and that the fight isn’t fair. Freight-Tec built its business model on the success of its agent program and, in doing so, created an ideal working environment for hardworking agents.

Freight Agents: Red Flags When Selecting a Broker

When selecting a brokerage partner, freight agents generally know what to look for. They look for a partner that offers a generous gross profit revenue split, capable support, and sufficient insurance. But, sometimes freight agents should pay less attention to what is there and more attention to what is not there. In particular, these red flags can help agents to know which brokerages to stay away from.

Red Flag 1: A Disconnected Team

In the transportation industry, teams rely on each other for information and support. Effective teamwork is an essential part of a freight agent’s success. In the transportation industry, nearly all companies are made up of virtual teams, with separate team members working hundreds or thousands of miles apart. With some team members on the road, and others working remotely, it’s essential to look at how cooperatively the team works together.

Red Flag 2: Outdated Technology

A company’s technology is often a reflection of its broader culture. Company’s that invest in the latest technologies frequently emphasize growth, innovation, and employee satisfaction. Outdated technology can signal a lack of efficiency and an unwillingness to change. Unfortunately, failure to invest in new technologies can cause some transportation companies to lose their financial edge and sink into obscurity. When investigating freight broker, agents should inquire about the software platforms and other technologies utilized by the company. Agents should avoid companies that appear to have actively avoided upgrades in technology.

Red Flag 3: Excess Focus on Gross Profit Revenue Split

The gross profit revenue split is a major factor for agents when choosing a freight broker. Unfortunately, many agents place too much emphasis on this singular factor. A favorable split can distract agents from other shortcomings that will cause problems down the road.

Red Flag 4: Poor Communication

As a freight agent, your success depends on your ability to communicate with the other members of your team. In the virtual teams common to the transportation industry, that communication can be a challenge. In fact, you’re likely to end up communicating less in person and more through technology. You should be sure that your team communicates regularly and effectively. Long distance teams, which aren’t well connected quickly, become dysfunctional in other ways. Poor communication is a major red flag and agents should be very wary of these circumstances.

When looking for a broker-partner, freight agents should perform their due diligence before making a final decision. But, rather than simply looking at the positive attributes of each company, agents should also look at the potential weaknesses. Instead of getting distracted by flashy “good deals,” agents should use a critical eye.

Freight Agents: Tips for Selecting a Broker

We all recognize a good friend when we see one. Good friends share, they look out for others, and they support us when we need it. No matter what our stage in life, we all need good friends to do these things for us. Business partnerships, including agent-broker arrangements, are a lot like friendships. Before you pick a freight broker, be sure to ask yourself if they do the sorts of things you’re used to seeing good friends do. In particular, watching for the following friendship-inspired behaviors can help agents make better decisions when establishing broker relationships.

Good Friends Always Share

Over the years, much has been made of the gross profit commission split between agents and brokers. Agents should only partner with brokers that provide a fair and generous percentage of the business they bring in. Agents should also inquire about what the brokerage provides for the percentage of the money it keeps. While this split isn’t the only consideration when forming a new partnership, it is a foundational matter that should be given careful consideration.

Good Friends are Supportive

Chances are, your best friends have always been there for you through thick and thin. Agents should ensure that their brokerage partners are going to offer them a similar level of support. Comprehensive back-office support and expertise can be a valuable resource to agents as they source and secure new business.

Good Friends are in it for the Long Haul

You know those friends that moved on as soon as they found something better? Some freight brokers are no better than those fair-weather friends. A good broker partner should express a long-term interest in agents by providing career and retirement planning services.

Good Friends Aren’t Selfish

A true friend doesn’t need to be the exclusive recipient of your friendship. So why do some brokerages make agents sign non-compete agreements? A good brokerage will allow agents to earn a healthy living by engaging with multiple partnerships and harnessing multiple revenue streams.

So, if you’re a freight agent looking to establish a partnership with a broker, be sure to give them the friend test first. Do they meet the criteria that you’ve always used to measure successful partnerships? Specifically, do they share commissions fairly, provide excellent office support, and give you the freedom that you need to advance your career? If not, break it off as soon as you can and look for a broker willing to treat you as a true partner.

Moved: 3 Komatsu HD 785-7

Here are some pictures from a recent move of 3 Komatsu HD 785-7 Off Highway Rock Trucks.  These weighed in at a massive 165,000 lbs, 35′ L x 22’6″ W x 18’6″ H on the ground. The trucks were split – removing the beds and outside tires.  Chassis shipped at 30′ L x 18′ W x 15′ H at 100,000 lbs, while the beds shipped at 28′ L x 22’6″ W x 16′ H at 65,000 lbs.

Have pictures of a recent move you’re proud of? Drop us a comment or contact us!











Highway Bill, and what it means for You

Congress approved the Highway Bill, and President Obama is set to sign it on Friday, July 6, 2012. The report contains the TIA-OOIDA-ATA compromise language almost exactly.

How will this affect you?

Read the great blog post and summary from DAT.com.

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!