Posts Tagged “hauls”

Shaun Smith: His Lease-Purchase Plan is Working

By |

Few things in the trucking industry are frowned upon more than lease-purchase plans.  Go to work for a trucking company, lease a truck from that carrier with the idea of one day owning it.  Failure  for the deal to work out is blamed on everything from low driver pay to high interest rates and the carrier not providing the driver with enough miles   The truck eventually goes back to the carrier, when the driver can’t make the payments.  Then the process is just repeated.

Shaun Smith of Sanford, FL has been with KLLM Transport Services, Jackson, MS since last January.  The 12-year trucking veteran has entered into a lease-purchase plan with the large carrier and says it is working out fine.  He is making good money, logging a lot of miles and is making a living for his wife and four kids, who ages range from two to 14 years old.

The 34-year-old driver says he is averaging 3,000 miles a week, or about 150,000 miles a year.  He drives a 2008 Freightliner with a Detroit DD15, pulling a 53-foot trailer with a  Carrier Ultama XTO X Series reefer unit.

Shaun enjoys trucking because he gets to see a lot of the country, plus make a decent living while doing so.  His primary complaint is with heavy traffic, especially in large cities such as New York and in California.

He started trucking after finishing high school, got married, and then went into water well drilling in Mississippi.  He then moved to Florida, working in a warehouse for a fast food company.   But trucking remains his first love.

“KLLM is a good company.  I’ve got one more year before this truck is paid for,” Shaun says.  “I got it on a lease-purchase plan.  If you have the money to buy a truck right off the lot, then that’s a good way to do it.  Under a lease-purchase plant you had better have a good carrier.”

Shaun had just delivered a load of soda pop from California to Oklahoma.  He was waiting to pick up a load of muffins in Tulsa  for delivery to Concord, NC.

He also hauls a lot of produce loads.

“I have no problem with hauling fresh fruits and vegetables.  You have to keep a close eye on the temperature.  But I like hauling it as well as anything,” he says.

As far as being the road so much, Shaun observes, “You have to have a strong mind and be able to be away from your family.  It can be hard.  But it is a good career.”




Read more »

Grapes are Among Best California Fall Produce Loads

By |

California fall produce shipments are in full mode, although this certainly does not mean the volume is there you normally find during the late spring and summer.

One of the best hauls continues to be table grapes out of the San Joaquin Valley.  It is providing big volume and is one the finest quality crops in recent memory.  That  shouldstranslate into a reduction of claims and rejected loads.  Grapes are averaging about 2,000 truck loads per week.  Good volume also continues from the San Joaqun Valley with peaches, plums and nectarines although shipments are now in a seasonal decline.

If there is one segment of the produce industry capable of over producing on a scale of the potato industry, it is the growers of tomatoes.  Vine ripe tomatoes abound in California with shipments coming out of Ventura County, the San Diego area, as well as Mexican product originating from Baja California.  However, the biggest tomato volume is with mature greens grown in the San Joaquin Valley as well as areas located between the valley and the San Francisco Bay area (such as Tracy).

In the Salinas Valley, vegetable loads remain pretty consistent, led by head lettuce, then celery, plus broccoli and cauliflower.  Plenty of other vegetables help fill partial loads as well….Although strawberry shipments are lower from the Watsonsville District, they are still accounting for over 600 truck loads per week.

Salinas Valley strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7000 to New York City.

San Joaquin Valley grapes – about $4800 to Chicago.

Read more »

Wisconsin Potatoes Loads Coming, But be Aware of Quality Questions

By |

Wisconsin  ranks No. 4 in the nation for potato shipments an estimated 22.32 million hundredweight (cwt) of potatoes loaded last season.   The Badger state growers harvested 62,000 acres of spuds.  The harvest got under way in late August.

Crop quality concerns do exist across the state, and we have a long way to go to harvest conditions for storage,

If you are a produce hauler looking to transport Wisconsin potatoes for the 2012-13 season, there are some potential quality issues with which you should be aware.  This is essential to help avoid potential claims and rejected loads.

Warm temperatures may have triggered heat necrosis (resulting in death of plant tissue due to disease, etc.). Hot soils also may result in black heart (where internal plant tissues blacken).  Furthermore, insect damage [such as wire worm] has been seen that is also triggering defects.    You also need to watch for late blight.  Some early potato blight (a devastating disease of potatoes that caused of the Irish potato famine of the mid- 19th century) has been noted in early August, which is caused by cooler, wet weather.

Most Wisconsin potato shipments orginate from the central area of the state.  From Antigo to the Stevens Point area and southward around Bancroft and Friesland.


Read more »