Steve owns Shaky Town Express, LLC, an over-the-road trucking company. He’s lived the life of a truck driver one way or another since his boyhood. His father would take the big rig out on the road when Steve was a youngster. At an early age, Steve knew he would end up working in the transportation industry he was born into.
There are more than 2 million semi-trucks in operation and about 5.6 million trailers registered for use. The average driver covers more than 100,000 miles annually and collectively hauls over 13 million tons of commodities across national highways. This is an industry that won’t be going away.
Working as an owner-operator for many years, Steve decided to expand his operations. He got four more trucks and started hauling regular loads from Las Vegas to eleven western states. Knowing the hassle from being an owner-operator himself, Steve chose to hire drivers, keep them well paid and get products moving.
Steve isn’t one for the office. He prefers driving across the country. Every day on the road he gets to see different things. He mentions on occasion he gets to help people, and that safe driving is critical. The most recent highway data show 438,000 large truck related crashes resulting in 111,000 people injured and 3,903 deaths. Staying safe should be a priority for everyone on the road and it definitely is for Steve and his drivers.
In Steve’s opinion, the most important skill a driver can have is one’s mind – the ability to react and think creatively to keep others around you safe. The problem with some of the new tech coming out, namely semis that drive themselves, is it doesn’t allow for variables and reaction times. Computers glitches can cost a lot of people their lives, for instance, an occurrence at 60 m.p.h. on a crowded freeway, while hauling tons of cargo. Steve believes companies focusing on improvements would be better suited in finding ways to keep the current trucks and the drivers around them safe.
Something Steve would like to see is a tire that doesn’t rupture. When a trailer has a blowout, the rubber can pierce the steel trailer doors, shatter car windshields and cause death. Truckers aren’t kidding when they say give them room. If you’re going to pass, do it quickly because you never know when a tire may blow out and the truck driver’s blind spot is much larger than yours.
Steve has witnessed some disturbing behavior from others on the road. Once, while going through Colorado, a vehicle ahead was moving slower than necessary. When Steve moved to pass, the driver sped up forcing Steve to drop back behind him again. This continued across the entire state, which to Steve was confusing, irritating and humorous. Considering the danger the driver was repeatedly placing himself in by hanging in blind spots, changing speeds and essentially blocking in a semi, he’s lucky Steve is the type of driver that values his safety, the other drivers’ safety and the well-being of the cargo he was hauling.
Cargo variety can be a wonderful thing for the drivers to experience. Not only do they sometimes get to go to locations hidden from the public eye, they also get to experience a love-hate relationship with the products they carry most. Steve hates hauling dead batteries – the receivers just don’t seem to want them (and who can blame them?), but they have to go somewhere! On the plus side, Steve hauled a variety of products and goods, such as parts of a submarine out to San Diego, and small airplanes to a retirement community in Arizona. The residents park these small airplanes in their garages like cars. The streets are wider to allow for the small Cessna planes to land and taxi up right to the house pictured here at Mogollon Air Park.
When he does return to the office, Steve’s biggest issue is getting paid in a timely manner. Brokers can take a very long time to pay which is why so many trucking companies use factoring.
“As long as you find a factoring company that is honest, you can make it work.” – Steve
Factoring companies like TCI Business Capital are helpful. Back in 2008, before the economy turned south, TCI took the time to notify their clients like Shaky Town Express, LLC on upcoming difficulties they may face.
“Having that information months ahead of his competitors allowed him to plan accordingly and continue his business today. “We absolutely love you guys, we agree on a lot of things.” – Steve
TCI Business Capital loves you too Steve, as we do all our clients that we help with cash flow.
For more information on factoring with TCI Business Capital, contact us today – (800) 707-4845
Author: Angelique C.