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How to Be a Successful Heavy Haul Truck Driver at Bennett
November 10, 2017
Bennett’s Heavy Haul and Specialized Division consistently ranks as one of the top specialized carriers in the country. One reason owner-operators continue to stay with Bennett is because of the diversity of our freight portfolio. With everything from military hauling to wind and energy hauling, this is not your cookie cutter freight and it’s certainly no easy job. We talked to some of the folks here at Bennett to gain insight into how drivers can be successful in the heavy haul division. Here’s what they had to say.
To be successful as a heavy haul driver at Bennett, you have to figure out the system and make it work for you. You’ll learn where the freight is, where it’s not, what agents you want to call, etc. After 13 years of driving with Bennett, Carl Shifflett has seen his fair share of ups and downs, both personally and professionally. He learned very quickly the importance of maximizing opportunities in this industry by putting in the time and the work.
Carl says, “When you work in freight, there are going to be ups and downs, no matter what company you’re with. This month we may be booming, and next month we may be struggling with freight. At Bennett, they try to keep you moving. If they have freight, they’ll give it to you. We have a lot of agents, and although I live in Georgia, I’ve been all around the country.
One reason I’ve stayed at Bennett is because of the dispatchers. They will help you any way they can. Another good thing is that most of the recruiters have driven themselves, so they know what it’s like out there on the road. If you show them you want to work, there’s always a load to be had and it could land you a better paying load.”
Carl’s ultimate piece of advice to drivers considering working in heavy haul at Bennett is to put in the time and work.
“You need to show you want to work, and the people at Bennett will be there for you. They’ll work with you and show you the load board, and you take it from there.”
Utilize Your Network
Every successful driver at Bennett allows the network to help them. From contract relations to operations and maintenance, the Bennett network understands that drivers’ needs come first.
Danny Dunn has been with Bennett for seven years, and has experienced this first hand. Having been involved with everything from step deck, to 19 axel trailers, he attributes the Bennett network to helping him out with anything and everything while on the road.
“Bennett has a family atmosphere. They know who you are when you call. You’re not just a number. When you’re thinking about going to another company, one thing to ask yourself is, ‘How do you like to be treated?’ If you want to work with an honest employer with good friends and equipment, with a big operations base as far as terminals go, then Bennett is the place for you.”
Danny’s fiancé, Gretchen Wermuth, has also been with Bennett for 10 years. She escorts him on the oversized loads, and together they’ve gone from pulling their heavy haul trailers with one truck, to owning 3 trucks and 3 trailers of their own. Gretchen says the key to success at Bennett is keeping an open mind and being honest.
“If you don’t know the answer to a question, pick up the telephone and call somebody. Utilize the network. The great thing about Bennett is no one is too good to help another driver out. You’re a name, not a number.”
Lawrence Frye, Director of Operations for Heavy Haul and & Specialized at Bennett Motor Express has been with us for 16 years, and says the key to success for heavy haul drivers is preparation.
“Heavy haul drivers have to be more in tune with the details that go into prep, planning and safety. The larger the load, the more exposure and liability they have out there. Each segment of our business has many procedures to follow, but heavy haul certainly has the most. The nice thing, is that our drivers have a variety. There are some drivers who want to stay within the realm of heavy haul, but aren’t interested in the very exotic and time-consuming loads that take more preparation and planning. But, then we also have guys who haul up to 200,000 pounds. The important thing is, our guys use the system and let the total network work for them, so they never feel like they have to do everything on their own.”
“If you always keep the 5 P’s in the forefront, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance, you’ll be successful.”
If you know what it takes to run a quality heavy haul business and want consistent freight with full back-office support, consider leasing your truck with Bennett. Learn more about our heavy haul jobs at drive4bme.com or call 888-712-3036.
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At Bennett, we know your challenges, from payment delays to adapting to evolving technologies and ELD regulations. We provide all the essential tools and services for you to grow and remain competitive.
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