Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Things Don't Always Go As Planned

Sometimes the best of ideas don't always go as planned.
That would be true of the journey the pipeliner and I just came to the end of.

Last fall some late evening talks with our son-in-law to be led to the great idea of starting our own trucking business.

With absolutely no idea what we were even getting into we decided to look for a semi tractor.

It wasn't long before we found the one for us.

We signed the papers and brought it home.
Little did we know,
this was the easiest part of our journey!

The truck needed a good scrubbing to remove the old pin-striping.

We picked out our logo,
and off into the world of trucking we went.

Oh my gosh,
there were so many papers and forms to fill out!
Applications for one thing and then another.
Thankfully I was able to be-friend another local trucker who gave me a lot of important information I needed.
He hooked me up with some wonderful ladies at an insurance agency that took care of state and federal forms that I had no idea how to fill out.

We found a local company willing to hire us to haul loads for them.

But shortly after we got the truck on the road we had a falling out with our driver.
Actually he had helped himself to a cash advance from our credit card.
Now we had the jobs, but no driver.

Luckily we found another driver pretty quick. 

I was figuring out load numbers, where the load was going to, and how much the load would pay.

The book work was a whole other story.
I decided to take a class at our local college for that.
Once I started learning Quickbooks, I loved it!
My class was small and my teacher was great.

It took a lot of work trying to get our foot in the door of some existing companies.
Our main commodity we hauled was dried distillers grain.
A bi-product of ethanol.
That led us into hauling a new test product of enogen corn into the ethanol plant.

When you haul a load one way,
you want to find another load to haul back.
Nobody wants to come back with an empty trailer.
Somedays I spent hours on the computer trying to get backloads set up for the following week.

We were hauling out of state.
The paperwork that has to be done every week for this is insane!
Recording miles drove out of state, miles drove in state,
fuel used for tax purposes, and then there was billing for all of the loads.

No you know why my blogging came to an abrupt end!

Just when everything started clicking,
we had driver problems again.
It just amazes me how some people casually treat a good paying job.

Thankfully the pipeliners cousin came to the rescue.
He was laid off of his job for the winter.
That worked good until he got called back to his line of work.

The next driver wasn't  fond of having a woman as his dispatcher.
He wouldn't answer my calls.
He used J's cousin as a go between him and I.
That wasn't going to work at all!

At this point I was afraid the pipeliner would want me to go and take a driving class for my CDL license.

Then there were all of the little things that needed repaired on the truck and trailer.

A truck fully loaded with corn missing the driveway and getting stuck in the ditch.

That one was almost a $500.00 tow bill!
(the driver got it unstuck before the tow truck got dispatched, whew!)

When we received our insurance renewal
(almost fell over when I opened that bill!)
it was time for the pipeliner and I to sit down and have a serious talk about the business.
We were making just enough to pay all of the bills, 
but if something seriously went wrong with the truck
we going to have to pay out of pocket to have it fixed.
Was it worth it?

The decision was made,
time to put the truck up for sale!

Our days of trucking were over.

It took a month or so but both the truck and trailer are gone.

The pipeliner feels disappointed that we some how failed.
I think we did pretty good for walking into the whole adventure blindly.

You never know if you can succeed if you don't try.
 Somethings you try,
and you don't succeed.

But you always come away with a lesson learned,
and that is not a failure!



  1. Good attitude. Life is full of lessons. I like this quote too: "I would rather live a life of 'oh wells' than 'what ifs'." something like that... We had a family friend who was an independent trucker - lots of work. He said the driving was the easy part. It's all the paperwork that did him in too.

    1. I really like that saying too! We should have listened to our fellow truck driving friend who gave us the same advice about the paperwork.

  2. I totally understand! New business, paperwork, bills...it will drive you insane!..lol. I ask my husband all the time is he SURE that we need to have our own business....so far he says yes. Back to the grind...sigh. If it was up to me we would figure out how not to spend hardly any money and live off the land. Oh well....got to go......paperwork awaits...:( Hugs!

    1. Yes the amount of paperwork is insane! I hope your business adventure is going well for you guys!

  3. Oh my! I can't even imagine. Glad it all worked out for you.

    1. Yes it did work out in the end, thankfully!!

  4. I agree with you....it is never a failure when you've given it your all and learned in the process. I commend you both for going for it else you would have always wondered. But it is also smart to know when to cut your losses. Congrats to both of you....now breath a sigh of relief! My mantra is "rejection is protection and/or direction". I think you are both very wise.

    1. He would have always wondered if he didn't take this step. On to the next adventure! lol..

  5. My husband has been an over-the-road truck driver for about 17 years, so I found this to be a very interesting post. Several times we've discussed getting our own truck, but were advised that we should have about $5000 in reserve for at least that first year for unexpected repairs and such. Well, we never had that and so never did buy a truck but Dan would love to get out of it altogether. It's hard working for somebody else and he's had too many problems with dispatchers on power trips (all male!).

    1. We went into this with the soon to be SIL driving the truck. ( He was the one who helped himself to the credit card) Then when the hubby retired he could take over driving. There is a lot of out-of-pocket expense to start up. And thats just for filing fees, insurance, license plates. It was crazy! My step-dad drove a truck for over 25 years. Its hard having your hubby gone that much!

  6. What an experience. It today's world, I'd be afraid to start a business of any kind. There are so many people you can't trust and with drugs on the rise? Hopefully there are some good things you come out with on this.

    1. We sure got lots of valuable lessons from this business adventure! All drivers had to pass a drug test, our workmens comp insurance required it. That was another expense!

  7. You are brave to have tried this adventure! Because I was in licensing (WA state) for 10+ years, I know what you went through. And your right, it is never a failure when one learns a lesson.....kind of like blogging!

    1. That was the hardest part, trying to figure out all of the different licenses that were needed!

  8. My fiancé recently took a pipeline career for wedding planning house building but it's really hard for us being apart please i would love to hear stories and advice 9564370782

  9. Oh man!!!! I think that it's pretty awesome that you guys tried and educated yourselves on the trucking industry. I can't imagine that it was easy! You never know until you try something... and like you said, you come out having learned something. : )

    1. Glad its a distant memory! lol

  10. Wow, that was quite an undertaking.