Mike & Sula Coshatt Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are.August 4, 2017
Would I Lie To You?August 4, 2017
How this Owner Operator became one of Baggett’s top earners.
When we spoke with Roger Brannon recently, he was at home — taking a week off the road. Which happens a lot more than you might expect. “I was looking-over my logbooks the other day, and totaled up my home time. Turns-out I spent 138 days at home last year.” You’d think that alone was why this top-earning Owner Operator joined Baggett just over two years ago. Not quite.
“The folks at my last company were real nice, and I really liked them. But they started buying more company trucks—and I started seeing their Company Drivers getting better loads than the Owner Operators. And then there was the hassle of dealing with inspectors at a lot of the bases where I was picking-up and delivering.”
Reputation is everything.
Apparently, his last company had become well-known for lax maintenance standards. “It was especially a problem at one base, where the company was routinely having flatbeds rejected for service because of soft wood. I’d get there, and the inspector would spend 30 minutes stomping his foot all over my trailer — and then reject it.
“Baggett trailers, on the other hand, pretty much got automatically waved through. With Baggett drivers, inspectors rarely even left their office — because they knew their trailers were always well maintained.
“And then there was the problem with paperwork. I was always having to sign-in and produce my license and driver card. Since I joined Baggett, they usually just say, ‘We know who you’re with. We’ve got your info on file.’ That makes a huge difference when you’re trying to earn a good living in this line of work.”
So what’s his big earnings secret since joining Baggett?
“It goes back to that one word I mentioned earlier: Relax. Most drivers have been conditioned to think that it’s all about maximizing loaded miles, but that just isn’t the case with the kind of high-paying freight I haul with Baggett.”
Granted, Roger had to earn his security clearance, and jump through all the necessary regulatory hoops for hauling Hazmat freight. But one habit he learned quickly from other top earning Baggett Owner Operators was to trust his dispatchers.
“With the freight I haul, you just can’t be in a hurry. And since I slowed down, I’ve learned to ignore all the crazy drivers on the road.” Which, as you can imagine, has significantly reduced his on-the-job stress level.
That’s only half the story.
The other leap of faith Roger took? “Don’t get antsy when you have to sit. Even for a day or two. And if a dispatcher says you need to dead-head a bunch of miles to pick-up a load, do it. Not long ago, I dead-headed 450 miles five times in one week—and still ended up making $10,000 after expenses.”
“Roger learned early on that we really do have a plan for our drivers,” says dispatcher Beth Ferguson. “All of our top earners understand that we’re about working smarter, not harder. They’re not always trying to second-guess us. And that’s why they’re top earners.” Well that, and a willingness to stay on the road when there’s a load to deliver. “Oh yeah,” agrees Beth. “Anyone who knows Roger knows he gets his work done.”
Which may explain why Roger also knows how to get another important thing done: Home Time.
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