Flatbed Forum

 In Flatbed Forum


May 15, 2019

A bi-monthly newsletter for small business owners in flatbed transportation.

Kevin Scott – 2019 Rookie of the Year

FBF: Kevin you have been selected as the Rookie of the Year, how does that make you feel?

Kevin:  Very proud and honored to be given this award by the company. Hard work and dedication goes to show what you can accomplish in less than 1 year with the company.

FBF: How long have you been with the company?

Kevin: I started 03-01-2018, so a little over a year.

FBF: What made you decide to join the Malone LP program?

Kevin:  I like being my own boss and thought that this would be an opportunity to own my own truck. That and I saw the opportunity to further my career.

FBF: What did you do before you came to CRST?

Kevin:  I was the chief engineer on supply ships and oil rigs.  I also worked at TMC for a period of time.

FBF: You are consistently one of our highest revenue  producers, how do you manage to do that?

Kevin:  I work well with all of the agents. I have built a good rapport with many of the agents.  I am always calling to try and pre plan myself rather than trying to search the load board for my next load.

FBF: You are a hard worker, how do you balance your home time with work time?

Kevin:  Providing for my family gives  me a sense of accomplishment and that makes me happy.  When my wife and I feel that I need quality home time, I make arrangements to take that time off.

FBF: What are the biggest obstacles that drivers face these days?

Kevin: I feel that drivers can be their own worst problems. They do not plan loads in advance and then complain that there is no freight. Also our Maintenance system’s reaction time is way to slow, which makes downtime for repairs to long.  This in turn, cuts into our available hours making it hard to complete loads in a timely manner .

FBF: What advice would you give to current LP drivers and anyone thinking about getting involved in a Lease Purchase program?

Kevin: Make no mistake about it, you are running your own business. Start off slow and build up. Revenue will grow once you build that rapport with customer service and agents. Sometimes that high paying load is not worth it, depending on where it lands you. Sometimes the short lane and a load if you are needing one will build up more revenue.  Get someone to mentor you!

FBF: What give you the most satisfaction here at Malone?

Kevin: Truly being my own boss and going where I want and when I want.

FBF:  What things do you feel need to change at Malone?

Kevin:  Maintenance needs to be completely revamped. Agents and Customer Service reps need to make sure all their loads are posted on the load board.  Securement needs to offer 6 foot drop tarps as they are better for the steel world.

FBF:  What do you like to do in your spare time?

Kevin:  I have a 1990 Bronco that I like to work on to keep it up. I also like to build engines for others.  I take my daughter Bella, 4-wheeling, fishing and hunting, she is the light of my live. And I make sure that my wife Natalie is happy!

Agents and Contractors Celebrate “Partnering for a Strong Future” in Birmingham, Alabama, by Chris Deschaine, President, Malone Flatbed

On May 3rd and 4th2019, Approximately 50 agents of our Flatbed Organization along with our Contractor of the Year and Rookie Contractor of the year came together to develop competitive insight on the industry from our business partners.  The event theme was Partnering for a Strong Future, recognizing and celebrating the successes of 2018 and preparing for the opportunities and environment in 2019.  A strong message resonated amongst the attendees was, “Our driving contractors are the cornerstone of our business”, and I could not agree more with that message.

The agent meeting recognized four contractors, for their excellent driving behavior and performance throughout 2018.  Each driver received a real nice trophy, $250.00 card load, all expense paid trip to Birmingham and to all agent events, along with a leather jacket recognizing their accomplishments.  If you find these contractors while you’re on the road, congratulate them and ask them to share their story.  The winners of the 2018 Contractor Awards are:

Cliff Turner – Besl Fleet Contractor of the Year

Chris Dillon – Besl Fleet Rookie of the Year

Jeff House – Malone Fleet Contractor of the Year

Kevin Scott – Malone Fleet Rookie of the Year

In addition to the Contractor awards, we celebrated Agent success in 2018.  Our agents work hard to provide our contractors with a variety of high quality freight and support. Please help me congratulate the following agents for their success in 2018:

Trent Shirar, Indianapolis, IN – Besl Fleet Agent of the Year

Lori Turner, Detroit, MI – Malone Fleet Agent of the Year

Anyone that has had the opportunity to work with either Trent or Lori would know how passionate they are about their relationships with contractors and customers. I would recommend that anyone out in the Detroit or Indianapolis markets looking for freight opportunities, Lori and Trent are great agents to call.

We look forward to celebrating our Million Miler Contractor’s in 2019 during Driver Appreciation Week, more information to come, so stay tuned and keep reading the Flatbed Forum.   Our contractors are the cornerstone of our industry, business and success.  Let’s make sure that we take care of one another on the road and at rest stops and practicing safe behavior, and be careful, have patience, driving with vacationers during the holiday season.  Thank you for being the best part of our company!


Chris Deschaine


CRST Flatbed

International Road Check is Coming, by CRST Lincoln Sales

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Road check will take place June 4th-6th, 2019 with this year’s focus on steering and suspension systems. Certified Inspectors will primarily conduct the Standard Level I Inspection; a 37-step procedure which includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

The vehicle inspection includes checking critical items such as brake systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline & driveshaft; driver’s seat; exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (e.g. headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs and windshield wipers.

Drivers will also be required to provide Operating Credentials to include: Commercial Driver’s License, Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable). Additionally, drivers’ record of duty status and vehicle inspection report(s) will be checked for accuracy and compliance. Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, illness, fatigue and apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.

Please ensure record of duty statuses are current and the correct driver is always signed into the Omnitracs system with accurate trailer and bill of lading numbers entered. Any Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports completed for defects found during pre-trip inspections or as a result of any roadside inspection; including inspections conducted during this year’s Roadcheck event, must be available for the Inspector, if requested.

Please know CRST values ALL employees and operators so let’s work together to make safety part of everything you do!

Make $18,000+ a year with Referrals!!!

As we look back on 2018 at Recruiting at Malone, we look for what we need in 2019.  Recruiting wants to call out to all of our contractors and agents to spread the word about our great program. Recruiting attended five Trucking Trade shows in 2018 and were represented by several of our contractors.  Your attendance speaks for the CRST Malone pride itself.  Malone will be doing it again this year in 2019. We attended the Louisville Truck Show in March, and will be heading to Houston in June, Iowa 80 in July, Dallas in August and the Joplin Truckers Jamboree in September.  If you are interested in representing Malone at any of the shows please email flatbedforum@crst.com and include pictures of your truck.  Do not forget that nobody sells our program better than our contractors.  At $1,500 per contractor in 2019, you can make an additional $18,000 a year with 1 contractor referred per month!!!  We want you to #GOFLATOUT and help getting the word out to everyone.  Join us in making Malone’s 2019 greater than 2018.

2020 Indiana Registrations

We are in the process of mailing out the 2020 Indiana Registrations.  Please make sure if you are running an Indiana plate that you have the 2020 registration in your tractor by May 31st.  If you are not able to get by home to pick up your registration, you can contact your fleet manager or Rita Welch  at (205)978-8713  or Sandra Wright at (205)978-8710.

Memorial Day Holiday Settlement Schedule

Memorial Day, May 27th is the beginning of the Summer holidays. This is a federal holiday and our office will be closed. Due to the federal holiday, this may have a slight impact on your weekly settlement schedule and pay deposit.

Owner Operators on Regular Pay Schedule

Paperwork scanned between 5/15/19 and 5/17/19 will pay on Wednesday, 5/22/19.

Paperwork scanned between 5/18/19 and 5/21/19 will pay on Friday, 5/24/19. Comdata deposit will post on Friday, 5/24/19. Direct deposits to your bank will not post to your bank account until Tuesday, 5/28/19.

Lease Purchase Operators on Regular Pay Schedule (Fridays)

Paperwork scanned between 5/15/19 and 5/21/19 will pay on Friday, 5/24/19. Direct deposits to your bank will not post to your bank account until Tuesday, 5/28/19.

Operators on the 48-hour Pay Schedule

Paperwork scanned that is normally scheduled to pay on Monday, 5/27/19 will not pay to your Comdata card until Tuesday, 5/28/19 and bank deposits will not post to your bank account until Wednesday, 5/29/19.

If you have any questions, concerns or want further explanation, please feel free to contact your Settlement Clerk or Settlement Department.

Toni Sullivan 205-978-7485

Freda Harris 205-978-7483

Regina Herron 205-978-7484

Cynthia McBride 205-978-7482

Market Trends by Tim Barth, Vice President, Sales

Flatbed is beginning to come alive, specifically in the Southeast and Midwest! While it’s been a little slower start to the heavy season this year, we are consistently over booked with freight in these markets. And these are where we typically have the highest rate per loaded mile.

As we look at rate per loaded mile, (RPLM) we need to understand it is currently at $2.67. This is the RPLM excluding loads we take from brokers to reposition us out of bad freight markets, like West TX, NM and WY. It’s important to keep this number in mind when looking at freight on our load board or the broker boards online. We want our contractors to get the best freight at the best rates and hope this helps you make good decisions when looking for that next load.

In a recent poll conducted by American Truck Business Service, (ATBS), CRST Malone ranked highest among flatbed carriers for RPLM! This is due in part because 1) our contractors know our system, 2) the majority run in the strong freight lanes (Midwest and Southeast), and 3) only take broker loads as a last resort. We hope you use this information as you make freight choices and improve your bottom line!

From FreightWaves 5/8/2019

“National freight volumes recovered from their Easter slump this week with the Outbound Tender Volume Index averaging 4% higher this week versus last. Even more interesting, volumes are averaging on par with May volumes year-over-year. By contrast, however, shorter haul (0-99 miles) volumes are up approximately 12.8% versus the same week last year.”

The note above ties into what we are seeing in the CRST Flatbed group. We have been contracted with several building material customers in the past two months with real volume commitments in GA, FL, SC, and TX. These new opportunities have also driven down our length of haul, as most loads are under 250 miles. The good news is this has opened new opportunities for our contractors that live in these areas to not only make a little more money, but also to get a little more home time vs running our OTR network.

As we head into the best months of the year for flatbed, please keep in mind running the Midwest and Southeast will help you be successful and enjoy some of the highest RPLM of any flatbed Owner Operator carrier!

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