More than just authority: understanding the costs of a fleet

Tim Ghorley logged years behind the wheel, but now he spends his days driving a desk—and he doesn’t mind it one bit. It’s all part of his ambitious plan for Ghorley Trucking. “I went from being an owner-operator to now being a carrier and having 5 drivers leased on,” he said.

While his years of driving experience gave him a solid foundation to build on, Tim is the first to tell you that he learned many things once he made the decision to bring on other owner-operators.

Mentorship, not ownership

Currently, Tim has 5 owner-operators running under his authority. He provides all the tools they need to do their job: base plates, insurance, fuel cards—even a trailer—if that’s what it takes to keep them moving. Additionally, he submits all documentation and invoicing.

“I’m pro driver,” Tim said. “You won’t find anyone in the country that has the same business model.”

Totaling all the assistance the company provides, it’s not surprising that Ghorley Trucking has caught the attention of many new owner-operators. “I have a couple of guys that want to get to where I’m at,” Tim said. “Under me, they can learn where to run, where not to run, and the overall operating cost of business.”

The learning curve

Tim is the first to admit that leaving the open road for an office was a major transition. “It was a big change from driving the business versus driving the truck,” Tim said. “There’s a lot more office work than I was used to, and learning to managing people.”

Handling the office work is something Tim is more comfortable with these days. He processes much of the routine paperwork for his drivers, including bills of lading, invoicing, and payroll. The way he sees it, instead of doing one set of paperwork as an owner-operator, he’s doing it for 5 others, now.

His drivers, however, steer the most important decision—they book their own loads. This allows them to pick their lanes and make their own schedule. “They do what they want to do, they go where they want to go,” he said.

Utilizing Uber Freight also streamlines Tim’s workload. “I use the app, and all my drivers do too,” he said. His owner-operators have full access to a nationwide network of loads and upfront pricing, which simplifies booking. Plus, there are none of the runarounds of traditional brokerages. “One click and the load is theirs. Before they take their finger off that book button, the rate con is there.”

But for owner-operators looking to make a go at being a carrier, Tim says insurance is the biggest factor to a newcomer’s success. “Bottom line—insurance controls the game,” he said. Without a good rate, it doesn’t make financial sense to add more drivers. It took a year of running by himself on his own authority for his rates to come down enough to justify adding drivers.

The road ahead

Tim has big dreams for Ghorley Trucking, and every day, he embraces the challenge of growing his business into a major carrier. “My dream for Ghorley Trucking is just shy of 10,000 trucks” he said. To reach that goal, he’ll have to continue what he does best—seeking opportunity, doing his homework, and putting in the hard work.

If you want to hear more of Tim’s insights into the trucking business, be sure to check out his YouTube channel, Life is Good. You can even catch one of his live broadcasts to ask him questions, or just to hang out with him.

The views expressed in this post are solely those of the individual being featured. Experiences may vary.

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