Delivery & Installation, Operations, V10I2

Be Surrounded

(Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

“How do you stay motivated to keep hauling sheds?”

My short answer would be, because that’s what I’ve been doing for over 20 years, and it has provided me with the lifestyle that I currently am blessed with.

However, I do know that many are experiencing significant hardship and can tell you that I have been in that position far too often. 

With the ongoing aggravation of regulations, breakdowns, bureaucratic nonsense, and so forth, at times it begs the question, “Why do I keep doing this?”

In my opinion, the real answer lies in surrounding yourself with a group of like-minded people (think Shed Haulers Brotherhood and the Shed Haulers page on Facebook and/or MeWe) and relying on others’ strengths to take up the slack for your weakness in a particular area. 

My company has grown from a single-truck operation to a multiple-truck operation (seven) over the past 20-plus years, and in the process, I have hired multiple dispatchers and a collections person. 

I learned a long time ago that I don’t have the disposition to be a dispatcher and I gladly pay others to do that part of the job. For the guys with a single-truck operation, this will not necessarily apply to them.

One of the most important aspects as it relates to equipment: Do not skimp on preventive maintenance—it will come back to bite you. 

Buy the best equipment that you can afford to buy (do not over-extend). All the lights and chrome are nice, but at the end of the day, they don’t make you a single cent more than a plain-Jane setup.

As to DOT, municipalities, and such, you do have to make sure to keep your ducks in a row. 

Yes, I know it’s a pain to apply for multiple business licenses, IFTA stuff, logs (if applicable), and all the other stuff, but in the end, you either pay upfront or pay when you eventually get caught. 

For some, simply hiring a part-time bookkeeper to help with paperwork, permits, business licenses, etc., would free up your time to focus on equipment, scheduling, and actually delivering buildings.

Customers can be a breed all their own, but they are all still humans (I think), and they want to be treated with respect and dignity. 

Think about how you want to be treated and try to treat them in the same way that you want to be treated.

I know my dispatchers and drivers do get cussed at and berated for things beyond their/our control but treating others with respect and dignity will go a long way to making the difficult situations better for both parties.

In conclusion, shed hauling has provided my family with a terrific lifestyle, and I do really enjoy the camaraderie and friendships that I have built over the years.

For the ones who are experiencing hardship and wondering whether it’s worth the effort to continue, my advice is to hang in there if possible but if it’s taking you down a “road to ruin,” ask for some help.

Most of us have been in a similar situation, and I don’t know of anyone in this industry who is unwilling to lend a helping hand where it is needed. 

As in any other industry or business, if you can’t make a profit, maybe it’s time to do something else.

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