Convoy is dedicated to better understanding the everyday experiences and problems carriers face behind the wheel. Today, we sit down with Mandip Manhil from Puyallup, Washington to discuss his journey through the trucking industry. Mandip has been involved in trucking for over 20 years and first began using Convoy to find and book loads in February 2016.
Convoy: Welcome Mandip!
Mandip: Happy to be here.
Why did you get involved in transportation?
I’ve been watching my father and uncle drive since 1995. During summer breaks I would ride with them in the passenger seat and quickly fell in love with the freedom behind the wheel. Pretty soon after, I got my authority, trained with my dad, and started my own company. There is a lot of freedom and personal management in transportation. Since starting my family four years ago, I especially wanted to be able to plan my own schedule and decide if I want to work on any given day.
Since 2016, your quality work and reputation with Convoy have qualified you for benefits like free Convoy QuickPay™, with no fees, and no-hassle detention. In fact, our Quality and Compliance team has never reached out to you! How did you become such a great driver?
There was always advice coming from my family and friends because we wanted each other to be successful. The main piece of advice I got early on was don’t cancel a load for another that may pay a little bit more. In this industry, your reputation is everything.
What is the most difficult part of hauling flatbed freight?
The hardest part of hauling flatbed is learning how to secure the loads depending on the type of commodity. I know horror stories from people who didn’t tie it down right, secure it properly, or check in on the securement after a certain amount of miles. Those drivers are usually the ones who find the steel beams going straight through their truck when they stop suddenly.
How did you decide what type of freight you were going to haul?
The trailer type a driver hauls usually depends on the type of person they are and what they are comfortable with. Some people aren’t comfortable hauling flatbed because of the horror stories that come with it. It’s different for everyone.
What is your role with Legacy Carrier LLC?
I’m the owner, a dispatcher and a driver. In a given week I’m usually doing 5-8 shipments myself, and around 30 for my entire fleet. I tried having a larger fleet in the past, but I didn’t like being stuck in front of a screen for 15 hours a day. I enjoy being on the road and working on my truck more than I enjoy being behind a desktop.
How do you go about recruiting new drivers?
If someone wants to work with me I’m very clear about the work I have and how I like to work as a dispatcher. I never want to mess up a relationship by promising someone they will make $20,000 a month or work 40 hours a week. I’m extremely transparent and honest with those who want to work with me. Overall, there are a few drivers that we have cycled through, but others that have been with me since I first started my authority.
How do you earn more in this industry?
I try to keep expenses down by not running when it isn’t worth the compensation, and maintaining our own trucks. Growing up my dad had four trucks and we did all the maintenance on the trucks ourselves. I learned early on from my dad you can save a lot of money by being able to pinpoint the problems yourself. It was always a huge cost to take the truck to the shop when something went wrong. If I ever had issues with electrical stuff I fix it myself because it’s fairly simple and I enjoy the work.
Have you ever purchased a new truck?
I’ve never bought a brand new truck to be honest because I don’t like the newer styles. I’ve always stayed with the older style because they are a lot easier to figure out. There is a lot less to worry about regarding emission controls, sizing, general electric issues, etc.
What does your schedule look like, and how do you maintain your health and fitness behind the wheel?
The time I wake up is hard to say, but it’s usually between 3:00-5:00 and I’m usually home between 14:00-18:00. I don’t eat while I’m in the truck because my job is basically to sit and drive. There isn’t as much exercise as you’d hope. You get a little bit when you’re strapping or unstrapping flatbed loads but that’s usually only 20-30 minutes. I try to look my best for my health and reputation as a driver.
What are the most frustrating problems you face on the road?
Consistency is by far the toughest problem for small carriers. When you are new to the industry, it takes time to build the relationships that win your company dedicated work. My work with Convoy helped establish the relationships with the customers I haul for today.
What is your favorite feature in the Convoy app?
I never wanted to be behind a screen for 15 hours looking for loads. Being able to request lanes in the app is easy. With requests, I tell the app the pickup I’m looking for, the trailer type, and date. If there is a load that suits me I have them right there and I don’t have to shuffle through 150 loads.