Written by Eric Ludewig @ProAngleOhio
Pro/Angle is produced in Ohio and delivered to golf courses in over 28 US states and Canada. Most of it ships by truck, how does that work exactly?
Products like sand, stone and soil are generally sourced from suppliers local to golf courses. Short distance intrastate hauling for local materials utilizes tri axle dump trucks and semi end dump trucks not designed or licensed for long distance trucking.
Short haul professional drivers deliver many truckloads during a day and sleep at their home.
Long distance interstate professional drivers are subject to strict government regulations limiting how many hours they can drive in a day and how many hours of rest and sleep must be taken in a day.
Unlike the day cabs utilized in intrastate trucking, interstate trucks have sleeper births for the drivers to rest and sleep
How We Find Trucks
We work with freight brokerage professionals that act as middlemen between us the “shipper” and the truck, the “carrier”.
We prefer working with freight brokers because they are a single point of contact from point A to point B while the Pro/Angle moves to its destination.
Brokers have the responsibility of negotiating with a carrier, planning routes, and tracking freight. Also, carriers like working with freight brokers to optimize their routes and minimize deadhead miles, boosting their earnings in less time.
The freight brokers have relationship with large trucking companies all the way down to individual owner operators, they could be working with a dozen companies when delivering Pro/Angle to your individual project.
Long distance trucking is complicated, and the broker acts as a maestro conducting the orchestra.
What are the challenges.
Time and coordination play key roles in delivering Pro/Angle. Interstate carriers don’t simply deliver then return empty to pick up another load like a local truck called “dead heading”. These trucks move on to the next pickup and delivery to maximize their time and routes.
For example, a truck may be delivering marble chips for landscaping to a supplier near our plant, then they wash out, load Pro/Angle and head to your course. After unloading, that same truck then picks up another bulk commodity for delivery.
When you order a load or Pro/Angle for delivery, the broker goes to work within their network of haulers to find trucks that can route to our area to load, then to your area to unload. It can take a little time to find a carrier that can fit us in their route.
Once an interstate truck has been dispatched to us for pickup, cancelling can present a problem because the route for that truck has been set up, and the next several loads are scheduled for that driver.
Factors at the delivery site come into play as well, is the dump site inconvenient? Are their tight restrictions on delivery times? On one job we supplied, the dump site contained dozens of landscaping islands which were difficult for the trucks to navigate, they had to run over curbs each time they dumped. That excess wear and tear on the trucks is undesirable, so some haulers passed on hauling subsequent loads to that project.
So how does shipping work? It’s complicated, but we get it done by working with reliable logistics professionals.
Keys to success.
Plan and communicate.
It’s important early on that we discuss the project schedule, the dump site, and any limiting factors to delivery. With all of the moving parts in long distance delivery, it’s crucial that everyone involved is on the same page, including the club and the contractor.