BulkLoadsNow.com's Most Recent Forum Fuels Debate on Farmers as Bulk Commercial Carriers

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Are farmers to blame for lower freight rates?

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They run illegally with farm plates

A growing trend seen by today's farmers is the use of farm trucks as commercial bulk carriers. This, while completely legal, is seen by many owner operators as a strain on the bulk community as freight rates are lowered in the off season due to farm trucks running at rock bottom prices to keep busy through slow periods. To farmers, it's a logical step in a progressive, competitive marketplace to leverage costs and keep profitability up.

When freight rates suffer, carriers seek answers and draw conclusions. Currently, some blame is being put on farmer commercial carriers for adding a surplus of trucks to the market - thus bringing down freight rates. Carriers argue that farmers place their farm hands on the road as commercial carriers due to the seasonality of the crops they produce. In the off season, many farmers keep busy by running hopper trucks over - the - road to generate profit. This leads to a "break even" mentality, where farmers pull loads at extremely low rates to keep their bottom line even and their farm hands busy.

While this process is completely legal and considered standard operating procedure nationwide, there is some truth to what carriers gripe about. According to Jared Flinn, Operating Partner at Bulk Loads Now LLC, "When a farmer runs farm plates, which are close to a third the price of commercial plates, that's when the playing field isn't even. The farmers in this scenario aren't paying the insurance and tax as carriers are, but hauling the same freight. They run illegally with farm plates."

About BulkLoadsNow.com
BulkLoadsNow.com is an online community of professionals in North American’s bulk freight industry. Our shipper members are transportation logistics managers of grain, fertilizer, aggregates, feed ingredients and all agriculture commodities. Our carrier members pull hopper bottoms, walking floors, end dump trailers, belt trailers, live floors, pneumatic and liquid tankers. We provide to our members the industry’s most innovative bulk freight solutions including an enhanced load board, database of all carriers in North America, instant communication tools, industry forums and news updates, and much more. For more information visit http://www.bulkloadsnow.com

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Jared Flinn
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