About a dozen years ago, we were carrying cars to Russia from the USA. Both for customers and for resale. As usual, cars were purchased at auctions, then they were transported to the warehouse, where they were loaded into containers. Then the containers were sent to the port for loading onto ships.
So, we contracted a small fleet of trailers to transport containers from the warehouse to the port. This park was owned by a man, Dima (name has been changed). He had 4 or 5 cars, I don't remember exactly. He drove one by himself, the others were hired drivers, a couple of mexes and a couple of Russian speakers.
All in all, long-haul haulage is a tricky business in the United States. But from the outside, Dimin's business was just a fairy tale. Firstly, the mileage is short, only 3-4 miles one way. You take a full container to the port, brought it back to the site empty, put it for loading, and there is time to rest. Dima himself managed at least 4, and more often, even 5 trips per day. His carriers, a little less, 3-4 trips. Take a loaded container - $ 120. Bring empty - $ 50.
A good layout, apportioned plates (that is, registration for several states) are not needed, all transportation is in one state. Both himself and the drivers sleep at home every night, not as long-range fighters, but get almost the same. A big plus - he, as the owner, sees every tractor every day in what condition he is. It's also nice, it is quite possible to do with old tractors, because mileage and wear are minimal. Well, in addition, each employee is in plain sight, under paternal supervision, so to speak.
I won't say that Dima held the Lord by the beard, but he certainly had his own piece of bread, with a greasy layer of butter and caviar.
Once I got into a conversation with him.
- Dimych, tell the secret, how did you fit into these transportation?
It's funny. In Nizhny, I didn't even have a car, although I passed my license. I am an engineer by profession, but after graduating from university I did not work in my specialty, I could not get a job. The Wild 90s, damn them. I shuttled (two - three hour commute), worked as a security guard, even traded on the market. My wife, Lenka - was a teacher. She has not a salary, but tears. Tired of everything worse than a bitter radish. We were able to leave for the USA, the youngest of mine then just started walking. We sold everything we had. As I remember, we made out of it, $ 13 K.
We arrived. Distant relatives sheltered us for a while, thanks to them. But what to do? There is no language, no experience, no special knowledge, no licenses either, but the family needs to be fed. Here an old friend, still from the army, appeared. Zhenya has been hanging out in America for 5-6 years. He asked me:
Do you have money?
Yes, - I say, - $ 10 K.
Give it to me.
You will see.
I believed him and gave him money. But, of course, I'm sitting, trembling, all on my nerves. This is almost all there is. And then Lenka is rinsing my brains.
In the early evening he picks me up in a car.
Where are we going?
Now you will understand everything yourself.
He drove me to the lot, and there is a trailer waiting. Old, he's about 25 years old, but outwardly looks decent. And some guy is hanging around.
What's this? - I ask.
Zhenya looked at me and said weighty.
Dimych, this is your tractor. You can't get the better for 10 K. The deposit - half - I have already given him. You have no way back. We're going to fill out the paperwork. Remember, this is a sure piece of bread. And also keep in mind, from today on - you are a businessman. Everything is in your hands, if you want, you will swim out.
At first, I nearly fainted. Then I wanted to beat him up. But how are you going to escape from the submarine? I've passed all the courses, began to wotk. You can see the rest.
How grateful I am now to Zhenya!
there doesn't seem to be anything here