Thoughts from Your favorite Texas Trucker

A Little About Us

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We wanted to take a little time to add some information about our company and the people behind it, as well as some thoughts on the industry as a whole.  The content on this page may change from time to time so check back periodically.

The Broker/Carrier Relationship needs to change

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Social Media is a great tool.  I’ve used it for years, and its a great way to get an idea of what people are thinking. Unfortunately it tends to highlight the worst of us.


On Facebook alone in the transportation industry there are pages dedicated to carriers, and pages dedicated to brokers, and pages with a combination of both and invariably I see a huge amount of bickering between the two. 


There seems to be an animosity between brokers and carriers, with carriers convinced that brokers are cheating them and starving them, and brokers convinced that carriers are little more than trash.


The bottom line is that we need each other.  Brokers connect carriers with shippers where they do not have adequate shipper contacts while carriers fulfill the obligations that brokers make to the shippers they contract with.  It’s a symbiotic relationship but its not necessarily a symbiotic relationship by choice.


There has to be a way for carriers to build trust with brokers and vice versa.  Carriers need enough money to survive on and to profit in this business so they can grow.  We are not out here doing this job just to break even and brokers need to understand that, but brokers are in this game to make money as well.  They are not in it to just break even either.  Both parties need to prosper for all to be happy.


I’m trying to do my part as little as that might be by providing the best communication and service possible and encouraging the people I know to do the same.  Ask yourself what you can do to strengthen these relationships, instead of tearing them down.


Without a doubt there are a lot of bottom feeder brokers and they should and probably will go out of business.  Same with carriers, there are a lot that should not be in business and they will probably fade away in time.  Meanwhile what can YOU do to make your partner in this industry feel like he or she has the best possible partner in you?

Moving Forward

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The transportation industry is constantly undergoing change.  Some of those changes are positive, and some are negative, but it is an ever changing industry. Ever since the ELD Mandate a couple of years ago a good segment of the industry has been up in arms about government over regulation, and in this past year legislation has been placed before congress to change some of those regulations.  What will come of them, we do not yet know, but as is always the case, change is coming.


There are technological changes coming as well.  We all know the big fear among a lot of drivers is the use of self-driving trucks, which are being experimented with now.  How far reaching this will be or how fast it may take over the industry is a matter of great debate but I am sure that eventually it will come.  I'm just not convinced it poses any kind of threat to me in my lifetime.


But these are not the only technological changes coming.  I have noticed my inbox is slowly being flooded with requests to join this new Project 44, which is a data sharing platform for tracking my assets.  I'm not on board with this idea yet, and I know that soon I'm going to have to decide.  Project 44 is a platform where they remotely integrate with your truck's ELD to track the location of the truck throughout the day.  I am supposed to be able to turn off the functionality of the tracking and choose who can access it as I wish.  I just do not currently know if I want to.


Changes have come to our industry in many forms.  We went from spring tide to air ride trucks and trailers, from no power steering or Air Conditioning to having both.  From sleeping on the seat of your cab to fully functioning sleepers.  From having to wait in line for payphones to a pocket computer that can make phone calls.  We have progressed from having to navigate with maps to having a computer operated map navigate for us, and from logging hours on paper to doing it on computer. Years ago we needed to track our finances, our personnel files, and essentially our entire business on paper.  Now we can do it on computer.  Times are changing and so is our industry.


In this time of constant and continual change we need to be ready to change with it.  Modifications to how you do things need to be made, and you need to be open to moving forward with the times. Failure to do so may well leave your business behind.



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About Rates

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Its my personal opinion that the rates you work for say a lot about your business, hence the term “Bottom Feeder” which is a term in the trucking industry used to describe Brokers who pay sub Par rates and truckers who haul for sub par rates..


Obviously there is a conflict there between us as carriers, and Brokers and to some extent that conflict extends to the shippers themselves who ultimately want their products shipped for free.


So...what exactly is in a rate that a carrier charges?  Do you even care?


Shippers and Brokers say they want top notch carriers with good, dependable equipment, yet they don’t want to pay for it.  So lets look at it a moment?  


Every carrier’s expenses differ. Some trucks get 4 mpg, some get 9 mpg most fall somewhere between the two.  In a week’s time a single truck can generate $1,200 to $2,000 in fuel expenses alone.  If a truck uses DEF then that amount can easily increase another couple hundred dollars.  


Most trucks need oil and filter changes every 15,000 miles...roughly once every 6 to 8 weeks and for my truck with 3 oil filters, two fuel filters and an expensive air filter, a transmission filter and a coolant filer and needing 15 gallons of oil per service it can easily cost $500.  I could do 10 oil changes on my pickup for what a single service costs on my truck.


Tires on a big truck and trailer are exceedingly expensive at roughly $5,000 to $7,000 for the tractor and another $2,500.  Just changing out all my tires can cost more than most of you have spent on your entire car. The total annual cost of tires can and will range from about $9,000 for the cheapest tires you can get and $11,000 on average for mid quality tires but this cost can go up even more if you buy the most expensive brands.


I just replaced 3 of my injectors at a cost of $850 per injector, I replaced a radiator at a cost of $2,000.  I hope you begin to see what I’m saying.  Add to those expenses the payment for the truck at $1260 a month, and the cost of the trailer at $875 a month then add to that the cost of insurance at $1,300 a month, Tolls, parking fees, and all of the minor costs including the load board, taxes on income, IFTA taxes, and then my personal income, replacing equipment like tarps, straps, chains, edge protection...these things all add up and have to be figured into the cost.


As I’ve said before, We are in this to make a profit, not just buy a job.  We don’t spend thousands of dollars a month just to get by.  We do it to put our kids through school, pay our bills and establish a future for ourselves and to that end we set our rates.


My rates Begin at $2.50 per mile.  That isn’t my Rate, that’s where it starts, where everything else builds upon.  The baseline if you will.  To that I add for bad areas and there are a lot of them. I add for multiple stops which consume my time.  I add for tarping which though I do well at it, I absolutely hate.  I add for heavy loads because it causes more wear and tear on the truck and more fuel cost. I add for the deadhead to get to your load because even empty miles are not free miles.


In return I go out of my way to give you what you pay for, the best possible service.  I communicate with you when I’m on my way to the shipper, when I arrive at the shipper, when I leave the shipper.  I photograph every load so if you want to see them they are available.  I contact you midway through the trip, when I arrive at the final, and when I leave the final.  I do that personally.  I don’t ask anyone else to do it, I do it myself.  


I’ve never had a damaged load, never had a claim and I’m never late...though with ELOGS I am definitely going to need to increase my delivery time.

We have striven to hire the best drivers to work with us.  We don't just fill a seat, we do not just put on any owner operator who applies.  We want the best drivers we can get, and we work to get them rates they deserve.


We give you the best service and we expect to be paid for that.  I hope we can work together.

We Are a Family Owned Business

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When you do business with us you are not dealing with a huge corporation, you are dealing with a family.  You are helping to pay my son’s tuition for college or technical school, you are helping my wife not have to work 70 hours a week like I do.  You are helping a Texas family build a future.  


What that also means is that you don’t have to deal with a compay’s Red tape and run around. You get us...direct.  We don’t waste time getting our paperwork in to you, we work with you, we treat your customer well, we treat you like a partner.  You get my direct and undivided attention to solve your transportation problems because that is what we do. 

If it can go on a flatbed, We’ve hauled it.

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Over the years there is so much variety in what we have put on our deck. That there isn’t much of anything we haven’t hauled.  We do coils, and rail, and I beams, and equipment, Airplane parts, reels, poly pipe, steel pipe, lumber, cardboard, and more.  e’ve hauled for Home Depot, and Lowes, and Menards. We’ve hauled Multch, and fencing, reels, and ties.  If it goes on a deck chances are good we’ve put it there and done a top notch job.  We’ve delivered to the middle of cities, and to the outskirts.  We’ve delivered to job sites and farms, and fields so far removed from civilization you could have filmed a Western Movie and never had to change a thing.  We’ve run dryvan, and Fran Sand and of course, what we specialize in: Flatbed.  We’ve done legal loads, overweight and over dimensional loads.  So one thing you can be confident in...I know my job inside and out and whatever you have, I can handle it.

About Our Team

Steven Neill

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Steven Neill began driving in the Army a long time ago, after serving three years he left and pursued a few other careers before ultimately returning to work as a Commercial Company Driver.  He bought his first truck in 2015 with the dream of starting his own company.  In 2016 he founded S&A Neill Transport LLC with his wife Amber Neill, and in late 2018 he came off the road to focus on building that business and expanding it.  He now handles all operations and dispatch and works to keep our trucks running and keep them profitable

Amber Neill

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Amber Neill began her career as a Nurse, a careeer she has been dedicated to for about 16 years.  In the meantime she has helped run numerous business ventures and currrently works part time for S&A Neill Transport LLC handling most of the back office, billing, accounts payable and managing paperwork. Meanwhile she maintains a full time job as a Home Health Care Nurse. She works to keep our paperwork in order and meanwhile is learning the dispatching and operations side of the busininess, She has plans to start a brokerage seperate from the trucking company to help us get where we ultimately want to be.

Steven Gorski

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Steven Gorski is a Combat Veteran who came to us in May of 2018 as a company driver.  He is extremely dedicated and one of the hardest workers we know.  He helped to maintain the trucks while he built on his experience as a driver.  He Made the decision this year to purchase his own truck, A blue Freightliner Coronado, and He has leased that truck on with us.

William Munoz

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William has been a longtime friend who was in a bad situation with another start up carrier.  We invited him to move over to our company in October of 2018 and we couldn't be happier with having him here.  He owns and operates the Lime Green Peterbilt and his Low Pro Stepdeck has greatly expanded our ability to move freight. Eventually he wants to transition into RGN work and maybe add on more trucks of his own and we absolutely want to see him do that.  One day he may be ready to move into an office position as well and we would love to be able to provide that opportunity.  William is our OD guy and he will go literally anywhere his truck and trailer can go.

Stephen Gamble

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Stephen Gamble comes to us from a rather Large company and he is transitioning over now.  We look forward to working with him and his wife to make a very profitable partnership.  He brings to us a second stepdeck and we've been fairly successful with those.  He will be in his blue Peterbilt 579, which he owns and operates, and you can't miss it with all the Seattle Seahawks decals on it.  Give him a wave if you see him.

Michael Johnson

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Michael Johnson is a Combat Vet and he began his trucking career in the army as well.  After his tour overseas he came back to the states and eventually went to work as a company driver and a driver trainer.  He transitioned over to lease Purchase options at CRST Malone doing flatbed work then over to a smaller company as a lease purchase driver. He comes over to us buying my Volvo VT880 and operating that himself.


He is another long time friend, a top notch driver, and has a ton of experience.  We look forward to working with him.  He is in transition to come over to us at the moment.

David Helvering

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David comes to us with a wide variety of experience in the open deck industry and we have found him to be an extremely valuable resource for us.  We look forward to having him on board with us for a long time.  He and his wife Karen, work together securing loads and running our freight.  

David took over the Kenworth when Gorski became an owner operator and if we do a good enough job with him, David may be able to buy his own truck in a year or so.

Gilberto Valdes

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Gilberto Valdes is our latest owner operator.  He resides in El Paso and is bilingual, which is a great benefit for the southern freight market. He is relatively new as an owner operator with his white Freightliner, Cascadia and we hope he remains with us for a long time.

We will be growing over the next year

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We are looking to add one more owner operator to our small fleet this year and 5-10 in 2020.  We have a great outlook moving forward and look forward to seeing where we are as a company 2-3 years from now.  If you are an owner operator and are interested in driving for us, please contact us at 817-771-8236, or email us at saneilltransportllc@gmail.com