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 verso.  Carriers need enough money to survive on and to prosper on.  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?

THE ELD After Effect

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A couple of years ago when I began this page and established our online presence we were still on paper logs and I liked it.  But in December of 2018 we were forced to pay for a service we did not want and we were forced to use a service we did not need.  I, like many other people in the industry, was angry about it.  The over reach of our government sometimes goes way too far and this, in my opinion, was totally unnecessary. 


To begin, there is no data whatsoever that proves that ELOGS improve driver safety at all.  As a matter of fact a lot of Data in the past year actually proves the opposite.  They are now stating that ELOGS are responsible for driver fatigue, that drivers are now racing their computer to get to the end of their day. They are driving tired, starting earlier, having harder times finding parking, and so on.  We will touch on that in a bit.


Other data prior to the ELOG mandate indicated that the wide majority (85%) of all crashes involving a Semi Truck was not caused by driver error on the part of the CDL Driver, but was, in fact, caused by driver error by operators of smaller passenger vehicles, so many CDL holders feel singled out for blame in a safety issue in which they have no fault at all, while those at fault continue to operate without any additional regulations, and I personally count myself among those people.


Regardless, there is no data to support that ELD's create safety, and there IS data to indicate that operators of personal vehicles are at fault in the vast majority of accidents involving both types of vehicles.


However, the data compiled over the past year indicates that there have actually been an increase in crashes involving semi trucks since the ELD mandate went into effect, so obviously the ELD is a problem, right?


Not so fast. I absolutely agree that the government is over reaching, and I do not like that, however, there was a reason for the over reach.  All of us know that the word used to describe why people prefer paper to an ELOG is the exact reason why the ELOG Mandate is here.  That word is flexibility.  We need flexibility in order to be safe.  But the reality is that the word, Flexibility is simply code for Cheating.  I can no longer cheat my log books so I have no flexibility.  The issue here is that with the implementation of the ELOG Mandate they addressed the symptom, but not the problem.  The symptom is that Drivers are forced to modify, or cheat, their logs in order to get the flexibility to operate safely, the PROBLEM, however, is that the HOS Rules and Regulations simply do not work as written. Drivers did cheat their ELOGS and they did it to avoid heavy traffic times such as rush hour, or to take a nap when tired and still be able to deliver the load, or to ignore outrageously long load times and unload times so they could continue to generate income.  The HOS regulations do not take these issue into account, so yes, the accidents have been on the rise because drivers do not have that flexibility to remain safe and they have to go into congested areas when the safer option would be to wait until it is no longer congested.  They have to drive when tired, when the safer option would be to take a nap. 


Obviously then, my choice would be to return to paper if that option arose, right?


No. There are a lot of advantages to having ELOGS. I can track my trucks in real time, I can look at engine diagnostics to see if a truck is having a maintenance problem, I can look at driver's habits to see if they are driving safely.  I can use that data stored in the system to reconstruct an accident. I can track miles in each state for IFTA.


Charge what you are worth and the cost is absorbed.  So in conclusion, something needs to change but the focus is on the wrong thing.

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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.