Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fourth Quarter Results

This post details the results of my fourth full quarter of driving as a lease-purchase operator for Hill Bros out of Omaha, Nebraska.

As I've stated in my other quarterly results posts, these numbers are unique to me. I operate in a very strict manner emphasizing safety and efficiency to an extent few other drivers seem to bother with. You might be reading these posts and fantasizing about how much money you could make if you were doing this job -- just be aware you won't get these kind of numbers driving the way most drivers do.

I was surprised to learn that, over the first four months of this calender year, my net income was only surpassed by one other lease-purchase driver at our company. Many of the others drive more than I do, and almost all of them certainly work harder than I do, yet they don't seem to earn as much net pay. Go figure.

My goals for this quarter were as follows:

First, cut my Out of Route figure down to 6-8%. I missed here, going from 9.17 in the third quarter to 8.84 in the fourth. OOR miles can be a bitch is my conclusion.

Second, I wanted to reverse the decline in my average weekly paid miles by adding 200-300 miles per week to the 2,416 I logged in the third quarter. I hit this mark despite one week where I took four days off (and received my only zero paycheck week since the first weeks of my lease when I was paying down my escrows) by averaging 2,665 paid miles, an increase of 249.

Third, I boosted my goal for net weekly pay (pay to my bank account after taking care of all truck-related expenses) to 1,500. I just missed here, earning an average of 1,434 in net pay each week (totaling 18,644 over the quarter).

In short, I beat one of my goals and came close on the other two, and made a few bucks in the process.

My total miles run this quarter were 37,710, out of which 34,648 were paid either loaded or unloaded (deadhead), leaving an Out Of Route percent of 8.84%. These are the highest quarterly mileage numbers for me yet, and my second best OOR percent.

My fuel expense rose somewhat to 10,748 paid out at the pump, after reflecting our company discount. My truck received 5,689 in fuel surcharge money for the miles I ran, also slightly higher than last quarter. This left my out-of-pocket fuel expense at 5,059, the highest yet. This reflects on the number of miles I ran being slightly higher and the FSC bottoming out this spring.

Taking my adjusted fuel expense and dividing it by the total number of miles I ran results in a 13.42 cent per mile fuel charge for the truck, easily the highest yet.

As I mentioned above, my average miles per week climbed to an all-time high of 2,665.

Somewhat surprisingly, despite having driven an average of 249 miles more per week for the entire quarter, I still netted 12 dollars less per paycheck than the previous quarter! Why? The fuel surcharge was lower mainly, though I am also owed about 750 in bonus pay and a lumper reimbursement that will be reflected next quarter.

Revenue per mile has hopefully hit bottom at just 1.08 per mile. Compare with 1.49 in the first quarter when the FSC was a lovely 50-60 cents per mile.


40: 1573
41: 2117
42: 575
43: 1339
44: 2008
45: 1328
46: 1438
47: 1779
48: 1248
49: 2304
50: 0
51: 1741
52: 1194

As you can see, I had my first "zero pay" week in week 50 (three of my first five weeks had zero net pay but large payments towards my escrows; three other weeks in the second quarter were also no net pay but had large amounts set aside going into my maintenance account to max it out). There was actually a 26 dollar balance but there is a minimum amount you must earn for them to cut you a check or make a direct deposit, so it was added to my next settlement.

This results post will be followed by a fiscal year-end post with additional details and goals for my second year as a lease-purchase operator.