Client Success Story: Frankie and LeAnn, F&L Trucking
From a Dodge pick-up truck with a gooseneck trailer to a premium 2014 Freightliner Cascadia, F&L Trucking company’s success story basically writes itself. Frankie and LeAnn, owners of F&L Trucking had just received their authority in December 2013, when they decided to partner with TAFS that very next month. “Once we got our authority, Frankie and I had a barrage of calls from different factoring companies promising this and that. But TAFS stuck out to us, because they didn’t just offer factoring services, they offered resources to help us grow, which we needed as a brand new trucking company. I actually still have the postcards TAFS sent us, when we decided to partner with them over four years ago,” reflected LeAnn, owner operator of F&L Trucking. LeAnn is the back bone of this dynamic duo, managing the operations side of the business while her husband, Frankie, drives the business’s dry van cross country with his trusted companion and pet Chihuahua, Rufus.
Like any true success story, Frankie and LeAnn faced some opposition in their first year starting out as new owner-operators. Before embarking on unchartered territory, Frankie drove as an independent contractor doing drop & hook loads for various local companies over the years. Frankie & LeAnn finally decided to take the plunge and start their own trucking company so that they could be their own bosses. “There is a rigid structure when you drive for someone else. You don’t get to be in complete control of your home time and a percentage of your profit goes to someone else. That’s why we decided it was finally time to be our own boss and start F&L Trucking,” LeAnn said. However, making the transition from an independent contractor to owner operator brought its own set of new challenges for the couple.
When LeAnn and Frankie first partnered with TAFS in 2014, they struggled with cash flow to keep their business afloat while still figuring out the industry as a new trucking company. From overhead costs to insurance payments, the couple was struggling to keep their business afloat with an overdrawn bank account and a minimum amount of loads to keep them rolling. That’s when TAFS benefits came into play to lay the foundation for F&L Trucking to get back on their feet. By utilizing the F2 Fuel Card, and the business loan program, and their own personal brand of perseverance, this young trucking company was able to beat the odds stacked against them. “I didn’t even know what a fuel card was before I started with TAFS. Once I started to utilize the fuel card for TAFS to advance Frankie over the road, our finances became easier to manage without digging into our own pockets to keep his tank full for the next load,” LeAnn commented. Frankie and LeAnn used TAFS business loan program to regulate their cash flow and help cover unexpected repair costs, like when their brand new trailer blew a tire over the road.
Once Frankie and LeAnn stabilized their business, the true turning point was partnering with ProDispatch that took this company from surviving to thriving. They had upgraded their equipment to a 06’ Freightliner Classic but were still struggling to make a profit after operation costs. That’s when they were suggested to reach out to ProDispatch to optimize their revenue potential. “We were either losing loads or accepting low freight rates, when we were trying to keep ourselves loaded. It was an uphill battle trying to negotiate rates with brokers that take advantage of new carriers or spending too much time looking for loads on costly load boards that would be gone before we could even finish our last run. ProDispatch was the helping hand we needed,” LeAnn said.
Once F&L Trucking partnered with ProDispatch’s Head Dispatcher, Chad Govier, their success story really picked up speed. Because when you partner with ProDispatch, you not only get a dispatcher, you get someone who knows your business and plans routes that are personalized to your criteria and goals. “Once we partnered with Chad as our dispatcher, it made a huge impact on our business and income. We stopped wasting money on load boards and stopped having to fight over negotiating loads. Chad had the experience to negotiate the highest paying freight and keep Frankie loaded through-out the week with optimized routes,” LeAnn said. “Our hard work and money we invested finally started paying off when Frankie made that call to Chad to say, “For the first time, all my bills are paid and I’m putting money in the bank.” Within a matter of 8 months after partnering with ProDispatch, F&L Trucking was able to upgrade to a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia and make an additional $5k per month which doubled the income that they began with. “We really hit a turning point when we partnered with Chad. By giving us advice on how to maximize our freight revenue to planning routes that got Frankie home on the weekends, Chad became not only our dispatcher, but a friend that we could rely on,” LeAnn reflected.
Trucking is the underdog that every true success story needs. Because of their tenacity, they were able to be one more trucking company that refuses to be a statistic. Four years and 178 loads later (since partnering with ProDispatch), F&L Trucking has a bright future ahead of them. The only question to ask is, “What’s next on the horizon?” “I would like to grow our business even more and purchase another truck in the next year,” LeAnn said optimistically. Thank you, F&L Trucking, for allowing us to be a part of your success story. It is clients like you that put purpose behind our passion for helping trucking companies.