So you’re interested in driving, huh?
At Horizon, we’re dedicated to treating our drivers with great respect and providing them with the tools and info they need to be successful. Just getting started can sometimes be a daunting task, so we’re tried to spell out as much as we can before you apply online. We don’t want you to waste your time applying for and starting a new career that’s not right for you. Please read through the info below, then apply online if this sounds like the career for you.
Horizon has three transport divisions.
- Drive-Away requires a minimum of a Chauffeur’s license enabling drivers to transport mini motor homes (Class C) and smaller, trucks without air brakes and weighing less than 26,000 lbs. Drivers with CDL-B (or higher) may transport motor homes, buses and trucks of all sizes, doubling their opportunities for work.
- Tow-Away which uses CDL-C drivers (or higher) to tow travel trailers, horse trailers, boats, utility and work trailers of all sizes and types behind 3/4 to 1-ton pick-up trucks that are 2000 or newer.
- Haul & Tow, which uses CDL-A drivers to transport two small trailers: one on the flat bed and one towed behind. These trucks also may transport other things (whatever the load sits on the back or is towed).
Most successful drive-away contractors have a small tow car. It enables them to get to and from the loads more easily and usually cheaper than depending on public transportation. Automatic or manual transmissions in Chevy Cavalier, HI-IR, Malibu, most Saturn cars, Blazer, Jeep Wrangler or Cherokee, and Honda CRV are popular tow cars. Many manual transmission cars including Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Volkswagen, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, and Honda Civic. and similar small vehicles are popular tow cars. You might benefit from using one.
Check dinghy-towing guides on-line for a more complete list of cars that can be flat-towed. Horizon limits the tow car as weighing no more than 3500 lbs. Some states require break-away and brake systems. Please see http://www.towingworld.com/ or http://motorhome.tl.com/dinghytowingguide/ for additional information. Without a tow car, a driver must use public transportation: taxis, Greyhound, Amtrak, or airlines. They can be expensive and have unreliable schedules.
Drive-away rates currently average $0.96-1.15 per mile out of northern Indiana. This includes the fuel. In other words, you keep everything you do not spend. For instance, if you drive a motor home that gets 10 miles per gallon and fuel costs $3.50, you will spend $0.35 per mile for fuel. Keep in mind that you will be your own boss. You are your own sole-proprietor business, which makes some expenses tax deductible. Reload trips (sometimes called Back Hauls) are nice but may not be available close by. You may have to drive one or two states away to get to the next vehicle. Please factor in that reality. Drive-away drivers report average earnings of $500-800 a week after fuel.
For tow-away loads, all you need is a 2000* or newer, ¾-1 ton pick-up truck. Currently, a driver can expect $1.29 — 1.53 /mile for single pull loads using a pick-up. That includes fuel. Canadian loads tend to the high side of the rate schedule. As a contractor, you keep what you do not spend. 80% of the loads originate from northern IN though we have yards in OR as well. Using the driveaway example, if your truck got (as little as) 10 mpg and fuel costs $3.50 a gallon, travel will cost $0.35 per mile. You keep everything you do not spend, in this instance $0.90-$1.18 per mile after fuel. If you average 50 mph you will be earning $45-59 per hour or $450-590 a day if you travel 500 miles. Keep in mind these are only “loaded miles.” Average pick-up drivers report earnings of $600-
1 ,000 a week after expenses. One driver I recently spoke to said, “his truck earns $104-110,000 a year.” He said he keeps 50% and does no owe any taxes given his particular deductions.
*In order for Horizon to lease trucks aged 2000-2004, Horizon must receive photographs verifying its condition. When you come to Northern Indiana for orientation, the truck must receive a DOT inspection at S&S Automotive in Wakarusa ($50).
Haul & TOW loads currently pay $2.00 per mile total for two trailers. These drivers report making between $1 ,000-1 ,500 a week after expenses. Check out www.RVTransportPro.com for some details.
For all intent and purposes, “reloads” or “back hauls” are any transport not originating in Elkhart County, IN. In my experience, a helpful reload is one somewhere within a day’s drive of where you deliver. It could be anything going anywhere. For instance, if a drive-away contractor may deliver a motor home in Kansas City and have a reload dump truck in OK going to GA, or a school bus in MO going to FL. They are impossible to predict. However, more are available east of the Mississippi. Sadly, it is very rare a reload will be available in the same city you deliver to. The only transports that come back to Elkhart County are a relatively few RVs returning to a factory for repair. Occasionally a driver may get a round trip when two RVs dealers swap units. Generally, tow-away contractors face similar challenges. As helpful as back-hauls and reloads might be, it is best to figure there won’t be more than 25% or so in this business. We do have dispatch yards in Coburg and Pendleton, OR offering some transports out of those locations. The exception would be the Haul-N-Tow Division as it normallv is under dispatch 70-90% of the time if not 95% because of all the freight types that can be hauled with this style of truck.
If you really want to maximize your earnings, there are a number of factors. (The following observations are in consideration of a drive-away driver but generally apply across the board).
- Do you have a little money and credit card for start up costs and keep you going between paychecks?
- Do you have a CDL-B or higher license enabling you to drive anything Horizon transports?
- Can you pass a DOT physical?
- Do you have a small tow car in which you can take naps, or a truck with some sort of sleeping area?
- Does your vehicle get good gas mileage?
- Do you have an assortment of hitches enabling you to hook your tow car or truck to virtually any vehicle you might transport (motor homes, buses, trucks of all types, or travel trailers, fifth wheels, and pintle hitch trailers)?
- Do you have a passport so you can go to Canada?
- Are you willing to drive or tow anything — even big trucks, silos or restroom trailers?
- Are you willing to go anywhere — from San Diego, CA to St. Johns, Newfoundland to Miami, FL to Vancouver, British Columbia and every place in between?
- Are you willing to drive 5-600 mile a day, every day?
- Are you a very careful, safe driver?
- Are you willing to wash an RV at a truck wash or on a dealer’s lot?
- Are you able to hold your tongue when dealing with an unhappy customer?
- Are you willing to log your time, go through scales and obey DOT rules?
- Do you have a laptop and small printer and can you access the internet from anywhere?
- Are you handy and willing to do light repairs like jump starting, adding oil, changing a filter, light bulb or wiper blade on the road?
- Are you willing to drive in all kinds of weather, terrain, and seasons and park (without extra pay) and wait for the weather to clear?
- Do you keep good records?
- Are you willing to live quite frugally on the road (your expenses are what will make a break you)?
- Success will depend largely on keeping expenses to a minimum. Are you willing to sleep in your car or the RV in a sleeping bag so as to save money?
This will be your own business. You can make this work. You may think of more questions. We want you to have your eyes wide open.
I was chatting with one of our drivers recently. He said he loves his job and works a total of 9 months a year making $50,000 after expenses. Sometimes, he is away from home for 2-3 weeks at a time. However, on the way back he surfs, sails, and stops to see his extended family and friends regularly, though they live all over the country. He drives and tows an older Honda Odyssey outfitted sleep in when he needs a place to stay and save money.
Horizon does not force dispatch. In our systems, you can log on and see the available loads, you would need to be qualified before access (see web site). Working with you traffic manager, as long as there are loads available, you go where you want, when you want, as often as you want.
Those drivers who prosper take anything they can, going anywhere, without restrictions. Get those tools that make you the most flexible and available: a passport to go to Canada; multiple hitches so you can hook up to anything; the right license so you can legally take any kind of vehicle; a TWIC card enabling you to enter seaports; wiring jumper cables so you can plug in to most anything. Etc. The worst thing is to deliver to Kansas City and have a reload there but you cannot take it for want of a hitch, a special electrical plug, or a larger license. You end up deadheading when you could be earning money.
One of our top money-earners boasts that he can hook his Chevy Cavalier to most anything. Incidentally, he lives in WV and rarely goes west of Chicago. He operates in a region ranging from IL to NY and south to GA. That way, he is home every couple nights, his longest trips are only 8-900 miles, and he stays busy because most of the freight is in that area.
For many people, this is an ideal career. They love to travel throughout North America. They go places and see things about which they dream. For people with family and friends scattered about the country, this career permits regular visits. For instance, a driver’s father was having knee surgery. Eager to visit his dad, the driver found a paying trip to get to his folk’s city. Another couple use RV deliveries to see their children and grand children three and four times a year even though they live on opposite ends of the country. For these and others, they love the freedom to go where they want, when they want. There is no forced dispatch with Horizon. Drivers can see available loads on their computer screen 24/7. No pressure.
“If you only want to drive 100 miles, that’s what you get paid. If you want to drive 1000 miles that is what you get paid. Your income is determined by your own ambition.”
Drivers have seen whales and icebergs from the eastern most point in North America in St. Johns, Newfoundland. “Everyone ought to go there at least once because the drive is so beautiful,” a driver said. Drivers report seeing Caribou, Elk and Bears along the ALCAN Highway on their way to majestic Alaska. Max has been to Alaska 28-times. Others called in from Miami where they enjoyed sunshine and surf while the rest of the country shovels snow. A driver from the Midwest rented a Condo in San Diego for his family while he paid for the vacation transporting RVs in and around southern California. “It’s almost like being on vacation and getting paid for it.” From the towering office cathedrals of Manhattan to the immense grandeur of the Grand Canyon, America is a country worth seeing.
All Horizon needs to receive are:
- Full application, (http://horizontransport.com) go to new drivers, go to division, down load long form
- “Clean” Motor Vehicle Report (MVR from your license bureau) and 3. PSP Background Check. (If CDL ONLY) Log back on to http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/Pages/default.aspx to get to the PSP application link for the DOT required check.
- Photographs of your pick-up truck, if you are intending to use one that is 2000-2005.
In order to complete the approval process we must receive and review your full application. Please print the application and fill it in completely. Please include fax numbers for previous employers as we must request employment verifications. Please also include the MVR and PSP and mail or fax them to Horizon, (574) 862-1446.
Horizon Transport— Attention Recruiting Department
PO Box 826
Wakarusa, IN 46573
If the MVR or PSP arrive later, you may fax those to 574-862-1446
If you do not have a recent DOT Physical (no older than 6 months) you can get one in Wakarusa at a walk-in clinic for $55.
If you are invited to join Horizon, there is a 2-day orientation in Wakarusa, IN at the end of which you will be given your first transport and so begin your new career! (Please come to orientation prepared and expecting to depart on your first transport). You will be asked to take a drug test ($25) and submit a deposit for two transporter license plates ($50), which is refundable when/if you leave.
Though there are considerable upsides to driving and many people thoroughly enjoy contract transportation, this is not for everyone. Nevertheless, we hope it is right for you. We’ll do all we can to help. May God bless you and your family.
574 862 2161 ext 631
*Horizon Transport reserves the right to offer contracts or not for any reason without explanation.