Trucking News: Hendrickson Truck Lines blames weak freight market, bad lease deal for latest bankruptcy woes

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Family-owned Hendrickson Truck Lines Inc. of Sacramento, California, recently filed for bankruptcy protection, citing a soft freight market, loss of two key customers and a bad truck leasing agreement.

In its filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, it listed assets and liabilities as being between $10 million and $50 million.

Robert Destfino, vice president of sales of Hendrickson, declined to comment about the company’s recent bankruptcy filing when contacted by FreightWaves.

The carrier, which operates in 10 western states, lists up to 49 creditors.

The carrier has about 90 trucks and 97 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website.

 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
Bullshit. There's too many available trucks, that's why rates have been slow this year. More than once this year, there has been many more available trucks than loads, especially in the dry van sector over weekends.

That's drivers sitting on their backsides.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Bullshit. There's too many available trucks, that's why rates have been slow this year. More than once this year, there has been many more available trucks than loads, especially in the dry van sector over weekends.

That's drivers sitting on their backsides.
Yet I always have access to plenty of loads.
At 2018 rates? No.
At 2017 or better rates? Yes.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
Yet I always have access to plenty of loads.
At 2018 rates? No.
At 2017 or better rates? Yes.
Depends how you structure your business. I've had trouble around the weekends if I don't book ahead, and freight in the SE and Gulf states was pretty sparse this spring unless you pulled for crap rates. Do you know Chad Boblett? He's made mention that there were a number of times this year when posted trucks outnumbered loads by a wide margin.

And yet there are always loads... not necessarily good loads. I've found myself pointing out to brokers quite a bit this year that under their terms, the freight they were offering would rot on the dock before it would ever touch my wagon.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Depends how you structure your business. I've had trouble around the weekends if I don't book ahead, and freight in the SE and Gulf states was pretty sparse this spring unless you pulled for crap rates. Do you know Chad Boblett? He's made mention that there were a number of times this year when posted trucks outnumbered loads by a wide margin.

And yet there are always loads... not necessarily good loads. I've found myself pointing out to brokers quite a bit this year that under their terms, the freight they were offering would rot on the dock before it would ever touch my wagon.
Having more trucks than loads nationwide has happened often. Due to more trucks being out here this year thanks to the good rates last year.

That said, the key to that is paying attention to the market and knowing where to be and when. I live in Arkansas, but you will rarely catch me South if interstate 40 unless I am doing intrastate stuff. Notoriously cheap rates and constantly overrun with trucks. That was even the case in a great market last year.

Dealing with weekend freight, I make a point of not emptying in a weak market for this unless I am able to book a load out at the same time. Very few places I will end up with the intention of running weekend freight. It needs to really be a long load for me in most cases that picked up on Friday and delivers Monday or Tuesday because dealing with anything on the weekend in any market is a recipe for disaster. I have one local shipper I load out from on Sundays, but only because it is close to home, gets me a jumpstart on the week, and if it goes bad, I can go home.
 

Electric Chicken

Jock
Supporter
Everyone wants to run the warm, easy roads.

Someone on here asked me why I'd want to run hotshot around here with the traffic? Well this is why. Truckers want to avoid populations but then they wonder why there ain't no decent paying freight to haul. Duh.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
Due to more trucks being out here this year thanks to the good rates last year.
...and constantly overrun with trucks.
You're making my original point. The flood of capacity into the market after the really great rates we had last year is slowly being corrected. The Celedon and Hendrickson bankruptcies are just the latest examples. Less noticeable is the complaining on FB by single truck owners who jumped in with costs that are unsustainable in this year's market, who are now being forced out as well.

The post holiday slump should take some more out.

Dealing with weekend freight, I make a point of not emptying in a weak market for this unless I am able to book a load out at the same time. Very few places I will end up with the intention of running weekend freight. It needs to really be a long load for me in most cases that picked up on Friday and delivers Monday or Tuesday because dealing with anything on the weekend in any market is a recipe for disaster. I have one local shipper I load out from on Sundays, but only because it is close to home, gets me a jumpstart on the week, and if it goes bad, I can go home.
Depends on your market.

You're dealing with a much different situation in a rural area than I am. I'm not trying to pull loads out of Podunk AR... dealing with Billy Bob and and his killer hangover from Friday night hog wrestling on Saturday morning and his load of frozen chicken lips just ain't my bag. In fact, I actively limit the southern extent of my business to the Joplin market because the unreliability of shippers in NW Arkansas and the longer deadheads once you get into OK and SE KS.
 
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Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You're dealing with a much different situation in a rural area than I am. I'm not trying to pull loads out of Podunk AR... dealing with Billy Bob and and his killer hangover from Friday night hog wrestling on Saturday morning and his load of frozen chicken lips just ain't my bag. In fact, I actively limit the southern extent of my business to the Joplin market because the unreliability of shippers in NW Arkansas and the longer deadheads once you get into OK and SE KS.
Not everything has to include smartass comments.

Celadon is belly up because of corruption.

Any other company going under is doing so because they foolishly created or adjusted their business based on 2018.

Rates are as good or better now than they were in 2017 at this time. Better than previous years.

You regularly load out of the same region as me.

I operate where I can keep rates up, the rates just don’t happen to be up where I operate.

For me, that means dropping down to the Fort Smith area on a Sunday to get a load into the St Louis area for Monday morning, or head to southwest Missouri to start my week. From there, I work where the rates and freight dictate. Cold weather? Midwest. Warm weather? I benefit by trolling for loads going west.

If rates dictate I need to adjust my operating area, I will because I’m not working out here if I can’t make a decent profit.

Again, rates are better than they were in 2017. The state of the industry is not the reason for any of these companies to be failing, large or small.
 

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