Think You Know Mercer? Think Again!
By Steve Pollock
When you think of Mercer Transportation, two things usually come to mind – 100% Owner-Operator and Flatbed Carrier. However, even though Mercer is proud to be one of the nation’s premier flatbed carriers, they also have around 400 trucks leased to their Van Division. Mercer has also initiated other programs to make hauling for the company easier and more profitable than ever before.
Mercer realizes that they don’t have enough trucks to service all of their customers, so they strive to optimize the contractor’s time to maximize driving time and earn better revenues. While long haul has always been Mercer’s bread and butter, they now have many regional and short haul opportunities that offer some excellent home time. Freight lanes are now available in the Midwest from St. Louis, Memphis and Nashville to Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, throughout Ohio and all points in between. The lanes have an average length of haul of 300-400 miles, allowing contractors to be home nearly every weekend and sometimes once or twice during the week as well.
Mercer contractors also enjoy many perks. Using Mercer’s fuel card, the company can issue advances or pay the entire load instantly. Mercer contractors are also eligible for fuel discounts negotiated by the company throughout a nationwide network of truckstops. The discounts are available through Mercer’s fuel card and provide savings that are usually about 35¢ per gallon less than the national average fuel price. Mercer also assigns each contractor a designated dispatcher who utilizes a computerized load matching system. Each individual contractor is matched to available freight according to where they like to run, weekly revenues they like to earn and home time they desire. The load coordinator can then offer loads to the contractor that are the best fit for his/her needs. The end result is to keep Mercer loads on your truck without wasting valuable time. With Mercer’s Preferred Carrier Program, independent contractors and small fleets running under their own authority can broker freight from Mercer at 80% of gross and receive 1-day pay on each load hauled. Settlements are made within 24 hours of the paperwork being turned in, with no factoring fees. Contractors can also take advantage of Mercer’s insurance discounts and the company’s compliance experts will help keep your truck and drivers within current DOT and FMCSA regulatory rules. Mercer strives to provide the potential for individuals and small fleets to grow by handling the details so that they can concentrate on hauling the freight.
With an industry wide shortage of drivers, Mercer has implemented programs to offer opportunities for professional drivers in all areas of the industry. Contractors with driving experience can lease on with Mercer’s Van Division or receive flatbed orientation training to become a “Flatbedder”. If you don’t own a trailer, no problem – Mercer utilizes an independent leasing company that can lease-to-own flatbeds, stepdecks, and vans. Mercer’s name is not on the lease and they make no profit on it, either. They will, however, help the contractor administrate the lease and make direct deduction payments from settlements if they choose. The terms are generous with no money down and payments are set up to be affordable. Contractors can sign out of the lease at anytime. A lease-to-own program is also available for power units, designed for company drivers who would like to become owner-operators. Mercer has partnered with a company called Pathway to provide tractor lease-to-own programs along with business training. Mercer was careful to choose a reputable independent leasing firm that will help company drives become independent contractors. Mercer wants to be absolutely clear that their name is not on any of the leases and they do not profit from them, either. Mercer instituted both leasing programs as enablers to help contractors obtain a trailer if needed and for company drivers to fulfill their dream of becoming an owner-operator. Mercer doesn’t own any equipment and has no desire to do so. They simply want to move freight and help professional drivers to obtain the equipment they need to haul it.
Today opportunities abound at Mercer for all types of professional drivers. Plenty of work is available for flatbed and van contractors and lease-to-purchase plan is available for company drivers who want to become independent contractors. Mercer can also find driving positions for company drivers with their small fleet owners. Mercer even has opportunities for husband and wife teams as well. So if you thought you knew Mercer, think again. These days “The Owner-Operator Company has opportunities for all professional drivers and all you have to do is call 877-724-3067 to find out what Mercer Transportation can do for you.
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