The Sky Is The Limit For Southern Pride Trucking
Just one of the many stunning Owner-Operator trucks in the Southern Pride Fleet.
The Southern Pride fleet supplies direct service to the Aeronautics industry.
An aircraft engine heading to the airlines.
An aircraft engine heading back to the factory.
By Steve Pollock
SAN DIEGO, CA…
Southern Pride Trucking was founded in 1978 by Professional Truck Driver David Hodgman in San Diego, California with 3 trucks. The company got its name from David’s love of racing – both dragsters and NASCAR. David was good friends with Richard Petty and when searching for a name for his company he borrowed “Southern Pride Carwash” from Petty’s carwash chain, creating “Southern Pride Trucking.”
The company was still small when David left the road for operations. David met a man named Tom Lynch who joined the company. At the time Southern Pride Trucking was hauling O.D. freight with an occasional load hauling jet engines. David and Tom liked the challenge and excitement of serving the aeronautics industry and the freight rates were very good as well. The two men had a vision to be the “best Jet engine hauler in the U.S.A.”. Their philosophy was that Southern Pride shouldn’t haul jet engines as a sideline; the company must specialize in the field, focusing on the airline industry and structuring operations, dispatch, fleet and drivers around serving the airline industry.
Today Southern Pride Trucking hauls about 90% of all Jet engines built in the U.S.A. as well as transportation of engines to be exported. The company serves all of the major airlines hauling predominately commercial aircraft engines with an occasional military haul. While most hauls take place in the U.S.A., Southern Pride also serves Canada as well as hauling engines to Laredo and Brownsville, Texas and Miami, Florida for export.
Since FAA Regulations require an aircraft engine to be taken out of service and rebuilt at a predetermined time, there is steady work hauling new and rebuilt engines into the airlines and hauling engines that need rebuilt back to the manufacturer. Southern Pride has also diversified into hauling the ground support equipment at the airports as well. From fuel tankers to baggage conveyors, Southern Pride hauls it all. The work is steady and nearly all the freight is time sensitive. The majority of loads, however, remain aircraft engines. Southern Pride also utilizes all available transportation technologies to insure the very best service to their customers. They were one of a few companies chosen to test the Qualcomm System when it was first introduced.
Southern Pride Trucking operates a 100% Owner-Operator fleet of about 100 power units. Since the jet engines they haul can be valued at 2 to 24 million dollars each, they only lease the very best contractors for their fleet. Owner-operators must own a double drop trailer to lease to the fleet. The company also leases some driver teams as well. Teams can pull a single or double drop. The bar is set high for lease contractors but the rewards are great. The company’s turnover rate is one of the lowest in the trucking industry. Most contractors who leave do so for health or personal reasons or just simply retire. The average age of a Southern Pride contractor is about 50 years old. Solo contractors must have O.D. experience but don’t need a Department of Defense clearance.
Contractors make a lot of money at Southern Pride Trucking. The fleet average is $2 per mile plus and the truck is paid 77% of the gross. Solos average $275,000 to $300,000 gross per year and teams average $350,000 to $400,000 gross annually. Solo contractors and teams work about 10 months out of the year. Because of the just-in-time nature of what they haul, Southern Pride recommends contractors to run for 8 weeks average and then take 2 weeks off. This allows maximization of earnings, while providing superior customer service.
Most loads are light, typically averaging about 15,000 pounds. Dealing with shippers and receivers is much easier as well. Southern Pride’s dispatch does all the scheduling and the shippers and receivers are open 24/7, even on most holidays. Drivers are loaded or unloaded upon arrival, waiting almost never occurs. Southern Pride Trucking provides contractors with a laptop computer, printer and digital camera. By sending documents electronically from the truck, it reduces expenses and expedites the payment process. The cameras are used most often to simply photograph the load for the company’s benefit, but can be used if any issue should arise. Southern Pride Trucking is also buying Double Eagle Sleepers equipment to produce custom-built luxury sleepers. They will be built in the near future and sold at a discount to the Southern Pride Trucking O/O fleet in addition to being made available to the general trucking driving public.
Southern Pride Trucking is the carrier of choice for the airline industry and its suppliers. They have built their company and reputation on hauling aeronautical freight. The company is presently leasing contractors in all 48 states. They are looking for good, safe, reliable contractors to be their business partner in serving the airline industry. The work is steady and year round, but drivers must be ready to service the customers given the time sensitive nature of the freight. Everyone at Southern Pride Trucking is an expert at serving the airline industry and is dedicated to providing the best service available – that is “The Southern Pride Way”.
For additional information log onto www.sptnet.com or call 800-4PRIDE1 (800-477-4331).