Clients ask this question often. The answer is kind of complicated. Where you are in the country or what commodities you are set up to haul help determine the answer to the question. However, there are a few types of cargo that are generally less expensive than the rest. Today I am going to briefly describe some of the most common types of cargo. I will rate the costliness of each cargo type on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the cheapest and 10 being the most expensive).
- Auto Hauler – Auto hauling is extremely popular among trucking commodities. I think Auto Hauling is popular because you can haul autos with a full-sized tractor with a 10-car hauler hooked to it or you can have a pickup truck with a single car trailer behind it. This makes auto hauling accessible for a wide variety of smaller trucking companies. Unfortunately, auto hauling has been hit hard by claims over the past many years. Insurance companies have found that the amount of claims they are paying out is not determined by the size of the truck. This means they are now charging almost the same premium for a pickup truck pulling a single car trailer as they are a tractor pulling a 10-car hauler. This makes Autos one of the most expensive commodities to haul.
Costliness Rating for Auto Hauling – 10
- Dirt, Sand, and Gravel Hauler – Dirt, Sand, and Gravel Hauler is just another way to say Dump Truck Driver. Trucking companies that haul dirt, sand, gravel and asphalt is in high demand right now. We get calls on a daily basis from client’s that have decided to purchase a dump truck and get into the dirt, sand, and gravel hauling business. This is another type of trucking commodity that has been hit hard by claims. Insurance providers have adapted to the rise in claims costs by increasing their premium. Dump truck premiums are also very much affected by your location. Someone that operates a dump truck in Atlanta is going to pay about 3 times more than someone that operates a dump truck out of a rural area. My advice to all of my clients is to call us and get an insurance quote before you sign any paperwork to buy a truck. Sometimes the rates are not bad. Sometimes the rates are high but doable. Sometimes the rates are so incredibly high that it is just not a feasible option. You don’t want to purchase a dump truck and then find out you are in the unfeasible category. Give us a call before you buy. We will run a quote for you in a few minutes.
Costliness Rating for Dirt, Sand, and Gravel Hauling – 9
- General Freight Hauler – General freight is a broad term. When we classify a trucker as hauling general freight they usually haul things like, dry van freight, refrigerated freight, paper products, and etc. The insurance premiums for General Freight haulers have risen as the overall price of insurance has risen for truckers across the board over the past many years but general freight premiums have not skyrocketed like they have for auto haulers and dirt, sand, and gravel haulers.
Costliness Rating for General Freight Haulers – 6
- Flatbed Freight Hauler – Flatbed freight includes hauling items such as building materials, equipment, pipes, lumber, and etc. The prices for hauling flatbed freight are very similar to hauling General Freight. This is another commodity type where the insurance premiums have increased steadily over the past years but the pricing is still well below the Auto Hauling and Dirt, Sand, and Gravel rates.
Costliness Rating for Flatbed Freight Haulers – 6
- Log Haulers – Many people think that hauling logs is one of the most expensive things to insure as a trucker. This was probably true at one point in time. However, over the years the claims for log truck losses have decreased. Also, there is no risk to losing cargo like there is when you haul cars or general freight. Believe it or not hauling logs has become one of the most affordable class codes for many of my clients.
Costliness Rating for Log Haulers – 4
The list above is based on my observations over the past 8 years working with truckers. I am sure there are some situations that do not follow my observations. I hope this helps give you some insight when you are deciding what commodity your small trucking business is going to haul.
Caleb T. Jackson
Vice President of Transportation
Transportation Risk and Insurance Professional (TRIP)
Caleb Jackson is Vice President of Transportation Insurance for Barbee Jackson Insurance. He started his career in insurance while attending University of Florida working as a claim’s representative at Nationwide Insurance in Gainesville, FL. Upon graduation he took his years of experience in claims to apply them at the agency level. The Transportation Industry faces unique challenges when it comes to Regulations, Statutes, and Motor Carrier Liability Coverage. Caleb is considered one of the foremost experts in understanding the Transportation Industry and its Risks. Hundreds of trucking operations across the United States enlist his help each year in finding insurance coverage and ways to reduce claims.
If you wish to contact Caleb Jackson for insurance related questions please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org