Susie Delcoure didn’t know a lot about running a business when she first started STOAKE Trucking. The company started as a local delivery service in Las Vegas. She searched online for how to find loads, which led her to Getloaded. But she didn’t just use the load board to find loads. She used it to build a business network, turning the brokers and shippers she worked with from the load board into regular customers.
These days Susie drives with her husband, Gary, and STOAKE Trucking has grown to three trucks and two dry van trailers. They’ve created a regional customer base across the Southwest.
In your email, you mentioned that you didn’t really know anything about trucking or how to start a business. What led you to take the plunge?
Susie: It kind of fell in my lap. Somebody that I know in Vegas said, “Hey Susie, I need a trucking business.” Well, I really wasn’t doing much, and I had the extra money. I had never ever owned a business, knew nothing about business, and I knew nothing about trucking at that time. So I opened the business, and was kind of like, “Wow, now what do I do.” That’s when I found Getloaded.
How were you eventually able to expand the business beyond local delivery?
At that time, it was just one truck, one trailer. When I found Getloaded, I started realizing that there are loads out there and that I can get these loads, so the business started growing and growing. I got my second truck and second trailer, and now I’ve got a third truck and regular customers.
And using the load board was how you started those relationships?
That’s exactly how I did it. You get familiar with the same people, just from the load board.
What’s something that you didn’t anticipate as an obstacle before jumping into this business?
Oh, my goodness. There are so many obstacles that I wasn’t even aware of back then. I never knew that I could spend $14,000 a week in fuel. I didn’t know about insurance and taxes. I hadn’t owned a business before, and I was just obviously naïve. I mean, that’s a lot of difficulty to this, especially when I was doing it all alone. But there’s a lot of greatness to it, too. It’s something I started, and I absolutely love now. I love what I do.
When I talk to a lot of drivers who run their own business, a lot of them say they eventually want to get out of the truck. It sounds like you probably want to stay in the truck.
I do. I mean, my first impression about taking showers at truck stops, doing things like that, I was like “This isn’t really for me.” But I love being outside. I love seeing different states. I love all of this.
stoake (at) outlook.com
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