‘Too many scammers out there’: Stay choosy about brokers

In today’s world, the kind of choosiness with brokers owner-operator Candace Marley practices is a must for many independents, she feels. “I don’t jump in with just any broker out there. There’s too many scammers out there, too many double brokers, too many frauds.”

In this week’s edition of Overdrive Radio, Marley details the relationship-building strategy for freight in her Iowa-based one-truck business — Calliope, LLC. The independent business takes its name from a muse in Greek Mythology and a species of hummingbird well-known for its nimble nature in flight, a quality that owner-operator Marley herself has shown in spades over the course of her career. That includes her relatively brief time with authority, just a few years in after being leased to Don Hummer Trucking.

Today we’re running through Marley’s conversation with Overdrive News Editor Matt Cole, whose feature about the owner-operator also detailed her tenacity to thrive under the most challenging of circumstancesOverdrive’s Trucker of the Month for March, owner-operator Marley’s in the running for the 2024 Trucker of the Year honor, this year sponsored by Bostrom Seating with a new seat the ultimate prize for whoever comes out on top among 10 semi-finalists we’ll profile this year. (Put your own business in the running via this link.)

Howes logoOverdrive Radio’s sponsor is Howes, longtime provider of fuel treatments like its Howes Diesel Treat anti-gel and Lifeline rescue treatment to get you through the coldest temps, likewise its all-weather Diesel Defender and Howes Multipurpose penetrating oil, among other products.For Candace Marley, it all comes after a year that’s been a tough one, it’s sure. As was the case for so many owner-operators, lower rates and high fuel (along with generally soft freight markets) had her trucking along fairly flat compared to the previous year. Then, six months out from finishing the note on her 2017 Kenworth T680, a major mechanical failure took the truck out from under her, necessitating a two-month transition to a 2020 Peterbilt 579 late in the year. On top of that, her van trailer was stolen while parked near the dealer, and the theft left her paying for a piece of equipment that has yet to be found.

She’s inherently optimistic, though, and it was just the kind of challenge maybe she even needed, as you’ll hear, to keep her on her toes and motivated to sharpen all aspects of the business. Just about six months after that big mechanical failure, she’s working her way back with the 579 delivering better fuel mileage than her previous unit. She’s closely monitoring costs and what she needs to meet profitability targets, and looking ahead to better freight markets where she’ll really make hay.

The owner’s journey through trucking behind the wheel starts in 2009, when her then-husband had to come off the road due to an illness, and it’s a story she tells in full in the podcast. Take a listen: 

overdrive trucker of the year 2024 logoOverdrive‘s 2024 Trucker of the Year program, sponsored by Commercial Vehicle Group and Bostrom Seating, recognizes clear business acumen and unique or time-honored recipes for success among owner-operators. Through October, we’re naming Truckers of the Month to contend for the Trucker of the Year honor. Finalists will be named in December, and a winner crowned early next year. Nominations continue to be sought for exceptional owner-operators, whether leased or independent, throughout the year. Nominate your business or that of a fellow owner (up to three trucks) via this link for a chance to win a custom replica of your tractor and a Bostrom seat from Commercial Vehicle Group, among other perks.

As mentioned in the podcast, find the report from 2023 Trucker of the Year Jay Hosty’s acceptance of prizes at MATS with the award, including a custom model replica of his 2006 Western Star 4900EX, at this link.  

Subscribe to the podcast on your listening platform of choice for early access to the weekly Overdrive Radio series — it drops typically every Friday to the feed and follows here at and in Overdrive’s Facebook feed the following week. You can subscribe for first access via Apple and Youtube podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, most anywhere you listen to podcasts.

[Related: Leave trucking better than you found it]

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