Mercer Transportation is one of the top carriers in America and one of the leading owner-operator companies in the country. The irregular route carrier has been in business for more than four decades and has an owner-operator fleet of more than 2,300 trucks.
Mercer was ranked one of the top five carriers in the country for government traffic. That honor allowed them to receive the Military Traffic Management Command Quality Carrier Award.
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Headquartered in Louisville, KY, Mercer maintains an open-door policy that encourages contractors to work hand-in-hand with their freight directors. The company also has an on-site driver’s lounge with showers, TV rooms, a laundry room and 24-hour parking.
Mercer Trucking Services
With Mercer, owner-operators have the opportunity to haul a variety of commodities, including:
- Building materials
- Military freight
Their services include:
- Dry van
The Mercer Transportation Load Board
With Mercer, freight is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Mercer Brokerage online load board, which is also accessible through mobile, makes it easy to find available loads.
Search filters allow you to find loads that match your criteria:
- Origin: Choose the origin country (US, Canada or Mexico), State or Province, City and Maximum Radius (all are required fields).
- Destination: Choose the destination country (US, Canada or Mexico), State or Province, City and Maximum Radius.
- Availability: Choose the Date and Time.
- Trailer Type: Choose from a variety of Trailer Types.
The advanced search options also allow you to narrow the results by:
- Max Scale Weight
- Tarp Height
- Team Load
Once you’ve entered your search criteria, you can view all available loads for your desired date and time. The load board allows owner-operators to quickly and easily find the loads that match their criteria.
Because Mercer doesn’t actually own any trucks, owner-operators don’t have to worry about competing with company drivers for loads.
Mercer Trucking Jobs and Pay
Mercer operates in 49 states and all of Canada. The carrier offers employment opportunities to experienced owner-operators that meet their stringent criteria.
Mercer Owner-Operator Requirements
In order to work with Mercer, owner operators must meet the following requirements:
- At least 25 years of age
- Have a valid CDL
- Have at least one recent year of verifiable interstate trucking experience, with 6 months experience on flatbed
- Clean driving record
- Current D.O.T. long form physical and medical card
- Experience preparing a Driver’s Daily Log
Owner-operators can bring their own trailer, but Mercer also has a lease-purchase or rental program.
- No money down
- $635/month to rent a dry van
- $600/month to lease a flat
Contractors will also have to go through orientation before they can start working with Mercer. Orientation takes place in Louisville, KY and lasts 2-3 days. You won’t be paid for orientation, but breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Trucks are assigned a central truck coordinator, which has a dedicated phone line. Coordinators manage approximately 40 trucks. Managing smaller teams allows coordinators to address the individual needs of owner-operators while coordinating freight movement in the most efficient way possible.
Owner-operators don’t have to worry about forced dispatch when working with Mercer.
When applying to work as a contractor with Mercer, you will need to meet the minimum requirements listed above, but you may also need the following:
Requirements For Permits and Licensing
- Truck title
- Trailer title (if bringing your own)
- Copy of long form physical
- Copy of 2290 FHUT market period
- Certified empty weight ticket
Prior to orientation, Mercer must have the following in-house:
- Truck and trailer registrations (if you’re running your own plate)
- Lease purchase agreement (if applicable)
- Articles of Incorporation (if you are incorporated)
- The original title for the trailer plate
- Power of Attorney (if you are unavailable to sign the lease)
You may be required to provide other documentation. Mercer will go over all of the necessary documents with you so that you know exactly what to submit.
How Much Does Mercer Pay?
Like with any other owner-operator scenario, pay will vary based on the job. Mercer pays 75%-99% of the line haul and 100% of the fuel surcharge.
Mercer also covers cargo and liability insurance.
But how much are owner-operators actually making with Mercer?
According to 3rd-party tools and our own 2 driver surveys, the average salary for a Mercer owner-operator is:
- $83,740 – Range ($56,743-$116,198)
Ten contractors claim to earn a salary of $56,743 year, while five contractors claim to earn $116,198 per year. Our own internal surveys had two drivers earning $82, 600.
Once Mercer receives your load paperwork, you’ll be paid within 8 business hours. Payments can be made through direct deposit, loaded onto a fuel card, or mailed as a paper check to your home address.
With Mercer, owner-operators are responsible for paying (with a few exceptions):
In addition to base pay, Mercer also offers annual incentives up to $1,000 based on safety, mileage and years of service. Other benefits include:
- Pet policy – bring your furry friends on the road with you
- Passenger policy – limit one; must be at least 12 years of age; $50 policy charge that covers the entire year
- Fuel discounts
- Tire discounts
- No forced dispatch
- Fuel taxes are filed and paid when running Mercer plates
- Customer base of more than 12,000
Mercer’s pay seems a little on the low side for an owner-operator, but we have to assume that the number on 3rd-party sites are skewed. For example, the $56,743 year figure is how much the driver takes home after covering the costs of running the business.
Mercer offers consistent work with a reliable company that has a large customer network. There’s no competition with company drivers, and drivers are paid a percentage of the load. Our friends that driver for Mercer (over a decade now) love the company and the company culture.
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