Mikael Sant

Interview by
Published on
November 21, 2022

In this episode...

We live in a time where teenagers are learning one or various high-income skills they can use to earn extra income or start a business. Especially in today’s digital age, you see young people getting into business, whether it’s social media management, YouTube content creation, or flipping sneakers and designer clothes, if it’s good business they’re likely to try it. 19-year-old Mikael Sant saw tremendous income potential in starting his own trucking company, and he’s now making $100,000 a month as the founder and CEO of Sant Lines. Learn how landscaping from when he was 12 led to buying his first truck for his company in this fantastic new episode of Life By The Mile, delivered by FreightWorks.

Mikael Sant

Mikael Sant is the Founder and CEO of Sant Lines


I think I saved about 73 or 75 000 uh roughly from the time I was 12 to the time I was 19. found a truck on Facebook and I was like you know what I am gonna negotiate this so hard and I had no idea how the truck Market was and so I was able to get it for 32 000 and I was actually able to sell this Peterbilt for 55 000 so I made about 23 Grand on the purchase Welcome to Night for the mile delivered by freightworks one of America's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by trucks indicted to tell story compelling driver story I need to do something industry all here right now slight by the mile delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch Maltby you know we love being able to bring exciting driver and logistic stories to you from around America and Michael Sand is with us today he is got an incredible story I'm going to ask you real quickly make sure that you like share subscribe get those notifications on the YouTube channel life of the mile we're pressing ahead growing an audience and it's with your help that we're able to have exciting folks on like this next guest I want to tell you Michael I told Jordan I was so excited to have you on we've had to fight through technology and stuff and uh here you are out on West Coast time so welcome yeah I'm out here uh in Pasco you know just uh finally got the right Network so I can talk to you guys I appreciate you having me great now listen I I'm gonna we're gonna tell an incredible story are you still 19 or have you turned 20 this month and it's the 13th today so in about uh 12 days 29th okay so so so you're still 19 years old but you are not going to want to miss folks this story because it's an exciting story of Entrepreneurship in America being tenacious you know a guy that's you know suited up showed up and just made some things happen I'm sure with with God's help but listen before before that you were actually up doing something early this morning what were you doing well this morning so I do construction as well I own an excavation company and I had we're doing a residential property that we have to grade that was new construction and we're hydroseeding it and I was up early because we had to make sure that that yard was hydrose heated in the proper spot because I wasn't there so I could be here so it worked out yeah you you know what we we really appreciate it and we're gonna dive deep into what created this incredible motivation on your part tell us a little bit about sand lines tell us about your your company yeah and how you got started and uh where it all came from so I started sat lines and myself back in 2021 I the original story is I went out to Texas to do insurance Contracting um and I was definitely not ever thinking I was ever going to get into Trucking I never in my life I have no family and everyone this everyone gets this wrong they think I got family that's in trucking or whatever no none of my family I found out after I started Trucking I have my step Grandma's brother um as they uh he's an owner operator that's the only person I know in my family that has anything close to trucking and then my uncle has a CDL Class B because he drove uh cruise ship buses and so that's the only Trucking I have and I was in Texas and my buddy's like hey man you're pretty sharp you should you know uh start a trucking company and I was like I was like like what do you mean like go drive for Walmart or something I like kind of being snarky towards him and he's like no no like you can get Freight contracts and all that and I had no idea how the trucking industry worked so I was like you know what that sounds interesting you're showing me some numbers from his owner operator family that they drive and I was like man that's like really impressive if they're able to even just gross this and then on top of that as the driver they were making themselves easily twenty thousand dollars a month profit from them driving themselves um and they had these contracts with reefer and flatbed and this was you know uh early 2021 and so I was like all right I'll look into it so I was on FaceTime with my girlfriend at the time she's not my fiance and I um was like hey I think I'm gonna start a trucking business and she was like what she's like super like just random because I was in Texas working uh uh as a contractor for the insurance agencies where all the flood damage that happened back last winter and I just decided hey um I'm gonna you know get into this and I uh as soon as they got home I started looking at trucks and uh a lot of YouTubers like David McGill I think it's the Asian my show who does a lot of trucking videos all these different guys who uh um are in trucking and I just started researching the business and then I found a truck and then I was like oh sweet this is you found a truck you found a truck okay there's a whole lot more to the story what kind of truck was the Peterbilt 2016 uh Peterbilt that was originally posted for like 48 or 45 000 and I was like I had so and I had all my cash saved up from my Landscaping that I did I've been Landscaping since I was 12. so you saved money yeah you you say I mean that breaks every stereotype for a lot of people to say you know young people in America don't say but you say why my dad engraved that into me from the very young because he had a lot of debt when he was going through school because uh when I was born he was in the middle of schooling and he had two other kids my older brother and older sister and um pretty much he just was like hey don't you know do it I did with credit card debt and they've always just said hey save your money save your money um a big Dave Ramsey people even though I'm not a big Dave Ramsey fan but for personal finance you know that he has a lot of good info and really did help my parents get out of debt and so I always was just told hey save your money that you make so you can invest it in the future and so I just kept I'd work and save and work and save and uh by the time I was 18 I I think I saved about 73 or 75 000 uh roughly from the time I was 12 to the time I was 19 and I uh found a truck on Facebook and I was like you know what I am gonna negotiate this so hard and I had no idea how the truck Market was but um so I ended up going to meet the guy who test drove the truck I I offered him actually originally my purchase price which was 32 000 uh and he said no that's too low um I won't take it I and then I said hey well how about I go with my dad and we look at the truck and if you know I just wanted a second opinion and you know my dad doesn't even know anything about semiser diesels and I just trust his his seniority from uh compared to mine with uh you know because he's always worked on our family cars so I right I just assumed hey he's gonna know better than me and so we went to check it out test drove it and my dad even drove in he's like oh it's a nice it's a nice truck because my dad drove diesel trucks uh sunrise in the military when he was in the Air Force and uh he um he's like yes it seems like a good truck and I think we both kind of didn't know what we were getting into and so uh the guy's like yeah just let me know I was like okay let me think about it and I'll give you an offer just what I think but I do like the truck so then I'm on Memorial Day of 2021 I messaged the guy I'm like hey I wanna um I do want to buy it and but are you willing to do 30k so I dropped my offer by 2000. you dropped in another two times yeah well but you know what you did you overwhelmed them with your team I mean you know you came with your truck assessment yeah no and so I said hey would you take 30 grand I told him he called me he's like he's like um he's like I don't I think it's too low and I was like how about this it's my final offer I'll give you 32 000 back to my original offer and then he's like let me talk to my wife and then he calls me back a little bit later and I was like yeah I'll take it and then the next day I gotta uh cashier's check from uh my bank and bought the truck and um pretty much just did it like that and it was my my first truck and so I was able to get it for 32 000 and actually I ended up I did end up selling that Peter build um to invest in getting I'm working on getting new Kenworth uh just because I don't want to have the breakdowns I want to just get new trucks and just I did the math my monthly payments are going to be so much less if I uh are if I don't have to deal with the maintenance that I have to dealt with and just pay you know 2 800 or 2500 a month for payment so I was like all right so that's what I did and I was actually able to sell this Peterbilt for 55 000 so I made about 23 Grand on the purchase Mike Michael this is Michael Sam by the way he started sand lines in Pasco Washington I love your tagline we're in it for the long haul you know what is so great I love improbable stories Michael you know freightworks for example is an asset-based Carrier about 150 trucks here in the western part of North Carolina Rutherfordton Josh farmer who started this company you know started with a biodiesel company they were taking like oil from French fry stuff and making diesel out of it and and then and then I love improbable stories and then it was like we need a truck and so he went online I think it was eBay and bought a truck and so there's a lot of similarities in the corporate DNA there and uh it is such a wonderful thing now let me let me ask you this what was your first business that you ever had um my first was was yeah lawn care mowing yards and uh doing landscaping um I also sold uh shoes and clothing so I'd buy a lot of those high high kind of higher fashion Jordans the Nikes and supreme and uh those uh different uh and then different vintage clothing and I'd sell it on uh different websites and also I had like an Instagram page for it and um you mean like Poshmark oh yeah yeah stuff like stuff like that Poshmark Makari uh stock eggs goat and and then I also had like my own Instagram page that I'd sell things and I'd go ship them off wherever and I was Finding buyers even on eBay and it was cool so I was doing that from I want to say from eighth grade to like sophomore year and then one sophomore year hit I got I started actually my photography business and started getting really busy taking photos and mowing yards and I was able to scale my lawn care business to like 32 weekly clients and it was just me and then I eventually brought another dude on because I was like so busy and then that's where just kind of I couldn't stop selling clothing and I would do it like here and there and there's sometimes I don't do it now because it's not worth me going online trying to buy shoe and selling it so I uh I don't I don't I don't do that now but uh I uh pretty much just grew super fast with my photography once once after covid got done because it was kind of nice because I was gaining a lot of clients out in Seattle and Portland and and stuff and then covet kind of happened and it shut everything down for about a solid two and a half months and I just really did local photo shoots just very you know being safe and stuff like that and then after I got sick with kovid I just went full blast and went to Seattle started doing shoots and gained like 100 plus clients and just started going you know crazy with it and trying to scale it as much as I could do you know Seattle pretty well yeah I'm pretty familiar yeah I used to I was going there every month for years I used to stay at the Paramount Hotel oh uh yeah if you know where that is right right I think it's right around Olive Street or somewhere in there and yeah it's not it's not too far from um yes it's it's uh what's the the it's like the mall that they have that's like uh they have a giant glass ceiling when you drive through yeah I don't know what the it's near it's also near Pioneer Square I believe yeah it is yeah yeah interesting well you know what what's clear by the way it's Michael Sand he started sand lines in Pasco Washington uh it's clear that you've got god-given entrepreneurial gifts I'll say this to you real quickly we have something we have a few things in common I'm way down the road age-wise when I was little I started my first long cam lawn care business in our neighborhood I was nine years old and I went to the teenage boys in the neighborhood and I said now listen you're gonna mow The Lawns you'll I'm gonna Supply the gas I get 60 you get 40 and you've got to mow your parents Lawns first because I had enough sense that if their lawns weren't mowed it wasn't going to be a good team there yeah so uh you know for whatever reason God puts in people's hearts entrepreneurship and that's clearly in in yours now tell us the status of sand lines these days yeah what are you doing um we we're working actually a lot of local contracts now um I got I do whole eggs and I haul for grocery Outlet I don't know if you guys have Grocery Outlet out where you guys are at but we do grocery Outlets um I pretty much do it uh every every week and then I actually am leasing uh my trucks that I have to other companies and I take a gross from them like their owner operators and they just use our existing contracts or they have their own and we just lease our trucks and I'm just passive making passive income a month and I don't have anything to do with those uh those trucks and then I also do flatbed Hot Shots so we have a I got a contract calling uh electrical wires and stuff for the Amazon contractors who are building out in good uh Hermiston Oregon and so that starts again up this month on the 24th and then uh I'm just waiting for two more trucks uh myself and I I'm trying to go less asset based we're working on our brokerage right now and then I'm gonna I already have like a pretty decent network of owner operators that I'm trying to get signed on so here in about next month in December I'm gonna start having uh outside uh trucking companies a bunch of my friends that are owner operators and people and we're just gonna start getting customers and uh we're gonna eventually try to my goal is to have my own load board practically so um and then just uh do that and go from there and then not have to worry about too much of our own trucks breaking it down just because I don't have the most Capital to go buy brand new 2020 threes and 2022s and that's why I'm glad I have a couple on the way hopefully they get here before January but it's looking like it might be next fall now so it kind of sucks because those are very much wanted but uh it's it's been going good we had a rough couple of months we had a driver steal 21 000 from us and then we had a like we had I think six breakdowns and May and June with one truck and one trailer because the shops and the mechanics that we were using actually it's funny the I'll tell you this the shops that we were going to were the actual manufacturer shops for both our truck and our trailer so they would get done to write but every time they got done right they were not done right and we were back on having issues like we almost lost a hundred thousand dollar load of potatoes because we got I spent about 4 800 on this reefer to get it fixed through Thermo King and then I had my uh reefer blower motor blowout and I thought the whole engine was done oh but my blower motor luckily it was my only it was blower motor and so my driver wasn't going from Pasco or Richland Washington which is right by Pasco to uh Florida and we were hauling lamb lesson potatoes and I am like this is right after as well when I found out like we had a large amount of money stolen so I'm thinking oh my gosh we're low on cash we have you know um you know this that we just spent forty eight hundred dollars on fixing this reefer and now our reefer's done and now my insurance is gonna have to pay for this load and and I was just like okay and and you know I have less than two years in business so you're ensure my insurance is already high as it is having a thing like this happen where we have to cover a load I I was just like uh I was super scared because I'm like thinking I'm like man this is gonna be the end and then what happened was my driver took the route and this is where definitely God's hands were in it because my driver decided last minute to take a different route instead of going through the regular way to afford US so there are times where everything seems to be going wrong yes Michael and you had a situation like that recently yeah and it was uh well back in back in this was back in June um and so yeah so pretty much about to lose the load we just spent so much money on fixing this reefer uh now my driver was about to Love's truck stop and boom blower motor goes out and I'm thinking oh man this is it this has done that because I thought it was the engine but he's like hey there's actually a Thermo King that's only a 45 minute drive for me I'm like get on your tail and run and so he go yeah so he ended up uh hauling and uh made it there and they found out hey it's just the blower motor you're good but we don't have that part and I'm thinking dude they don't have this part that's that's you know it's gonna be over but then they say hey we just called our partner store in Dallas which Dallas was about a 75 Mile Drive they had the part and they had an available shop Tech that day so Mike I got there we got it fixed 2800 later um blow Motors good everything was fine and was it potatoes what was in there yeah potatoes lamb lesson potatoes french fries but an expensive Yeah a hundred thousand dollars worth of land left unbelievable on I believe now now Mike let me let me ask you this because look it's easy to look at you and hear these stories and think you're a lot older than you are yeah yeah and and uh but you know what it's interesting because God's given you it's clear a lot of experiences in a short period of time and you know I remember back in the early 90s meeting a guy who had an idea for his business and he was telling me about something called audio net yeah and uh so that's interesting and uh well that ought the guy's name was Mark Cuban oh yeah yeah I'm I'm talking he loved University of Indiana basketball games and he wanted to be able to hear him on the internet and that's how audionet became broadcast.com which was sold to Yahoo for a billion dollars he had his partner Todd Wagner got a billion dollars I remember him back in like 1990 or 90 91. so we shouldn't you know in scripture says we shouldn't despise youth I mean people have insights what are the things that you've learned so far about principles of really running a good business you're obviously growing yeah but what are what are a couple three things you've learned definitely to be better than you know the rest does and what I've noticed is just being honest being straightforward and then also um learning how to mitigate risk with decision making um definitely uh definitely that and then also uh learning how to uh like harness and keep relationships um just because uh it's it's it's kind of a conversation starter so it's nice that I'm young because people are like oh I'm interested to talk to you because this is kind of cool that you're young which is really cool to me because it's like you know I there's times too where they're like oh you're young I'm not going to listen to you don't know what you're talking about and then yeah that that's happened a few times and then I um I say well I have this Peppa engine in my truck and I need this part and then like oh he actually knows what he has the instructions oh okay he has a truck then I've been at a few parts stores when I first started and I really didn't know too much what I was getting and then I'd be talking about my company and then they they want to listen because they find out my age and like oh shoot this guy's actually serious um so I guess just learning how to communicate is is a big skill that I learned a lot more I mean I've always been a talker and somebody that I could talk to but when you have to get serious it's been always kind of hard for me to just kind of get in there and um you know just uh I don't know what the correct word would be but to just conversate you know and uh now I've been able to you know negotiate from you know when I first started talking with Brokers before I had my you know own direct clients and negotiating rates and um you know understanding different markets and how to look at different markets like that's a huge thing I learned is what makes a strong Freight Market what can take down a Freight Market and that's what we're learning I think right now is you know slowly the framework is kind of going down but luckily all my local contracts they're all still paying over four bucks a mile which I'm blessed for that so it's nice because I learned you know how to negotiate and make you know things happen so Michael I I'm just I'm just going to tell you this uh the reason when Jordan and I talked uh he's our producer yeah when he and I talked about you I said I'm not interested in Michael as some kind of anomaly like he's some young guy that's just out there you know skateboarding and doing Trucking along with it it was very clear it was very clear in my heart that uh God's given you a lot of gifts and abilities I mean it's it's just absolutely clear and we need to listen to those insights now when you look Michael when you look at the current market what do you see for the days ahead I mean in your heart what do you feel I mean I just know it's gonna be like an I mean we I wasn't old enough to comprehend the 2008 recession I just because I'm also into real estate and stuff so I look at all that and I see what's going on with rates and what I think is going to happen is this is uh out you know not to get into politics but exterior forces are trying to force markets whether it's politics or other companies but rates are getting higher and a lot of people are having that kind of hey we should probably withhold it's almost like a inflation prevention which in a way could be good but I think it's going to definitely destroy a lot of businesses because people like me I did start you know I'll fully admit I did start in 2021 right before the market blew up so I got in it right at a perfect time when it was just around you know 270 a mile to 350 miles and then it started skyrocketing like four bucks 455 bucks for OTR work and on the spot market and you know that was like I was like oh sweet you know that's this is awesome and then now I P after January this year just started going down but it was nice though what kind of stayed in me was I got all my local contracts in January and February this year and when I say local it's more real I go through Oregon and uh Idaho and all over Washington to do these but I just um I just started noticing that slowly everything out of the West Coast started getting less and then I realized oh well production has also kind of slowed down besides um you know Amazon um out here because you know Seattle we're always busy with our Amazon plan and Pasco just got an Amazon plant but I just started slowly seeing less loads and I'd go look on like the dot and the truck stop uh you know different Freight waves and like they're they're hot and cold markets and you could just see how the market shifted from the West Coast being super hot to the Midwest being hot and then as now we're getting into harvest season we're kind of seeing Washington rates go a little bit higher because of the potatoes and lamb Wesson because they always need people to haul their potatoes um that's slowly going up but it's just like you can kind of tell the difference of the production that kind of went crazy and I was kind of slowing down as things are kind of getting more expensive and rates are higher so it's harder for people to you know I wanna I don't want to say afford things because I feel like right now like you can still get approved pretty easily but even me like going to get a trailer it was really difficult for me to get approved because people like I would get approved but the loan rates would be like 13 to 20 and I'm like I'm not gonna pay 20 so Michael you know what it's been so encouraging to hear you talk about your entrepreneurship your god-given abilities what you've been doing with your incredible company now you know I I know you may not remember this but Fred Smith who started FedEx when he was in his Harvard MBA program I'm told he did a paper on an overnight delivery service and his Professor was like uh this this dog's not gonna hunt yeah well that's FedEx and Mike Michael Dell Michael Dell I'm told started what's now Dell computers out of his garage so you know improbable Beginnings say nothing about the future of a company and it's clear one thing that's come through in this discussionally bad is that you value relationships and it's very much like great works we value relationships more than transactions yeah and that's going to keep you through the midst of of everything in in the days ahead so how did you pick your line we're in it for the long haul um I kind of um so I made that website when I was uh I think I want to say I was about two to three months in the business and that's when everything was going like kind of really well when I first started and then kind of when we started having uh more uh more difficulties I was like you know we're not giving up so that was kind of the slogan that I thought would fit you know perfectly right and uh it kind of just worked out folks we've been here with Michael Sand he started sand lines in Pasco Washington were in it for the long haul you are going to want to make sure that you go back and listen to this entire interview some exciting insights and you know what it gives me a lot of joy to see young entrepreneurs Michael it it really does I mean and the fact that you got up early this morning you know we're three hours ahead of you and you told me you were out seating a lawn just gave me it just made me really happy it's like they're you know there are people that really work and work hard yeah I do do my best I think I just uh have it mentally engraved in me now where it's like if one thing doesn't work out and other things gonna work out you know so you got to keep going I I I I just really believe as you keep your heart right and let God drive you your company is going to grow now it's my opportunity to give you a gift okay and so I'm going to give you three options here you're going to tell me which gift you want uh William uh the assistant producer will get your address and send it along all right so the first option uh at the Mid-America truck show we we had these caps very patriotic it's got the life of the mile leather logo in front there so that's option number we've got three okay that's option number one and I'm a hat guy option number two option number two is that's the freightworks one logo we're in freightworks one studio right now right around the corner from the driver's lens by the way I used to have an office over the office people and I said no I want to hang out with the drivers oh and so uh we're right around the quarter so that's option number two that's a freightworks cap and then winter is on the way so we actually have man a little uh skull cap it's got that leather life of the mile logo there so you got three hat options Michael say it the Hat guy which one do you wear those are all tough I'm gonna go with the uh I'm gonna go with the the interstate the interstate I

this one yeah yeah okay that's the freightworks logo and uh with our new Peterbilt Trucks we hope you see them see them out there on the road Michael Sand founder CEO uh young entrepreneur he he's what makes America great in my in my view and uh it has been so great to have you on thank you for getting up early and uh we look forward to keeping you in touch yeah of course I appreciate you guys having me and uh thanks for uh the reach out and it was nice meeting all of you

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