The REAL Scoop On Becoming An Owner/operator And Leasing A Truck As Part Of Being An Owner Operator

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Dominick D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, folks...I'd like to know the EXACT scoop on the idea of becoming an owner operator? I have heard that it is a terrible idea. But I'd like to read some actual information on how bad it is as a business decision. I see on all the trucking companies that you can either drive as a company driver or be a owner operator/lease a truck. Could I have some information on that, please? Thanks alogt

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I suggest for starters reading this: Never Become an Owner Operator

Beyond that...use the search bar for additional information. Trucking Truth is fairly clear on that we DO NOT recommend Lease Operation (L/O) especially with less than 1 year of experience.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Tons and tons of information on here about your particular question and with a few questions and answers, I'm betting I can talk you out of it for the most part.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Dom, the "real scoop" for me is first, knowing how to run a business. Truck owners have a business to run, and that includes things that most people don't know about, like self employment tax, repair accounts, fixed payments, etc. You need to handle these and much more.

Second, you need to know how trucking gets done. Occasionally people get on this forum and say something like "I've been trucking for four months now. I already know more than my DM!" There's more to this business than holding a steering wheel, even more than figuring your tandems. You should go OTR for at least two years before you string "Lease" and "Operator" together in your head.

I have a friend I met in my Swift Driving Academy class three years ago. He called me last week, telling me he just bought a truck. He's proud and excited. But having driven OTR for these three years, I figure he just might make it.

Here's my scoop: the trucking business is complicated. Know what you're getting into, and that includes a few years as a company driver. To be successful, you'll really need to be on the ball 24/7. That doesn't mean work yourself to death, it means you are personally responsible for your own income and success, so don't miss a beat.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

The real scoop...the average solo lease op at my company will admit to "about $1800 per week take home". but that only includes the truck payment, fuel, tolls, prepass and other incidentals for that week. once you take out the taxes....and the health insurance...i usually make more than them.

last week i did 3256 miles. i grossed $1831. after insurance and taxes i took home $1356.

keep in mind owner/lease ops pay for a ton of things...and are out big bucks when accidents occur. as a compamy driver i get paid breakdown pay and get a hotel room. as a lease or owner..an accident not only piles up insurance deductible, but the truck isnt making money...that $1000 per week payment is due..you have yo pay for the hotel and rental car.

i did a kind of snarky break down for someone.. ill see if i can find it.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Ok as a company driver, if there is a light out on a trailer, company pays for it. Flat tire, company pays for it. Tru k in the shop for four days, company pays for it and pays me for sitting. Want home time? Can you afford to take the time off and still make that truck payment? Many many things happen on the road and a lease/owner operator pays every penny and don't forget paying for fuel. Add all that to learning to drive, back and manage your clock and you have a recipe for disaster. And like Rainy D said, you don't make the money to make it worth it. DON'T DO IT PLEASE.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Dominick D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your reply. I'd never do this UNTIL I have tons of experience and even then, I don't think I would ever, based on all the negative comments about it.

I suggest for starters reading this: Never Become an Owner Operator

Beyond that...use the search bar for additional information. Trucking Truth is fairly clear on that we DO NOT recommend Lease Operation (L/O) especially with less than 1 year of experience.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Dominick D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, Errol V, I really appreciated your reply..Based on all of the negative comments I've read, when I"m ready to "take the plunge" and get into the trucking industry, I'll just stay a company driver and let the company worry about all of the expenses and the business end of trucking. You've saved me from a possible future economic disaster. Thank you.

Dom, the "real scoop" for me is first, knowing how to run a business. Truck owners have a business to run, and that includes things that most people don't know about, like self employment tax, repair accounts, fixed payments, etc. You need to handle these and much more.

Second, you need to know how trucking gets done. Occasionally people get on this forum and say something like "I've been trucking for four months now. I already know more than my DM!" There's more to this business than holding a steering wheel, even more than figuring your tandems. You should go OTR for at least two years before you string "Lease" and "Operator" together in your head.

I have a friend I met in my Swift Driving Academy class three years ago. He called me last week, telling me he just bought a truck. He's proud and excited. But having driven OTR for these three years, I figure he just might make it.

Here's my scoop: the trucking business is complicated. Know what you're getting into, and that includes a few years as a company driver. To be successful, you'll really need to be on the ball 24/7. That doesn't mean work yourself to death, it means you are personally responsible for your own income and success, so don't miss a beat.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dominick D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your reply. I liked your answers and would greatly appreciate your "snarky breakdown for someone", if you can get that for me.

The real scoop...the average solo lease op at my company will admit to "about $1800 per week take home". but that only includes the truck payment, fuel, tolls, prepass and other incidentals for that week. once you take out the taxes....and the health insurance...i usually make more than them.

last week i did 3256 miles. i grossed $1831. after insurance and taxes i took home $1356.

keep in mind owner/lease ops pay for a ton of things...and are out big bucks when accidents occur. as a compamy driver i get paid breakdown pay and get a hotel room. as a lease or owner..an accident not only piles up insurance deductible, but the truck isnt making money...that $1000 per week payment is due..you have yo pay for the hotel and rental car.

i did a kind of snarky break down for someone.. ill see if i can find it.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Dominick D.'s Comment
member avatar

OK, thanks for your reply. I"m getting alot of good feedback on my question here and I'm convinced more than ever to stay a company driver.

Ok as a company driver, if there is a light out on a trailer, company pays for it. Flat tire, company pays for it. Tru k in the shop for four days, company pays for it and pays me for sitting. Want home time? Can you afford to take the time off and still make that truck payment? Many many things happen on the road and a lease/owner operator pays every penny and don't forget paying for fuel. Add all that to learning to drive, back and manage your clock and you have a recipe for disaster. And like Rainy D said, you don't make the money to make it worth it. DON'T DO IT PLEASE.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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