Comments By Ride2BFree

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Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

WOW, so much information here, Lot to be learn from others experience.

People assume when you are 59 and broke a certain things about you, I will not even try to assume what they assume but my life experience thought me that people get into a certain position because of differed reasons.

1 can loose it all for medical bills on himself or a love one, another can loose in business going bad and another just lose a divorced case and it can go on and on.

Many people in different industries think their business is unique and special. Yes, there is something unique in any industry but the main goal of most businesses is to make money at the end of the day. And the way to do it is by having more income then expenses.

People are going to different industries because of different reasons and there is one saying IT'S NOT THE PEOPLE'S PLANS THAT ARE FAILING IT IS THE PEOPLE THAT ARE FAILING TO PLAN.

and to contrast it there is another saying

PEOPLE PLAN AND GOD LAUGHED AT THEM.

As I say to start with, yes for the short run it's much better to be a company driver then O/O or Lease/O.

But as someone else said here show me a problem and there is a money to be made by solving it.

Yes a company driver can move to the company that will have what he likes if it their equipment passenger policy pet policy or home time But even with that it looks like companies are running more after O/O Obviously because they make more money with them. But company making more money is not necessarily cash flow, because big companies financial statements are built differently then a small business profit and loss.

In business the higher the risk the bigger the reward

So if one become O/O or Lease\O For one company where he leased the truck from he minimize the risk As I say to start with he can walk out at any time he does not need to put even money in gas they advance it.

If he get a better deal with another company he can move with his truck and still make the payments or get a better deal on a different truck.

Yes, there is a cost in everything and here the cost of minimize the risk And not investing your own money is by paying a premium to the company you lease the truck from.

And another lose you have is by making less in money and benefits combine compare to company driver.

As I learned from previous business experiences there are 2 very contributing factors that a business need in the beginning 1. Is the timing. If the time is good for the industry and how long it will stay that way. 2. Is pure a little bit of luck. Yes I know some will say it can be compensated with hard work but you can see some can work harder then others but just missing being in the right place at the right time.

Thank you all for the info again. At this stage I made up my mind and made the decision not to decide yet.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

Thanks you all again for the info and support.

I understand that there are many type of O/O. Some work with brokers and they need to take care of all their permits and they really run an independent business with doing their own marketing and such.

And another group is the one leasing from the company like swift and then the company take care of everything for them and support them and they even get the datacomm card so actually the company advance them the gas money and subtract it from their settlement amount.

I did a little money comparison to see what works better.

Comparison company driver vs. O/O

Comp. Drvr. O/O

Income per mile: 0.36 $. 1.12$

2700 miles per Week average. 972$. 3024$

First 2 years cdl School reimbursement 37.50$

Fuel. 6.5 mpg. 2.50$ per gallon. 1038$

Weekly payment for lease Including all permits ins Qualcomm. 911$

Sub total. 1009.50. 1075.

Other benefits and expenses.

Company driver: get a basic free life ins. 1 week a year paid vacation Lower cost health ins plan. There is no company contributions to Drivers 401k.

O/O benefits: can choose a nicer truck color. Say no to jobs that he must take to keep up the pmts. paid for other repairs the truck might have Pay for tires brakes oil and more.

Well it didn't came up straight but I'm sure you can figure it out.

The only time that the O/O coming ahead is if he becomes a mentor Then for 4 weeks he is getting a team driver for free. Because he get paid for miles the student is doing and company pay the student driver by the hour. I drove about 10,000 miles with my mentor in 5 weeks.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

Thank you all again for the input. I'm start to rethink about it.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

Please do one thing. Price an engine rebuild and tell me that your escrow account will cover it. Depending on the motor, a rebuild on these truck motors can set you back anywhere from $18,000 -$35,000. Also take into account that it could happen at any time you have that vehicle and chances are, the truck you're leasing won't be brand new and won't be under warranty. You have to look at the fact that by the time you're done with the lease, the well used truck you just purchased isn't worth all that much on resale and will probably be around the 800,000 mile mark when a lot of major purchases will be coming due in regards to parts.

I will only lease a brand new truck and figured out 12,000 miles per month so after 3 years it's only 432,000 miles.

I was thinking that if a truck is well kept and maintain properly it can run for a 1,000,000 miles. Am I wrong ?

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

I understand all your points Brett, But then how come there are so many O/O out there?

My assumption is that O/O are working more and harder in order to keep make the payment the company is getting people that are more committed to the job. The company does not need to pay for fuel when comp driver let the truck run at night for the A/C. O/O Are looking better after the truck. Yes the company makes more profit on O/O because it's a financial profit on the lease of the truck. So I assumed because the money for the company is on the financial deal they can give the driver a little more on the hauling so it's kind of a win win for both.

I spoke to a driver that he is an O/O with swift he says he was leasing the truck for 5 years and with the money he put aside for maintenance that he never used he just paid for it in cash and now he is own outright is own truck.

In addition company trucks if we will assume that comp driver goes home for 4 days every 4 week so more then 10% of the time the truck is standing.

When company is giving their calculations about the difference between comp driver and O/O it show that for the short run its much better off to be a company driver.

What attract me is the ability to own my truck with in a few years.

So if I understand all of you guys correctly what you are saying is wait till you can buy your truck direct from a dealer not through the company (rip off) leasing deal.

So if someone can buy a truck without the company finance, is it better for him to be O/O then comp driver?

Thanks again to all

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

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But I got no money to put down my credit is bad (I might have to go for the bankruptcy route. )

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Ride2BFree, I've been through a lot of experiences in my life, including the "bad credit" thing.

Why not stick with being a company driver for a couple of years, make yourself a goal of getting your credit re-established.

Prudence should dictate to you that if you are just about to need to declare bankruptcy, it is not the ideal time to try something like leasing a truck just so you can have your dog or your friend ride with you. If your current company doesn't let you have a rider or a pet, you can easily switch to another trucking company that will let you do those things.

Being steady at something for a few years could certainly help you get past your credit problems, then you can try and damage it again by leasing a truck. smile.gif

Yes, in one way it makes sense. But when you a company driver they own the truck at the end.

Because my age I feel like the sooner I'll be able to own my truck I'll be able to save much more.

Now about damaging my credit again they say the truck lease does not go on my credit so I don't understand how can it damage it?

Appreciate your comment, it's not they I doubt you I just try to understand and learn things from other drivers experience.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

I'll let the powers that be and a few other veterans on here to have run their own businesses in the past answer this at great length but you really really need to think about what you're doing leasing a truck from a company

I understand they charge more then if I'll try to get a loan by myself.

But I got no money to put down my credit is bad (I might have to go for the bankruptcy route. )

And there is the option of giving back the truck and becoming company driver again so I see a minimal risk.

Please tell me what I don't see. Is there other options for getting a truck?

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

I'm a new driver few month and consider moving to become owner operator. I will gladly appreciate some comments advice help, thank you. 1. I realize owner op might have a better cash flow but after considering paying more in health insurance taxe at year end lost of paid vacation school reimbursement company life insurance financially for the short run it does not look so much better. But the advantages are I can get a dog and a friend with me when I choose. I can choose my own route.

And my long term plan is to lease a truck from the company after 3 years to buy the truck they will finance so in 5 years it will be paid off and it will be my truck.

Then working with the truck for another 3-5 years payment free So I will be able to save for my retirement. Maybe.

I'm 59 and broke now with nothing set aside.

I heard that owner op are getting more miles than company drivers.

I'm single so I need home time to see my daughter once every 3-4 month.

I figured out that there is very little risk First you can any time walk away from the lease it's like a month to month lease actually second if you don't get enough miles from them you can go with the truck to other companies and as long as you make the payments they have no problem with that.

Do other company take owner op if the truck is not leased through them?

My other question is what the best truck to buy Peterbilt? Freight liner? Ken worth?

Other?

I like the idea of the automatic freight liner, does any one had an experience with it?

Is it makes much of a difference if I plan to keep the truck for many years to choose Cummins vs. Detroit Diesel engine?

Thanks again for your help.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Transferring a CDL from CA to TN for a job.

I'm relatively new CDL holder drive for swift. While checking other opportunities some companies said they don't hire from CA when I say I'm planning to live on the road they say they looking at the state where the CDL is from. Is this the case with many companies?

I was thinking changing my home address to TN to save on state taxes Is there good opportunities in TN?

Does any one now what the exact process is there any test physical requirements?

Thank You.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Central Vs. Swift

Thank you all for the valuable info.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Central Vs. Swift

There is a problem with the valve that does not work and pins are stuck and do not move in. One time they had to replace the valve. Another time they had to hammer them in and then love the all thing. Another time again to hammer them in. One technician told me that central did not maintain their reefers so this is why most of them have problems often.

Last trailer it works and on second load it got stuck. After trying for an hour to play and shake it I call for service and then after I shut the truck off completely and let it rest it suddenly work again. Veteran drivers have a lot of tools that me as a new comer did not have time to accumulate yet. Besides its not my truck I don't think I should be the one spending the money to keep it or its trailers running properly.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Central Vs. Swift

I'm a new swift driver that was assigned to the reefer dept. Ex Central.

So far all reefer trailers I had had a problem with moving the tandem.

Now I'm stuck because lack of communication between swift customer service and ex central customer service that work seperately Does any old timers from swift and central here that know if it's better to do dry van at swift are trailers in better shape? Thank You.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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CA CDL Step by Step. The process.

It was Monday morning I went to the DMV to get my CDL after I passed the test on Saturday. Went to swift terminal. To get my mentor. Within an hour got my mentor he was there at the terminal so by little after noon time I was already driving. I have been with the mentor for 5 weeks to get the 200 behind the wheel hours to go solo. He was a nice guy but not a good teacher. When I got for my upgrade to solo I had to do a bunch of backups as practice because we did not do enough. Well finally pass the test to solo and become an official solo driver reefer division.

Regardless how you do with mentor first time on your own it's scary.

First load 8 hours detention loosing the appointment for next stop. Waiting overnight for next stop Going to scale. Tandem axel need to be moved but stuck. Then check trailer tires i figured out one was too dangerous rubber pulled off when service guy came he realize need another one as well so tired replaced tandem fix and off we go.

Drop trailer take an empty one going to shipper drop empty pick up a loaded one oops tandem does not move. Drive to scale call service came within an hour guy worked 2 hours fix tandem Next day heading back to Ca for home time. Monday after home time driving bobtail to shipper pick up a trailer another stuck tandem another 5 hours gone between waiting and fixing.

Good start.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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CA CDL Step by Step. The process.

Hello again, Yesterday I passed my test finally, Tomorrow dmv to get my CDL and hopefully within a few days on the road with a mentor. I passed air brake and Pre Trip in first attempt skills only on the third one and road test on first attempt. Now my comments on the school and my experience. 1. Written exam for the permit- the school will teach you how to pass the exam, without any explanation for the why or how things work. I have seen people pass the exam without knowing the difference between engine and transmission, without having any knowledge around the truck. So it's like many other things in life there is difference between knowing and passing an exam and the later does not guarantee knowledge. The school get paid to get you the permit and the CDL. Don't expect them to give you technical knowledge. But if you are serious about your new career it's your responsibility to acquire the maximum knowledge you can on the equipment you are going to operate.

2. Air Brakes- again you learn what to do in order to pass the test. Some are looking at the air gauges and don't really understand what behind them, they learn like a script. Your life and other people's life will depends on the brakes, ask questions if you don't know.

3. Pre Trip- another script to learn. People are mistaken alternator to A/C compressor. On different trucks they got lost and does not know what to look for.

4. Skills - Either you get a natural talent for it or you need to learn the technique behind it. It took me longer then I expected to learn the technique but at the end I got it. My advice according to my experience is if you fail to do it properly couple of times during training ask for help from the instructor if you did not learn from one get help from another different instructors have different teaching method and if you did not get it from one you might understand it better from another. And most important if you feel you need more practice time ask and if you have to demand it. At the end you will be the one paying for your training so it's your right to demand what you need. 4. Road Test/Driving- again some will learn the shifting quicker and easier then others. Each instructor have different teaching method, each truck the clutch and transmission will work slightly different than the other truck. Do not be shy you are there to learn ask questions, do not feel embarrassed by the other students in the truck.

Conclusion- Only after my last driving lesson I really felt confidence that I'm operating and controlling the truck properly and the following day I did pass the test.

You are there to learn you pay the school to teach you to pass the test, But it is your responsibility to ask questions it is your responsibility to ask for help when you need it.

You are starting a new career that will require you more or less knowledge than what you needed in your previous job but it's a different knowledge that you need to learn, And one can't learn without asking questions or help when needed.

Obtaining the CDL it's just the first step because driving you can learn only by practicing it for many hours on the road. Now I'm looking forward to go on the road.

I have very few bad comments on the school and I don't think they are relevant here but I will tell them to the school manager so your experience can be a little better.

In general despite the stress and sometimes frustration the experience was good and I got my CDL.

I'll keep posting on my future experience as I go along.

I hope my post help some people.

Posted:  7 years ago

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CA CDL Step by Step. The process.

Monday checked in to Econo Lodge in Fontana. Tuesday first day of TDA course for the CDL. TDA are contracted by Swift to help the new recruits get their CDL. first day Tuesday was some admin staff as well as med exam for the DOT medical and a drug test as the pre employment for Swift. Contracts sign up. Training cost 3900$ if you don't stay in the hotel if you do it's an extra 500$. Finance no interest. Payback starts after you getting your own truck and become a solo driver. Deduction is 75$ a week. But swift pay you addition 37.50$ per week to cover training so after 13 month you pay for training but you keep getting the 37.50$ for the second year. So actually after 2 years your training become fully paid for.

Wednesday was mostly doing pre exam to practice. All day long we did like 3 general knowledge 3 combination and 3 air brake exams.

Thursday morning heading to the DMV.

Passed the all three. Got my Permit. 😀😀😀😀

Swift does not want the new recruits to get any endorsement at this stage. They want the drivers quick.

Thursday afternoon watching Pre trip check up videos. Over and over.

Will continue later.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Bankruptcy and credit score how they affect career opportunities in Trucking.

I'm in the process to get my CDL. As my last 6 month in business where bad so my credit score got bad and I'm considering bankruptcy. What affect it might have on getting a new job and future jobs? Thank for the info.

Posted:  7 years ago

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CA CDL Step by Step. The process.

Got my DOT medical today in Oakland 39$ got my med card for 2 years. Went to the DMV got my vision test paid for the CDL App. 71$. Now the weekend plan is to study so I can take the exams next week. Feeling excited.

Posted:  7 years ago

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CA CDL Step by Step. The process.

Made a decision to go for the CDL and becoming OTR driver. Decided to go for a company school. At first I got a notice from CRST and Swift. Both look good. Then CRST rejected me. I got a ticket for speaking on the phone while driving it is not consider a moving violation in CA. So there is no points to it. But eventually CRST don't accept you if you had one of those in the past 5 years. I checked with Swift with them I'm ok. School starts at 6/23. But because of my dislike for some type of surprises I have decided that I'll go and get my DOT medical card and get my vision test before school start. In addition need to get basic written test as well and my motorcycle endorsement if I like to keep it. So plan for next week to get all written exams out of the way. I hope the training here will be as good as I expect it to be. So far this forum and the website are extremely helpful. Thank You guys much appreciated. For CA applicants you need the DOT med card when you go to the DMV to apply for the CDL. There is a bunch of companies that doing it for about 40$. I'll keep you inform as the process continue. Hope I'm not shooting too high to pass all written with in a week.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

CA CDL Step by Step. The process.

Made a decision to go for the CDL and becoming OTR driver. Decided to go for a company school. At first I got a notice from CRST and Swift. Both look good. Then CRST rejected me. I got a ticket for speaking on the phone while driving it is not consider a moving violation in CA. So there is no points to it. But eventually CRST don't accept you if you had one of those in the past 5 years. I checked with Swift with them I'm ok. School starts at 6/23. But because of my dislike for some type of surprises I have decided that I'll go and get my DOT medical card and get my vision test before school start. In addition need to get basic written test as well and my motorcycle endorsement if I like to keep it. So plan for next week to get all written exams out of the way. I hope the training here will be as good as I expect it to be. So far this forum and the website are extremely helpful. Thank You guys much appreciated. For CA applicants you need the DOT med card when you go to the DMV to apply for the CDL. There is a bunch of companies that doing it for about 40$. I'll keep you inform as the process continue. Hope I'm not shooting too high to pass all written with in a week.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Trying trucking for 1 year then going back to medicine to work towards an M.D.

What do you guys think I should do? Should I stay in trucking?

If after the year you realize you like it stick to it. Imagine you'll go for med school will go through all the schooling the training and at the end you might realize you don't like it.

Yes, a Dr. Can make more money than a trucker, but money is not everything in life.

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