Comments By Ride2BFree

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Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Veteran Drivers with mechanical knowledge advice please.

Check the owners manual, it will give you all the specs on oil, oil changes etc. Always follow those intervals because it's what the warranty is also based off of and believe me, you don't want to buy a truck motor. We just had a driver (now fired) who didn't check the oil level like he should and blew it up. A CAT 6NZ will set you back a nifty $42,000 for replacement and installation. In regards to synthetics, I'm not sure about big truck motors but all my cars run synthetic, it's all about getting what you pay for. Delo is a good oil and Shell Rotella has been around for ages, it's good stuff. Another thing to keep in mind is the filters. I'm not sure what motor you have but some engines don't like certain filters.

Thank You

I got Detroit in it.

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Veteran Drivers with mechanical knowledge advice please.

Thank You all

Appreciate your help.

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Veteran Drivers with mechanical knowledge advice please.

I'm driving a new Automatic Freightliner And I like to keep my maintenance expenses to the minimum so got a few questions help will be appreciated.

1. The auto transmission has an Auto mode and a Manual mode to slow down is it better to use the gears in the Manual mode or do it with engine brake and Auto mode?

2. When you go down a hill is it better to use gears in manual mode or to set Cruze control to a slow speed in auto mode and then it will keep itself in slow speed?

3. As a lease operator I'm responsible for the tractor tires but not the trailer so is it better as a general rule to shift maximum load possible to trailer axels From driving axels? Does it affect in any way pressure on fifth wheel?

4. Is oil change every 25,000 miles sufficient or better to do it more often? Does it help for the longevity of the engine to use synthetic oil or they don't use them in trucks?

5. I have seen satellite dishes for trucks for TV can you get internet with them as well? Does it keep you cover all over the U.S. ? Does it work while moving or just when you stop?

Thank You for your help.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Despite the good advice I made an illogical decision.

Unless you can choose your own loads..my guess is the company,will give you just enough loads,to make your truck payment..just a guess.

This was my thought as well, But after talking to successful lease operator it changes. Company has more loads that it can move fast enough. Swift has over 20,000 trucks. About 2/3 company drivers rest are owner or lease operator some even have more then 1 truck and employ other drivers. So if one can get a truck be a lease operator pay to a driver as much as the company pay and still have even little bit of profit from it the system is not that bad. Many of this lease operators are doing it for years and are very happy. 1/3 of 20,000 it's more then 6000 drivers. Yes you have there some happy some are not what fit one person doesn't necessarily fits another. I do not believe that all of this 6,000+ Lease Operators are stupid and does not know what they are doing. All of the big companies have lease operators and it look like the industry is shifting towards it. In couple of years there will be no paper logs old school drivers will not be able to do 700 + miles per day. Many of the little companies will dissolve because they will not be able to stay in business. Time will tell if my decision was good or bad for me.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Despite the good advice I made an illogical decision.

To Mark Thank You To 6 String Thank You, I know about taxes this year I got big losses from previous business so I'm covered. Actually I got a refund due that will cover half of next year as well as I plan to keep it there.

Brett Thank You as well Any business starts with hopes and wishful thinking. You deep your feet in the water with short term plans after you move to long term plans.

As you know trucking is a commodity so there are very few that have 95% advantage.

You again are looking from an owner operator point of view not a lease operator. I need my advantage with my dispatch and I got it by being reliable being on time every time dressing professionally Having good attitude with customers and everyone else and not coming from home time with a plan for the next home time in 2-3 weeks. Now a significant profit in trucking it's hard to come by in an industry that average 3 %.

And each person is different and some will rather be self employed for less then being working for someone else.

I love what I do, I enjoy 99% of what I do. I like to have the more sense of freedom even if it's just the potential of it as a lease operator and for me even if I'll ending up making the same amount of money it worth it. Yes I might do a little bit more got no problem with it. Again do not see the huge risk.

Many people are starting business and fail not because of the business but because taking money to quick and too much out of their business.

As lease operator everything is taking out first. You pay everything weekly and you have a maintenance account set up so you put money there for future expenses.

So what you get is actually your net before taxes and expenses living on the road.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Despite the good advice I made an illogical decision.

Deciding factors are 1. Cash Flow- I know sounds strange but as a company driver I gross around 900$ my net pay check is about 600$ after all deductions and taxes as lease operator I can gross about 1300 my check will be around $1200. I know at year end I will have to pay the taxes but the better cash flow till march-April will help me get through financial difficulties. I was able to negotiate with all my creditors and it will help me avoid bankruptcy.

2. I like to get some items for the truck that will make life on the road more fun so I rather know that I have the same truck for the next couple of years.

3. I think lease operator from a big company you pay a little bit more but look at it as a franchise fee they give you the miles to keep your payments coming in for the truck and as long as you getting the miles everyone happy.

4. Despite what everyone say I don't see the big risk involved, I can return the truck at any time and walk out of it there is no need even for first tank of fuel when you get the job they finance the fuel and deduct it from the money coming to you. It's a brand new truck so everything under warranty.

5. It's lease operator not owner operator so no need to worry about collection from customers permits or anything regarding that it's like a turn key biz.

6. I know companies are making more money on lease operator than on company drivers but it's because they think more about driving then home time, if a company driver take home time a day per week it's 15% of the time that equipment is not in use. I don't have problem with that I can go on the road for 3-4 months at a time.

It's lease operator responsible for gas so company saving on idling money. Lease operator watch out more on the equipment.

In my short experience as a truck driver I realized that in most cases it doesn't matter who you drive for or a couple of cents per mile give or take its more the chemistry between the driver and his dispatch and if he is getting all the miles he can do. I drive for Swift I have a great chemistry with my dispatch I'm getting the loads and the miles and I'm extremely happy with them. I had few hard times when I started but it's all over now. And as many know if you do your job and your dispatch getting to know you that you are on time and do your job you will get the loads.

The hard part will be to find the right balance between how fast to drive to do more miles per day without increasing my fuel cost to a point that it will not be justifiable. As a company driver truck is governed at 62 as lease operator at 68 An extra 5 mph on average it's another 50 miles per day or over 1000 per month that you get paid for.

At about 0.40 cpm net it's 400$ a month more.

So if I had to put money down to start a new business without knowing when and where from ill get my first customer it's a big risk but here I don't see such a big risk. Most people say don't lease from a big company because it cost you more then buying. Yes it does yes they make money on it but I think thousands of owner operators that do stay with the companies for years show that it's more about the person you are and your work ethics and be able to manage your expenses then the biz model. Not everything is for everyone and there are many different ways to do things for me at this point in my life I believe it's the way that can work the best.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Despite the good advice I made an illogical decision.

The numbers are not for it. The logic are not for it. The advice I got here was against it. But I decided to go for the lease operator option. I know some will say a wrong choice well future will tell I'll try to keep you informed monthly how it's working.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Mobile WiFi on the road

Best I've found is T-Mobile. They have an unlimited data plan with 5GB of high-speed 4GLTE data plus unlimited music streaming through all the popular music streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Music, Rhapsody, Slacker, etc.) which doesn't count towards your 5GB high speed limit, for $40 a month. The same plan with only 1GB of 4G high speed (but still with the unlimited music streaming) is only $20 a month. If 5GB isn't enough, they have an 11GB version of the same plan for $70 a month. Also, their high-speed data service works all across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. I haven't found anything that beats T-Mobile for value.

As an aside, before trying T-Mobile, like many others I also had really terrible customer service experiences with Verizon in the past, not to mention they are way overpriced on everything. I refuse to ever deal with Verizon again personally.

T-Mobil is BS. I got a great plan with them unlimited fast data. But it's on their servers only Many places in the U.S. They have no coverage. They don't even give you an option to pay for roaming. After 50 mb of roaming they lock out your data. For OTR driver T-Mobil is not an option. I'm stuck with them and now need to get additional phone or hotspot device to have data in more places.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

I just have a question to Brett and old school If it's a couple that drive as a team does the numbers of being O/O looks better for them? Or you think they still better off being company drivers as a team?

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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From Company truck driver to owner operator questions

After getting all the info here plus more search about the subject of a company driver vs O/O. I have came up with the conclusion like many here did before me. I'll stay a company driver. I will invest about a 1$ a month in buying a lottery ticket if one day I'll Get the winning ticket I'll be a truck for cash just for the fun of it. Ill actually buy 2 trucks one I'll give away to some nice company driver. As old school say and Brett as well the math just not added up as an O/O. I never mention it here before but I do have a wide business experience I made a lot of money lost a lot ex wife's took their share ( which I happily gave it to them) Many business people and I believe that the situation with many O/O are getting emotional over their business. They ending up loosing the business and what ever they accumulated personally as well. You can not get emotional about business. But it is easier say then done. I know.

But for the next year I'll probably remain company driver. Thank you all again for sharing.

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