Profile For Flatwater

Flatwater 's Info

  • Location:
    Western, NE

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 6 months ago

Flatwater 's Bio

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Flatwater 's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Don't Be Fooled By Owner Operator Math - Old School's First Podcast!!

Just throwing this out, don't kill the messenger...

I've been a lurker and contributor to this sight for years. I don't say much, but I read just about every post.

I started out as a company driver with Werner a loooong tome ago. I ran Dollar General dedicated, back before they had liftgate trailers. All unload by hand.

Then I went to a local company pulling tankers and pneumatics regional and OTR. Hauled gas, diesel, propane, butane, and ammonium nitrate solution in various configuration tanks (singles, doubles) and ammonia nitrate in pneumatics. Got sniped brom that company by another outfit, went local doing gas and diesel deliveries for a while, but had to get off the road the for family reasons. I did the 9-5 thing for a couple of years, occasionally driving on the weekends for farmer friends. But I still had an itchthat needed scratching.

Went to the oilfield, ran winch truck, vac truck, hauled heavy equipment, strung pipe on pipelines from North Dakota to south Texas and everywhere in between. General flatbed regional and OTR in the off season.

Finally, I ended up at a local company, 50 trucks, hauling regional dry bulk commodities (grain, salt, fertilizers) on hopper bottom. Loved it, found my niche, so to speak. Couldn't imagine doing anything different. But...

That damned itch still needed scratching... See, ever since I was a wee one, I alwats wanted to own a truck, have my name on the side of the door. Freedon from the man, etc., ad nauseum, add whatever catchphrase you want. I have a cousin who has been in the industry for decades, from management and overseeing 2000+ units to owning a single truck of his own. He currently runs a very successful brokerage company. His knowledge and credentials in trucking are impeccable. I asked his advice and he said I was the dumbest guy he knew for even considering it. Undaunted, I was still gonna do it. He offered to mentor me so I wouldn't get in to some shady scheme, and after a lot of hard work, I established my own company, got my own authority, bought a truck and trailer, and currently broker loads through my previous employer (who also said I was a dumbass for even talking about it...)

Long intro to say, yup a fella can make it work. BUT, you are married to that damn truck. You're either in it or under it. If you aren't, something WILL catch you off guard. If all of your ducks aren't in the same row, one will waddle off and wreak havoc.

My COMPANY has made over $170,000 last year. I PERSONALLY have only cleared $55,000. No more than I made as a company driver. That is done on purpose. Big money coming in, big money going out. Lost a turbo last week, cost me $6500. Ten new tires? Peel off fifty-two hundred Benjamins. Oh, every quarter, you better have your quarterlies paid, the IRS doesn't screw around. My business taxes are due the 15th of every month. There goes $900. Insurance? Yup. On the 2nd, without fail. $750... Oh, don't forget your occupation accident insurance. That's separate and mandatory. And an additional $177. UCR filings are due starting October 1st. Then vehicle registration. All said, between now and January 1st, approximately $11,000 is due to various governmental and insurance agencies. Just to stay in business for another year. Not counting maintenance and unforeseen repairs. Speaking of business... How good are you at taxes? Yes, you can learn. But when? On you 10 and 34? Probably should consider a good tax preparer, preferably one who knows trucking. Shall I go on?

It isn't for everyone. Honestly, most people who try will fail. Unless you have a rock solid business plan, sound advice, and a pocketful of cash, don't even consider it. Be a company driver, enjoy the work without the business BS. There is definitely some piece of mind being able to call the boss and say, "YOUR truck is broke down." rather than having to handle that yourself.

I'm still gonna keep scratchin' that itch, though. You know, stick it to the man, an all... ;)

The purpose (I believe, Brett please correct me if I'm wrong) of this website and forum is to help people get into the driving industry, learn the ropes, and be safe, productive, and profitable. This is the last I'll say on the O/O topic as I feel it doesn't serve the unique mission of this incredible forum.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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HI EVERYONE! STILL TRUCKING

Good to see you posting and still truckin'!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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The Joys of small town receivers.

I was doing quite a few back-to-back pickups at one grain elevator in an itty-bitty town in Kansas, hauling milo to Salina. The old boy who ran the little elevator was just a grump. Someone pee'd in his Cheerios every morning, I think. After a couple days of this, I stopped him mid-whine and asked him if he liked banana bread? He gave me a puzzled look, "What the heck does that mean?" I asked him again if he liked banana bread. He said he did. I ran out to the truck and brought back a loaf of homemade banana bread my wife had made. She made several small loaves to send out with me that week. His eyes lit up and his whole demeanor changed! He apologized for acting up all week and went back to work with a little hitch in his giddy-up and some banana bread in his tummy. He gave us his personal cell phone number and told us to call ANYTIME and he'd come down to load us, day or night. After all, "He lived just down the block and usually didn't have anything better to do."

LOL

smile.gifdancing-banana.gifsmile.gifdancing-banana.gif

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Trucks & Personal Protection.

File this in the "For what it's worth" bucket... I go to some very iffy locactions and carry everywhere I go, EXCEPT when I deliver onto military installations. In those circumstances, I have close friends nearby who "babysit" for a couple of hours. Otherwise, a .45 is in the truck.

BUT, and it is a very big BUT, I own my truck, I have my authority, I carry my insurance. That means it's MY ass if I get nailed. The risk you take by circumventing company policy is huge. If you are caught packing guns, knives, billy clubs, whackin' sticks, etc. when company explicitly prohibits weapons, kiss your job goodbye. And any legal ramifications are on you. I'm not sure if or how they could report that on your DAC, but that decision could haunt you the rest of your career.

Just my opinion. That and seven bucks will get you a cup of crappy Starbucks coffee...

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Another couple of milestones truckin helped me reach.

Good job!

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Music For The Road

Honorable mention goes to...

Little Nebraska Town-Rachael Price

Look ot up on YouTube. Some of my stomping grounds.

I'll play...

1.) Dixie Darlin'- Jamey Johnson/Alison Krause
2.) Welcome Home (Sanitarium)-Metallica
3.) Little Liza Jane-We Banjo 3
4.) She Talks To Angels-The Black Crowes
5.) Wagon Wheel-Old Crow Medicine Show

Truckin' tune is...

1.) Drivin' Fool- Aaron Tippin

Posted:  3 months ago

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Music For The Road

I'll play...

1.) Dixie Darlin'- Jamey Johnson/Alison Krause
2.) Welcome Home (Sanitarium)-Metallica
3.) Little Liza Jane-We Banjo 3
4.) She Talks To Angels-The Black Crowes
5.) Wagon Wheel-Old Crow Medicine Show

Truckin' tune is...

1.) Drivin' Fool- Aaron Tippin

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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A couple photos from today.

smile.gif

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Keeping a remote, part-time job on the side while full-time OTR

TECHNICALLY... If you're running a log book, ANY work you perform for compensation has to be logged, in the truck or not. It could come up to bite you in the behind should an incident ever happen and it's discovered that you're "moonlighting" and not accounting for all of your time.

It's one of those grey area "how the heck can they even enforce it" kind of things, but just keep it in mind. Loose lips sink ships, and all that jazz.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Just checking in...

Hey there Flatwater, it's great to hear from you! What ya doing these days?

Hey Old School! Doing a little of this, a little of that. Still pulling a hopper bottom around. Still having fun, too!

I have my own authority and my own truck and trailer now. But we won't muddy the waters here with that sort of talk.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Just checking in...

Haven't posted in a loooong tine, but still browse. Figured I'd check in and say, "Howdy!"

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Back to truckin'!

Hey, Old School! I'm glad to be back. Still lurked and browsed everyday, but left the comments to the professionals... smile.gif The family is doing great, fat n sassy, and they're just as excited as me.

Going back to the same company, pulling regional hoppers. Great company, good equipment, good money and home every Friday. I can't wait!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Back to truckin'!

I took my drug test and went over the HR stuff. I'll be back with my old company, in a new truck, on April 1st. I got off the road back in July, but miss it too much. Driving a desk is no comparison to the road.

Posted:  3 years ago

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My Prime PSD experience

[Edit - let's just say Daniel wasn't impressed with Jason's post]

Rainy, please disregard everything Jason has said. Believe me, you don't want to learn from him.

Please explain your response, Daniel. I don't work for Prime, I'm not an O/O. Heck, as of two months ago, I got off the road to be home for the kids. So, I don't have a dog in this fight, but... I'm curious why Jason's comments were "retarded".

Posted:  3 years ago

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Busting the Safe Haven Myth - Help me out here could ya?

"Safe Haven" has gotten a lot of people in a bind because push it their day tooooo far, then try to claim SH exemption. Same with personal conveyance. If you are under load, PC cannot be used to advance the load.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Stick a fork in me...

I'm done!

As of 11:00 last night, I'm no longer a truck driver. Still not quite sure how to feel. 😕

No accident, incident or blemish. In fact, I was considered one of the better drivers in the company. In the last year alone, I put in right at 160,000 miles and brought home over $45,000. I just missed being home with the kids and could not reconcile those demands with my absolute love of driving.

I have been very fortunate to see some amazing things and go to some really great places and I'll miss it terribly.

Even though I didn't post very often, I read the board here twice a day, when I got up and before settling in to the bunk. I will continue to do so because it is a valuable asset to driving community.

God bless you guys and stay safe!

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Let's talk 12v coolers again.....

I've had the same Coleman cooler for several years and it's been a trooper. It's lasted the oil patch and pipelining. If road BIA14 in North Dakota didn't kill it, I don't know what would... :) The only reason I'm still not using it is because my new truck has a built in fridge.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Heading out in the morning...

We had a four day weekend as almost all of our shippers and receivers were closed on Friday and we don't work weekends. Nice little break with family.

Preloaded last Wednesday afternoon with road salt for the state yard here in town, less than a mile from where I park the truck, so I won't have to eat up my logbook first thing in the morning. Bonus! Then head to Wyoming for a load of rock to Ogallala. Pick up wheat in Ogallala and boogie on to Omaha.

Getting my laundry folded and packed, tucking the kiddos in bed, wishing them sweet dreams. I sure love being home but I get a little antsy sometimes, too. Gotta go! Lol!

You guys have a wonderful, safe and productive week!

God bless!

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks For each new morning
With its light
For rest and shelter
Of the night
For health and food
For friends and love
For everything
Thy goodness sends

-Emerson

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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It never gets old out here...

Nice pics!

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I had to haul a load of cracked popcorn from Jolly Time in Sioux City to a feed mill in Denver

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Are you sure it was "popcorn"? Because I raise some chickens, turkeys, and beef steers and I feed them "cracked corn" but it's never "popped". But now I'm wondering what I've been thinking. By God you've given me a great idea! I should try popcorn - they'll love it! What a great way to make barnyard friends!

rofl-3.gif

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I sawthe yellow thing under your truck and i thought you ran over something. My bad

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It looks like he knocked down a light pole, doesn't it?

If you ever come by my area I could use a ton of cracked corn, 500 pounds of soy, and some minerals if you have em. I'll trade you 1/4 cow and a HUGE turkey that will barely fit in your truck. I have two turkeys that are going to dress out at about 45 pounds for Thanksgiving. They'll have to be cooked on my rotisserie outside because they won't fit in an oven. I can trade you two oven-sized turkeys instead if you like.

smile.gif

Yup, popcorn. I hauled what is called "splits". Damaged hulls or defective in some other way so it won't work for the popcorn guys. Birds love it!

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