Profile For Kraken Daddy

Kraken Daddy's Info

  • Location:
    Atlanta, GA

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 4 months ago

Kraken Daddy's Bio

I am a 50 year-old career changer looking for the wisdom and knowledge from the good people on this forum.

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Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

Thank you very much!

Welcome to the forum... The points made already are good ones, a little more food for thought. The country is basically divided into various different freight lanes. Your in the southeast. It is and likely to always be one of the cheaper lanes. I live 2 hours from Atlanta. The freight I bring in always pays much better than the freight coming out. That is a big consideration. The atlanta area has some smaller freight brookers you may be able to get a deal with... Most of the bigger ones require a year in business before they will deal with you. You didn’t mention what type of freight your looking to haul... Makes a difference on the cost of the trailers. A friend of mine did a startup last year with a flatbed. Cost him right at 200k. He has a dedicated customer so he dosen’t have to mess with brokers, unless he chooses too for backhauls. OOIDA is a great resource as well as Kevin Rutherford. You can google his name for a link to his website. I wish you the best

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

I completely agree, but I have to think there is room for a small, driver-friendly, lean, efficient, quality, trucking firm.

I am not seeking to compete with the big firms, I know that is folly, but I can nibble at their edges ;)

This is just a tough business. The one thing that helps people in any commodities business is benefitting from the economy of scale. The big companies gain some advantages due to the leverage they can exercise on vendors, lenders, and customers. That makes it tougher on the smaller companies. Even with the advantages that come with being one of the big boys, this is still tough. I was looking at some trucking company's performance in the markets recently and noticed J.B. Hunt, one of the biggest and most innovative players in this game, was showing increased revenues and reduced profits. Nothing comes easy in the transportation business.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

Good info, I really appreciate your post.

Hi Chris,

I'll answer your questions but understand you are asking some basic questions in a very complicated field where there is high startup costs and very little room for error. Half of running a business is the legal side like getting authority, insurance, and paperwork, permits, etc.

If i were you and serious i would start by driving a couple years and maybe training with an o/o.

1. Otr Drivers usually drive between 100k to 120k a year. Deadhead miles vary, but i usually drive between 100 and 200 miles to get to my next load.

2. The main load board is DAT. You will not be able to sign up without a dot#. There are other boards offered by other companies like landstar, jbhunt, coyote, tql, and convoy just to name a few. None of these companies will let you even look at their loads without having your authority and most of them require you to have an active authority for a certain amount of time before you can book loads with them.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

Rainy,

Thank you so much for your reply, this is exactly the kind of information I am seeking. I am fully aware of the "sour grapes" as EVERY industry has the old, bitter, angry, "everyone is an a-hole except me" type. Like you, I have learned to just smile and move on. There is nothing to be learned from negativity.

Your description of your driver terminals blow my mind! I had no idea such amenities were made available to drivers, very cool.

I agree about driving for a year or so to learn driving, but I also know this will not teach the "business" of trucking. My business partner and I need to learn both. My biggest complaint when I was a regional jet pilot was all of the BS before and after the flight-- THIS is what made the industry tough. If all I had to do was come in, fly my trip, and go home; I would have retired from this job.

The "lease-to-own" sounds challenging at best. I know corporate America and I know no one does anything without a spreadsheet. Any company leasing, loaning, etc., is making a margin both on the trip and the equipment lease/loan.

The other suggestions to look at OOIDA were very helpful and I did join last night (although I am still waiting for my member number).

Thanks again for all of the experience and knowledge you folks have shared.

Chris

And most boards i know of are a paid subscription.

As most of us are company drivers we do not deal with Profit to Loss ratios. That is a lease op and owner op requirement. As company drivers, all we worry about is getting our miles or hours depending if OTR, regional, dedicated or local. we dont deal with load boards and brokers.

My company offers many bonuses for safety, fuel economy, on time delivery, christmas bonus, all of December staying out bonus. i get other incentives and bonuses when compared to other drivers on my fleet managers board, about 100 drivers. We have a match 401k, and health benefits whose premiums are cut in half after the first year. this is a driver retention incentive. We have state of the art terminals including indoor basketball courts, 24 hour gyms, hotel like "bunk rooms", pool tables, spas for hair nails massages and facials including a steam shower, a movie theater, and serious discounts on Prime own hotels and a casino. Our terminal even has short term storage lockers, dog kennels and pet washes as well as long term parking. A 24 hour cook to order cafe, a mail room with boxes to rent and a huge store where i can buy Nikes, undies, tools, and much more.

Most drivers want a decent cpm, home time more than 4 days per month (typical OTR), and more regional routes that let you get home more often. Of course the other things you mentioned, paid vacation, holiday pay, christmas bonus. Many drivers love their OTR company but when issues at home strike, they need to go elsewhere to be home.

And the things you mentioned in your first post about all the negativity...most of that i never deal with. The large companies have newer equipment they maintain and we shutdown in bad weather and no one questions us.

Most of the negative stuff you see online is a bunch of sour grapes from people who tried and failed as drivers.

Look up my company, Prime, and almost every negative comment or review is from a newbie who thought he could lease a truck and start an LLC and failed due to lack of knowledge.

It has been suggested you drive first because it is like me saying..."Hey...i want to open a neurology practice, and since my brother is a surgeon i know what i am doing. Would you be my first patient? I cant wait to cut open a skull ad operate."

i posted all about Prime to give you an idea what you would be up against. if someone like yoi said "come work for me" i wouldnt leave what i have. And honestly, you wont be able to insure new drivers.

Ill answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

True dat. I have no idea why people try to make money with airplanes.

I understand anything transportation is a commodity, so margins will be very thin and have to come with volume. I have calculated my share of Revenue Seat Miles and Passenger Seat Miles.

I am just trying to get a reasonable idea of expected expenses and revenue.

Thanks!

Chris

Just like aviation... If you want to make a small fortune in trucking, start out with a large fortune... src="https://cdn.truckingtruth.com/smileys/undefined" class="smileyImage" /> rofl-2.gif

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

OK, fair enough. What I meant by "I get trucking" is that I have worked in the transportation industry. I suppose I was premature in saying that as you would be if you said you "get aviation", fair reply on your part. Truly, I am simply seeking wisdom from experienced operators who have had to manage their own P&L... maybe that isn't you.

Here are a few questions:

1) How many miles does the "average" driver drive weekly/annually? What percentage of your annual miles are dead head miles?

2) What are the best load boards to get started? I know the brokers take a large cut, but where do you start?

3) As a driver, what are the most important things a company can offer (i.e. health and life benefits, 401K ,profit sharing, fixed schedule, pay per mile, paid time off)?

Thanks in advance.

Chris

How is it that you “get trucking?”

(Scratches head...)

Yet you came in here asking for knowledge?

I don’t think you have a clue about this business other than what you have read on the inter web.

This link can serve as your first reality check: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

So if you want to cut-your-teeth and become an entry level driver, that we can help you with. Otherwise...defer to Old School’s suggestion.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Pop quiz mostly for newbies

As a utter newbie, is the black charing above the tire a problem?? Perhaps indicative of a break fire or excessive brake dust?

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Newbie wants to start a trucking firm.

Hello everyone.

First, I am really happy to have found this site. My friend and I are contemplating starting a small trucking firm out of Atlanta, GA, with the idea of slowly growing it. I have a basic idea of what is involved, but I know there is much more for us to learn before taking the leap.

I have a background in Aviation (was a regional jet pilot for a few years) and I am AMAZED how much truckers and regional airline pilots have in common (duty times, ******* management, inept or idiotic dispatchers and crew schedulers, equipment issues, delays, only paid for block time (or miles driven), being pushed to fly in bad weather with broken aircraft, lack of home time, contracts, lies, time away from family, etc., etc., etc.) So, I get the "negatives" of trucking and I am hoping to do something "better" for both driver and company.

My last career was one of financial management (financial sales) which I HATED, but it did give me a decent ability to work with financial statements, projections, inflation, both variable and fixed costs, depreciation, etc. We have some cash available to buy a rig or two (depending if we go new or used) So, I think my partner and I have the core tools and knowledge to do something positive in trucking. What we need now is knowledge and wisdom from all of you to get going.

With your collective permission, would it be ok if I posted a series of questions and drew from your experience and knowledge?

Thanks so much in advance.

Chris

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