From Company Truck Driver To Owner Operator Questions

Topic 10634 | Page 3

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Your the exact reason why I keep my conversations away from some of you, if individuals wanna ask questions in private I'm willing to discuss them to the best I can. I'm just sick and tired of being trolled by people but willing to help people still. I just wish to not deal with all the negativity. I personally didn't do anything to you. If a person is asking for some input and I'm willing to give some input to him that is all, is it wrong of me to engage in a conversation with him in private to avoid being ridiculed.

You my friend are the definition of an Online Bully!

Oh Hammertime! Here is your chance to show everyone on this forum all the times that I have ridiculed you or even "Bullied" you... Please present your evidence! You made the claim... now back it up please! I can't wait to see your evidence...

I have a long history of providing good and helpful information to those who seek it, and I am not afraid to put it right out in the open.

So, go ahead and bring up all those examples of the times I have ridiculed and "bullied" folks in here.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar

So Brett - just to confirm you were in the trucking business for 15 years as a company driver and not as an O/O? I, like a few other forum members I suspect, would like suggestions, lessons learned, etc. from experienced O/Os or Lease OPS. I'm trying to be argumentative, I would like information from those whom have the experience on this side of the trucking industry.

I don't post often, because I'm spending time searching thru the thousands of posts because the site is not "search friendly."

~scott

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Here's the thing. Most of the people who ask about O/O and lease deals are new. They're enamored by the big shiny new truck and the idea that they can make some insane amount of money which rarely happens and generally ends up in failure and serious debt. They've never said nobody should do it, they've simply pointed out that profit margins are extremely thin and it's a very tough go to make about the same money as you can make being a company driver.

I know a few very successful O/O but they've also been in the game a long time. They have some very solid contacts, some very good customers and are to a point now that if they have a slow couple months, it isn't going to hurt them once bit. Even they will admit that it's gotten harder but they're shielded a bit again because they have some very long lasting relationships established with particular customers.

I do wish though that there was a section to add positive light for someone who has done the research, put in the time and really wants to make a go of 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.
Cave Dweller's Comment
member avatar

OK, lurked on here for quite a while, learned a bunch, however... all o/o are not liars, lease /opping is something I've never considered, company driving is NOT for everyone and the whole industry is shaded in grey! Ran a very successful business for 26 years and finally burnt out, period. Not ready to retire so had the advantage (not luxury) to start with cash. Did the company driver thing for 2 months fully intending to gain some experience before buying my first. Couldn't take it, bought a cheap truck, got way too dirty making it right as possible(parts are reasonable, my time was free) bought a very serviceable trailer, found reasonable insurance and got my authority, done. 3 months in doing 2.06 ALL miles, maintainence account building and weaning off the spot market as I build contacts. Point is, it can be done, you will work twice as hard and personally I would not do it any other way. I understand most rookies should learn the industry but with business experience most things I have found to be similar (just different regs). Thanks, feel better now!

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar
I do wish though that there was a section to add positive light for someone who has done the research, put in the time and really wants to make a go of it.

I concur.

OK, lurked on here for quite a while, learned a bunch, however... all o/o are not liars, lease /opping is something I've never considered, company driving is NOT for everyone and the whole industry is shaded in grey! Ran a very successful business for 26 years and finally burnt out, period. Not ready to retire so had the advantage (not luxury) to start with cash. Did the company driver thing for 2 months fully intending to gain some experience before buying my first. Couldn't take it, bought a cheap truck, got way too dirty making it right as possible(parts are reasonable, my time was free) bought a very serviceable trailer, found reasonable insurance and got my authority, done. 3 months in doing 2.06 ALL miles, maintainence account building and weaning off the spot market as I build contacts. Point is, it can be done, you will work twice as hard and personally I would not do it any other way. I understand most rookies should learn the industry but with business experience most things I have found to be similar (just different regs).

Cave - can you break-down your estimated startup costs? Did you have any difficulties getting your authority, permits, insurance, etc. What resources do you recommend individuals use while researching to become an O/O?

~scott

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
3 months in

Cave Dweller, thanks for chiming in here, glad to have ya!

I too was in business for thirty years before I retired from it and started driving a truck. I came into this having considerable knowledge about owning trucks. I had my own small fleet, had as many as six big rigs at one time. I learned some hard lessons, as I'm sure you did too while you were in business. I have never said it can't be done. What I try to get across to people is that based on my years of experience, and the industry wide numbers, which are available for anyone to research, the risks are too high compared to the rewards. I was always a risk taker - made and lost fortunes. I understand the appeal of being an owner operator , I just can't justify the risks involved.

I'm glad to hear from you on the subject, but it's hard to take you seriously after only three months in. Don't take offense, because I'm not trying in the least to be offensive. That was part of my point earlier... it takes a good five years into this to see where the pitfalls are, and I can assure you that you have not even begun to get a good feel for it yet.

Owner Operator:

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

Cave Dweller's Comment
member avatar

Scott, rough numbers for equipment were 17k for tractor, 22 for trailer (aluminum, Canada compliant step). Trailer pays the bills... Paper side of the house was easily under a thousand excluding insurance (got lucky there with a good credit score) which can be broken down. Went to a NASTC seminar which turned out to be a sales pitch for compliance issues which in turn became a penny a mile peace of mind. Money well spent although OOIDA and many others do the same. Be careful of the scammers as as soon as my numbers came up the phone/mail box exploded with "services" which are all free online. Expect 3 months no cash{worst case} and you will probably work as hard at billing/receivables as a full lumber tarp but that's what your 10 is for. Again, not for everyone but couldn't be happier! And for the record, just want to make a decent living on MY OWN TERMS!

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

Cave Dweller's Comment
member avatar

And for the record, personally think the OP's (nothing to lose approach) is a recipe for disaster. The veterans of this site are wise in staying company. 59 and broke is not a business model, think foundation.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
And for the record, just want to make a decent living on MY OWN TERMS!

I understand that sentiment completely - and it is why I have spent a lifetime being self-employed. But the trucking industry is completely different from any other I have been involved with. I have found that being a company driver is so much like being self-employed that I enjoy it thoroughly and still make a good solid living at it. This whole thing is performance based, and I have never found myself not being able to do things on my own terms. When I want to go home my dispatcher sends me there, and I mean quickly. When I want to run the Northeast, I tell him and that is where I'm going. If I want to go to Florida, which is what I'm doing this week, I let him know and he hooks me up. Top performers get this kind of treatment. Now, I realize that I have got a really special situation where I am at, but the point I am making is that everything is pretty much on my own terms. I got myself into this situation because I proved myself over and over again so that the company is not only willing to accommodate me, but makes all kind of extra things happen just to keep me on their team.

Expect 3 months no cash{worst case} and you will probably work as hard at billing/receivables as a full lumber tarp but that's what your 10 is for.

Cave Dweller didn't even mention the time you may spend trying to track down the broker who hasn't paid you yet! If you think being a company driver is exhausting, try doing all the extra work that he points out while you should be getting some decent rest. I'm all for hard work and long hours, and brother, I know that is what it takes - I love working, but when I put in that kind of effort it needs to yield me a considerable difference in what the company drivers make. That is where it all breaks down for me.

Dispatcher:

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.
Cave Dweller's Comment
member avatar

Hey old school, yes I did say your free time is spent tracking slack payments, it's called business and is not unique to trucking. As far as pitfalls, half my fam damily are million mile o/o who think I'm crazy as well. Point is, show me a problem, I'll show you an opportunity. Yep, top performance is rewarded in my world too although I am sure my numbers will improve with time/experience/equipment refinement...

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