From Company Truck Driver To Owner Operator Questions

Topic 10634 | Page 6

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Chris Z.'s Comment
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Hey all, I have a thought. If somebody saved up enough to buy, let's say, a $30,000.00 truck, with straight cash, and they saved up, like a $60,000.00 maintaiance account, and they saved up, like a $15,000 insurance account, and they save up, like a $15, 000.00 tax account, and they saved up, like a $40,000.00 anti-factoring account. And, another $10,000 for misc expenses, like IFTA fees. Is it possible, to run a profitable trucking company, then┬┐ Given, that one gets slightly below average freight rates? And, they keep on top, of their maintaince, with preventative maintaince, rather than reactive maintaince. Look, I like to entertain ideas, alright. There has got to be a profitable business model, for this, guys. Also, what other fees are missing? Dare you entertain this?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Chris, my first thought would be whatever you were doing to save up that much cash, keep doing it! You're already winning.

Did you ever hear the joke, "Do you know how to end up with a million dollars in the restaurant business? Start with two million!"

Same applies to trucking

Truck_Driving_Lou 's Comment
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Best Advice I can say is, for right now stay company. With Rates dropping the next year or 2 will be rough as a OO.

I recommend in the meantime setting yourself up.

Save so you have about 25% towards a downpayment. On top of that, you want minimum of 6 months of expenses saved, fuel, maintenance, etc.

I'd consider bringing your new truck to a company, make sure you have an out. Example my company Artur Express lets you leave if you want to leave which is great.

A lot of bad companies won't let you do that and then you will be in a world of poop.

Also what % will you get for each load? Most companies are around 70-80% My Company is at 86%.

I'm not a recruiter nor am I asking you to work here unless you want to. I'm just providing info from the place I'm at vs others.

The first year is to save, save, save.

If you have decent credit, Get a Credit card, use that for everything, Just remember to pay in full each month.

If you don't have good credit, I recommend the Lexington Law firm they are great at removing items.

Driver habits, don't be focused on gunning it,

I drive between 60-65 I'm avg 9+mpg's, Also use the Jake brake a lot to slow down as long as your not in an ordinance area. Use the cruise as much as possible weather permitting.

Don't think about the Top line or being a Top Driver, Think about your Bottom line. Saving as much fuel as possible is crucial.

Maintenance, I go every 30k miles to Penske and have a PM completed. A lot of drivers go at 50k some 100k, I don't like that. Every 30k for a PM, usually 3 or 4 times a year is what I do. Yes, I pay with more visits for the PM, but I keep the problems small.

Tirepass at Loves every 2 weeks, 10.00. Professional state of the art equipment checking your tires and putting an air as needed is a huge asset.

Over the past 4 years, since I been doing the PM and Tirepass. I have had 0 breakdowns.

OO at our job will gross around 190 to 200k and clear after everything expenses, taxes, etc 50k to 90k give or take It depends on how much expenses you have.

Company drivers at our place Avg 1300 gross which is just shy of 70k a yr after taxes you'll clear over 55k net.



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?


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.

Owner Operator:

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


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
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Don't think about the Top line or being a Top Driver, Think about your Bottom line. Saving as much fuel as possible is crucial.

That's strange advice. It's counter to everything that has made me a successful driver. Owner operators are always going to extremes to cut their expenses. It's bizarre what some of them will resort to. My trainer descended mountains with the Jake brake on and using only the trailer's brakes.

I sometimes think I taught him more than I actually learned. I questioned this practice, reminding him that he was putting a tremendous amount of heat onto the trailer's brakes. It didn't matter to him. He told me, "The company pays for those pads, and I've been doing this for 10 years with no problems." It sure didn't surprise me when our trailer brakes burst into flames while descending a West Virginia mountain while he was driving. Then the very next week he starts yelling at me for using the brake pedal while descending a mountain. confused.gif

If you want to make money out here you will definitely want to be a Top Tier Driver.

In this commodities business environment productivity will always produce better results than squeezing nickels and dimes off your expenses. Look at the major players, mimic what they do. My company is more than happy to spend plenty of money on my truck for maintenance and repairs. Why is that? They know I'm productive. They've never questioned me or denied me when I pull in and tell them I need new tires or brakes, or anything else I've asked them to repair or replace.

If you want to get ahead in this game you've got to produce results better than anyone else. You've got to Run With The Big Dogs.

Owner Operator:

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


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
Dare you entertain this?

I did, than I ran the nunbers and at best came up with making a few thousand more than a decent company driver. That was if everything went well with no major break downs or unexpected expenses.

I would keep doing what ever you are doing that allowed you to save 100k and invest someplace else.

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