Could I Make Money As An Owner Op With My Wife As My Co-driver?

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Unholychaos's Comment
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Here's my current situation and future plans as of today.

I have about $1500 or so a month in bills at home and as a company driver making $.39/m, I'm averaging around $800 a week take home. I can easily live off of that right now with a wife who supports herself and our dogs while I'm on the road. We want to be able to pay off the outstanding bills we have ie: her car, student loans, and our house. It would take us quite awhile to do such thing as it stands now with me being a company driver.

When I lease my own truck through Schneider, I have a potential to double my take home pay every week if I do it right and learn where to go and where to avoid. I plan on leasing a brand new truck, which will be a 2018 freightliner by the time I'm eligible. With that increased income, I'll be able to start throwing decent chunks of money every month at my bills and, if I did all my calculations correctly, I'll have all of my bills paid off in the course of 3 years give or take.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Unholychaos's Comment
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Un-H-Ch says:

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The thing is though, owner operators do end up grossing a lot more per week. My uncle who pulls for Schneider tries to average about $500 a day in revenue for 7 days, grossing him an average of $3500 a week. After truck payment, insurance, tags, maintenance account, and fuel, he brings home around $1000-$1500 a week.

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The operative phrase is "brings home around $1000-$1500 a week". No matter the gross pay from the company, after the expenses you list, the green in your uncle's pocket is close to the average for a company driver! And your uncle still has to pay self-employment taxes and buy his own medical insurance. Here's the Trucking Truth weekly pay I copped from Trucking Truth's Prime Company review:

Weekly%20Pay_zps9tmlqyn4.jpg

Another big thing I forgot to mention is the fact that he's his own boss and he loves having that freedom. That was one of the biggest selling points for him.

What type of mileage are these company drivers pulling to have that kind of take home pay? If I get dispatched correctly, I can do about 2500-3000m a week (remember I'm governed at 63mph) on average and bring home about $900 the first week I'm out. I drain as much of my clock as I can every day if I'm able to, pulled 3 600+ mile days this week getting my 11 down to about 30m left.

Owner Operator:

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
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When I lease my own truck through Schneider, I have a potential to double my take home pay every week if I do it right and learn where to go and where to avoid. I plan on leasing a brand new truck, which will be a 2018 freightliner by the time I'm eligible. With that increased income, I'll be able to start throwing decent chunks of money every month at my bills and, if I did all my calculations correctly, I'll have all of my bills paid off in the course of 3 years give or take.

Well.........

if I did all my calculations correctly

You didn't I'm afraid. Double your income leasing? Do you think anyone would be a company driver if we could double our income by simply leasing a brand new truck?

Back to the drawing board with your calculations man.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Unholychaos's Comment
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True story....my friend just jack knifed from high wind gusts. She was fully loaded and a lease op. Tow bill.was $3500...damage to truck estimated at $10k, and damage to trailer $1000. So almost $15,000 in damage. Plus the truck is down for god knows how long and she has to either pay for a hotel or pay for transportation home....2000 miles away.I don't know what would have happened with product damaged, but she said amazingly enough all was good. (Frozen food boxes).

That was one expensive decision to keep driving.

Yes a smart lease op would have a maintenance fund for a rainy day like this...but someone starting out (who is more likely to make bad decisions such as this)wouldn't have that much in there. Also, how many rainy days can one afford?

How heavy was the load? As we all know, safety is more important than any load. If they were light and the winds were making travel unsafe, they should have either slowed down or stopped completely

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

True story....my friend just jack knifed from high wind gusts. She was fully loaded and a lease op. Tow bill.was $3500...damage to truck estimated at $10k, and damage to trailer $1000. So almost $15,000 in damage. Plus the truck is down for god knows how long and she has to either pay for a hotel or pay for transportation home....2000 miles away.I don't know what would have happened with product damaged, but she said amazingly enough all was good. (Frozen food boxes).

That was one expensive decision to keep driving.

Yes a smart lease op would have a maintenance fund for a rainy day like this...but someone starting out (who is more likely to make bad decisions such as this)wouldn't have that much in there. Also, how many rainy days can one afford?

double-quotes-end.png

How heavy was the load? As we all know, safety is more important than any load. If they were light and the winds were making travel unsafe, they should have either slowed down or stopped completely

I stated she was FULLY loaded. Had 45k pounds in the box. According to her she did slow down. But as a new driver......she made the wrong decision.

That was my entire point. New drivers need to learn the business and the driving. They are going to make bad decisions. Better to ha e the company pay for it than the driver.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

When I lease my own truck through Schneider, I have a potential to double my take home pay every week if I do it right and learn where to go and where to avoid. I plan on leasing a brand new truck, which will be a 2018 freightliner by the time I'm eligible. With that increased income, I'll be able to start throwing decent chunks of money every month at my bills and, if I did all my calculations correctly, I'll have all of my bills paid off in the course of 3 years give or take.

double-quotes-end.png

Well.........

double-quotes-start.png

if I did all my calculations correctly

double-quotes-end.png

You didn't I'm afraid. Double your income leasing? Do you think anyone would be a company driver if we could double our income by simply leasing a brand new truck?

Back to the drawing board with your calculations man.

Ok. Average $500 a day for 7 days assuming starting on first day of pay week. $3500 gross. Let's just average $1000 for fuel, about $850 in truck payment, $250 for maintenance acc, and let's just say about $500 for the rest (I don't remember the exact numbers he was telling me). That's $2600 a week in expenses not including incidentals. Take home of $900 before figuring taxes. I may have overestimated a few numbers, but I also underestimated the weekly gross. The way he figures it, he wants to make a minimum of $500 a day which, more often than not, he can easily exceed if he trip plans correctly. And also he looks at the bigger picture of that extra $850 a week when the truck is paid off.

I may be missing the point you guys are making since my brain is fairly scattered, so feel free to reiterate.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Unholychaos, listen man. I know its a good feeling to see those giant numbers that you can potentially make and then do the math and figure that you'll be golden in just 3 years.

But I was a lease operator before unlike most people here on the forum and I can tell you from experience that it never works out the way you plan.

Some months are slow, some months are fantastic and some months are hardly profitable due to a breakdown and over the top fuel prices.

It is impossible to predict how much you will make. Some weeks you can make 600 while other weeks maybe 1800. But to say you will have all those things paid off in 3 years time literally makes this former L/O ears hurt.

You will lease a brand new truck and just like all brand new trucks from the factory you will have those factory hiccups which will need shop time to get sorted out.

I know you have no clue about what you're doing or anything about leasing because a true business person (not saying that I am or was) would not be focusing on paying off the house early before his business. First thing you do is put money aside into your E-Fund and T-Fund then when you know you'll be able to tackle any emergency up to and including an engine breakdown then you can start worrying about other things. But it appears to me that you're going to lease and think youre going to set the world on fire.

You are being very, very foolish and niave. You'll be lucky to have a comfortable amount of money set aside for emergencies and have enough for taxes in that first year!

I wish you luck, you think you're stepping into a field of roses and chamomile yet you're really leading you and your family into a field of cactus. Get more experience before doing this.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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UHC, have you noticed how you just sort of go right past the things we say and go into your explanations of why you think it will work?

You really need to spend a good two or three years as a good solid company driver first, and to be honest with you I have that under my belt and I wouldn't even consider it still. Your comments about draining your clock every day only go to show you have got sooo much to learn about all the little things that make for success at this. A really good truck driver is an opportunist, and he knows how to make things happen in his favor out here. The little nuances that make for success out here are not even closely related to what your truck is governed at.

Here's a little homework assignment for you...

See if your uncle will show you his tax return. Find out what kind of number is on that document for his pay. That is the only reliable number you can go by. I think you will be quite surprised at what his income is, that is if he will show it to you.

Jack Burton btlc's Comment
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Wow I guess I should have checked this sooner but I've heard all this before but I don't understand how if we're leasing as a team how would we be paid? Would it be split pay or would we both get over a dollar a mile? This is not something I'm doing tommorow but an option we have talked about and something that sounded bullet proof to us with two incomes coming in on the same truck

Unholychaos's Comment
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First off, I'm sorry I kind of hijacked your thread mate. This will be my last comment on the thread, I promise!

Second, I really appreciate the feedback and I do understand that you guys know more about the business than I do, but I'm still going to go for it when I can. My mind is made up, and at the end of the day, it's my choice and it'll be my responsibility if I screw up and realize I can't make it.

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