Owner Operator

Topic 21775 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

CT Trucker, I kept my remarks in the form of a question with the hopes of drawing you into a discussion. You didn't really ever even answer them, which usually indicates you're not that interested in a doing real research. It sounds to me like you've already got your mind made up and you were just hoping we would encourage you in your pursuit.

Are you familiar with OOIDA? You can go to their website and get some information.

OOIDA

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I say don’t do it simply because the risk is not worth the reward in todays economy. The days of a 1 truck operation are gone. It takes volume in todays world. When you own the equipment /business everything falls on your shoulders. Brokers are always looking for the cheapest guy to haul their freight. I leased for a year. There were some good times, and their were also some bad. My daughter in law schedules trucks for her dads produce business. We sat down and ran the numbers. This is going through a shipper directly no broker. Their best paying load is pretty good. Now I would have to buy a truck and refer trailer, get my own authority, and have money for tags, insurance, fuel etc. I would make 1200 a week running that load after all expenses. I make 900-1200 a week driving someone else’s equipment. I did plan too put some money back so that 1200 would turn into about 14-1500 after I got 20k or so in a rainey day fund. These trucks and trailers are expensive to work on. If something major went wrong 20k wouldn’t even be enough. Backhauls from that area to Georgia don’t pay very well and I would make about enough to cover the fuel.

To me these numbers are not enough for me to take on that much risk. I wish you the best

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

CT Trucker 's Comment
member avatar

Hey old school, I'm just confused with questions you wanted me to answer? Trust me I am very interested in doing the research it's a big investment so I would want to make sure to do research before making a plunge like that. The last thing I want to do is throw $50,000 down the toilet.

CT Trucker, I kept my remarks in the form of a question with the hopes of drawing you into a discussion. You didn't really ever even answer them, which usually indicates you're not that interested in a doing real research. It sounds to me like you've already got your mind made up and you were just hoping we would encourage you in your pursuit.

Bolt's Comment
member avatar

One if the biggest hurdles I saw on another forum was insurance for the first year is between 12-15,000. That's a grand or better a month plus a tractor payment puts a person at 2500 a month in payables and that is before tires, fuel, oil changes, and break downs.

CT Trucker 's Comment
member avatar

Wowwww, If That's accurate that's a huge nut.

One if the biggest hurdles I saw on another forum was insurance for the first year is between 12-15,000. That's a grand or better a month plus a tractor payment puts a person at 2500 a month in payables and that is before tires, fuel, oil changes, and break downs.

Bryan E.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't know a lot about owner operator but I do know some are successful ay, and many are not. My advice is this. Sleep on it. Get your experience and learn everything you can about the business. Don't rush it and if you decide to do this down the road have ALL your homework done on it. It takes an extremely prepared and business minded person to be successful at this. I don't know a lot about it it is just my opinion. I thought about it too but if I do truck drive I'm going to be a company driver for probably quite a while, maybe my whole life I don't know. I'll be observing and I'll be learning.

I made a goal when I first started driving tractor trailers that I wanted to be a owner operator one day. Nothing like owning your own business and watching it grow. However if I don't try then in the back of my mind I will always think what if? And some of you fellas might steer me away from it and give me great reasons why to stay away from it and I'm open to, I'm a big facts guy and like to analyze a lot. That's why I'm reaching out to my Trucking Brothers for good or bad.

Owner Operator:

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Hey old school, I'm just confused with questions you wanted me to answer?

I'm sorry CT, maybe I should have been more specific. Let me just preface this with something you are probably not aware of. I have owned trucks before. I had 6 big rigs at one time. Many would not consider me an expert in the realm of being an Owner/Operator, but I do have a good bit of experience in understanding the costs involved in running a big truck on the highways. I started my trucking career wanting to be an Owner/Operator. Once I had done all my homework and realized that the freight rates were being kept so low by the big players in the game, I realized it just wasn't financially worth it for me to do it that way. I had done my homework and knew that I needed to get paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.75/mile to be at a point where I could earn a salary of about 45,000 dollars and still pay all my business expenses. Guess what? Most of the freight was going for way cheaper than that. There are things going on in the market place right now that are putting some upward pressure on freight prices, but it is still a very risky challenge with all kinds of sharks in the water willing to cut the price just to get the jobs.

Here's why I pointed out to you the average profit margin of trucking companies. Once you become an Owner/Operator you are now a trucking business, and unless you are way smarter than some of the best transportation company owners and mangers doing it big time out here now, then the most you could ever expect to make would be 3% more than you are making now as a good solid company driver. It is also highly likely that you will lose money as so many do. So, if you were making fifty grand now, you could maybe expect to make about 1,500 dollars more per year as an Owner/Operator! Does that sound like a wise investment of your treasure? I've got a little money in the stock markets and I've been making way more than 3% for years now on those investments, and I don't even have to provide any of my own labor to get those yields.

Continued...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I don't encourage people to become Owner/Operators. It is a highly risky endeavor with a lot of unforeseen pitfalls. You can easily increase your pay by a several thousand dollars just by developing your skills at being a savvy competitive company driver. I made almost ten thousand more dollars this year than I did last year, and that was strictly due to my own efforts at getting myself emptied out early and knowing how to conduct myself with our customers so that I can get more done than the average guys I am competing with. Having an understanding of how to get things done out here can help you increase your income exponentially. People always seem to think that the natural progression of a driver's career is to be a company driver for a few years and then take the plunge into being an Owner/Operator. But where you will really see some progress in your income is by developing your own strategies of how to be more productive at this. If you can bring the owner mentality to your approach as a company driver you will see incredible yields on your efforts. I wrote an article on this very subject a little while back. You should take a look at it and see if it makes any sense to you.

Click on this link to read The Natural Progression of a Driver's Career

Trucking is very competitive, and it is the company drivers who understand how the game is played that really make the top dollars. I set goals for myself each year, and I stretch myself in my efforts to increase my income. This whole career is performance based. Your performance is what determines your income. It is not based on your Cents Per Mile, or whether or not you own the equipment. Here is two more articles I hope you will take the time to read. They both contain some of the secrets and ideas or theories that really successful drivers employ to maximize their income at this career.

Can You Hang With The Big Dogs?

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

CT, I've pretty much found that people who want to be Owner/Operators fall into two different camps, and neither of them make a lot of sense to me.

-One is the group that thinks they are going to be making a whole lot more money that way. Usually these are the guys who are not happy with their income as a company driver. They have never understood what it takes to improve their performance, and they bring that same poor work ethic into their business plan, which is always disastrous. They somehow think they will make more money just because they are the owner - that is a bad mistake.

-The second group are the ones who just think it would be cool to run around the country in their own rig, and they don't mind spending every extra nickel they get on chrome accessories and lights for their rig. They are not really interested in taking a successful business approach to their career, they just enjoy feeling like they are the Big Boss Man, and they like to look cool to their peers.

Here's an article where I had a nice conversation with a long time Owner/Operator who had some very interesting things to say about his twenty years as an Owner/Operator.

Confessions Of An Owner Operator

Owner Operator:

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

CT Trucker 's Comment
member avatar

Hey Old school, wow that's a lot of good information that you just put down on me. And definitely made me open my eyes up and take a step back to see the bigger picture. You have to respect a man whos been there and done that and dont want to see the next man deal what he delt with.

I'm in CT now maybe a change down south with some different companies would be a ideal match taxes just keep sky rocking, they are going to be putting tolls in the state, charging more on fuel and taxing meat. So that might be the final straw lol.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jrod's Comment
member avatar

Quote of the article:

How is it that the most successful tucking businesses in the country will go to all the expense of replacing their equipment at benchmark mileage levels so that they can remain profitable, yet owner operators will sometimes keep a truck until is held together with bailing wire and bubblegum?

The tables have been tabulated, the numbers crunched, the actuaries have actuated: Good trucks, even with disciplined, scheduled maintenance, lose the ability to be consistently profitable after 4 years/500,000 miles. Even if it is minor things, its still time in the shop that the truck isn't running.

There are exceptions, of course. I know, I know, your buddy/brother/uncle/grandmother has been driving the same truck for 4 million miles. Do you think that is the average? The likely outcome?

It's your life and your money and your risk. Be smart about it.

Owner Operator:

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

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.
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