Owner Operator

Topic 21775 | Page 5

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icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

Everytime i see a newly solo driver spruce up his new leased truck i think about this guy who picked up his first solo load with his brand new lease...decked out with a $600 satellite dome, xbox, Sirius, a huge TV and fridge, $500 shiny tool box, expensive wheel and lug covers...then drove 2 miles to the yard to scale. he never made it. he went around a corner, dropped a trailer tire in a ditch and rolled the truck.

Lost his job, owed the $1000 weekly payment for the truck, insurance premium, $2000 deductibles, the fuel probably $500 , the tow (God knows how.much), all his upgrades ....i know it came to at least $5000. at least...and he never made a dime. Plus, he was not going to drive anytime soon I'm sure.

so my answer to anyone who doesn't know what they are doing...don't do it.

I actually remember this happening also. Last year i believe.. I truly felt bad for the guy but it is just another harsh reality.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

Old School,

I shared my optimistic perception of something I observe day in and day out.

You posted a pessimistic judgment on the character of men you’ve never met. Based on your own observation of failure.

But what I won’t do here is disrespect you by taking your words completely out of context.

They have nice things and have had nice things for 2 going on 3 generations now.

The guys I’m telling you about have been in business since the 60s.

Frank Smith (FST) and other companies (Be Safe) he helped grow from one truck.

He started out with one truck.

“Family owned and managed, FST Sand & Gravel has been serving the Southern California area since 1964. Originally based in South Orange County, in 1980 the company relocated to Corona. From its quarry plant site in South Corona, FST can provide a variety of aggregate and sand materials for construction and home sites including concrete and asphalt aggregates. Plant pickup customers are welcome in addition to orders requiring delivery. FST can provide transportation with a dedicated fleet of trucks. No job is too big or too small.”

The Struiksma Family (WCSG) They started out hauling cow poop from the dairy farms...

“Since 1968, West Coast Sand & Gravel has been providing California (and now Phoenix too) with quality products and services. Since our start, we have grown to ten locations and have expanded our product offerings from construction aggregate to specialized services such as dirt import and export, environmental waste hauling, and sports field products. At West Coast, our core values of Safety, Service, and Stewardship have provided a solid foundation for 50 years. These values also lead us to believe that integrity in business is the key to keeping our customers coming back for years to come.”

Chris Smith C Smith Corporation dba (Pacific States Transportation) originally the Matthews and Ellis Families and Chris was office Manager... Related...

Mike and Debbie at PTI Sand and Gravel have been Supplying Sand and Gravel Since 1948!

Roger Northcote (BNI) Barney Northcote Incorporated (Roger Jr.) his dad started out with one truck. When my grandpa in law was in school he would say “Barney! You’re never gonna amount to nothin” (don’t pick apart the double negative) because Barney would be taking welding and auto mechanics while my wife’s grandpa was taking drafting... Barney retired with millions of dollars and lives in a paid for beach house up in Northern California. Business is in its second generation and appearing to thrive.

Brian James (French Valley Transportation)

Ver Steeg is not going bankrupt anytime soon.

The list goes on Bubba.

You know the cool part about all of these Long Time successful family owned trucking companies that started out as just dad has a dump truck?

They are all willing to share and help each other. The motto for the Struiksma family is People over Profits.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

My observation has nothing to do with anybody's character. How could it when I don't know any of these people? It's based on the trucking industry mean averages. It's basically what any prudent investor would look to if he were interested in starting a trucking business. He would never just take another trucker's word as the basis for jumping in himself.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Mr. Smith...

All your examples are legacy, decades old companies and several of them aren't trucking companies but private fleets delivering their own product.

How does any of it correlate to the likely success of a start-up O/O in 2018?

I never give advice contrary to what I would do in a given situation. You advised the OP to buy a truck or two. Is that what you are going to do? Are you going to take your own advice Mr. Smith?

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

Mr. Smith...

All your examples are legacy, decades old companies and several of them aren't trucking companies but private fleets delivering their own product.

How does any of it correlate to the likely success of a start-up O/O in 2018?

I never give advice contrary to what I would do in a given situation. You advised the OP to buy a truck or two. Is that what you are going to do? Are you going to take your own advice Mr. Smith?

Those are the companies that all started out as grandpa gotta dump truck. They are successful companies that have grown from one man one truck. Those are success stories. (Transfer Truck Owner Ops) and there are other smaller guys following right behind them.

But with it comes no family time and your kids may not grow up knowing what your love is like. Nor your wife.

Read what I wrote don’t skim it.

Would I buy a couple trucks?

YES OF COURSE

IF

it was exactly like I said in the original post.

IF YOU HAVE A FRIEND that can Garantee you loads without a shadow of doubt that you have these set loads every single day then of course! I would buy as many trucks as my credit would allow me to. If I was guaranteed the same exact loads everyday.

If I found that Nitch/Niche, however you spell it, then yes.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Mr. Smith I have to disagree with you in todays economy and here is why:

I have an in with a very succesful produce company, IE customer, no broker or third party involved. They purchase from farms and ship to their customers, ie kroger, ingalls, walmart, and several other grocers. We sat down and ran some honest numbers using actual shipping locations. They have volume and its steady so loads are no problem. For me to make it work with them I would need a minimum of 10 trucks and trailers to make any money. Any less and yes I would be in the black, however very very minimally. The profit margin in the current economy even with the upswing in rates is just not worth it to me or them. Volume is needed on both sides for it to be truely profitable. They have asked me 3 times about this and each time with different freight rates the answer has come out the same. Just my opinion. Everyone is different and has different ideas what any given thing is worth to them. If you can make it work and your willing to do it, then go for it.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Would I buy a couple trucks?

YES OF COURSE

IF

it was exactly like I said in the original post.

IF YOU HAVE A FRIEND that can Garantee you loads without a shadow of doubt that you have these set loads every single day then of course! I would buy as many trucks as my credit would allow me to. If I was guaranteed the same exact loads everyday.

If I found that Nitch/Niche, however you spell it, then yes.

Mr. Smith, I'm absolutely not trying to be antagonistic here, so please think about this following question:

Why do you think you haven't been able to find this niche that would induce you to take that plunge?

If you can understand the proper answer to that question, you will understand why we discourage people from becoming owner operators.

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Mr. Smith, or should I say Captain Smith, ordering G-town:

Read what I wrote don’t skim it.

wtf-2.gif

My reading comprehension skills are just fine Skipper.

Perhaps the one skimming what is being consistently written (by several members), is you. Listen to what Old School and PJ are telling you...

My point, that you seem to have missed, is that all of those companies were started a half a century ago. Next to No regulatory compliance, diesel fuel cost .39 per gallon, rates relative to cost were more favorable and you didn't need to mortagage your future to buy a truck. The elusive niche' you reference, those types of opportunities were far more abundant then and simpler to capitalize on, yet still required some luck along the way. Times are very different now.

And to reiterate, several of them you mentioned are product companies, not pure trucking companies; generating multiple revenue streams, having full control of the source. Much more sustainable and profitable than a pure transportation model.

STOP advising others to do what you have yet to experience, offering only a pipe dream (the niche') to successfully build upon. It's not a viable business plan; "a gaurantee of loads without a shadow of a doubt". I mean "c'mon", there are no gaurantees.

You'll get the last word...and that's fine. Don't care, I'm done.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

My point, that you seem to have missed, is that all of those companies were started a half a century ago. Next to No regulatory compliance, diesel fuel cost .39 per gallon, rates relative to cost were more favorable and you didn't need to mortagage your future to buy a truck. The elusive niche' you reference, those types of opportunities were far more abundant then and simpler to capitalize on, yet still required some luck along the way. Times are very different now.

Indeed, it is getting more and more difficult to start new businesses, trucking or otherwise. One needs to be on the ground floor of something new, build a better mousetrap, find a new way to do something more cost-effectively, find an unmet need - something. Just jumping into an already mature market usually does not work out so well for the investor.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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