Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen - Article By Brett Aquila

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I've decided to take one of my responses from a recent conversation here in the forum, modify it a little, and turn it into an article so that people can better understand why we strongly recommend that you avoid buying or leasing a truck and remain a company driver for one of the major trucking companies. You'll find it here:

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Lest you think the title is a bit over the top, consider that many thousands of trucks get parked each year due to bankruptcies, and the overwhelming majority of these come from individual owner operators or very small fleets. Relatively few large carriers ever go bankrupt, but it does happen.

In years past I personally worked for two small carriers, one with 5 trucks and one with 11 trucks, both of which eventually went bankrupt, fortunately after I had already departed.

Spoiler alert: Rickipedia gets a shoutout in this article for one of his famously insightful remarks regarding the difficult plight of small businesses. If Rick doesn't have some fantastic insights on a particular topic then there simply isn't anything worth knowing.

If you're considering buying or leasing your own truck, or you think that working for a small carrier might be better than working for a large carrier, the information in this article will be very important for you to understand.

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen

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

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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Brett

Very informative.......

This will help people make a great decision concerning how to go about this great adventure. Whether to go with a big company or as you said become a statistic.

All the O/O I know have to have a student to supplement their income.

Before I get lambasted for that statement, I said the ones I have come in contact with.

Raptor

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Too bad this article is coming out after I made the decision to buy my own tractor. My Cub Cadet is totally paid for and I can do most of my own wrench work on it, so I may be able to avoid the small company curse.

Tractor Man's Comment
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All the O/O I know have to have a student to supplement their income.

If you are talking about Swifties, they like to call themselves O/O's, but more specifically, they are Lease (aka Fleece) Operators. The term Owner Operator should only be used when said Owner has his own Operating Authority, and can run loads for anyone. Swift does use true O/O's but not that many. The rest pay Swift to run their freight exclusively. There are also Drivers who own their own Rig and choose to lease on to a specific Company, but have the ability to leave whenever they choose and find another opportunity. The Tractor is theirs. PJ on this forum is a good example. If the Company he leases on to ****ES him off, he is free to leave. L/O's that have been sucked into Company Leases do not have that luxury. Very very few ever complete their entire lease and end up with the Title to the Truck.

Owner Operator:

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

OOS:

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.

millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
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Excellent article as always Brett. 😜 One suggestion I have is make a link to this article in the TT starter pack that we link to new drivers. That way they can understand before they even try to get into the industry.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Excellent article as always Brett. 😜 One suggestion I have is make a link to this article in the TT starter pack that we link to new drivers. That way they can understand before they even try to get into the industry.

Yeah, I'll definitely put a link in there.

Rick S.'s Comment
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Thanks for the shoutout and the kudos.

Rick

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Thanks for the shoutout and the kudos.

Rick

Thanks for the many great insights you always have to offer. It's always very much appreciated!

Old School's Comment
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Thanks Brett, it's a great article with a lot of supporting evidence. It's always hard to talk to people about this subject. People tend to make emotion based decisions concerning business, and I've found it awfully difficult to get them to focus on the economics of what they're thinking about.

After working for years in a complex business environment, it comes easily to me. It's always difficult to explain it in such a way that pulls people from that emotional realm into a practical approach that looks at it analytically.

Thanks for your efforts!

millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Excellent article as always Brett. 😜 One suggestion I have is make a link to this article in the TT starter pack that we link to new drivers. That way they can understand before they even try to get into the industry.

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah, I'll definitely put a link in there.

Thanks Brett, much appreciated. 😜

double-quotes-start.png

Thanks for the shoutout and the kudos.

Rick

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for the many great insights you always have to offer. It's always very much appreciated!

I second this. 😜

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