Buying My First Truck Need Some Info

Topic 28674 | Page 3

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Banks's Comment
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I can't think of any pros, honestly . Why would you want to buy a job that you get paid to do without the headaches?

Owning a truck is expensive and that's not talking about breakdowns, insurance and financing. We're talking regular preventative maintenance. Servicing for an engine derate, oil changes, tires and the rest will run you thousands regularly. You're also responsible for the load in the trailer. What do you do if a customer refuses to accept an order for any reason? Customer refuses, you don't get paid. Do you take it back to the shipper for free? Have you seen what some of these loads are paying on the boards? Last I saw it was just under $2.00 a mile. You don't get paid for the deadhead there and fuel is expensive. What do you do when you have to run to make some money, but you're breaking even on the load because it's just covering expenses. You deciding to stop working doesn't stop the bills. A vacation or a few days off can be disastrous to your bottom line. And at the end of the year you have to find an accountant that know how to set up taxes for a truck. Another PITA.

Being a company driver, my only responsibilities are my HOS and getting the load there on time. Customer refuses the load, that's tough pay me. Truck breaks down, I'm going to a hotel call me when it's fixed. You're driving down the road and blow a tire, call dispatch they'll take care of it. And road service jump at the chance to get in good with prime or Roehl. Not so much for Joe that owns 1 truck.

Aside from that you're getting benefits like insurance and a 401K. You get paid time off and some companies offer discounts and reimbursements for things that you buy. A bunch of folks here buy fuel the companies pay for and use the points from the fuel to get gadgets and other cool stuff. It's pretty much free. I can't do that because FedEx has fuel islands in their terminals. No points for me.

An owner op probably grosses over 100K a year, but they net 50 to 60. I made that my first year not including benefits and 401K contributions.


To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.


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.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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I have two friends who currently own trucks and work for different companies. One thing they have in common is they don't go home.

If you want to take time off when you want be a company driver. We can afford home time with no truck payment.

Dan F.'s Comment
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Well you made a huge mistake then. I am an owner operator with my own authority and I can tell you that you will work twice as hard as a company driver and until the truck is paid off, you will make less money. Wait until you see how you have to do taxes. Eld(unless you buy a pre eld truck) Ifta. Ucr. 2290. Insurance. All applicable state and local taxes and permits. Prepass. Tolls, parking . Fuel. Inspections. Dealing with brokers. Invoicing or factoring. Kyu, nm ny permits (i dont do Oregon) Trailer, and the big one...MAINTENANCE Btw it will be common to pay 28k+ a year insurance if you dont have 3 years as an o/o and you have a bank loan for the truck. That’s just the stuff off the top of my head.

If you’re motivated and ready for it you can look at the first three years as an investment and paying your dues to establish your company.

Be your own boss and work when you want to work and how you want to


Hey Josh, I'm just curious ‐ what's the lure of owning your own truck?


Owner Operator:

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


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan F.'s Comment
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As soon as I hit reply I thought of a few more like drug clearinghouse as a company not as a driver, BOC3, drug testing consortium, You have to come up with a system do you store DVIR ,trip sheets and your driver file and the list goes on but you also have to have certain programs that you have to pay money for if you don’t have them already like accounting software PDF editors Microsoft XYZ Then there’s the stuff that you keep in your truck like a refrigerator microwave in inverter of which do you want a true sin inverter if you’re going to use sensitive electronics, aPu ,.

One of the biggest fails in your first year for your new entrant audit is lack of enrollment in Drugtesting Consortium, according to DOT last year. If your company is based out of certain states you have additional insurance requirements, for example Florida has a PIP requirement as well.

I’ve met several guys who have actually gotten fines for cell phones that were not mounted. And one guy for his ELD tablet not being mounted

I absolutely recommend a camera in your truck as well, I use a 66W Garmin. Things like tools really depend on how much work you’re going to do yourself versus how much money you want to spend paying others to do certain things that you could learn to do You’ll need to keep A spare set of extra filters of each kind for oil fuel and coolant(that’s five filters right there)

For the first three months some brokers won’t work with you and there are really good paying loads for the broker won’t work with you unless you have one or four years experience as an owner operator but for the most part you’ll be working with companies like coyote XPO, TQL, CH Robinson, JB Hunt.

You can try doing power only loads until you can find a trailer to rent or buy

Owner Operator:

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


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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