Working On Local O/O W/ Own Authority. Worth It?

Topic 29668 | Page 1

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DoctorWho_214's Comment
member avatar

Hello all,

Just need some advice on this topic. Does it make sense to get my authority and own tractor (day cab) and haul for a local company? I have been reading up on carriers that are looking for power-only drivers and wanted to know if this was an option. I know are a few carriers in the Reno/Sparks area but I have to do more research and see if any of them allows this. My goal is to be home daily and to be owner-operator. Can this be done with what I have in mind? Taking all the advice I can get. Thanks!

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, Who, welcome to Trucking Truth.

Up front, this web site supports people interested in a trucking career, but we emphasize getting training and experience with a major trucking company like Swift, Prime, Schneider and so on.

Since you are researching options, I figure that you are new to this business. Like any money making business, trucking is complicated. Unlike opening a flower shop, trucking is regulated by the federal government. Start up costs are high, even if you bought a used power unit (truck). Running expenses are also high. One truck tire can first $400, and you have ten of them on your truck. Stuff like that.

I have a friend I met at CDL school five years ago. He later bought his own truck, and he claims to be making good money. The difference between you and him? He drove for Swift for a while before going out on his own.

More power to you, Dr. Who, but before you put your $200,000 on the line, I suggest you get a year or more experience with a trucking company first. Learn how the business works before you hang your life savings out there.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

My advise would be to work for a LTL company collect $25-30 a hour with paid vacation and insurance. It won't make your goal of being a O/O but it will save you a ton of money.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi doctor who, I think you are a bit confused when it comes to having your authority. When you have your authority you have to go out and find your own freight. You also can not lease to another carrier.

It sounds like you want to buy a truck and lease on to someone else's authority and run their freight doing regional/ local . I know someone who does that but he has a sleeper because sometimes his load takes longer than a day and he has to spend the night out.

It is doable, but like you said you have to look around what companies are around you.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

DoctorWho_214's Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys I really appreciate the input. You're absolutely right I am a rookie trucker and with only a few months under my belt. I've always wanted to be a trucker since I was younger but never had the option to, and when the opportunity presented itself to at least get my foot in the door, I took it. Currently I'm driving for a company which supplied my training for me and am finishing my year contract with.

While on the road, I would be listening to podcasts and radio programs that encouraged getting your own truck and starting up your own business. As I dug deeper, I realized all of the options that open if you were an O/O as well as the money you had to put down in the beginning. It's good to know my goal is doable though.

My advise would be to work for a LTL company collect $25-30 a hour with paid vacation and insurance. It won't make your goal of being a O/O but it will save you a ton of money.

That's the plan for sure. One of the companies I'm interested in is ArcBest and they offer having a dedicated run for a power-only solo. Sounds like the perfect run for me because I'll know where I'm going every day and their terminal is 30-45 minutes away from home. But some of the requirements were to supply my own insurance and my own authority.

Terminal:

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.

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Who says:

I realized all of the options that open if you were an O/O as well as the money you had to put down in the beginning

... and ...

... dedicated run for a power-only solo.

"Oh! The options I have! " Don't forget the obligations, too: payments for the truck, insurance, maintenance reserve, self employment tax, and do on. Some of these expenses have to bed paid whether you're running or not. I'm not trying to be pessemistic, just real.

Here's one way to look at "power only": that company first not need to invest in capital equipment - you will be doing that. Do you invest in a truck and your get enrolled to ask the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. The game is to beat the company (make more money than) their own game. Entry day I pass a truck coming that had a big billboard: COMPANY DRIVERS $.50/MILE, OWNERS $1.10/MILE. I figure the sixty cents pays for operating the truck. Do if you can get a bigger bottom line at the end of the year, go for it.

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

DoctorWho_214's Comment
member avatar

I definitely understand that it won't be easy and that there would be a lot of risks involved. And you're not being pessimistic at all to me, just being real in what to expect. For now, just staying as a company driver until I gain experience and save enough capital.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Or you could stay a company driver and keep saving a lot of capital as long as you drive with almost zero risk and extremely low expenses.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Watch this video from Truckin Along With Kearsey:

Consider THIS! [Part 1]: Lease Op vs Company Driver Pay

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