Anyone With RV Transport Experience

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KJ T.'s Comment
member avatar

Looking to get into RV transport some day, don't see many people talking about their experience . Does anyone have experience or know of the industry?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
One of the issues is there are a lot of retired folks willing to do it for just enough to cover expenses. They get to travel the country with paid expenses but that drives the pay down making it hard for someone that actually needs a positive cash flow.

See, that's the type of stuff that most people never consider or figure out during their research into becoming a lease driver or owner operator. For anyone who has never owned a business before, the business world is 1000 times more complex than they imagine. There are a million angles you can take.

Not only that, but people aren't used to competing for money. They're used to going into work, doing their job, and going home with a paycheck. Simple as that. So when they consider starting their own business they look at it from that standpoint. They figure they'll buy or lease a truck, do their job, and take home a paycheck. But what many people don't take seriously enough is the prospect that you might work your *ss off, take all kinds of financial risk, and wind up making nothing or even losing money. And there's also 1000 people that wake up each day and their first thought is, "What do I have to do to drive my competition out of business?" Not often do you deal with that when you have a regular job.

I'll give you another example of why it's so difficult to get good freight rates in trucking. Often times you'll have a trucking company that has good paying freight coming out of a certain area but it's difficult for them to get back there for another load. So maybe this company runs out of Atlanta we'll say. So when they take that good paying freight to say Chicago, they're basically looking for anything that can get them back to Atlanta quickly for another load. So maybe they take something cheap and fast out of Chicago. It doesn't pay much and maybe they'll barely break even on the load but at least they'll be back in Atlanta ready for another good paying load, right?

Well guess what? You also have companies in Chicago doing the same thing. They might get great paying runs out of Chicago going to Atlanta but have trouble getting anything good returning to Chicago that pays well. So they say the heck with it, take some really cheap freight which actually causes them to lose a few bucks, but at least they're back in Chicago ready for another good paying load, right?

Well how long do you think the shippers will keep paying high freight rates out of Atlanta to Chicago once they find out there's a company out of Chicago that will take steady freight for cheap? Not very long. Same with the shipper in Chicago. How long do you think it will take them to figure out there's a company begging for freight to the Atlanta area and they'll do it cheap? So both companies wind up stealing each other's good paying freight and now everyone is stuck with cheap freight.

Welcome to the trucking industry. That stuff has gone on since the days of black smoke and steel wheels and it always will. The competition is fierce and it's very hard to turn a profit owning or leasing trucks and hauling freight. The complexities are astounding and there's no mercy in the business world. If they can drive you out of business today they will. And believe me, they're trying.

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.

Owner Operator:

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

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar

I believe Elkhart Indiana is/was the center of RV manufacturing. I see them being transported away from there all the time. I would start my research from there.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Oh I am sure it can't be that hard as long as you have a pickup big enough to haul the Rvs and the money for the insurance to cover yourself and the RV and money for fuel. Should not be an issue.

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar

I looked into this after Katrina when they needed all those trailers towed from Elkhart to New Orleans, I have two Duallie Trucks and thought I could make some money during racing off season. Figured it wasn't worth the hassle, besides Insurance you need a DOT# , IFTA MCC? and the same for running Hot shot loads, you just end up wearing out pick up trucks that cost like $60k. Then you get caught in the same Web with the Feds I got into, Duallie 10k GVW,, triple axle trailer min 18k GVW,,,, 28k CGVW Combination, now you need a CDL A for your pick up, + Med card, then end up with an Air Brake restriction, been there, done that. to me it's not worth the effort with a pickup truck. I've been thru the DOT check stop out of Ohio into NY at the rest stop, they waved me and my new 2014 Cascadia right thru, while they had 2 pick ups with work trailers being inspected. I now know their first question, "show me your Medical card" Another thing I found out on my unintended journey into trucking is (after talking to the Feds) is even if your rig doesn't require a CDL, if your operating any kind off business and traveling over state lines and/or more than 150 miles from your home terminal you have to run a logbook.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

DOT:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I posted a picture of my Race Car Rig that I got DOT'd with during Truck safety week 2011, got 2 tickets and 5 warnings and put OOS. a mile from RT66 Dragstrip Joliet IL !!! Troopers first question was show me your Medical, I told him that I had a Commercial Pilot Medical,,,, dosn't count,, heck My NHRA medical over 55 requires an EKG,, no good. After I complied with everything the Judge let me out of the 2 tickets so I now still have a clean record. so the day I passed the CDL A test I got a job as a truck mechanic and learned Air Brakes (had already passed the written) so the first time I set rear end in the seat of a big rig to drive it into the shop, on property, I already had the License. gotta love the Govment.

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.

DOT:

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.

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.

KJ T.'s Comment
member avatar

Looking to get into RV transport some day, don't see many people talking about their experience . Does anyone have experience or know of the industry?

Thank guys for the info. I really have some thinking to do. Sound like more of a pain than making any kind of living.

Woody's Comment
member avatar

I almost went into it before trucking. I was set to attend orientation but called and pulled the plug. From all the research and number crunching I did its hard to really make any money.

First off I would not do it if I had to use my own truck. You rack up a ton of miles and the little you make won't offset the cost of depreciation to your vehicle. I was going to do what I believe was called drive off. Meaning driving the large motor homes to their destination then finding my own way home. This could be by plain, bus, or by towing a vehicle to drive home which was my plan. But since you normally only get paid one direction even driving a fuel efficient car home it's really hard to turn much profit. If I remember right the company I was going to paid .80 per Mile at that time. Figuring the MPG of the motor home and fuel prices, plus gas back home plus expenses the money just was not there. Not allowed to sleep in the beds but you could sleep on the floor of the unit. You also needed to pay to have the unit washed before delivery or pay a penalty in many cases.

One of the issues is there are a lot of retired folks willing to do it for just enough to cover expenses. They get to travel the country with paid expenses but that drives the pay down making it hard for someone that actually needs a positive cash flow.

Don't get me wrong, there are some that make a living doing it, but they typically have trailers large enough to move a few campers at a time and have the connections to gt back hauls and keep empty miles to a minimum.

If your willing to travel that many miles your much better off looking into trucking in IMHO.

Woody

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Karen H.'s Comment
member avatar

RV transport is the place where you need to give much time.

Do you have RV at your home?

Recently I bought RV along with RV cover really love to drive that.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
One of the issues is there are a lot of retired folks willing to do it for just enough to cover expenses. They get to travel the country with paid expenses but that drives the pay down making it hard for someone that actually needs a positive cash flow.

See, that's the type of stuff that most people never consider or figure out during their research into becoming a lease driver or owner operator. For anyone who has never owned a business before, the business world is 1000 times more complex than they imagine. There are a million angles you can take.

Not only that, but people aren't used to competing for money. They're used to going into work, doing their job, and going home with a paycheck. Simple as that. So when they consider starting their own business they look at it from that standpoint. They figure they'll buy or lease a truck, do their job, and take home a paycheck. But what many people don't take seriously enough is the prospect that you might work your *ss off, take all kinds of financial risk, and wind up making nothing or even losing money. And there's also 1000 people that wake up each day and their first thought is, "What do I have to do to drive my competition out of business?" Not often do you deal with that when you have a regular job.

I'll give you another example of why it's so difficult to get good freight rates in trucking. Often times you'll have a trucking company that has good paying freight coming out of a certain area but it's difficult for them to get back there for another load. So maybe this company runs out of Atlanta we'll say. So when they take that good paying freight to say Chicago, they're basically looking for anything that can get them back to Atlanta quickly for another load. So maybe they take something cheap and fast out of Chicago. It doesn't pay much and maybe they'll barely break even on the load but at least they'll be back in Atlanta ready for another good paying load, right?

Well guess what? You also have companies in Chicago doing the same thing. They might get great paying runs out of Chicago going to Atlanta but have trouble getting anything good returning to Chicago that pays well. So they say the heck with it, take some really cheap freight which actually causes them to lose a few bucks, but at least they're back in Chicago ready for another good paying load, right?

Well how long do you think the shippers will keep paying high freight rates out of Atlanta to Chicago once they find out there's a company out of Chicago that will take steady freight for cheap? Not very long. Same with the shipper in Chicago. How long do you think it will take them to figure out there's a company begging for freight to the Atlanta area and they'll do it cheap? So both companies wind up stealing each other's good paying freight and now everyone is stuck with cheap freight.

Welcome to the trucking industry. That stuff has gone on since the days of black smoke and steel wheels and it always will. The competition is fierce and it's very hard to turn a profit owning or leasing trucks and hauling freight. The complexities are astounding and there's no mercy in the business world. If they can drive you out of business today they will. And believe me, they're trying.

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.

Owner Operator:

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

Vic B.'s Comment
member avatar

RV camper trailer delivery is a scam!! You will not make much in it. You will have to live like a rat, sleep in your truck and have to cook your books to break even. Don't eat out or you wont make ANY money. They are always looking for new drivers who they can get100 k before the driver finally discovers it's not the rosy picture they were given. You will not make enough money per mile to properly reimburse your expenses or replace your truck, much less make repairs to it. You NEVER get back load's and you will be nickle and dimmed with sucker fees. The dealers absolutely don't appreciate nor respect you. You have to comply with all the rules a simi driver does including pulling into the scales, keeping log books and getting DOT inspections... and if you are in violation YOU pay the fines. You may have to pay for damages you had nothing to do with and if you don't like it, that's just too bad. If you do have an accident you may be hit with as much as 20k in repairs. If for some reason the unit you are hauling is damaged cos you had to sleep in a truck stop and some trucker side swiped you, again not really your fault, you not only get to pay for the damage but you have to bring the unit back at YOUR OWN expense!! ... even if you are 2000 miles away you have to bring it back to the yard. Yeah the good life!! Get paid BIG money to travel the USA... a dream job- right?? WRONG!!! Its a dream job because you have to be asleep to to dream it!! It's a scam folks! No, not just one sower grape... go talk to those who used to do it if you can find them and they will give you an ear full. If they didn't expire or retire.

DOT:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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