Want To Become A Owner Operator In The Next 2 Years.

Topic 30314 | Page 1

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Matthew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, name is Matt.

I am currently bouncing around careers atm and finally landed a job making good money moving dirt around with equipment, installing septic and storm and a variety of things for this company. As a quick learner and the only employee I am very close to being the foreman if the boss chooses too expand, however going from zero too doing everything I have had a impasse with the equipment...

I have no stinking idea how to drive clutch or have a cdl and the boss gets charged 300 bucks each time to move these machines around I use. I just got a hefty raise and he is encouraging I get a CDL so I can start hauling loads with the promise of more pay. Honestly I have always been good with equipment but its strange to install a whole a storm system and get told " better drop in that L1 today" over the phone. Only bashed it a few times against the pipe leading to the drain field I put in, easy fix by cutting it back and truth be told just several months later I have never had a problem setting a L1 again due too " never again". I plan on taking the CDL truckers course here in WA in just several months so I can move around equipment. Its a bit strange, I have this massive yard I work out with lots of semis, dozers, and excavators and I am the only employee. I really do need the CDL.

I want to start a trucking career

The reason Im posting here is for some advice, and maybe a link to a thread about someone who started their own business. But why trucking?

This job is killing me, I hand truck 6 yards of topsoil in a wheel barrow and spread it out in a single day, I am the ditch guy who hand digs the trench if the boss doesn't want to bring in the machine, always physically exerting myself. I am pulling off jobs by myself now, but just the last one was particularly hard. Customer was a savvy single mom who I sold the bid too but she was super picky. I bid her backyard job in 3 phases in case she didn't pay which was smart but god she was a tough sell. Constantly moving stuff around for her which I thought was needed to *keep her level*. Phase one was simply 650 for concrete removal, about 7500 pds. She didnt want to pay a thousand, so I hand loaded it myself with no machine which is 1200 ( i told her 400 bucks for labor charge and did it in 2 hours but no machine! your getting charged a full day of labor no matter how long it takes). Still cheaper, Phase two was sod rip. Used the machine for 2 days and only charged for one, and had to hand pick every little root out of her yard. Phase 3 was 70 yards of fill dirt and she wanted it laser leveled at exactly 2 % to have water flow off her property. Sure not a problem A extra 600 bucks for a venue for my OCD and usage of my brand new laser. Wasn't a problem, whole yard was less than a half inch off ( 60x75ft) and it looked like a million bucks. Still a lot of stinking work for 25bucks an hour. Too top it off, got a upsell and she wanted 3 yards of gravel for the last bit dumped in a particular spot, so of course my trailer tire got shredded on one of her posts and I hand trucked 3 yards of gravel in less than 2 hours. Treated her with nothing but respect and barely got out of their alive, I kept thinking I am busting my ass here but IF i dump this load anywhere but where she wants it she'll sue the boss for bumping that post. Long story not so short, I cant keep hand trucking this much, on and off the machines, digging with no machine. I'm getting raises so i dont leave

So I want to buy a truck in about a year and half, I should be able to drop 40grand on it. Here my big questions,

Should I work for someone else first?

How new of a truck should I be aiming for? I should have about 40 grand for a down payment.

Did this work for you? being a owner operator.

Im going to buy a book on trucking tonight and bounce around this forum a bit. I have severally hurt the muscles in my hands, and i cant keep this job forever. Trucking is where everybody goes whos injured. I should be able to spring into this career, would love to hear your comments.

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.

Owner Operator:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to Trucking Truth, Matt !!

Wow, with your background, I'd suggest going OTR/Flatbed somewhere THAT TRAINS, for a year or more, and then going into specialty/Heavy Haul if you see fit, down the road.

Look at Old School, Turtle, and Chief Brody (Rob D.)'s threads ..... they'll steer you right! There's many more, but that's top of the head for now.

Robert (The Dragon) is doing JUST THIS ... Read his info here: Robert, The Dragon's posts from start to NOW! Heavy Haul etc..

Read Brett's book, the 2nd line item down, here:

All these other links should keep you busy for awhile, as well.

We on TT don't really recommend, going O/O fresh 'out the gate,' if ever. The veterans of this site will chime in by morning, I'm thinking.

Again, welcome ! I commend you for your aspiriations, AND your grit, and accomplishments!

~ Anne ~

ps: My guy's been driving over 20 years, and never 'did' go the O/O route, even when opportunitiy(ies) presented. Our house & land is paid for, and we like it that way, haha! Company driving has been GREAT to him, through the years.

pps: PJ is a moderator / Owner Operator on here; hopefully he will chime in, as well. He pulls tanks, as we (hubby & I) did before going local.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Owner Operator:

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

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Matt, you are working your butt off for sure. Buying a truck is the easy part. The hard part is making money with it. This industry is very complex.

First off you must work for someone else and learn the business. Depending what part of the industry you are intetested in, depends on things you have to know. It’s all different.

Second putting 40k down you could get whatever you want. New or used. Buying a truck either way is a crap shoot. New ones have problems and when you think, yes well it is under warranty. Don’t kid yourself, those repairs are plagued with issues sometimes. Plus dealers generally put those at the back of the line over cash paying customers. Used your paying out of pocket. Last June I lost a turbo and it damaged some emission system items. Total bill w/towing was $19,500. plus 10 days of lost revenue.

3rd wether you run under your own authority or lease onto a company. Both are complex with their individual issues.

My point is it is not just put some money together, buy a truck and money starts pouring in.

I have been at this 3 years as an o/o and 7.5 years driving. I spent 3 years prior to making the jump in setting up a plan that I could make work for me. I have done ok, nothing great, but ok and I’m happy with my results.

Wishing you succuss in the future.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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