Owner Operator Question.

Topic 30528 | Page 1

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Franz V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm sure this question has been asked before but I'll ask anyway. This is a question for all you owner, operators out there. I've been driving for 21 years, all company driver time. Curreny I pull doubles and gross right at $2000 weekly, take home about $1300. I want to make more and have been thinking about buying my own truck, but I get different answers as to what I could realistically expect to make being an O/O. I know there are many variables when considering O/O pay but I'm just looking for a general consensus from any experienced owner operators out there. Is it worth my time and investment to go O/O. Thank you in advance.

Owner Operator:

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Franz, and welcome to our forum! That's a great question, and since I am not an owner operator I am going to wait for some of our owner operators to jump in here before I give my take on it.

But... your question leads me to being curious about some things about your current situation, and I am wondering if you have thought about them. You appear to be making about $100,000 dollars per year as a company driver. Congratulations, you are obviously doing a great job at this. Here are the things I am curious about.

  • I assume you have company provided health insurance now. Do you know what it will cost you as an independent contractor?
  • Your company is contributing to your Social Security account now. What is your plan as an O/O?
  • Do you currently contribute to some sort of a retirement/investment account like a 401K? Does your company also contribute to it?
  • Your company is taking out your payments for income taxes. Do you realize you will be paying estimated quarterly taxes now?
  • You've been driving 21 years. You have obviously built some good will and some paid vacation time. What is that worth to you? Are you willing to give it up?

Those are just a few things I think you need to consider. I recently added up my company 401K contributions, company bonus money, x-pay for things like layover and breakdown, and vacation pay (PTO) and it totaled almost twenty grand! That is a lot to give up.

I am making the same kind of money you are, and I see no reason to become an owner operator, but I am curious to hear from some of our owner/operators here who will have their own perspective on this.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Keep doing what your doing. Leave the repair bills and headaches to someone else.

Trucks are going to breakdown. Fact of life. I have 2 trucks and in the last month I have pumped approx. 9k into them for various things. That hurts the budget. I haven’t seen a real paycheck in a couple months. When they are up and running I make really good money. However when they go down it hurts.

Last year I ended up with about 60k after all was said and done. That is pretax also. Good company drivers earn that and then some.

It really is a roll of the dice.

DAC:

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If you're grossing $2000/net $1300 per week after 21 years, you're at the wrong company. I'm not an O/O and I make those numbers easily without the hassles. And yes, I had my own truck (paid for in cash with the title in hand) leased on to a major carrier. I sold the truck and went back to being a company driver again.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Franz

First of all Franz, you've been driving for 21 years. If you do not have savings in the 6 digits and the first digit should not be a 1. If you don't have the savings with no debt whatsoever, then the conversation is over.

O/o's generally trade money for freedom. For example i haven't worked in almost a month because it's the summer and it's too hot for my liking. In the winter i run southern states to stay away from the weather and if i don't find freight for a couple days, i'll go to the nearest beach. In exchange, i have the stress of five people's jobs.

Last year if you deduct the top three expenses of fuel, insurance, and maintenance, i made .80/mi. If money is your motivation and you're looking for greener pastures as an o/o, i can tell you that it's not there.

Franz V.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for your frank and honest replies. I have heard alot of the same things you all told me about the headaches of being O/O but figured that maybe the pain was worth the money but the general consensus to my original question is to stick with what I have. I'm satisfied where I am, am debt free, with a nice savings, I was just trying to see if I could make more money as an O/O. You all be careful out there. Have a great day.

DAC:

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.

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