New Owner Operator Plans (florida)

Topic 32819 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Jim B.'s Comment
member avatar

So for all you vets in the owner operator field I'm looking to ditch being a company driver and progress my way in being a owner operator.

I've got my llc set up and now need to find out my best way to go about this I've seen multiple outlooks as far as just running off of load boards or running for a specific company that will also lease you a trailer like lanstar jb hunt etc.

My question is if my goal is to be home daily or as much as I can do I have any real options for being an owner operator in the central Florida area? I live on the north east coast of Florida so I figured savanna Georgia not to far approx 4hrs or so I have some opportunities in a couple directions. My intentions are to buy a truck with a sleeper not a day cab I'm not against pulling over for 10 and back on the road but I don't want to run long hauls that take me out for a week at a time. Do any of you guys recommend anything at all in this position?

Owner Operator:

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

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.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

How many years experience do you have driving?

You do realize that the price of trucks are up, even the used ones and that freight is slow and not paying well right now.

There are a couple guys on the forum that are 00s and they should be along within a day or so.

Jim B.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been driving for about 6 years now and yes I know it's not the best time to start right now it's all a work in progress and my plan was to not even start day without a solid 20k in my bank for back up only, so another couple months away before any major decision and even then I'm kinda listening to others in the field for the same reason you stated.

For the most part I can find trucks with around 500k or less at about 50-70k not sure if that's a rip off cause I haven't looked at prices until now

Old School's Comment
member avatar

What is your motivation? If it's to be home daily, why not seek out opportunities like that as a company driver first?

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Jim, I’m an O/O. I pulled a tanker for several years leased onto a carrier. Last year I got my own authority. There are pro/cons to each.

I have a large customer in a nich market and made good money working 3-4 days a week. As everything in the economy work fell off the end of october. I had a backup plan and started pulling a reefer since then with a company that also has their broker license. They run my butt off and I don’t see the house much, but it pays the bills.

The price of equipment is way too high. You buy a truck with 500k or more you will be buying a truck that is starting to need alot of repairs. That is where they start what I call high mikeage or old age repairs. DEF systems are starting to go and will eat up 20k in nothing flat. The main componets will cost about 30k to replace. Usually one st a time, eating up shop time.

The schedule your looking for is highly imporabable given your location. Florida has alot going in, usually pays decent, but not much out, and pays terrible.

Brokers as a general rule are a pain and some are flat out crooks. If you rely on them you will most likely fail. Your overhead will cost more than you can make. I’m signed up with JB Hunt, TQL, and Convoy. Those are only for possible backhauls and rarely used. Rates are terrible and not looking good until at least Q4, if then. JB Hunt does have a good amount of shorter haul stuff, but again its pretty cheap.

General load boards have loads from many different brokers on them, but you have to be signed up with that broker before you can haul a load for them. They all have different requirements. Getting signed ip with several can be very time consuming. If you know a local broker you can trust would be your best bet in that arena.

Look into container companies. The east/gulf coast ports are doing much better and gaining business leaving the west coast. They will require you to lease onto them and run under their authority, but it is worth looking into, in my opinion.

If you could find a direct customer in your area would be your absolute best case scenario for what your wanying to do.

Just some of my thoughts without coffee, lol. If you want to ask anything specific or contact me my email is in my bio.

This site is geared more toward helping people get their trucking career started in the very beginning,not really where your at. Your a valuable driver to help with that, and I encourage you to consider sticking around for that.

Best wishes!!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I just want to piggyback on PJ’s excellent comment.

I know very little about being an O/O, but I have had experience with older trucks. With my first company, I always had trucks that were high mileage, that is to say in the 500k to 800k range. I left that company largely due to constant breakdowns, like 8 serious breakdowns in the last 4 months. Breakdown pay was a whopping $64 per day.

With my current company, I was issued a truck with 473,000 miles. This company is very proactive with truck maintenance and their trucks are not in the shop much except for PM. I had great success with that truck until I started to approach the 540,000 mile mark. My first breakdown was a disintegrated fuel pump that sent metal pieces throughout the system. I was told the cost of that repair was upwards of $20,000. I sat in a motel room for 8 days. After that, I had 2 more less serious breakdowns before reaching the 550,000 mile mark. The company policy is to retire their trucks at about 550,000 miles and sell them on the secondary market. Just before I hit that mark, they gave me a new truck, which I have now. But at the time I got the new truck, I was scheduled to be in the shop for a coolant leak I couldn’t identify the reason for, a recurring refrigerant leak in the APU system and several other minor issues. An O/O with just one truck not only has to pay for all his own repairs, but is without income while the truck is in the shop, unless he has a spare truck.

I consider myself to be a typical driver who is much better off being with a solid company rather than an O/O. But to each his own. Just count the cost because buying a used truck is always going to be an adventure into the great unknown.

APU:

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.

Jim B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well my motivation is to really run under my own authority.. and quit the labor part. I'm home everyday now physically fit but with all the rule changes we have guys 15-20 years quitting and anything in my area to drive I haven't found matching the pay or close enough to switch jobs.

What is your motivation? If it's to be home daily, why not seek out opportunities like that as a company driver first?

Jim B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well thanks for the long reply and bk for your input, I can definitely see repairs being needed as to what I thought was almost regular but I guess it's just luck if it's major or minor to keep on the road. A 20k repair would definitely be a mental set back getting started too. My initial plans were to just run as much regional freight as possible unless I see it being worth the money running the load boards out and back home in 2 days. My current income as s comoany driver just broke the 100k mark but that's also using my back lol not straight driving mostly what I'm after as well. so I figured after all expenses if I could match that or more until I get with the change and learning the load boards I'd be pretty happy. Just alot of different info I'm getting as far as what a good truck is. The truck I drive now at my job has about 550k and I'm the only one touching it except for 1 day of the week possibly and she runs pretty well. I've heard that 500k or less is good to start just look for the prior reports and get a mechanic to look at it. Or buy a new truck but newer trucks are darn expensive and I feel like the money I would have to make would most certainly take me out of the home time I'm comfortable with.

Welcome Jim, I’m an O/O. I pulled a tanker for several years leased onto a carrier. Last year I got my own authority. There are pro/cons to each.

I have a large customer in a nich market and made good money working 3-4 days a week. As everything in the economy work fell off the end of october. I had a backup plan and started pulling a reefer since then with a company that also has their broker license. They run my butt off and I don’t see the house much, but it pays the bills.

The price of equipment is way too high. You buy a truck with 500k or more you will be buying a truck that is starting to need alot of repairs. That is where they start what I call high mikeage or old age repairs. DEF systems are starting to go and will eat up 20k in nothing flat. The main componets will cost about 30k to replace. Usually one st a time, eating up shop time.

The schedule your looking for is highly imporabable given your location. Florida has alot going in, usually pays decent, but not much out, and pays terrible.

Brokers as a general rule are a pain and some are flat out crooks. If you rely on them you will most likely fail. Your overhead will cost more than you can make. I’m signed up with JB Hunt, TQL, and Convoy. Those are only for possible backhauls and rarely used. Rates are terrible and not looking good until at least Q4, if then. JB Hunt does have a good amount of shorter haul stuff, but again its pretty cheap.

General load boards have loads from many different brokers on them, but you have to be signed up with that broker before you can haul a load for them. They all have different requirements. Getting signed ip with several can be very time consuming. If you know a local broker you can trust would be your best bet in that arena.

Look into container companies. The east/gulf coast ports are doing much better and gaining business leaving the west coast. They will require you to lease onto them and run under their authority, but it is worth looking into, in my opinion.

If you could find a direct customer in your area would be your absolute best case scenario for what your wanying to do.

Just some of my thoughts without coffee, lol. If you want to ask anything specific or contact me my email is in my bio.

This site is geared more toward helping people get their trucking career started in the very beginning,not really where your at. Your a valuable driver to help with that, and I encourage you to consider sticking around for that.

Best wishes!!

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Jim, it sounds to me like you're trying to force a square peg in a round hole.

You want less physical labor, yet you also want to be home every night. Most local jobs are delivery jobs requiring the driver to handle the freight. You already know this because apparently that's what you do now. They also typically require a good deal of hustle to meet the demands of the job. They pay well, but the money is definitely earned.

You also want to run under your own authority. I talk to a lot of drivers. Most of them seem to think owner/operators make more money than company drivers. It's not necessarily the case, and far more times than not, they actually make less. Don't fall for the trap.

It sounds like you have a great job, but you would prefer having less physical labor. Were I you, I'd check into LTL companies. A linehaul position sounds ideal for you. Most of them are home daily. You'd be pulling doubles , and the new guys almost always run the night shift, but seniority comes quickly sometimes as senior drivers retire or quit.

Have you considered any LTL companies? Are there any LTL terminals near you?

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.

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

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More