Power Only Pros And Cons

Topic 34069 | Page 1

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Andrey's Comment
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I would appreciate information on power only driving from people who have their own experience. It seems to me that this mode of trucking has much more flexibility in schedule, which matters for me, as I do not drive at night. So far I talked to a company owner, and he told me that they didn't care at all when a driver sleeps. Sounds a bit too good to be true, but who knows?

PJ's Comment
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Yep it is to good to be true!!!!

Most big companies and some smaller ones offer power only to O/O’s. It’s a win/win for them.

Your assigned loads just like their company drivers, and pickup/delivery times are the same for that specific load.

The big difference is they put all the liability on the O/O. They generally take 30% of the gross including fuel surcharge. They will also charge for insurance for the trailer while it is hooked to your truck.

Any cargo claims go against the O/O’s insurance and not the company. That can get expensive in a big hurry.

They all make it sound good until you drill down and figure out the company is making money while your barely covering fuel in this economy.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

Thank you, PJ. I am not an O/O (and have no intention to become one), so I am more interested in driving power from a company driver's perspective. The guy I mentioned (he owns a small fleet of 20+ trucks) said that his drivers are getting 30% of gross, and I guess neither insurance, nor fuel bothers them as company drivers.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Andrey, I don't understand. How can you be "power only" and not own the equipment?

If you don't own the equipment then you aren't "power only." If you are looking at this from a "company driver's perspective," then you should receive a W-2 at the end of the year. Receiving a 1099 indicates you own the power unit. Which will it be?

Old School's Comment
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Also, my company has never cared about when I sleep. They do care that I deliver on time. That means I drive at night much of the time.

The loads have always dictated my schedule. I'm assuming yours will too.

Andrey's Comment
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If you don't own the equipment then you aren't "power only." If you are looking at this from a "company driver's perspective," then you should receive a W-2 at the end of the year. Receiving a 1099 indicates you own the power unit. Which will it be?

Technically you are right, 1099 drivers are supposed to own their equipment as contractors. However, the reality of this industry is different. And it is very far from being a Chicagoland phenomenon coming from Eastern Europe, since a lot of American companies hire drivers, put them in a truck and give a 1099. Sometimes they let a driver chose between 1099 and W-2, sometimes there is no choice. Also, such 1099 contracts are almost always made between two companies, which still does not change the ownership, but does make the whole set up look more legit.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Also, my company has never cared about when I sleep. They do care that I deliver on time. That means I drive at night much of the time.

The loads have always dictated my schedule. I'm assuming yours will too.

Call it an impairment, but my body is made in a different way, and I may also value my health a bit more than other people. I sleep at night and I work during the day. If I need to stay awake at night, I feel bad the next day which is a safety issue. In fact, I don't even see how it can be a problem - if I start my week early morning on Monday at 0600, my on duty hours ran out at 2000 anyway, and I cannot drive until 0600 next morning. Doing it every week will never give me a chance to work at night, isn't it so?

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

We have power only small fleets running on the logistics side of Prime. Some lease the trucks from the owners... some are indeed company drivers on W2s.

They have a Prime fleet manager , their own authority, insurance, etc. prime allows them the fuel discounts, fuel surcharge, use of our terminals... but they cannot run high value loads (and i THINK no hazmat , not sure). The loads are exactly the same otherwise.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
However, the reality of this industry is different.

That part I understand. I just make it a point to try avoiding the appearance of inpropriety.

I hope you find something that works for you. I'm sure you can. There are lots of opportunities out here.

I learned something from you and Kearsey today. I never knew you could be a power only driver as a company driver.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Coming from the construction industry it baffles me as to why, in this industry, one can't start a business as a labor only subcontractor. In other words, simply a subcontract driver.

As a framing subcontractor, working on large municipal projects, we used the general contractors equipment, it's not like we had link belt cranes and sky lifts sitting around. All we were contracted was for labor only. We had to maintain our own insurance, workman's comp, gl, freight and commercial auto insurance but thats what business does.

Notwithstanding, if your concern is simply being forced to run nights, there's only 2 guys at my terminal that run after dark, me being one of them. Most of the terminal will only run days. Most truckers are solar powered. I personally hate working days, complete night owl, but to each their own. I end up with a lot of loads they can't or won't run. The company doesn't bat an eye about it. Just means you may not get as much work as others who are more versatile.

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.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.
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