Owning My Own Truck

Topic 8546 | Page 1

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Paul T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey truckers! I'm starting my Class A CDL Training at New England Tractor Trailer Training School next year and I have a couple questions for you guys! Some questions may seem a little silly but bare with me lol. 1) Can I own my own truck without being an owner operator? 2) What do you guys do to cope with the loneliness of the road, if you find it lonely? 3) What do you find most challenging about the open road?

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
1) Can I own my own truck without being an owner operator?

Well, sure you could. You can own a truck and just park it in the front yard as a decoration. Or maybe you could just hook it up to a septic tank and let it serve as a small but really cool looking micro mobile home. I don't know, maybe you could paint it camouflage and use it as a duck blind out at the lake. You could even bury it underneath the ground and have a nice comfortable storm cellar for a quick retreat during a tornado - saw a guy do this one time with a school bus. There are lots of options, I've just barely gotten started here on creative ideas, but the real question for me is why...

Why would you ever want to own a nice big shiny American Big Rig and not want to operate that thing? That's the coolest part about these things. Being behind that big steering wheel, sitting high above everything else on the road, and moving a load of American made goods somewhere that they are both needed and wanted is the coolest part about owning a big rig. You'd better be prepared with a bank roll of cash though... It costs money to be cool these days. Personally I recommend you just be content to be a company driver. You will end up looking cool and rolling down that open road on someone else's dime. They will be responsible for all the tags, the taxes, the tolls, the fuel, the insurance, the loads, the scheduling, the planning, the dispatching, the maintenance, the repairs, the tires, the replacement costs every three to five years, and all that other burdensome stuff. They will let you drive their rig and pay you some pretty decent scratch all while you are enjoying all the benefit of looking cool in that big old truck rolling down the highway. So why do you want to own a rig?

2) What do you guys do to cope with the loneliness of the road, if you find it lonely?

You can talk to yourself, just don't let yourself start arguing with yourself. Have you ever been in a truck stop and seen all these people walking around with these headsets on that have a big old boom microphone out there in front of their mouth so that they look like they just stepped off of the international space station where they were conducting a conversation with space aliens? Truck drivers are big talkers for the most part. Just try and break away from a conversation around the lunch counter at a truck stop sometime, it's like trying to pry yourself out of a huge mouse trap. I've seen some guys who have a large stuffed animal in the jump seat, I can only presume they have it there to carry on a one sided conversation with as they roll it down the road. In this day and time there is no lack if technology for communication with folks back home, and if you just need an actual person to talk to step into the nearest Flying J and go to the counter at Denny's - trust me you will get an ear full no matter what locale you are in. I'mm a bit of a loner, so maybe it doesn't bother me as much as some folks. But I do have a wife and family that I miss terribly at times. It's part of the job. Some folks take their dog along with them and I'm sure that makes a big difference in how they feel out there on the road. Of course there is always the lonely "blow-up" doll who can be sultrily waiting for you back there in the sleeper ;-)

3) What do you find most challenging about the open road?

For me it is the unexpected wait times... That is why I have given you this completely out of character response coming from me. I'm on a thirty four hour reset which doesn't seem to have an end in sight from my vantage point. I don't have them very often at all, which is why I referred to it as "unexpected". I'm ready to roll, I'm actually tired of looking at Trucking Truth questions and answering them responsibly. I'm to the point where I'm feeling silly. I'm usually a serious type of guy on here, and today I can't stay focused and serious because I'm feeling the need to be moving. If I wanted to sit this long I would rather be at home. There you have it an unequivocal out of character response from me to your questions. Hope it was informative and entertaining, because I at least entertained myself for a few moments.

Owner Operator:

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

Terry C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey truckers! I'm starting my Class A CDL Training at New England Tractor Trailer Training School next year and I have a couple questions for you guys! Some questions may seem a little silly but bare with me lol. 1) Can I own my own truck without being an owner operator? 2) What do you guys do to cope with the loneliness of the road, if you find it lonely? 3) What do you find most challenging about the open road?

Hello there Paul and welcome!

1) You can lease a truck if you'd like. But I'm going to tell you (as are many after me) to don't even think about leasing or owning a truck fresh into the industry. If you own or lease a truck you will be responsible for putting the fuel in it. Trucks generally hold 200 gallons of fuel. You'll generally get 800-1,000 miles on a full load of fuel. If you drive OTR now you're going to have to know tax rates in every state you run to buy fuel cheapest and most economically. Figure out your trucks fuel millage and add that with load weight, terrain and traffic of your route. Rates that your loads are going to pay differ from region to region. For instance loads going TO the state of Florida in general may pay higher than average but the loads coming OUT of Florida pay dirt cheap. These are otherwise known as fronthaul and backhaul areas. You'll need to know these across the country to know where you're going to get the best pay.

This is just a couple of many things you're going to need to know in order to make good money while owning or leasing a truck. How in the world are you going to know these coming brand new into the industry? How do you know you're even going to like driving at all? Please for the love of God don't even consider owning or leasing new to the industry. It's financial suicide! By the way the average truck payment is $900 to $1,500 A WEEK. There is much more to that, that someone may point out in more detail. I'll just leave it at that.

2) Personally I don't cope with loneliness. I rather enjoy my solitude on the road. But I cope by going home as often as I can. Which for me is the company minimum of 21 days on the road. With that I can only take 3 days at home. My companies policy (Prime) is 1 day at home for every 7 days on the road with only a maximum days spent at home of 4 days. While I'm on the road I don't think about it too much until I've been out a couple of weeks. If I were to dwell on how much I'd rather be with my wife and 9 year old and 7 year old, I'd be a severely depressed, never want to get out of bed individual.

3) What I find most challenging is spending so much time away from home away from my family. It's a sacrifice I must make in order to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. I live in Florida where the pay scale is dirt. This unfortunately is the best way for me to make enough money to give my family what they need. The second thing that's most challenging is dealing with the way other motorists treat me on the road. People driving cars for the most part don't see a person driving this big ass thing down the road. They see a big slow vehicle in their way and treat it with disdain. They purposely pull out in front of me, cut me off in traffic and slam on their brakes to exit. Flip me off and don't want me parking in the parking lots of their business unless I'm delivering to them or I'm at a truck stop.

Sounds like a dream job eh? Well for many it is! For me? Not so much. It's a means to an end. But you'll find I'm in the minority of my views on trucking. It seems most really enjoy what they're doing. I enjoy driving these big ass things all over the country but I enjoy my family MUCH more.

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.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Sometimes I wonder bout you Old School I was laughing so hard when I read this. Talk about a guy alone with his thoughts for too long. WOW

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

I am probably one of the only ones that advocate owning a truck but I will say that you're not ready.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Old School, it's good to see your smart a$$ side. I think JOPA is wearing off on you.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

Old School, it's good to see your smart a$$ side. I think JOPA is wearing off on you.

HEY! I resemble that statement ....

Jopa

smile.gif

Tom P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey truckers! I'm starting my Class A CDL Training at New England Tractor Trailer Training School next year and I have a couple questions for you guys! Some questions may seem a little silly but bare with me lol. 1) Can I own my own truck without being an owner operator? 2) What do you guys do to cope with the loneliness of the road, if you find it lonely? 3) What do you find most challenging about the open road?

Owning a truck is a pain if you do not have a spare $50k laying around after u buy a truck don't do it. As for being lonely there is porn before bed n the rest of the time eh ain't so bad. Honestly I like it out here more then I do at home. I sleep better in my bunk then I do in my bed at home. After a hour my gf gets annoying other then my son I got no reason to be home. Besides if u don't think money money money this is not for u. Challenges ummmm city driving lack of food I miss pasta so much n canoli n perogi n zeppoli n good pizza n bolis n cheese steaks n beer. U will find your choice of food kind of limited to where u can park I'm Italian n well good pizza tough to get on the road.

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.

Snappy's Comment
member avatar
Of course there is always the lonely "blow-up" doll who can be sultrily waiting for you back there in the sleeper ;-)

I have thought about creating a display of inflatable sheep in the cab to mess with the techs next time I need a PM at the terminal.

Another great thing you can do with a truck without being an owner operator is pay someone else to run it. Of course, you could do this a few dozen times or so. Then you just need to worry about having enough time to manage your drivers needs, try to get shippers to hire your drivers, take care of the safety and compliance issues that come up, and everything else. So you'll probably want to hire a few more people to help get freight moving on those trucks. At that point, you'll probably want to invest in a place where all these nondriving types can get together and work. You might even make decent money doing that! But there are a lot of other people doing that, and they're pretty competitive, so you better bring your "A" game!

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.

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.

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.
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