Leasing A Truck: My Journey

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Brian M.'s Comment
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Okay first I have to apologize for being late on my first installment, the one thing you quickly find out is that you have to prioritize your time when you open a business and unfortunately the diary had to wait a couple days. However it was a good chance to think about what I want to talk about and how it would be beneficial to others Of course you all can be the judge.

Four weeks ago I had made up my mind and had every intention of being a company driver. For many of the reasons experienced drivers wiser then myself suggested I had given up to the fact as I couldn't lease as a solo driver I needed to first know how be a Truck Driver before I took a leap of faith in operating my own business. Even though I have complete faith in my business practices. I am a complete rookie when it comes to the Trucking Industry. Then Jim called.

Jim a seasoned veteran (26 years) wanted to ask me if I could Team Company Drive with him, he stated didn't enjoy driving alone and wanted someone to team with him. Since we live relatively close to each other it might work out for both of us. A man who lost his pension and needed to go back in the workforce in order to retire again in 5 to 7 years. I really felt for his position in life. Jim was teaming with another company driver but it just wasn't working out. I thanked him for thinking about me and I would give it some serious thought.

So I really thought long and hard. I came to the conclusion as a company driver I wouldn't care to team with anyone. I was ready to call him and thank him and decline. That day when I was going to give him a call I decided to watch my co-driver who was a lease operator a little closer. My old co-driver makes a decent living but after studying his business practices he really wasn't a good business owner. Making fundamental mistakes that I know were costing him thousands if not ten of thousands of dollars. I really wanted to help him, but I didn't want him to think I was getting into his finances to much,so I always kept out of it.

Then it dawned on me. Tell Jim I would accept only if I could lease the truck and he continue to be a Prime company driver leased to my business. After I called him back he was resistant on the idea, mainly because he didn't understand how it worked. After I explained he would still be a company driver and receive all the Prime benefits he thought about it and agreed to my terms. His only demand was that all he had to do was drive, he wanted nothing to do with Pack Mule Trucking other than to do normal company driver tasks. So we agreed.

So off to Springfield I went, lease orientation started on a Tuesday (last week). I thought if I didn't like what I heard I could always back out and just team with Jim for a while as a Company Driver so I just went into class with a cautious open mind. Jim wasn't getting back to the terminal till Saturday so it gave me time to really study. Is this something I want to do?

Orientation- Many things are covered in orientation, the primary goal of which is how to be successful operating as a lease operator. I really enjoyed the class and learned some valuable tools to make my business potentially more successful (which I will cover in later additions). As they were covering the tons of information I observed the other future lease operators and watched them do other things besides listening to what was being taught. Asking myself do they really believe they are going to make any money by not retaining this vital information. I came to my own conclusion, 70% are going to fail miserably, 25% are going to make an income close to what a company driver makes and the last 5% will be successful. My goal is to be in the 5% but only time and hard work will tell. So after the I made my decision. I am going for it.

Next Step- As I told everyone in previous entry I had already done a ton of home work so the first step was form an LLC. Pack Mule Trucking of Florida Est. June 29th 2015. Why? First and most importantly was to reduce my personal liability I don't want anyone to come after what I've worked so hard for in the past. It's real easy to set up and most everyone can do it themselves with a little leg work. I personally decided to let my accountant set up the LLC up because they were able to expedite the process in a couple hours. Also it freed me up to take care of some other things.

Step 2- Open a Business Checking Account- Want to get paid! You need to do this. Also you want the lease to be in the company name. Remember liability - personal and tax implications.

Step 3- Take care of personal business- Since I was a company driver I had the option of retaining my heath coverage under the Cobra Act. Even still I decided to take care of some doctors appointments and such before I signed the lease. In case of a lapse in coverage and such, plus I was down for a week so it just made sense. So off to the physician I went. Physical check, Eye Doctor check, Dentist check. So I am about 1500 dollars lighter out of pocket. Mostly spent at the eye doctor for 3 pairs of specks. But money well spent and tax deductible too! The final addition is my health coverage now is about double from 56.00 to 100.00 a week. I also have to pay every month by check. Which is still O.K. for me but I always have the option of finding insurance on my own in November when open enrollment occurs Continued on part 2

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Best Answer!

Brian, I'm just gonna say this and you do with it what you like. If you keep getting weeks in the 4,000 mile range you're going to be sitting on the side of the road with a sign that says "lost my truck, will work for food" in a few months. That's not sustainable. Not even close. You need to be pumping out 5,500 miles per week or more. I used to average 3,000 miles per week running solo without any trouble. If you could turn a nice profit on 4,500 miles a week we'd all be rich and we'd all be leasing trucks. Those three and four stop loads they suckered you into are going to cost you that truck. You simply can't be doing that kind of stuff running team and leasing like that. They'll run your business into the ground if you let them. Don't think for a second they won't.

And before anyone sees the "profit" numbers Brian has been posting and thinks they're missing out on the big money by being a company driver I highly suggest you wait until he gets to the one year mark and see where this all stands. Everyone looks like a superhero running on roads paved with gold the first few months of leasing. The way they lay out the numbers it seems obvious this is the way to go. But there hasn't been any home time, breakdowns, paychecks for Brian, or sets of tires being changed yet. But it's all coming in due time.

We've had countless people come through this forum that leased a truck and only one ever reported their numbers over a period of two or three years and that was Guyjax. He ran team with his brother and they ran 6,000+ mile weeks every single week and only took like one or two weeks off the entire year. In the end he made like $55,000 for himself when all was said and done and went back to being a company driver.

So Brian, whatever it takes you have to start turning miles in a hurry. Anything under 5,000 miles per week and you're not making anything at all. I don't care how pretty the numbers line up in the beginning. Over the long run you're not making money sitting around that much. As a solo driver if I had gotten only 2,200 miles in a week I would have gone mad with boredom. I would have been rifling off requests for more miles like they were being shot out of a machine gun. Anything under 5,000 miles per week and you should be on that company like your business depends on it, because it does.

The financial engineering and an utter lack of long term expenses figured into the equation is what lulls guys to sleep. They think they're doing great. They think they're making thousands by turning a comfortable amount of miles. Then the breakdowns happen. Then time off. Then a slow spell of freight hits. Then you need 10 new tires. Then you realize, "OMG I've been doing this for free the past 10 months."

So get hustling!

Oh, and by the way....you mentioned getting paid percentage. Does that mean that 500 mile deadhead a while back came out of your pocket? Man I hope not.

I'm always rooting for everyone to be successful and of course that includes you also. That's why I'm telling you don't let yourself think that anything less than 5,000 miles per week is going to make you any money. It's not. You've gotta run hard. You know this website is loaded with stories of lease operators driving their students as hard as humanly possible and not giving a lick about teaching them anything. Why do you think that is? Because they're going broke and they know it. They're desperate. That's why most of them take on students in the first place.

Run hard and be safe!

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brian M.'s Comment
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Great Answer!

Well since i am well rested today and not feeling like I have a million things on my plate I decided to do my week 2 update on time this week. I want to remind everyone that I am not trying to persuade anyone into leasing, in fact just the opposite. I want to show everyone how much extra work it is to drive and operate a business efficiently. I am not perfect at this and am prepared to take loses if there should be some. Not everyone is in my position.

I am fortunate to have an experiened company co driver and if it wasn't for him I don't honestly thing I could do this on my own. Even though he doesn't want to get involved with the business or trip planning end of it, he certainly takes a load off the driving end of it. Just tell him where to go and he does it. Althoughat first he was resistant on going slower than 60 he now opened up to me that he enjoys it much more going slower. He doesn't feel as rushed as he used to. We did compromise on 58 in the rural and 55 in the city. The truck seems to agree with it as well. Enough of the blabber here are the facts of last weeks runs.

Freight Revenue ---------$5191.32

Other Revenue-----------$1,139.12

Grand Total----------------$6330.44

Operating costs----------$4544.58 (Fixed and Variable including Co-Driver)

Emergency Fund--------$447.30 ( $1025.50 )

Tire Fund------------------$111.83 ($256.37)

Balance-------------------$ 1226.73 ( Added 526.73 to the business checking and repayed my loan to myself $700.00)

Note- I haven't made anything until I repay the money I invested myself in the company. I still owe my personal account 2300.00. But the business checking account stands at 3700.00

Pack Mule Truckings Assets $4981.87 / Liabilities $2300.00

Hopefully by my hometime I will pay my personal account back in full, at that time I plan on taking a paycheck. I am also planning hometime for 4 days in August. So I will plan on putting some money aside in case their is a deficit that week. Our pay period ends on a Tuesday and I am scheduling hometime from Thursday to Sunday so I should have 1 load on that pay period to ease the burden. I am estimating my burden that week at approximately $1800.00 dollars so if I get a load that pays around $2000.00 it should wash. If not that is what the emergency fund is for.

We ran 4473 miles this week. It seemed like more but it is what it is.

1st) Wellston Ohio to Franklin Ind- We deadheaded from Virginia, fleet manager told us there just weren't any team loads their and was trying to get us in a better area.

2nd) Indianapolis Ind to Orlando Fl.- A nice paying load that got me close enough to have dinner with my brother, he also carted my butt around to the bank and Wal-Mart.

3rd) Leesburg Fl to Chino Ca.- Night Dispatch send us this load and neglected to inform me this was a rework from the prior day. Not that it mattered I would have taken it anyway. Thing about this Cold Storage Facility is that they make the driver suffer for it. Meaning they can make you wait as long as they want and there is no detention. We arrived at 5:45 am and left the facility at 20:00. We still had plenty of time to make it but as everyone knows it stinks to be stuck.

4th) Santa Fe Springs Ca- Sparks NV- It was 05:30 and I thought my week was finished, got on the QualComm and thanked my fleet manager for his effort that week told him we were washed out and ready to go. Saying to myself at least I'll have a day head start on next week. I also mentioned I would have to pay for parking in 3hrs so if something pops up let me know. Low and behold a couple hrs later he sends me this load that delivers the next morning. Not only that it pays very well. Pick up time at 13:00. So we battle L.A. traffic and get there at 12:45. Drive to the gate and security checks us in and instructs us to park in the cul-da-sac. Our appointment at the Wal-Mart distribution center is for 0700 the next day and I figure we had plenty of time. Wrong - Since it was my co-drivers shift I decide to get some shut eye only to be wakened by him at 18:00 telling me they haven't loaded us yet and we just went past our eta on the other end. I immediately go to the guard shack to see what the delay is.

So the guard shack calls and tells us to drop the trailer and go to the trailer at will call and hook up to it. At this time I informed dispatch only to be told oh yeah they pull this all the time at this shipper. Go inside to get the paperwork and they just started loading the trailer that had been sitting there for I dont know how long. Supervisor comes out and says first shift dropped the ball the meat wasnt even cut yet when I got there. Needless to say we were 3 1/2 hrs late for a walmart load.

It was a long week, but profitable. Of course not as good as my first week, but still far from being a bad one. I know bad weeks are out there. I just hope I can get a jump on them and save a little money before they do.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
Brian M.'s Comment
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Great Answer!

So Pack Mule Truckings 3rd week is in the books, I would love to tell you everything went as smooth as silk but that just was't the case this week. My Co- Driver and I found ourselves detained at shippers, tight schedules and HOS issues all week. Our week started out a day later than normal our fiscal week ends on Tuesdays and are first load of the week didn't pick up till 21:00 on Wednesday. So Tuesday and Wednesday we spent cleaning and doing an extensive pre trip on the truck, long shower and a Walmart run and driving a 500 mile deadhead to our shipper. 1st load - Colton CA to Lewiston ME We arrive at shipper at 18:00 to pick up at the shipper plenty of time and park on the side street leading into the shipper. We are picking up a time sensitive produce load that at the speeds we drive gives us very little wiggle room. So being early and trying to pick up the load as quickly as possible was very important to us. Since 90% of what comes out of here is usually a drop and hook I thought my odds were going to be good getting our load early and hauling butt.

In this case that was just meant to be. I checked with the gate and they informed me that it was going to be a live load. So on live loads you can only arrive an hour early to the docks so off to get a few ZZZ,s while I could. Arrive at shipper at 20:00 and get informed it got changed to a drop and hook but the trailer was on the dock not loaded yet. So we drop our empty in the yard, go to the shipping office to let them know we arrived and park but not hook up to our trailer on the dock. They will call us when it was ready.

Detention pay starts at 0100 on this load and by 0030 they hadn't touched the trailer so I figured we should at least get some extra pay in the future over this. Then 5 minutes later I watch the trailer shaking violently as one after another forklift ran in and out of the trailer one after another until they called at 0054 and asked me to pull away the trailer and secure the load with load locks. So I pulled up, got a couple load locks and proceeded to the trailer. Looked inside and everything was a wreck. I think if I drove 20 miles I would have produce everywhere if I would have left.

So I go to the supervisor and ask him to take a look at my trailer. He asked what was a matter and I informed him I wouldn't take the load in the condition it was and they needed to rework it. Of course he tells me they are only a drop off point and they only load it the way it comes in and theirs nothing he could do about it. So I pull out my camera and start taking pictures of the load sitting in the back of my trailer. He asked, what I was doing I told him if I was going to have to take this load I am covering my butt and sending pictures to my fleet manager and the receiver.

Funny how quickly his tune changed and he told me to back into the dock again. So we depart at 0200 with a new time stamp to prove I was detained. And a shipper that lost the battle on trying to rush the load on the truck so as not to pay detention. Still our delivery window just took a major blow and we knew we had to be on point the whole trip in order to make it on time. Made it to our destination an hour before our delivery with only taking 3 hrs in cumulative breaks between us. This was a nice paying load and I was hoping to get a semi decent one out of Maine and I would have a great week Buuuuut!

2nd Load- Lewiston ME - 4 stops- (All within the Boston Metro Area) Lewiston is one of Primes few contracts for Walmart Distribution Centers- Running loads to stores in that distribution locations network. Being it was Sunday and weekend dispatch was on they blessed (cursed) me with a 4 store load to help out there. Never the one to turn down a load I wasn't looking forward to driving in and around the Boston Area.

My Co-Driver who grew up in the area told me not to worry about it. He said Brian its Sunday the traffic wont be bad. That morning bumper to bumper traffic from Maine all the way into Boston. I believe the whole state of Mass. decided to vacation in Maine this past weekend. It took my entire 14 hr window to finish the job leaving me with a whopping 2 minutes to spare on my clock pulling back into Lewiston.

3rd Load- Lewiston ME to 3stops ( This time Connecticut around Hartford) Well I had used up my 14 yesterday so I had to rely on my co-driver to do this on his own. My FM sends me the message I need you to do this little shorty please!) You know me I took it. Of course my co driver had a lot less stressful of a drive than I did yesterday. I also have to tell all you dedicated and regional drivers out their I have a new found appreciation for all what you do.

So now the nitty gritty how did we do well we ran 4145 miles this week. Less than last week and lower than I thought we would do. This week certainly didn't benefit my co-driver.

Freight Revenue $5723.21

Other Revenue $ 971.89

Total Revenue $6695.00

Operating Costs $4098.59

Emergency Fund $414.50 ($1440.00)

Tire Fund $ 103.62 ($359.99)

BALANCE $1957.39

So comparing last week with this week I drove 200 less miles than last week and my total revenue was up only approx. $300.00 Yet I managed to increase my balance $700.00 over last weeks how? Well my theory proves to work this week. I was able to reduce my variable costs $400.00. As Benjamin Franklin said and I quote " watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves".

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Tommy and Gladiator Thanks for the support,

Gladiator to answer your question yes I am married to my truck. I won't sugar coat the obvious, owning and operating your own business is more than a full time job. Though if I opened any other type of business would it in fact be any different? The answer is no it wouldn't. After owning my own business previously I completely understood the huge amount of time it would take on my personal life. I have two grown children and a very understanding girlfriend that allows me to devote my time on this business. My girlfriends profession has her traveling 8 months out of the year anyway so it's not as if she's waiting at home for me. Also after being together 22 years I think I can safely say it isn't going to be a problem.

You mentioned your concern on not having had a paycheck yet, if I was an employee I would be very much concerned with that fact and probably would have quit by now, but I am not I own the company, To be successful I must have two critical items A) A Business Plan and B) Working Capital. So far I have written a 5 year plan that not only includes the trucking side of the business. It also includes plans to invest money in other areas in order to grow the company. So many people fall into a trap by taking everything they make in their company as if it were their personal piggybank. When freight slows down no more paycheck, no money to pay your bills, and eventually the business will fail.

So to be fair lets look at the facts, In the start of the company I invested $5000 dollars. Since my first day of business to now I have been able to repay myself $3450 dollars. So if you look at it like a paycheck I've paid myself $1150 a week for the first 3 weeks. Also I have put roughly 4500.00 in my business bank account and over $1700 dollars in an emergency account. That money is in the companies operating account so in fact it is my money. As far as my co-driver and how he is compensated that is between him and I and wish not to discuss the details. But I assure you that he is very happy right now on our agreement.

This is only my first month and I am prepared for many more long work periods until I feel comfortable with taking more time off. I hope to show people that if you invest your companies money carefully in the future you will be able to take time off without the burden of worrying about the truck payment and such. Sacrifice now reap the rewards later. I know I will make mistakes I am by no means perfect. I just like to be prepared. Also by writing this hopefully it will deter people from leasing if they cannot afford the sacrifies.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I own a business myself and I incorporated instead of being an LLC upon recommendation from my accountant and an attorney. If you don't have an attorney yet you'll darn sure want one in a hurry. Especially in trucking. I'm not sure how the LLC versus Corporation would work in trucking, but I do know an attorney will be critically important at times.

I'm quite interested in hearing how things go for you as a lease operator, especially after the six month mark. The thing is, these companies not only want people to lease but they want to get you hooked on the idea of owning and operating your own business. They want you to feel like "The Man" who's large and in charge. They want you to look down upon "plain ol' company drivers" and see yourself as a cut above the rest.

Why?

Because running a trucking business is a brutal proposition. They want you to be all in. They want you to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep that business alive and running. And what's the best way to make you feel that way? Give you a taste of success right away.

Generally speaking, lease drivers are tickled to death the first six months or so. The companies will do all kinds of "welcome to the business world" type of stuff like pad your escrow accounts, pile on the miles, and generally make sure everything runs nice and smooth for ya. Within a month you'll be shouting to the world about what fools these company drivers are. You'll have told your family, your friends, and anyone who will listen that you're a proud business owner. You'll be welcomed with open arms into the business community by other lease drivers and owner operators who are on the same "business owner's honeymoon".

Then at about the six month mark reality slowly starts to creep in. Your truck breaks down a time or two and the tires are starting to look worn. That's gonna cost a bundle pretty soon. You've been running your brains out and haven't had much time for fun and that's getting a bit tiresome. Then freight starts to slow down a bit. Not a ton, mind you. You're still running good but not quite as hard as you would like. In a way it's good because you're getting more rest but at the same time you're not going to stay afloat very long if you're sitting around. Then a health issue creeps up. Then it's time to get home for the holidays. Then freight goes through another minor slowdown. Then another breakdown. Then your team driver says he's not sure if he wants to team anymore because he wants to go solo or he has family issues he needs to deal with.

"What the heck????" you're thinking to yourself. This was going awesome for a while. I've gotta get this train back on track!

This right here is why companies make the first six months go smoothly for lease operators. Because if they let the harsh realities hit you right away you'd say the heck with it and go back to being a company driver. But really, how can you do that now? You've been bragging to family and friends for six months already about what a successful business operator you are. You've laughed it up with the other lease operators at the dumb company drivers making so little money. You've put in so much time, money, and effort to hire an attorney, an accountant, create an LLC, and rearrange your entire life to make this happen. You like owning a business. You like feeling in control. You like considering yourself a step above the rest.

So you scratch and claw and dig to make this happen. H*ll, you're not giving up now! You've come too far! Besides, this worked perfectly in the beginning so you know it can work perfectly again, right? This is just a rough patch, right?

So maybe you decide to become a trainer and take on students for some cheap labor. You try rearranging your expenses to get those accounts built back up. You push those students to run hard because your business is struggling and this is what it takes to dig out of it. Sorry students, but welcome to the harsh realities of trucking. Gotta do whatcha gotta do I guess.

And before long you come to realize that every idea you come up with in order to make more money has already been tried a million times over. There are no strategies that will get you any further. There is no way to differentiate yourself from the pack to gain an advantage. The harsh realities of the 3% profit margin in trucking have hit you straight in the face and there is no way to overcome that. Profits become very thin and your business goes through cycles of one step forward, two steps back.

And that's where we stop hearing from lease operators.

So I'm immensely interested in how this leasing thing goes, but not until about the six month mark. That's when it will get interesting. I know it's going to go just fine until then. Your company will make sure of that. But let's see how strong the business is running come February. We'll see how excited you are about leasing. The holidays have come and gone, freight has slowed a bit, you've been through some breakdowns and tire changes, the winter is wearing on you, and you've exhausted every idea you can think of to get ahead.

If you can crack the code for being successful in leasing then you will do the world a great favor by sharing your successes. If it doesn't work then you'll do the world a great favor by sharing your disappointments. Regardless of how this works out it's going to be one heck of a learning experience.

Best of luck!!!

Owner Operator:

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

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Gary J.'s Comment
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I just wanted to follow your post and offer you the best of luck on your new adventure! I'll be reading.

Bleemus's Comment
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I wish you luck and will follow along on your adventure. Having investigated leasing myself I could never make the numbers work. Watching a YouTuber trucker yesterday reinforced it when his 2 year old truck blew a turbo. Three days not rolling and a hefty $6,000 bill later he was questioning his sanity about leasing. A tough road you have chosen. Keep us posted!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jessica A-M's Comment
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Even if we don't reply after each post, I can guarantee a lot of people are probably reading.

JakeBreak's Comment
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I am definitly reading this this will be interesting in case i ever decide to do it myself here in 20 or 30 years.

Brian M.'s Comment
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Hello everyone, just wanted to let everyone know I haven't forgotten my journal. In fact I did write 5000 more words to my orientation week manifesto and when I went to copy and paste my fat finger deleted it. Uhgh ! Anyway I will rewrite it another time. Brett, please if at all possible in the program you can put a save draft button it would be a tremendous help. I find that I don't have enough time to finish while working in one sitting and it would save me from my own stupid mistakes. I finally received my first reconciliation statement from Prime and will work on getting you all the numbers. It's 13 pages long so I want to break it down without all the petty stuff. Just a note that we had quite a few successes and a few minor mistakes but overall a good solid week. Should be able to get it together by sat morning

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

Michael V.'s Comment
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72% is great without your own trailer, good luck

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay so I'm a little behind my apologize, we've been extremely busy and I have to do two full time jobs owner and driver. This is basic overview of my first statement. I have combined the fixed and variable operating expenses at the present time to simplify this weeks reconciliation. Sometime in the future I will break down it all of the costs and show you what my statement looks like. Also there are many items on the balance sheet that are deferred payments and will be eliminated rather quickly. So here it is week 1 of Pack Mule Trucking-

Total Freight Revenue --- $6166.23

Other Revenue---------------$2381.30 ( Fuel Surcharge, Dead Head Pay, Service and Safety Bonus, Driver Lumper )

Total Revenue----------------$8547.53

Operating Expenses-------$4731.39 ( Fixed and variable ) will decrease in the future due to deferred payments includes co-driver

Total Gross Revenue------$3816.14

Emergency Fund ---------- ( $578.00 ) I contribute .10 a mile of my revenue each week that earns 4% interest to future maint. and breakdown issues

Tire Fund---------------------( $144.55 ) I contribute .025 a mile of my revenue to future tire expenses

Total Net Revenue---------$3093.39

I opened up my business checking account with $5000.00 of my personal money. Of which I took $2000.00 back. and left a $1000.00 added to the account. I spent approx. 3000.00 on outfitting the truck. So there is approx. $3000 in the operating account.

Now for brief overview of our loads.

Springfield Mo to Clackamas Or- Are load out of the terminal everything went smooth. Jim and I opened our new Freightliner up to a whopping 62 and averaged about 8.5 mpg.

Clackamas Or to Colton Ca- Payed deadhead I asked Jim if we could experiment and drive 55 all the way to Colton and see what our milage would be. Begrudgingly he agreed and so we did. We ended with a 11.6 mpg 1000 mile trip. I said if we can do it on a deadhead let see what she does to Monroe Ga he accepted.

Colton Ca to Monroe Ga - We were averaging a smooth 9.6 and Brian Screwed up the Preplan. Yes I missed a dang time zone and put in jeopardy of missing our appointment. Needless to say we had to make time and cost us .03 mpg to boot. We made it with 3 minutes to spare on there 1 hour window.

Newton Ga to Gordonville Va - Averaged 9.5 mpg doing 55mph. Not bad huh?

I understand this is only my first week and I will have many weeks that aren't so great, hopefully with establishing an Emergency Fund, Tire Fund and Growing my Operating Budget I can withstand those periods. One of my favorite quotes is by Benjamin Franklin "Watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves". Also take care of those who take care of you. I gave Jim a performance bonus of 275.00 dollars out of the operating fund which I will cover the taxes on. I think he likes going 55 now!

Old School and Brett have mentioned many times that the biggest cost and liability is the truck and I have thought long and hard about that. In my opinion they are incorrect, the biggest cost and liability is the company driver! I've done a little homework and have research to back me up, and through careful observation I believe this is why good companies offer leasing as an option. Granted there are companies that probably prey on drivers to lease trucks to drivers for sheer greed but I am not referring to them.

At Prime, company drivers have strict perimeters on how they operate their equipment. Why, because its cost affective and generates more profit from their revenue. Driving slower than the competition saves money on fuel and breakdown costs. I believe most lease operators go about it all wrong, they enjoy the ability to drive a little faster, stop at the fuel stop they want to go to, pick there own loads. Well everything I wrote there costs more money and being the owner, thats the last thing you want to do.

Not to mention it weeds out bad drivers, drivers who lack business fundamentals, fast drivers, drivers who try to cherry-pick loads will soon find themselves to the poor house. Added bonus is for bad drivers it reduces their liability in the event of an accident.

So I will try to follow the perimeters that have made Prime profitable, take every load given to me, run my truck as cost efficient as possible and drive slower. Hopefully it will pay off but time will tell.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

So I will try to follow the perimeters that have made Prime profitable, take every load given to me, run my truck as cost efficient as possible and drive slower. Hopefully it will pay off but time will tell.

So wait, I'm confused. You're going to run like a company driver for Prime runs and still have to pay all the expenses that come with a truck? What's the point of leasing the truck for you then out of curiosity?

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