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  1. #1
    TTR Forum Owner Admin's Avatar
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    Owner Operator Mistakes You've Made, Lessons Learned

    Some lessons have to be learned the hard way, and for O/Os those lessons usually involve a hit to the bottom line. Explain the tough lessons you've learned as an O/O or small fleet, and hopefully the information in this thread will save others some pain.

  2. #2
    Medium Load Member fireba11's Avatar
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    Leasing to a company with company trucks will make you broke. When things get slow the company works their truck and let the owner operators sit or give them very few miles.

    I have also waited too long to change companies when things got slow. Almost lost my truck thinking, It's gotta get better.

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  4. #3
    Road Train Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Bessemer City, NC
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    Driving fast and wasting fuel for over 10 years.

    Compared to what I know now, alot more profitable driving conservative and making mechanical changes to get better fuel mileage.

  5. #4
    Road Train Member rollin coal's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    TN
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    People complain about $100+ an hour shop rates. Granted, entire threads have been devoted to "how dealer shops screwed me over" and it is true that dealer service departments seem to have their whole business model built entirely around inflating labor hours and screwing over little guys - not to mention the sloppy half @$$ed work most of them put out. Obviously a small operation wants to do all the little stuff as much as possible and save that money. The thing is not, everyone can do an overhaul or head swap just for fun. There are just some things best left to someone who knows what they are doing. Sometimes you need a shop. I have found in those circumstances you get what you pay for. I had a cut rate do a head swap for me when I first started cause funds were tight and I needed to save money. They destroyed a $500 injector, did not follow proper torque sequence when installing camshaft, none of the valve adjustments were anywhere near right.... I could go on and on... it was missing, just sloppy, sloppy work.. I was so ticked off I just drove straight to CAT... ...and the bad part is I had plenty of experienced owners and drivers tell me, don't mess around with that motor get it done RIGHT. But I didn't listen and ended up spending more on the head swap than if I had taken it to CAT right from the start.. There is value in paying a little more, having it done right the first time, and having peace of mind that the $100 an hour gets you someone that REALLY stands behind the work.. ..now, as far as dealership service shops go I would stay away from them, those are profit centers for the dealership.. CAT houses for the most part have a good reputation, I would think any Detroit or Cummins house would be much the same.. Do not cut corners on your motor.. Cut rate shops are no different than cut rate truckers imo.

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  7. #5
    Heavy Load Member flc120's Avatar
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    if you can do the work yourself to save a couple bucks do it, the money saved is a big deal.

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  9. #6
    Road Train Member Semi Crazy's Avatar
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    Middle Tennessee
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    Leased to a small carrier and didn't take the fuel advance when I started. Paid fuel with my own money but after two weeks and no pay and other O/Os screwed and place shut down.

    Always take fuel advance when starting until you know they actually will pay you!

    pLACE WAS cOLD iRON sPECIALIZED IN dYERSBURG, tn (caplock oops)
    Freddie King went to jail but I didn't get any money back.



    Having engine work done at Great Lakes Diesel. Frederick and Robert Plauman owe me $11G according to NY DOT hearing. Ain't seen a dime for over 10 years.

  10. #7
    Bobtail Member Rehab's Avatar
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    Festus, Missouri
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    Carry as many spare parts as you can under the bunk. Hoses of all lengths and sizes, extra alternator, extra belts, extra water pump, extra radiator cap.. etc. Also, carry 10 gallons of water or premix in gallon jugs. I had a truck for 8 years before finally deciding to sell it and was only on the hook 2 times. Once for a dropped injector tip and another time when the sidewall of the air compressor blew out. Never did find that 2nd piston... The mistakes I made were, at first, not carrying parts and tools. The lessons learned were carry that stuff...

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  12. #8
    Road Train Member FLATBED's Avatar
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    Never bank on the customer you had as a company driver who always told you " GO ON YOUR OWN and I will GIVE YOU all these LOADS " They day your on your own 99% will not return your phone call

  13. #9
    Road Train Member kw9's rock's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    Bonnyville, Alberta.
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    The big lesson I have learned so far is "put money aside for breakdowns". I had a good amount to start but have taken a hammering since buying the truck . Repairs are not cheap and you need to save every penny you can for the next breakdown . Just starting out is hard especially if you don't have huge amounts of cash in the beginning( like me). I had 10 grand in cash after buying the truck and I really needed most of that lately.

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  15. #10
    Road Train Member
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    Becoming an o/o, I'll never make that mistake again!

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