Results 1 to 4 of 4
- 09.07.2012 #1
- Member Since
- Sep 2012
- 27 Years
- Thanked: 0 Times
Is OTR owner operator trucking a worthwhile business venture???
For those of you that might provide your opinions to this question, I'll offer a bit on my experience and where I would like to go with this vision. I've been in and out of trucks for almost three decades, and maintain a good driving record. I started as a furniture delivery driver, hated that and didn't stay long, and hired on with a fuel company delivering fuels. After a couple years I was the senior qualified driver/dispatcher/plant manager for that company's straight trucks. Then in 2002 I decided to get into the used oil recovery business here in Florida. Purchased a 2001 International tank truck and have been in the industry since, and have also purchased two more trucks (2007 and 2010 Pete's). All of my trucks are tandems, and that's the largest truck I am actually licensed to drive (class B). Business isn't bad, but not great, and I'm looking for other alternatives to increase my bottom line. Although my trucks seldom go over a 100 miles from our base, I personally have driven cross country in pursuit of one of my hobbies, hunting, on numerous occasions. I suggested the idea of OTR trucking to my long time girlfriend, her work experience has been mostly office professional, and she's indicated that she would love to learn to drive a truck and go as a team in our own truck. We both see this as an adventure, and an opportunity to see our country (the good, the bad and the ugly) and possibly make some decent money doing it. So now my wheels are turning.
I've read several blogs, articles and short books about trucking, predominately from owner operators. In my research so far it appears that Landstar has the type of situation that I would be most interested in working with a new rig, for a variety of reasons. Of course, I have also discovered that Landstar's 1 year OTR experience requirement would make my girlfriend and I ineligible to lease on with them. Yes I still have lots of questions, before I pull the trigger on buying a new truck and paying for truck driving schools for my girl and I. Neither of us are interested in hiring on as a direct employee with an OTR company to gain the training and the experience, so this only works for us if we can come out of an approved training school, buy a truck and start working it as owner operators. I have scheduled a meeting with Roadmasters tomorrow for both of us, and hoping she will have some insight into how we can proceed the way we would like to. Questions:
1. Truck driving school in Florida, which would you recommend? (I actually own pickups and heavy equipment trailers I could take the Class A driving test with).
2. Is it possible to lease on as a owner operator with only a truck driving school certificate and a new truck? If so, with who?
3. If we are able to work out the experience and training issues, we would start shopping for a new truck. Our focus would be on performance and comfort while maximizing our bottom line (I like the KW T680 and Pete 579). What would you recommend?
Any advice or suggestions you can offer to help us progress in the process will be appreciated.
- 09.07.2012 #2
- Member Since
- Mar 2012
- temple texas
- 0-1 Year
- Thanked: 99 Times
- My Truckers Blog
- 09.07.2012 #3
- Member Since
- Sep 2010
- No Answer
- Thanked: 4,486 Times
Starting out I would recommend that you not go out and buy a new truck. I would look at something a few years old that you can buy for no more than $30,000. I prefer trucks that are in the $20,000 range. You can get good value in that range if you take the time to look. Neither of you have otr driving experience and don't know if you will like otr driving. If you go out and buy a new truck and find you don't like it in a few months, you will take a bath on the truck. Get the older truck, drive for at least a year or so and then trade up to a new truck if that is what you want at that point. Many change their minds about otr the first year. If you spend $30,000 or less for a truck you should be able to get most of your investment out in a year. You will lose more than that on a new truck if you decide to get out of the business in a year or so. A new truck will have a payment of around $2,500/month. You can buy a good used truck with a payment of about $800/month or less.
I don't know much about driving schools, but have heard that Roadmasters has a decent program. In order to get your CDL you will need to have a combination truck (truck and trailer) that has air brakes. The length of the trailer is not important, having air brakes is critical. If you go through a truck driving school they should allow you to use their equipment to take your road test for the DMV. Some schools can give the test themselves. I know our local community college has a CDL school and they can give everything but the written test. People still need to take the written test at the local DMV.
It is difficult to find insurance without experience. Progressive is about the only game in town when it comes to insuring inexperienced drivers who don't have any experience. They also usually have a primary hauling area of about 500 miles. They offer a wider hauling area through some of their offices. If you want to drive team, this could be a problem if you can only run a 500 mile radius and base out of Florida. You could both drive team for one of the major training carriers to get your 1 year experience rather than buying a truck right away. Most carriers require 6-12 months experience before they will lease on new owner operators. Another consideration to getting your authority is a trailer. You will need to buy a trailer when you run your authority. There are a few carriers and brokers that may offer opportunities to pull their trailers, but most will require you to have your own equipment.
- 09.07.2012 #4
- Member Since
- Sep 2010
- Dallas, Texas
- 2 Years
- Thanked: 65 Times
I agree. Why invest 100,000+ on a new truck this early in the game! Our first truck was an '04 intenational with 600000 miles, when I started driving teams with my wife we were unsure how things would workout. Easier to chalk up 30000 bucks as a lesson learned than 100000+! Team driving is NOT for everyone, you might "love" your girlfriend now, but find out you really cant stand her 24/7 in that close of an environment.
In my case, the wife had 3 years at Landstar and I had NO experience or license in a commercial vehicle. Landstar required me to attend an "approved" school. Then I had to jump through hoops to get on as a trainee under my wife, I had to drive/log 400 plus hours on line 3 with her on line 4 in the passenger seat before I could take a road test at LS and have them certify us as a team. 2 years later I am lovin the job and WE get along better than I thought we would!
I hear Roadmaster is a good program as well, but would recommend you check your local community college first, since they will be a lot cheaper than an outside driving school!
What ever you decide good luck to you and yours!