I am currently driving for CR England, and I'm sure they're not many experienced drivers 1st-5th choice. I have been with them going on 3 years now. I completed a 17 month lease and decided to buy my truck. I understood what I was getting into and appreciate the opportunity to get back into trucking. That being said, I don't make enough money with CRE (surprise). I am ready I believe to gain my own authority. To begin the process I incorporated my company and joined OOIDA. I've spent the last 3 months researching vehicles, brokers, and companies to possibly lease onto. I've got exactly $125,000 to start up my business. I joined this forum after reading topics and replies all day and I believe there are some of you who I would really value and benefit from. So here goes nothing....
1. I have one truck going to need at least 2 more right?
2. Finance or buy outright?
3.reefer vs flatbed (more reefer experience than flat)
4. Volvo 780 vs KW T660
5. Best way to get drivers
6. Broker/loadboard or lease fleet out
7.factoring vs 30-45 day billing
8. FSC England does rebate but that's only Nat avg not 100% right?
9. Fuel cards???
10. Smart enough to ask questions vs fake it til you make it?
I need help! Questions about leasing on to trucking companies
Sounds like you want to get your own authority and still pull England loads. You comment was pretty clear when you said "I don't make enough money".
One truck is plenty, two is just amother headache. Get the business rolling for a couple of years with "customers" and then consider adding...maybe an O/O.
factoring is not a viable option in my world. If I can't cash flow my business, then I'm not in business. What about a line of credit with the local bank? Some 90 day payers are worthwhile having because they pay a premium...some 15 day folks I wouldn't haul for (CHR).bigbearsims Thanks this.
Both trucks will have problems with the tree hugger garbage. (They ALL will)
The Kenworth is more aerodynamic, will be better on fuel, and rides and handles better.
But the Volvo has more room inside. That's it.
I'd go with the KW because the Volvo 780 is HEAVY. They don't handle like the 760's. The 780 is so much heavier that when it's brand new, it's got about as much body roll as an old worn out Freightliner FLD. That leaf spring front end will rattle your dash til it falls off. The Volvo 780 I drove, was equipped with a Cummins ISX and a 13 speed and carried 240 gallons of fuel (120 in each tank). On the scale, the bobtail, full of fuel, with me in it, weighed 20,300 lbs. They're not good for pulling reefers because you'll always be having problems being overweight, or barely legal.
I got out of the Volvo and into a KW and it's a good improvement, though you do lose interior space and you'll be hitting your head on the roof where it drops from stand-up sleeper to flat-top cab part. The floor also rises about 6" right where the roof drops, so it'll take some getting used to before you stop hitting your head on it.
Hope this is helpful. Like I said though, with BOTH trucks you will have that diesel particulate filter causing problems, and if it's a newer one with the urea tank, ... that's twice as many problems.
Slow down....Slow down...
Sounds to me like you want to leave the gate at full speed.
Let me suggest you get your Authority and put yourself in one truck on the road until you learn and understand what being completely independent is all about. You've got great cash reserves which tells me you've got a good head for business. I'd go slow, keep your overhead down as much as possible and allow yourself to get comfortable being an O/O.
Save money by doing your own Authority paperwork. Since you joined OOIDA, through them you can save on Prepass, Member's Edge Loadboard and more. They even offer a drug consortium and you can get a fuel card (trucker's advantage) through them as well.
You've been researching, that's terrific.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to get your authority or lease to a carrier. From your post, it seems to me that you are not sure which way you should go. At this point, you have enough experience that you should get a decent rate on insurance, should you decide to get your own authority. If you decide to get your authority I would suggest that you make the move with a single truck that you drive yourself and not consider adding trucks until you get a good feel for running your own authority. Running your own authority will require more of a commitment in time and you will need to be very proactive to make things work. If you decide to go with flats, you will need to find a way to get some training on securement. CRST Malone and Landstar both still offer training, if you lease to them. Both also pay percentage, which should help you to earn more money than running by the mile for other carriers. You don't need authority if you lease to someone.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to get your authority you will need to also buy a trailer for each truck. If you want to get your authority I would suggest that you do so with a single truck that you drive yourself rather than trying to add trucks right away. It is much different running your authority than leasing to a carrier who has dispatchers. Learn how to be successful running your authority before adding trucks. Once you add drivers you will change the dynamics of your operation. Don't get in too big of a hurry to build a fleet of trucks. Take it one step at a time. We still have an uncertain economy.
If you decide to run your authority you can either hold the paper until you get paid, factor or use quick pay that most of the major brokers offer. With your present cash position, you could finance your own receivables and keep the rest of the money in your pocket without factoring or discounting your bills with quick pay.
Between the two trucks you mentioned, I would probably go with the KW due to the weight issue. But, I am not sure that I would limit myself to only the two options. The first thing you should do is to decide what type of freight you want to pull and then find a truck for that specific task.
Drivers are a challenge that all of us who own trucks must deal. Finding a body to put in a seat isn't that difficult, but finding a good driver who is honest and take care of your equipment is difficult, whether you have one or ten thousand trucks. I have used the state employment offices and gotten some good drivers. If you lease to a carrier, they can help find qualified drivers for you. Word of mouth works well. Some truck stops will allow you to post jobs on their boards. Make sure to check drivers out thoroughly.
I prefer fuel cards. They are easier to monitor than cash or comchecks, Tchecks, etc., I primarily used TCH and Fleetone in the past. I will never again use Fleetone, again, EVER!! I used them for years. I won't go into too much detail on a public forum, but I may wind up having to sue them before the dust settles. I had an opportunity to join an association but decided against it because they used Fleetone. Besides, even if you get one through OOIDA, you will only save a couple of pennies on fuel and that is usually at the independents. TCH is much easier to work with for me. I think that they are more honest than Fleetone. There is also Comdata, EFS, etc., Fuel is one area where drivers tend to steal from their employers. It is easier to catch when you use fuel cards. It can also help when it comes time to file your fuel taxes. Having a fuel card makes it easier to pay for repairs on the road.
100% of the fsc should be passed on to the owner operator, but not all carriers pass all of it along to their owner operators. When you run your authority the fsc is not as important as the rate. In fact, most of the time the fsc is already included.
My advice is to take it one step at a time and don't get in too big of a hurry. It does seem easier to make money with odd numbers of trucks, such as 1, 3, 5, etc., Just because you have drivers in trucks doesn't necessarily mean that you will make more money than if you only had a single truck. Your trucks will do some sitting because you will not always have drivers in them. There will be times when you may find it difficult to find good drivers. It is better to let your trucks sit than put bad drivers in the seat. No driver will take the same care with your equipment as you. I am not telling you to not buy more trucks and hire drivers, but you should take it slower and learn what you are doing before spending your money. Just because you can afford to do something doesn't necessarily mean that you should.
Welcome to a great forum. There are many wise owner/operators here with lots of good advice.
Check out these two threads:
Then read the first seven docked threads here:
These will answer most of your questions and raise many more. It is a lot of reading but it was some of the most valuable reading I've ever done. Posting in the "Ask An Owner Operator" section will get more exposure and more answers. Good luck.
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