"Are you sure you wanna do this?", said everyone. 6 month update.

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Ultra Wagon, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Ultra Wagon

    Ultra Wagon Bobtail Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    South Fla.
    Disclaimer, these thoughts are mine and only MY thoughts. As usual, your mileage may vary and surely will. These are things that come to mind when people ask me about trucking. I'm no guru about this stuff and am making it up as I go along and sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.

    Ok folks, I posted a while back about receiving my first check and thought I'd bring you up to speed as to some things I've learned:

    1) I completely jumped into the deep end and went O/O out of the gate, my own Insurance, Authority etc. no megas, no company driving, no buddies to walk me through it. My advice would be: Please don't put yourself through that. I'm sure I've shaved a year or two off my life expectancy already and my Authority is just under 6 months old.

    2) If you are planning on going trucking at all (in whatever capacity), get some time on your license and all the driving experience you can. My insurance is very high because my license is very young (1 yr), even though I am not (48).

    3) I too, am guilty of being completely underfunded and am only one 10K disaster away from being out of business. As has been said many times on this forum, this is not the right way to go about it. Luckily, thus far, my mechanical issues have been relatively minor and I've had cash on hand when they happened.

    4) The amount of money it takes to do this is astronomical. Especially when you are new and know next to nothing, like me. Fuel costs alone will stagger even the most steady of people. Add in Insurance and all of the other fun stuff, and you will be questioning your sanity (and should be).

    5) On the flip side, there are many times when I'm staring out the windshield like some major grinning idiot. I am just blown away at how amazing the sky looks at various moments. I don't ever recall thinking that once about the cubicle I used to work in.

    6) This job ain't for everybody and there's nothing wrong with that. Try it out and see for yourself. You'll figure out pretty quick if the BS outweighs the benefits. I still haven't decided that one yet. So far, I've stayed ahead of the bills and out of the way of the DOT and that's good enough for now.

    7) You're on the hook for everything! Taxes, maintenance, Accounting, Invoicing, Fuel, Log books (my truck is a 99), Insurance, IFTA, HUT, various state permits (NY, KY, NM), paying yourself? oh yeah almost forgot that (how much did I used to make at my old job? hmm, wasn't bad money).

    For you numbers folks, I'll leave the rate per mile conversation alone. However, I will say this. I had one month where I booked 13K of work and spent 7K. I had another month where I booked 10K and spent 8K. I'm slowly figuring out what I will and won't sign on for and what I'm willing to put up with in order to get a particular run.

    This last trip, I was out about 17 days and booked around 11.5k. Haven't done all the numbers yet but I figured I'm gonna drop 2k to fix my A/C compressor that has a 2 inch hole in the head and spewed its green goodness all over Arkansas like an extra from the movie Predator.

  2. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 Road Train Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    I’m glad to see someone post an honest assessment of what trucking is like when you jump in with both feet. We don’t see near enough of that around here. It’s usually just bad mouthing and finger pointing when stuff goes south.

    Hats off to ya for making it work.
    jamespmack, x1Heavy, Ruthless and 20 others Thank this.
  3. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Just south of the north 40
    Might be a good idea to look into NASTC.

    Thay have some good resources.
    Parts and service discounts.
    They have a good fuel program as well.

    The NASTC web site
    jamespmack, Aedaric, Lepton1 and 7 others Thank this.
  4. LoJackDatHo

    LoJackDatHo Medium Load Member

    Jan 26, 2017
    One thought, 2k for an AC compressor?? I think I bought my last one for around $350. That is an easy bolt on do it yourself job. Just make sure you clean the lines, and they make a solution for that. It’s all plug and play. Get the new one on and take it someplace to charge it. Should be less than $600 total.
  5. Western flyer

    Western flyer Road Train Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Sounds like fun. Your a real owner operator.
    Always thought about doing what your doing.
    Never had the nads to do it.
    Keep us posted.
  6. MagnumaMoose

    MagnumaMoose Road Train Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    No Truck driving experience at ALL ?!? before you cliff dived ? You've got chutzpah. Major major chutzpah. And you're doing well. I applaud you. You've earned a lot of respect for even trying, much less succeeding.
    jamespmack, tinytim, Brickwall and 5 others Thank this.
  7. windsmith

    windsmith Road Train Member

    Sep 2, 2011

    If you want to be a successful O/O, you should either have cash reserves sufficient to pay the mechanic after he bends you over so you can keep your truck running, or you should have enough mechanical savvy to be able to smack the mechanic in the head with confidence when he tries to bend you over.
  8. Gunner75

    Gunner75 Road Train Member

    Mar 17, 2014
    Jackson Center Ohio
    I think he's established this
  9. Broke Down 69

    Broke Down 69 Road Train Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    Concord NC
    Yes, he did. Clearly.

    I'm going to be watching this one closely having just jumped into the O/O ranks myself.
  10. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    Keep us updated. Good luck to you.
    jamespmack and Oxbow Thank this.
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