Change my mind

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by God prefers Diesels, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Medium Load Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    South Texas
    I've just about made up my mind to get my own authority, but I still can't figure out if it's a stupid idea or not. I'm not a "real" trucker like you guys, so let me give you some background.

    I started in the oilfield about 14 years ago as a roustabout. We had a Marmon 5/4 with a flatbed. I learned how to drive on that, pulling the weirdest stuff you could think of. All offroad, though. I grew up in a mechanic shop, and was a Motor T mechanic in the Marines. So with my meager driving experience, and knowing how the tranny worked, I was able to take and pass the CDL road test. I've had my CDL with TX endorsements for around 13 or 14 years.

    I quit roustabout, and moved into wireline at Halliburton. I drove wireline trucks (class 8 straight truck), and cranes on a class 8 chassis. Pretty much everything was just a 10-speed. The only combos we pulled were goosenecks with a pickup. (less than 46k GCWR)

    I understand load securement rules, HOS, and HazMat rules. The entire time I was in wireline (10 years), I hauled explosives or radioactive sources. I eventually became a manager at an outfit that was recently started, but got laid off about 1.5 years later when the oilfield started to slow down hard in the Eagleford. (South Texas) I got a job as a DC manager for a company that sells products to wireline. Made it almost a year when OPEC stepped in and ruined the world, so I got laid off again.

    The oilfield is still sorely depressed right now, and I'm on unemployment for the first time ever. I'm 39. I've been through several boom/busts in the oilfield, and it never fully comes back when it comes back, so I've decided I want to get as far away from it as I can. Plus in wireline, we're stuck living near that shale play, and we don't have the freedom to live in whatever state we want.

    Right now I've got 39k in the bank. I've got roughly 60k in credit cards with zero balance. I have a clean MVR. (last time I got pulled over was 2001) I can handle a truck, but I'm not a trucker. I have zero interest in being a company driver, and I can't lease on with no experience, so I feel if I want to do this, I'm stuck getting my own authority. I'm aware of the startup cost. I have a wife of 16 years that has my back.

    The plan is to run off load boards while building relationships and learning the industry. The end goal is to cut out my own niche in the flatbed/HH market. Something interesting.

    So two questions - If I get my own authority, is there anything that will stop my from running load boards? And with no "real" experience, is this the stupidest idea ever? Thanks in advance.
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  3. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    You know, I would still hire on with a company for a year or two. TEMPORARILY. Just to learn on their dime. With a couple of year under your belt, you're insurable, you done the stupid stuff, you've got an idea of what works for you and what doesn't.

    It's not forever, just a year or two.

    ChevyCam, TexasKGB, JoeTruck and 4 others Thank this.
  4. otherhalftw

    otherhalftw Insignificant Otter

    Nov 18, 2008 discovery foothills
    IMHO, it might be wise to start with a company driver position, just to get a true feel of the industry from this side. Especially in this upside-down environment we are going through. At least you will be learning with an income instead of learning on an ever increasing debt load.
    Rollr4872, ChevyCam, Coffey and 3 others Thank this.
  5. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2020
    Stevens transport DFW TX
    Also if it's just the 2 of you. She could either go with you or get her CDL and you guys team. That way for those 2 years you're both getting the experience and banking your income.
  6. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Medium Load Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    South Texas
    No, we've got two kids. She's always handled everything at home, so I could focus on work. In the oilfield I averaged about 120 hours per week with a two week on, one week off schedule, and she was always the backbone that made that possible.
  7. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    The Sticks, Idaho
    I agree with the above posts... I would hire on as a company driver for at least 12 months... 24 months would be better.

    Doing this would also give you the opportunity to make a few contacts in this side of the industry... You may even be able to take some of the same business with you when you transition to independent O/O.
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  8. MTN Boomer

    MTN Boomer Medium Load Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    I started with a lot less $$.It doesn't cost much to get an operating Authority, it s the cost of insurance,mag carriers llc might be an option. I have ran off load boards, and now the rates are down.
    God prefers Diesels Thanks this.
  9. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    0 can answer your questions.
    This is a business website for the owner-operator.
  10. Transportacion R&R

    Transportacion R&R Light Load Member

    Apr 10, 2020
    Here’s my experience. Drove in the oil field as well, J7 trucking. Made good money, enough to buy a truck with a friend. Our goal like yours is to get our own authority and have 3 trucks by years end. My only problem is finding good truck drivers. We went to JB Hunt and gained much experience as O/O, in 2 months we have banked $15k after all expenses. Again just to gain the experience. The goal is to drive for JB Hunt for a few more months and have the cash to pay for the authority out right. Truck is paid for, we don’t like payments on anything. My partner has the rear our es to purchase the other 2 trucks right now. Yes the 65/35 split with JB sucks but, fuel discount is phenomenal, and we pre plan ourselves averaging $2.30 a mile. Not bad considering what’s out there with your own authority off the boards. That’s my 2 cents. I’m looking for good drivers right now, that’s my dilema. Your own authority is a good idea, just be mindful of the loads you will be bidding on against others. Take a look at them first.
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