I have calculated my start up costs to include insurance. It is expensive for sure. I am asking the truck related questions because I am now looking into equipment costs. I have my per mile cost for expenses.
So far, I am only willing to invest money in regulatory stuff like DOT application, Business license, etc.. I will not buy anything in the way of truck, trailer until I know more and have been approved by DOT, etc.
I just joined the boards today to see what life is like out there. I will admit I do see pretty low rates. Most of what I see would barely cover my per mile operating expenses that I have estimated.
I had planned on load boards. I am hoping by the time I get my act together the market picks back up. You summed it up, too many trucks not enough loads
Chassis Cab and non-CDL
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With non cdl hotshot freight you are going to have to figure out loading and unloading many partial loads all headed in basically the same direction, dropping and picking, on the load board constantly, while still maintaining proper axle weights. From what I see there isn't a lot of 40ft hot shot loads that pay enough to be worthwhile. And if you decide to get a cdl and run over 26,000lb it doesn't make sense to do that with a medium duty truck. So, run as light as you can for as much cpm as you can, and work your butt off. It's not easy, but it;s better than working a day job, in my opinion.
Hitch Crafter - Air Suspension Ride Fifth Wheel Hitch
-34k 5th wheel with cab chassis bolt on kit is what you want for ram cab chassis..
You don't need the air one. Rigid, double pivot will be good..
They were 32k lb few years back
-That 10,000lb trailer law only applies if you hold your driver license in CA, maybe one other state..? Cant recall.. OP, what state are you out of..?
-No, being a Cab & chassis has no bearing whatsoever on a CDL A, only GVWR or GCVWR in your case, which you said will be under 26,001lb, so your good.. Stop hemming & hawing over that.. Done
-Last I checked 84" cab axle 3500' only come in single cab. Just making sure you are aware of that.. A bunk with AC, generator, you ain't mentioned what brand you looking at, roadmaster, AA, zoomroom, etc.. It will be well over 1klbs when said & done.. That 7100lb truck is most likely for the gasser.. 600lb more for 6.7 cummins sounds about right, think close to 9k tare weight with you + all your stuff, fuel, tools, ready to roll.. Spec a 2wd to save weight, your gonna need it..
-What 40' trailer are you looking at that comes in at 7500..? Not saying they don't exist, I know they do. My 40' Loadmax came in stickered at 10,260lb tare. Tandem dual with a few options.. The dang thing weighed more than my 48' Chaparral does, & could barely gross a third the weight.. LoL
-Right now, entering the hotshot world on spot market sounds risky to me.. I run primarily spot too, can put ~28,500 on deck & haven't moved since 4/9.. You WILL struggle right now to make operating cost with a 9000lb payload. The rates are a complete joke, especially in FL, so I hope you ain't from here..
-Just for ####s & giggles, what did you come up with for operating cost using 8000 miles per month..? Mines .89 cents per mile, & I believe on the low side compared too most.. That's just feeding the monster.. My tractor & wagon I own outright, no pay for me, no company profit..
-Hotshot works better with a CDL, in my opinion. I ran a dodge 1 dually at 36000lb for a few years. Enjoyed it, & was slowly climbing the ladder, till this Covid nonsense shut the world off.. I'll survive, but am kicking myself now that I don't have a regular 3 axle semi. Buddy of mine is still killing it in the bulk commodities sector, & I cant play cause I'm an axle short..
-Skimmed through the thread cause it's late, probably missed some of your questions, but ask away. I'll answer all can for you.. I changed up my operation a bit, but could have continued on in a pickup profitably. Just too much work for me..
Went from this
Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
Couple of trailers fit the bill, Big Tex and Hefty.
The 7100 LB was a used 2012 diesel with 10k miles on it. It also had a GVWR or 13000...but it sold. Looking at pre-2020 Chevy cab chassis now cause it runs a GVWR of 13200. All makes in 2020 are 14000 GVWR. Keeping the GVWR down on the truck allows for a higher GVWR on the trailer.
I am aware that the 3500 is regular cab in 84" C/A.
Sleeper is a Roadmaster 30"
Operating expenses for me are estimated at 1.20 mile for 110,000 miles a year.
I hear you on the risk right now. Right now, I am banking on that if we cant break out of this corona funk we are in, trucking is something that will always be there. It would be hard for sure but it would be something. In the industry I am in, getting laid off will mean lots of folks trying to find too little jobs.
Admittedly, non-CDL is limiting and time consuming to plan around. Thinking about using this time to get the CDL and stop fretting over weights and lengths.
Thanks for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated.
Adding a sleeper with a generator for cooling and heating will put your truck over 10,000 lbs on the scale.
Even if your trailer is 7500 lbs, you need to add the weight of straps, chains ect.
I will say you will only be able to haul around 8,000 lb load which is hard to come by.
Why not get a cdl and avoid the weight headaches?
I wanted to do the same as you did. I planned for an 8k truck and after I bought it, added my tools and scaled it, it surprised me with nearly 9500 lb on the scale and shot my non cdl idea to the ground.
I went ahead and got my cdl in 2 weeks. If I'd gotten my cdl before buying the truck I'd probably would have bought a single axle semi like singlescrewshaker.
My truck and 3 car wedge trailer currently weigh 20,000 lbs empty. Even with a much lighter trailer I'd still scale at 17-18k lbs.
Btw, you can legally sleep in your crewcab and save yourself the $10,000 or so it would cost to outfit a sleeper.
9380 lbs before any upgrades and all my tools.
And last thing, dunno about flatbed, but I shut down my company right now cause I couldn't find loads that would have paid me above my cost to run. Will go back when this all this corona crap is over.
Hey, look at it this way, it could've been worse, you could've just started up and then have had this china crud pull the tires out from underneath you.
A big thanks to @singlescrewshaker Here's a fellow that's done his homework and proves it can be done successfully. Listen carefully to what he has to offer you in advice, not only is he very knowledgeable, but he offers his advice for free, priceless.
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