Colorado Freight/Local Work

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by OldRed98, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    I have a quick question for the O/O’s on here. Anyone familiar with Colorado freight?

    I own a 98 W900 and have a step Deck, belly dump, and water tanker. All my equipment is older but in good shape and paid off. I’m just a private hauler right now (only haul my own goods) for our family farm. But we've decided to move on from this.

    Exploring the idea of getting my authority. I’m well aware of all the costs from truck maintenance, for-hire insurance, and registration. But I have to stay local for now due to a kid on the way. I really don’t need to make a lot but I don’t want to waste my time because freight rates look pretty low.

    Hoping that between my belly dump and step deck that I could keep busy and not be forced to take low rates. I’m okay with time off too. I see one guy with a flatbed that picks up a load in Pueblo and hauls towards Denver and then comes back everyday with a random load from Denver. I’ve just never been able to catch him to ask how his business is going.

    I know in the summer time a lot of Belly Dump work starts and looks like rates are $95-$100/hour.

    Trying to decide if it makes more sense to sell all my equipment which I hate to do. I’ve fully restored my truck and trailers over the last couple of years.
     
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  2. "semi" retired

    "semi" retired Road Train Member

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    Well, I've been out of the loop too long, and not in Colorado long enough to know, but given the current situation in trucking, DO NOT,,,sell the truck. You won't get peanuts for it, and could never replace it. Most the O/O trucks I see in central Co. are either, gas cans, bull racks, or maybe flatbed. Not many dumps, water tanker could be used in summer, incredibly dry where I am, nothing I doubt you could make a buck at. Lots and lots of company trucks come through here, tho.
     
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  3. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    If you find some great work in Colorado and maybe 10 acres of beautiful mountain land with a creek that isn't prone to wildfires for cheap let me know. :D
     
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  4. clausland

    clausland Heavy Load Member

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    I concur with @"semi" retired , don't sell off your equipment just yet. Your situation is similar to ours, we farm first, truck second.

    You already have the equipment, good. First off, check and see how much insurance is going to cost you, that's a big expense. Staying regional (< 500 miles) will cost you less.

    Second, after you know what insurance is gonna cost you, and before you pull the plug and go the "for hire" route, and all that it entails, see if you can drum up DH's (direct hauls) on your own imitative, beat the bushes, see what turns up. I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of $$$ getting yourself set up with the hope of getting work via load boards, etc. A lot will likely be seasonal "on demand" type stuff. You might be surprised at what you'll find. Ambition doesn't cost you anything.

    Third, don't sell yourself short, know what your CPM (cost per mile) is and charge accordingly. As you get known, in rural areas anyway, word of mouth can be some of your best advertising and it's free, good luck to you....
     
  5. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    I'm totally okay with seasonal work but just need to supplement income that I already have.

    Insurance will cost me about $8,500 a year for 1 million in liability and 100,000 cargo. I just don't want to get caught having to do over the road loads because my expenses will be high.

    Theres a guy around here that hauls water for all the hemp and MJ farms. He seems to do okay but I see those industries are contracting. He has a few hired drivers though and several trucks. I just want to keep it simple and make some money driving my truck (Don't want any employees or uneeded overhead). 2 -3 water clients would probably keep me busy through the summer and I shouldn't need authority as long as I'm hauling my own water that I would later sell to a client. Appreciate everyones help. I really don't want to sell my truck and trying to work with what equipment I have to make some extra money.
     
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  6. clausland

    clausland Heavy Load Member

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    I can tell you're getting the grasp of it. We farm, and what I've learned over the years is to not rely on just one or two things for your income, but instead focus on diversity. Sticking with a lot of somethings that worked, while dropping other ideas that didn't. Always look for an opportunity to add to your diversity, like what you're looking at doing now.

    Look close at your insurance needs, so as to not "over insure", costing you more than you really need, ie: $100k cargo for water? Insurance is going to be one of your biggest expenses and will cost more any time you conduct a "for hire" operation, whether intrastate or interstate. For what you're doing right now, hauling your own farm products (private carrier), I'll bet your insurance costs are minimal. It's when you add that "for hire" aspect it starts climbing.

    Hauling your own products is what you're doing now correct? I thought you were looking to hire out some, no? You should be able to drum up your own work regionally with a dump & step deck. Like I said earlier, get out there and visit folks, beat the bushes, see if you can find a niche not being served. I've always found that personally going to see & talk to folks works well. Unfortunately though, in todays world, that's not done much anymore. Yeah, it takes time and effort on your part, but I guess it comes down to how bad you want to do it.

    Stay away from hiring employees. Staying strictly intrastate will also cut out IRP & IFTA also. As far as authority goes, it depends, some States require authority for "intrastate for hire", some don't. You'll have to research that aspect.

    Keep us posted on here on what you find. I hope it works out for you, one farmer to another....
     
  7. "semi" retired

    "semi" retired Road Train Member

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    HA! There's another unexpected perk of the MJ industry. They just put up a HUGE grow house by me, looks like a freakin' stadium with razor wire fences and surveillance the CIA would be proud of, and I bet they go through a lot of water. Water is hard to come by here, and that's a great idea. I never thought of that.
     
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  8. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    Clausland, do you do anything in the off season from farming?

    I've been self employeed in several different business industries... I'll tell ya diversification of income is so important. The business world changes so quick that you have to have multiple streams of income incase one falls through.

    I'm just brainstorming to get into something that has lower start up expenses that I'll enjoy. Especially since I already have the truck and trailers. I have a lot of work ahead to get my farm business ramped down. But thinking ahead to summer time.
     
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  9. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    "semi" retired, We have really strict water laws here in Colorado. I bet a lot of these cannabis farms are hauling water in. Some got lucky and could afford an exempt irrigation well.

    I just don't know if I can get enough consistant business to stay busy. Running dump loads for the big gravel outfits might be a more stable business model.
     
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  10. clausland

    clausland Heavy Load Member

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    Sure do, I sit by the wood stove, look out the window and watch my truck and equipment rust, just kidding! Winters here can get rough, so it's a time to wind down some and get on here.

    It's also a time to tally up what was done during the year and decide what we're going to do, or not do, in the upcoming year. Also, time to get the tax chore completed.

    March kicks off the Maple Syrup season and working the green house. Then followed by fence repair, and then planting time. From then until next Winter, it's just a blur.

    We've picked up a direct haul starting in May through October for a local manufacturer, pulling a 40' gooseneck with a C70, light loads, 400 mile round trip, so out & back the same day. 'Ole Pete just sits for now.

    Luckily, we don't have the water laws like you guys have out there and we catch the rain water to supplement our irrigation.
     
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