Cost of operation "real numbers"

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Crazytrucker77, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Crazytrucker77

    Crazytrucker77 Medium Load Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Hermiston, OR
    So I was sitting down and going over my numbers for the last year to get my cost per mile/ day. I figure with all the people wanting to know what it costs to run an operation why not put some real numbers on here. So I encourage people to participate in this thread to help out our fellow drivers that are curious. I think it would be interesting to see the verity of costs it will end up being. So here are mine.

    All miles driven 101,098

    Gross Earnings $196,804 CPM = $1.95
    Gross Expenses $128,070 CPM = $1.27
    Wage $ 45,000 CPM = $.445
    Net Earnings $ 23,734 CPM = $.234
    Taxes $ 8,703 CPM = $.086
    Total Profit $ 15,031 CPM = $.148

    So there are some real numbers for you. My cost per day for my fixed expenses came out to $266 per day working 24 days a month. My cost to run my business is $1.72 per mile and my profit margin is 7.64 percent. According to OOIDA the average profit margin a single truck O/O should aim for is 5 percent. They also say that most large operations are only running on about a 2 percent profit margin. I would be curious to see what other people who are willing to give out their numbers are running at.
    chimbotano, Cat sdp, Misty60 and 4 others Thank this.
  2. KB3MMX

    KB3MMX Road Train Member

    Dec 29, 2014
    Shippensburg, PA
    I have an excel spreadsheet you can play around with.. It's very good.

    PM me an email to send to if you'd like
  3. Scooter Jones

    Scooter Jones Road Train Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    OP, where's your benefits portion on your payroll overheard? Add health insurance, disability insurance, 401k contribution, etc., and that bottom line really shrinks.
    Tug Toy Thanks this.
  4. Crazytrucker77

    Crazytrucker77 Medium Load Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Hermiston, OR
    Agreed. My insurance is paid through my wife's employer and at this time I am putting most my profit into getting out of debt. Once that goal is done it will reduce the wage I have to pay myself and then I can invest in the future.

    Unfortunately I did the stupid thing my first year in business and spent all the extra money I was making on my hobbies and my home. Don't get me wrong I set aside enough money to keep my business in the black but after the first year was done I was down to just a few hundred dollars in my emergency account. It was definitely a learning experience and one I am not going to repeat this year
    chimbotano Thanks this.
  5. Kshaw0960

    Kshaw0960 Medium Load Member

    Jun 17, 2018
    Truck, trailer, insurance, fuel, plates, inspections, maintenance, and all expenses for running my LLC S-Corp, everything a company would provide for a w2 company driver runs me at about $1.05. It was about $0.85 last year but I had a different truck and just started my LLC. Keep in mind this is a small business with no good insurance or fuel discounts.

    I pay myself $0.25 a mile. Total cost driving is $1.30. Everything I make over $1.30 goes into investing/growing business.
  6. Scooter Jones

    Scooter Jones Road Train Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    Copy that.

    However, as you can see, once you add back what a normal company would pay in benefits as listed, plus stuff like vacation pay and the reality that most reputable companies will pay 0.50 a mile and above, you can see that your profit margin would essentially be 0%, or in the negative, in reality.

    Not trying to throw a wet blanket on your numbers. You can understand why when company guys/gals see those numbers and margins, they think twice, and SHOULD, about jumping into the lease/owner operator field.
    spyder7723, Ruthless and BigCam9670 Thank this.
  7. cjbrents

    cjbrents Light Load Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Saying that you made $196k a year sounds amazing, but after you factor in the fuel, insurance, and truck payment... seems like you’re down to near $100k. I’m not saying that’s all that an O/O can make, because I’ve met a few who claimed to have made over $500k (oil field, I believe). But for a company driver, especially one who makes $100k+ per year in an LTL outfit such as Old Dominion, Estes, or the like.... I mean, it just seems like an O/O making less than $250k/yr would be happier running the road as a UPS road driver ($150k/great gross)... no headaches, just driving.
    Brettj3876 and 062 Thank this.
  8. chimbotano

    chimbotano Medium Load Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Again, depends on what you value the most . Like I said before , in this industry , you can make as much money as you want/ can , but HOW you make it is the issue here.
    I made about 200, last year . After deducting everything, I kept about 90,.
    As an O/O 100% independent, I value more than money MY FREEDOM..
    I choose where to go , how much to charge, stop anywhere I want , I decide to take off anytime and whenever I want . If my favorite team is playing here or there, I just get a load that can get me there and I have not problem. If my wife wants to go to any state for whatever reason , I get a load and we go , parked my truck , rent a car and enjoy it .
    I respect people who rather drive for someone and is told what to do .and , probably they make more money , but that isn’t my ambition.
  9. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

    Aug 31, 2018
    Nice to see a realistic 1.72 to run your operation. Most people seem to think they can run for 1/mi and that’s just not realistic.

    I’d up your pay if it was me that way you get an even closer real cost as in if you put a driver in your truck.

    If you can try to shoot for 250k+ gross and you’ll be in good shape.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Crazytrucker77 Thanks this.
  10. Western flyer

    Western flyer Road Train Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    How about adding up all the extra hours
    A owner operator works during a week
    That a company driver doesn't.

    Book keeping,
    Finding loads,
    Negotiating rates,
    Fighting with brokers,
    Working on your truck,
    Continuously Hunting cheap fuel,
    Having to sit in the shop all day
    To make sure your not being billed
    For one minute that someone's not
    Actually working on your truck.

    Arguing with the shop because you
    Think they charge too much,

    Did I mention half your hometime
    Spent working on you truck.

    Add all that time up.
    Your at minimum wage.
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