From solo o/o to fleet

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by blacklabel, Jan 28, 2022.

  1. blacklabel

    blacklabel Heavy Load Member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Was just looking for some stories of guy/gals who have done it successfully.

    I can share my story later I'm a single truck owner and looking for something in the future.
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  3. Oscar the KW

    Oscar the KW Going Tarpless

    May 19, 2011
    I only personally know of one guy who tried to grow a fleet and drivers (if you wanna call em that) made that idea go up in smoke.
    blairandgretchen and blacklabel Thank this.
  4. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

    Dec 8, 2017
    I would rather take all the money that you would invest in that nonsense and go buy real estate.
  5. Chieftains

    Chieftains Light Load Member

    Jul 18, 2021
    Don't listen to the naysayers.
    A lot of small to medium carriers started with 1-2 trucks.
    If this business was as bad as some people make it out to be. Than a lot of people would have fled this industry
  6. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

    Mar 4, 2015
    The guy where I park started out with one truck when he was 19. Now he’s 31 and between company trucks and owner operators he’s running around 45 trucks. The stories he can tell reaffirm my mindset that I’d never be able to deal with drivers, but he’s pretty happy with what he has going on.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
  7. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    My best guess would be that drivers make or break the deal, so finding the right driver/s that are at a stage of wanting to further their careers, become owner operators themselves - and keeping them happy and productive while you profit and expand - would be a key factor.

    @zmster2033 may be able to offer a little insight on how he manages the 2 drivers he recently added.
  8. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

    Apr 12, 2016
    I know a few.
    Basically, they were systematically adding trucks while they were leased on, relying on the operations of their carrier. At some point, maybe at 5 trucks, when feeling confident enough, they acquired authority and hired a proven dispatcher, got more involved with the management than driving. Then added some more trucks when they were cheap to get, rented a warehouse space, became more creative and continued to grow. I don't know anybody who would start with one truck on their authority and added more truck while still doing a driver job... Back office stuff, dispatch, solving every day problems involving other drivers is next to impossible to do when you drive too.
  9. wichris

    wichris Road Train Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Went to 13 trucks and still drove, was gone 4-5 days a week. Before cell phones. After cell phones it was easy, just learn not to sleep. Just pay one good office person and answer your phone whenever it rings
  10. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    That's kinda what I suggested too. With LS you can build a small fleet within their system, and once you've acquired the agent/freight knowledge - launch your own authority and continue. Becoming an 'approved carrier' for them is simple, and working on the 75% rule of loads brokered to outside carriers, maintain the same level of quality service to the agents/customers - because you already know the ballpark figures.
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  11. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    Building a fleet does not mean more money to keep vs driving yourself, untill you reach a certain amount of trucks.

    Majority of times guys get into crap load of debt, have barely any time off, because they are always busy fixing their drivers problems and equipment, and when they look into the profit they made during let's say 5 years period, they see the same net profit as a single good o/o.

    There is a very small percentage of o/o who build a decent size fleet and it usually happens when all these fall together:
    1. Reliable equipment
    2. Reliable partner or really good employee to take care of the office stuff
    3. Good sensing of timing and market on when to start expanding the fleet, or when to hold off
    4. Supportive wife/girlfriend (or not having one at all)
    5. Drivers ( a bad one can destroy your whole business)
    6. A large sum of savings or an investor
    blairandgretchen and blacklabel Thank this.
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