Going O/O: Which Truck to Buy?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by csmith1281, May 29, 2017.

  1. thelushlarry

    thelushlarry Road Train Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    glasgow ky
    Should have had it figured out in 10 days if he is going pro!
    Mudguppy Thanks this.
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  3. aussiejosh

    aussiejosh Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Airlie Beach QLd
    Being an O/O is a dream for alot of drivers for your dreams to come true though alot of thought and preparation will need to go into forming your corporation due diligence is a must its a known fact that most businesses go broke in the first 12 months of operation so its very very important that you have a cash reserve when you start operating so that way if the checks don't come in straight away you will still be able to service your truck and pay any other bills owing. As a guideline i'd calculate at least 6 months of expenditure and make sure you've got the cash to cover for that long of time that way if you get cash rolling in before 6 months you'll be fine.
    csmith1281 Thanks this.
  4. cd066

    cd066 Light Load Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    New truck = warranty, better mileage, interest and depreciation write off and higher start up cost
    Old truck = less or no emissions gizmos to fool with, significantly lower purchase cost, lower cost to keep operational. Has lower fuel milage and whatever problems the previous owner lied to you about....oops I meant completely filled you in on.

    I'd go new if you can afford it, otherwise look very carefully at idle time on DPF equipped trucks.
    nax, Dave_in_AZ, Bakerman and 2 others Thank this.
  5. nax

    nax Road Train Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Ok...I got me a question.

    Say the idle time is 480hrs on a 2012. If we take an average speed of 55mph, then those idle hours would translate to 480 X 55 = 26,400 imaginary miles spend on low idle, high emmisions, low exhaust temps.

    What would that mean to a truck with 350K-480K odometer miles?

    Is there an "expected # of regens" executed in the ECM dump?...and if there is, what would be a "normal" versus "geez that's a lota regens"
    csmith1281 and dngrous_dime Thank this.
  6. cjb logistics

    cjb logistics Heavy Load Member

    Aug 13, 2016
    Liberal Ks
    Most truck manufacturer use 25-30 miles per idle hour
    daf105paccar and csmith1281 Thank this.
  7. Zeviander

    Zeviander Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB, CA
    My only piece of advice other than stay very far away until you have 2 or more years behind the wheel is... whatever your truck is worth, have it saved up in cash in the bank to replace it when something goes drastically wrong and costs $10,000+ to repair.

    It's sometimes better to buy a new $20,000 truck than spend half of what it's worth repairing it.

    And honestly, if you think you have enough experience to run a trucking business, you don't. You haven't even experienced an entire season yet, let alone a year.
    Bean Jr., chris_karr and csmith1281 Thank this.
  8. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca.
    Sounds like a question for an engineer. I knew I should of studied more algebra and calculus in high school instead of chasing the skirts, partying and working.
    Bakerman Thanks this.
  9. csmith1281

    csmith1281 Medium Load Member

    May 29, 2017
    Atlanta, GA
    Wow, thanks all you guys and gals out there who have contributed. I came here asking about trucks and got enough of an earful about preparing to start my own business that you have gotten my attention. But I have some questions. I just need to know what's what about a few things.

    First, why does Swift (and probably all the big companies) come after new drivers four months after going solo? They doll it up real nice and make it super easy to get in your own truck. They do all the math for you, no credit check, no down payment, hook you up with a student so you can get paid team miles...What's in it for them? And why don't they feel it's a risk to take a BRAND NEW truck and put a green driver in it?

    Second, I need to know the basic math. One guy I met at a TA said that with a $700 weekly payment the first 2000 miles you drive cover your breakeven point, then after 2000 miles you can expect to net to your own pocket about 60% of your gross. So...if I drive 2500 miles and get paid $1/mile I can expect to pull in
    500 mi x $1.00 = $500...Then $500 x .60 = $380. How can anyone make a living doing that? That's not worth the risk and the capital outlay by any means. Does this math seem realistic? Why or why not?

    Third, what is it exactly that is going to change between now and when I get two years under my belt? What I see looking forward is that I will have loads sent to me by my DM and I'll be getting paid $1.XX plus fuel surcharge and I'd only have a $900/month payment. Take out $0.20/mi for maintenance and repairs, then insurance, technology costs, accounting, legal, taxes, etc. I'd be doing the same thing I'm doing now except I'd be getting paid more per mile and carrying my own expenses. I've talked to O/Os directly in the fuel lanes and in the parking lots. My mentor was a former O/O. I've talked to multiple people who don't know each other across many states--kind of like how people all over the world say the same things about being abducted by aliens--and they're all telling me with a team or mentor situation they are netting anywhere from $1400-$3000/week. It all seems like it should work out great and with so many people doing it in this business, obviously it's not a pipe dream that only one out of a thousand people can make work. So what do I not see right now that you experienced guys think will be a surprise to me after buying my own truck?

    Fourth, I read an article where an experienced driver talks about some things that can go wrong in the first two years but how it will all be worth it in the end. One thing he mentioned was the "dreaded 'fleece purchase'". Was he referring to the standard lease deals offered by Swift and others--which I would call a ripoff without anyone else having to tell me? Or is there another kind of leasing program out there like Ryder or Penske?

    Finally, when I said "ASAP," take that with a grain of salt. I can't do anything until I get the money and credit. I #### sure ain't going to lease a truck from Swift and pay $900/week, so until I can buy my own truck I'm sitting tight in the company truck.
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
    nax and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  10. Pedigreed Bulldog

    Pedigreed Bulldog Road Train Member

    May 7, 2011
    1st: What is in it for them is they pass off the cost of operating the truck on to you. They then classify you as an "Independent Contractor", further relieving themselves of the responsibility for covering employment taxes, unemployment, workers compensation, health insurance, paid vacations, and any/every other cost of employing a person. Whether the truck makes a profit or not is no longer their concern, and it doesn't matter to them if you earn a paycheck or not. If your gross does not cover the expenses laid out in your contract, you don't get paid that week. Negative paychecks come out of your next check, too, so if you have a few "bad" weeks, you don't get paid and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it. And if/when it gets to be too much for you to handle, they'll gladly take the truck back to lease to the next sucker...and potentially even ding your credit with a "repossession", depending upon how the contract was written and the manner in which the truck was returned to them.

    2nd: You were exactly correct when you said "That's not worth the risk and the capital outlay by any means." Most of the time, company drivers take home more than their lease purchase counterparts.

    3rd: A couple years on the job will give you a better idea what is involved in the job. To be honest, many newbies to the industry don't last...and it is better to find out whether the job is a good fit for you BEFORE you own a truck than to be stuck in a job you hate because you own a truck and have to make the payments. It also gives you time to drive a few different trucks to get an idea what you like and what you dislike about each, to get an idea on what sort of truck you might like to buy. It also provides the opportunity to make contacts in the industry....shippers, receivers, repair shops, etc...so that when you do go out on your own, you can hit the ground running. Most important, though, is the simple fact that in ANYTHING you do, there is a certain learning curve. Chances are, you'll have an incident or two as you adjust to driving a semi tractor dragging a 53' trailer behind you. Even if you do keep your nose clean, you're going to scratch a few gears as you figure out the best way for you to make your way through the gears. You're also going to want to pay attention to what maintenance needs to be done, what repairs will be necessary, and get an idea on just what all of that will cost. Best advice in that regards, since you know you want to buy a truck, is to run whatever company trucks you are assigned to as though they are your own. Keep track of fuel mileage, maintenance, repairs, and what EVERYTHING costs along the way...so that you have a ballpark figure as to what you'll need to budget for those expenses. Consider those first couple years as "research" for your new business...all on someone else's dime.

    4th: No, the "fleece" deal that driver was talking about is the lease these companies like to push. You probably will never own that truck, and if you do, it is because you paid 3x what the truck would have cost you had you just got a bank loan and bought the #### thing outright and because of that, it'll be worn out long before you make that final payment....especially if you have to "train" in order to make ends meet running as a team...which exacerbates the whole "worn out truck" thing even more considering that string of team drivers are all rookie drivers who are learning how to shift and are not going to be easy on that truck at all.

    Finally: That's a good plan. Stay a company driver while you do your research and get your ducks in a row. Work for a few different companies if possible to find a good fit for you...not all companies are good, and even the ones one person might consider great might be a horrible fit for another...and the ones that are considered bad by some might be an awesome fit for another. Everybody has their own priorities, wants, and needs. Personally, I was looking for a company that treated me well as a company driver that also had owner operators and treated them well...makes the transition easier when the only thing that really changed was who's truck I was driving. Some don't want to put their truck onto any company that has company trucks, as they fear the company will place the profitable loads on their own trucks and pass the junk on to the O/O's. Like I said, everybody has their own preferences...in time, you'll figure out what works best for you.
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  11. Gypsy-soul

    Gypsy-soul Bobtail Member

    May 29, 2017
    You'll practically be working for peanuts taking all the responsibility. It's your life and if you want to throw your money you made elsewhere down the drain being in a business u just walked into not knowing little to nothing about no one can stop you.
    csmith1281 Thanks this.
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