HELP! is it worth going O/O in California

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Edgar1980, May 28, 2024.

  1. Edgar1980

    Edgar1980 Bobtail Member

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    So this is my situation. Im from California I been driving for 10 years company driver 9 years I was at a company nearly clearing 70k working 6 days 55-60 hours a week. Last year got into food delivery making close to 100k but it’s a beating day in day out no life. And beat up at the end of each day. Being that trucks are pretty cheap right now I have availability to purchase a decent 2018-2020 truck. So I won’t have a monthly truck payment I also have reserves for 3-6 months in case thing don’t fall into place. I want to run local SoCal if possible if not willing to do tri state Ca,Nv, and Az. My question is? Is it worth to go owner opp right now that the trucking India not at is peak. Will I be able to clear 100k yearly? I’m not scared of hard work and will work 60-80 hour work weeks. Also planning on doing reefer or dry box. I get a lot of positive and negative answers from drivers I know what are your thoughts?
     
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  3. MM71

    MM71 Heavy Load Member

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    Big boys are operating at a loss ... I'd give it a year or two, trucking is cyclic. Save up a bank, when used truck prices start to rise it is time to get back in to the business.
     
    Edgar1980, wifi_guru and Kenworth6969 Thank this.
  4. rbrtwbstr

    rbrtwbstr Road Train Member

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    Ha! I'm in a similar situation. Most will tell you don't do it. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've heard don't do it because of whatever reason. The latest is 'wait until the election is over'. But then it'll be 'wait to see what the economy is gonna do', as if I have a crystal ball. Then it'll be 'oh the market is hot, wait until truck prices level off', then it'll be ' rates suck, stay where you are', until the next election cycle when all the excuses start all over.

    Seriously though, I'm working 5 days a week, about 55-60 hours, home daily, and making $80k, which is good for the area I live. I've crunched the numbers and I have a hard time justifying buying a truck, because I'm in no way married to a truck in my current situation, and after all the expenses and headaches of owning a truck, I don't see the extra money being enough to justify buying. I don't want to buy a job.. .

    That being said, when I want to take time off to hunt or fish or whatever, now I have to ask politely and hope like hell I can get off work. Meanwhile my buddies telling me to wait, are on the lake every weekend, or in the woods in hunting season.
     
  5. Kenworth6969

    Kenworth6969 Road Train Member

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    I dont understand why these threads keep popping up.

    If unhappy with current job you can simply get a new job.

    Becoming owner operator in worst market ever is not the best solution.
     
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  6. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

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    Alot of people are tired of company BS. Which way outnumber the good jobs. And don't want to bounce around from one crap job to another.
     
  7. Kenworth6969

    Kenworth6969 Road Train Member

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    There is countless company jobs, they all can't be bad.
     
  8. FloridaRetired

    FloridaRetired Light Load Member

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    I can also see that truck prices are low, so if you want to take a shot at it, now would be the time to aim. If you never try, you'll never know. They say rates are cheap, but when they're good, you'll pay a lot more for a used truck. Be very careful and thoughtful, weigh all pros and cons before pulling the trigger.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2024
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  9. wifi_guru

    wifi_guru Medium Load Member

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    dealing with the eco pansies in so cal would be a no for me along with all of the high taxes and regs. it's never a good idea to start a business during an election year!!! and biden wants to sign the pro act wich is like ca's AB5. so alot of families will get screwed. and with the idiots in office wanting to raise taxes.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2024
  10. rbrtwbstr

    rbrtwbstr Road Train Member

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    While that's true, why would anyone worth his salt want to deal with a camera shoved in their face, monitored by some airhead that's never seen the inside of a truck? Around here, with all the good paying local stuff, that's what you end up with. Aside from the camera thing, the micromanagement that these companies seem to love....

    Truth be told I have it pretty good where I am and that's why I stay. But there's always that itch to see what I'm capable of. And if I fail, it's on me and me alone. I'll live with it.

    I didn't do this 20+ years to have my hand held. Not saying I'm buying a truck right now, but I might...

    To add, my opinion would be very different if I lived in California.
     
  11. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    The reason you get so many negative is, it's a hard business. It's hard to make a trucking company work. The market for the trucking industry is seldom great. There are always obstacles. This is a highly regulated industry. Seldom can you control the obstacles. Fuel prices, truck prices, freight prices etc, etc.
    Its tough to make a go in the trucking industry on the face. Then so many people want to get into the industry solely on their driving experience. Most know little about business. Most know little about the company industry regulations. They may know the regs on drivers, but not the "company" side of the regs. They dont know whats required.
    Some people are natural business men, some get lucky.
    Luck is a lot of it. Sometimes these O/O get lucky and a good contract will fall in their lap & they make it. Some are good enough to know where, when & how to find these good contracts & how to get these contracts even with nine other companies also trying to get them. Sometime these contracts are obtained through a friend of a friend.
    Some O/O make $250,000 a year in heavy haul & some specialized forms of trucking.

    Most people who get into trucking either struggle or go broke. I dont have the figures & I won't pretend I know, but I'd venture to bet that 70% that try to buy their own truck & go O/O, go broke. Probably only 10% get to stay in but struggle. Most of these got sucked into rent to own lease deal with a mega. That only leaves about 20% max in my opinion that really make it to their dream, make a comfortable living & float.

    In the OP's scenario, he wants to run local or tri-state & that limits him severely. That in itself limits the reality of even breaking even & staying in & struggling. To be in this already difficult industry, you got to be in the mindset to put EVERYTHING in. You got to be prepared to do whatever it takes & sacrifice (which is something most people today don't know anything about) to get on your feet in the first couple of years.
    First, you dont need to just assume the loads & the money are out there. You need a guarantee in hand before you even buy that truck. Then when the truck is bought, you can sign that contract & work HARD on that contract to get yourself started. You cant go on hopes and dreams getting into this industry. You got to have something in your hand before you invest your money. If you try to get into this industry on an "if or maybe" your gonna be one of those 70% in the first year.

    The OP says he has enough money to buy a newish truck & wants to make $100,000...
    Do you have 6 months of revenue on hand in addition to buying the truck? Cause that's what the real O/O's out here say you need & I agree.

    You got to be realistic. You got to KNOW there will be breakdown, accidents, DOT inspections & violations/tickets. There's gonna be a $2000 wrecker bill. These are things most don't count on in their dreams. It's all about the money you're gonna just drag in. Most don't look at this problematic industry realistically. Its all about a dream... I'm just gonna get loads, drive, see the country & rake in the money. Yeah, some say they see it but until you feel the realistic affect of sitting beside the road broke down & what affect that's REALLY has on you, not only for that day, but that week, that month & sometimes that year.
    This is why 70% dont make it & another 10% struggle.

    I've rambled enough. I think I've put out there, why most people always get that, it's never a good time to start a trucking business. Because this industry is a hard. It's tough. Everything has to go "good" at best for you the first two years. ANYTHING can break you. Freight is down, fuel is up, insurance goes up, Covid comes along, industry regulations change, accident, had a bad run on DOT inspections etc, etc. These are all things YOU can't control. In this industry, you're simply betting on luck. Betting on luck to be with you & on your side. That don't happen very often.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2024
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