HELP! is it worth going O/O in California

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


    OLDSKOOLERnWV Captain Redbeard

    Nov 29, 2011
    West Virginia
    Man told me one time that if you want to win at anything you have to remember that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog…
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  3. BoostedTeg

    BoostedTeg Road Train Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Boise ID
    To me becoming a O/O was not just about making more money. It was the ability to do things my way and take time off when I want to and for how long I want to.
  4. Milr72

    Milr72 Medium Load Member

    Dec 16, 2011
    S W Missouri
    We had a taco place close up shop here in our little burg. They said it was almost impossible to find good help and the cost of food was sky high.
    Sirscrapntruckalot Thanks this.
  5. FryDaddy

    FryDaddy Light Load Member

    Jul 27, 2018
    Chandler, AZ
    I decided last year to get my own truck, after my great company team driving job started lowering my pay to try to keep up with falling freight rates. I figured I could at least make what I was making as a company driver, and I could have a little more control over my future. I am 59 yrs old, only 5 years as a truck driver. Once I saw that there were a ton of used trucks available (from other owner/lease guys dropping out), I jumped in, with some savings and 3 separate loans to purchase the truck from a Tulsa dealership. I was ready to run hard, did the same with my company job, so thought I was ready for most everything.

    Fast forward 8 months later, and I am living paycheck to paycheck, high credit usage and lower credit scores, and barely getting by. I knew it would be tough the first year, and I was prepared for some sacrifices. Still I am glad I did it!! First company I leased onto almost bankrupted me, an outfit out of Chicago area, but then I found a carrier in my local Phoenix area, and switched to them. Some weeks I am ahead, others I just break even. I chose to hire my own co-driver and run team from the beginning, to try for the best revenue possible.

    My wife thought it was a bad idea, but knew it was my dream to do this, and even though I have had some recent very bad events happen, and some big truck repair bills (almost exhausting my business credit cards), I am still happy to be an owner operator. So, for my 2 cents, I recommend giving it a shot. Don't expect to get rich the first year or two, or maybe ever. Have some credit resources, to carry you through the big repair bills that may come your way. My income dropped from 120K as a company driver, to now around 75K, but I am also paying my truck debts furiously. Jump in, find a local carrier instead of a national or Chicago-based carrier to lease onto, and enjoy the road! BTW, if my company pay had stayed at $120K, I would not have become an owner op LOL.
    wifi_guru and NorthEastTrucker Thank this.
  6. NorthEastTrucker

    NorthEastTrucker Medium Load Member

    Sep 21, 2019
    ####, sounds like what occurred to me over the last couple years since being an O/o. Fortunately, now I'm able to stabilize and recoup money lost. I'd recommend anyone who decides to become an O/o now have their finances in place. Not just one reserve but a few reserves. $100k isn't as much as people think when a truck is down after 4 months especially if you have family expenses including mortgages, car loans etc. Bills never stop, and debts accumulate substantially if one isn't watching their finances daily.
  7. ohandy1

    ohandy1 Bobtail Member

    May 29, 2021

    A few years ago I was looking to buy a truck after less than a year into my cdl. I was on another forum and looked for much the same advice. I would swear there is a prize for who can ridicule my proposition more. At the time there were no trucks around, no trailers, and repair bills would put me in the poor house within a week or two, so I was told. I got home for my few days with my wife that month when my neighbor said I should find me an end dump trailer and he'd help me get going.

    I hit pretty much every problem promised. I overpaid for a trailer. Got an old truck which over the next couple years needed a radiator, transmission, drive shaft, brakes, clutch, and the ac left me wheezing here in FL. But I made enough to pay off that truck, that trailer, and make every repair and still have enough for the car payment(s), insurance, cell phones, and a few trips to Key West with the Mrs. I've made friends, contacts, and learned a lot about patching and replacing tires (I can do brakes and carrier bearings too). Even had my trailer welded back together a few times before buying my own welder.

    Helps that the Mrs. has a decent job so I don't need a ton, but I don't do this for free.

    Oh, I also had one broker get blackballed, and another stiffed me for $20K. I'll still be driving come Monday. Tenacity and faith in God's providence has kept me going. I haven't gotten rich, but it's been a road worth traveling.

    I'm here today because it's time to get one of those cheap trucks with ac. Demolition is getting slow, so I'm considering augmenting with the ability to run otr between demos. Yup, I've had plenty of time off too. Probably why my account stays where it is, where there's time there's a project that needs doing. New wood floors, major landscaping, new tile... that kinda thing. All thanks to doing what I was told was impossible.

    Mistake I made was not getting my authority back then. I could have aged it nicely in this time, so now I'll have to see what I can do with a new authority. I know rates are bad and insurance has doubled in a couple years, but I also know that trucks are still moving stuff and will in any economy. Eventually, the rates will recover and these truck prices will double. Then it'll be a really bad time to go O/O.

    It's a tough job, but who here's been a plumber, or a tree climber, or a teacher, or run a small construction company? I have. Think those are easy? Learn to code? Ha! AI does that in seconds now (yup, I did that too). Trucking ain't easy, but short of a big inheritance, what is? Manage expectations. Be willing to adapt. Be humble and content with what you have so when more is gained it's a joy.

    To everyone who says don't do it, that may be good advice to some, but it would be nice to see some advice on how to succeed once in a while. If you can survive this slow time it might just be the best time to jump in.
    blairandgretchen Thanks this.
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