How much do I need to start as an owner operator?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Jbrow327, Nov 26, 2021.

  1. Jbrow327

    Jbrow327 Light Load Member

    Sep 28, 2019
    Say i save around 20k. Is that enough to start in the industry as an owner operator? Is there a book I can buy that tells me all the know I'll need? What type of truck should I get if my biggest concern is reliability? I'd prefer the automated manual.
    Do I have to do otr or is there a lot of local stuff for owner operators?
    austinmike and Pamela1990 Thank this.
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
  4. Don379

    Don379 Medium Load Member

    Jan 7, 2021
    Simple answer is no 20k is nowhere near enough for buying an 18 wheeler and crossing over state lines. Your insurance will probably be over 20k a year.
    As FAr as what truck to buy, thats personal preference. SO many variables and factors.
  5. HoneyBadger67

    HoneyBadger67 Road Train Member

    Dec 15, 2018
    Champaign, IL
    Are you going to be independent or lease on with an established company?

    If you're going independent, 20k will get you started but you won't go anywhere because you have no operating capital.

    If you're going to lease on with an established company, 20k is a decent start. I had less than that when I started and I'm fine after 5yrs.

    The difference between local and OTR is a different matter. Local is usually dump or hopper, sometimes flatbed, almost never van. OTR has more options for van/flatbed and, with the right company, you can be home more frequently.
    D.Tibbitt Thanks this.
  6. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    20k is possible. O or very small dn pymt. If you have the credit. Then Lease onto a Carrier that pays an honest %. You might get Lucky, you might go broke. Then you’ll need credit cards to cover repairs. At that point it’s a matter of time. Do more research. You shouldn’t buy a Truck if you have to ask. I understand you have to start somewhere. YouTube is full of winners and losers. Good advice, and bad. Good Luck. Keep Learning. It’s not that hard. Best to be prepared for the worst. Lot of variables and unexpected things involved. No such thing as 100% foolproof way to Success.
    D.Tibbitt Thanks this.
  7. Jbrow327

    Jbrow327 Light Load Member

    Sep 28, 2019
    I'm starting to think my best bet is get a dump truck and do local dirt work
    austinmike Thanks this.
  8. skallagrime

    skallagrime Road Train Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    Pick your truck, figure out your living payments, insurance, house, food etc etc

    Multiply by 1 year, add your downpayment

    Thats about tge right amount
  9. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Local dump work can be good if you have the right connections or know somebody already in the business.
    A guy just starting out, not knowing the business, will have a tough time at first and the economics of dirt hauling are very unforgiving.
    Why not drive for somebody else for awhile? You'll learn the tricks and trade of the business, make a decent wage, and build up a network of contacts.
    MLC Adventures Thanks this.
  10. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    There are a few threads on this website that drivers/owners have recorded their journey. Good and bad.
    Good luck
  11. Pamela1990

    Pamela1990 Road Train Member

    Nov 7, 2021
    B.C. Canada
    If you start off with 100 million dollars, truck for 30 years, you should still have enough money left to comfortably retire.
    FearTheCorn, D.Tibbitt, pavrom and 2 others Thank this.
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