Is becoming an owner operator a good idea?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Sean_yo123, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Jubal3

    Jubal3 Heavy Load Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Central WA
    I've been driving for 20 months now and I don't think i'm ready to be an OO.

    Make those mistakes that you WILL, INEVITABLY make, on someone else's s dime.

    Because you WILL, I PROMISE you, make some serious mistakes that cost a company not insignificant money, your 1st 2 years driving. I thought I wouldn't, I was WRONG. I DID. And these were comparatively small-change mistakes, with no other vehicles involved. If you have a $50k truck, doing $10k in damage to it is EASY. Replace a bumper? $5k. How easy is it to destroy bumper? TRUST me, it's EASY. And that's assuming you didn't hit any other vehicles.

    I've had two significant issues since I started driving almost 2 years ago, none of which involved another vehicle or negligence. Another 2 which were another driver whacking me at a truck stop while I was showering or in the sleeper, that's another $20k

    Because, you really DO NOT know WTF you are doing out here for 2-4 years.

    I don't mean to rain on your parade, but you truly do NOT know WTF you are doing for 2-4 years.

    And being an owner-op, you have your entire financial future on the line. Is that really a bet you wanna make when you barely have a clue?

    And that doesn't begin to touch the business issues. I'm just telling you, truthfully, that I hadn't had an accident of any kind, not a ticket in 20+ years, and in 2 years of driving I've hit two stationary objects which cost my companies a lot of money. Because I feel as a CDL driver, about like I did at 21 right now as a regular driver. And Holy Cow, I learned a LOT between 21 and 30 as a regular driver. I figure I have 1-3 years to go to REALLY learn how to drive these big rigs. And I'll be still learning then. Just, WAIT. I have been saving my [ennies for my own first truck, and I'm still waiting, not because of the money, but because of my own ignorance.
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  3. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    I have said this in several threads now. I have epilepsy and I sometimes have memory issues. I actually today don't trust my memory anymore. However I want to tell this story so that my true intent is revealed. When I made that first post I was coming from a place I have seen many times. ( I worked prepossessing Tractors for a while in the 90s) I remember watching a young woman holding a crying baby trying to negotiate with the guy I worked for for another chance. He told her her husband had his last chance and as I entered that almost new pete and started it up I watched this lady turn around with large tears in her eyes and walk dejected back inside the house. I understand from the guy I worked for that the house this couple lived in was also in the loan and they soon will be forced to move out. I felt about 6 inches tall as I drove that tractor to the drop yard in another town. That job actually paid very well and all my hotel rooms and other travel was paid for. It however took a huge toll on me and I was forced to quit. I bring this up to the OP and anybody else that cares only to beg ( the Exrayman is on his knees now) you to make #### sure you got all of the bases covered before you enter into that loan or lease agreement. Trust me on this, these repo people are even today working actively.

    Edited to add something VERY important.

    It has been reported that banks all over have so many delinquent outstanding loans they are not repossessing tractors. This is a myth. Don't believe it. Yes it may take the bank several months to get a repo team hired and find where you have that tractor hidden. However they will at some point get it. One variation of this myth is the banks don't have places to park repossessed tractors. This is pure 100% BULL. There are hundreds of not thousands of drop yards all over the country. Banks hire people to get the tractors and then store them till they can get the tractors most of the time to auction places. I have taken many tractors directly from someone and drove it to an auction house. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a truck stop attorney render the opinion that you have nothing to worry about if you get way behind on your payments. I can't help but smile and feel a bit sorry for the poor fool that listens to him. However this is also part of trucking and is not going away anytime soon.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
    Dye Guardian Thanks this.
  4. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Blah blah blah.

    To the op, there Is something that I'm going to say that will ruffle feathers here.

    The first thing is being an owner is a business it isn't a vocation or a hobby, it is a business. The operator part is a far less importance than the owner part and people seem to lump them in together as if it is important.

    What I mean is you have a little bit in learning how to operate the truck but a large amount to learn how to run a business and keep it afloat.

    Owner operators, especially with authorities are really all over the place and I am guessing with some experience most are marginal operations at best.

    Many don't get how to sustain and diversify or manage to make money long term, many of them look at the next week or next month and nothing more. Too many of them are down right cheap and it reflects their entire business attitude. Make the money no matter what, but anjunnk truck cheap and repair it when needed, cheap.

    Second is you, what do you want to do?

    It is a serious question and needs to be answered.
    Ruthless and Ragman54 Thank this.
  5. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Supply and demand isn't hard to understand.

    Milk is cheap in Laredo but tortillas aren't.
    Milk is high in Minnesota but tortillas aren't.

    Buy low sell high.

    Twisters come?
    Take some wood out there!

    ...OK just stop before this becomes a hit song.
  6. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    None ruffled here. I'm in 100% agreement with you. In fact sometimes I think the kindest act you can do to somebody is plant a size 10 boot 2 feet up somebody's butt. It is called tough love and it is not done near enough!
    tscottme Thanks this.
  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    If you do the right things smartly you can make more money. If you do it the wrong way you will lose your rear end. You're betting big money on your work ethic & business knowledge. With a company driver your paycheck is all profit & your boss takes almost all risk. There is a half way step of leasing with a big company, like Prime. They have a cookie-cutter method that seems to work, but you are still taking the financial risk, not them. You could do a 1-3 year lease with them to learn what you need with lots of hand holding & support.
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