Is It a Good Time To be an Owner Operator

Discussion in 'Canadian Truckers Forum' started by Steve A, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. El Tigre

    El Tigre Bobtail Member

    Jul 29, 2019

    Go for the Anvil!!!
    Nothereoften Thanks this.
  2. El Tigre

    El Tigre Bobtail Member

    Jul 29, 2019
  3. MartinFromBC

    MartinFromBC Road Train Member

    Oct 19, 2018
    Leasing a truck is not really owning a truck just like you said.
    Save up and buy a truck.
    Find your own loads.
    And get off the long hwy runs in 5 axle units, the money sucks doing that. Look in your area and see what special niche work is being done. Maybe what you should be in is a Mack Granite tri drive day cab...who knows.
  4. Garththomas

    Garththomas Light Load Member

    Feb 10, 2017
    The company I work for had four OOs sell their trucks and become company drivers.
    In the past 6 months any OOs Ive talked to were just barely making their payments, those lease deals are for suckers.
    From what Ive heard the best time to be an OO was 20 or 30 years ago.
    Nothereoften and Phantom Trucker Thank this.
  5. BigHossCummins

    BigHossCummins Medium Load Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta
    The successful O/O's I know (me being one) all financed our trucks through the dealerships. FINANCE NOT LEASE.

    You also need to work with a company, that is 0 deductions on mileage, and reasonable deductions on percentage. To many guys are mileage with deductions, or insane deductions on percentage IE $1300/mo for a beat up trailer rental.
    Nothereoften Thanks this.
  6. kranky1

    kranky1 Light Load Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I don’t think there is ever a good time to assume all the debt and operational costs of truck ownership if you paint someone else’s name on it and allow them to tell you how much money you’re going to make with it.
    dancecanyon and Runawayscreaming Thank this.
  7. Canucklehead

    Canucklehead Medium Load Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Vancouver BC
    I always buy mine with cash. Sure, no juicy write-off every month. Instead I collect lots of smaller ones each month.
  8. dancecanyon

    dancecanyon Light Load Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    I'm often thinking about whether or not to go o/o but haven't made the jump yet....and won't for awhile. I want to pile up way more cash than I currently have and continue learning about accounting and economics(yes, we've been slowly slipping into a recession since last year and now even more mainstream avenues/media are saying it out loud).

    The accounting I started learning after I failed and folded a small landscaping business in Toronto--I can provide great service but I had no real idea what my numbers were. Once I started looking into accounting courses, wow! I was financially mismanaging things harshly. Sure, you'll probably get a CPA(certified public accountant)to do your filings for you, but knowing the why's and how's of basic GAAP(Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)will only help you, never harm you. Think of it as flat deck work--an extra strap or chain has never hurt anyone but not enough by even one, can hurt someone. Also, you may have a good accountant but don't you want to be able to go over filings and books and know what you are looking at in case you're being fleeced by your own accountant? It happens.

    here's a great, free, course--it's US based so a few things don't quite apply but the principals are the same (GAAP). I was so impressed with the work that I paid for the remainder of the course--best $80 USD I've ever spent.


    there's also this one: not free but recommended by a bookkeeping friend--who is now going for her CPA:

    New School of Finance | First Online Financial School in Canada

    It's Canadian focused.

    another big thing is questioning your spending habits. are you already in debt with credit cards, mortage, past due bills, whatevers? Running a small business often means not spending anything on yourself except your essentials and putting everything else into your business. If you have questionable personal financial habits I highly recommend this guy, Dave Ramsey. He's "Christian based" so you have to put up with some light preaching but his 'get out of debt, stay out of debt, and start saving' practices are solid. He has free podcasts on iTunes and a show on one of the Sirius satellite stations(Triumph),I think. I eventually bought one book from him and didn't think it was a worthwhile buy--all the same principles are covered on his shows.

    A Proven Plan for Financial Success |

    I started studying Economics because after beginning to grasp more personal finance principals, I realized that there are bigger pictures to economies and this capitalistic system we're all running the wheel for. It's been pretty counter intuitive for the most part(my last mark in Macroeconomics was a D+ but I'm still going to plug away). However, I've still learned so much about the bigger system at work--we're basically ###### for now and are basically working to ensure that we can buy more than single ply toilet paper to wipe our ##*, and pay someone to wipe such for us when we no longer can, but I digress--and think I see a glimmer of light of how to work best within this system.

    NPR, CBC, C.D. Howe Institute, Econolib, all have some educational podcasts. Even to just get familiar with the language of business, economics and accounting will help you. It took me so long to accept that a 'debit' is actually a 'credit' on the books and vice versa!!

    All this to write, it's not looking economically the best time to start a business without a healthy pot of cash--not credit(also credit but when things come due and it's been one unexpected after another....)--behind you. From my own perusings of o/o forums and talking with such persons while OTR, it's also looking very important to have set up some lanes for yourself, develop relationships with shippers/brokers/dispatchers, know some basic mechanics, and, as someone earlier wrote, don't lease--finance/buy outright. Who cares about that particular write off against your taxable income? There are so many other items that will help knock that down.

    Just my two cents from the wings....
    BigHossCummins and uncleal13 Thank this.
  9. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    Well I just seen a great example this week of why you really do need a nest egg to get you by for emergencies. An owner-operator leased to a carrier was doing okay, had his Volvo in the shop a bunch last year, but was pretty much caught up on things, then the unexpected happened last week.
    Running about 65 mph in the dark up towards Fort McMurray, then blammo. Hit a full size moose square in the front end at full speed. $60,000 damage estimate.
    Anyone I've known that needed a big job done at the body shop is usually down for 90 days. Meanwhile you still have to make your truck payments. He has a stay at home wife with a young child. Tough times ahead for him.
    You really do need to set aside 3 to 6 months worth of expenses.
  10. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    $60,000 damage. My insurance would total my truck.
    Hope the driver is physically ok.
  11. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    Just fine, he kept it upright. Its a 2016 Volvo, probably only worth $65-75k. He was hoping they'd write it off. They said if it had the D13 engine they would have, but he has the D16 which they consider more valuable , but we consider it unreliable.
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