Is it time for me to jump in as an Owner Operator?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by W Bench Farms, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. W Bench Farms

    W Bench Farms Light Load Member

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    I have been dragging my feet on jumping into the O/O world for quite a while. All of my equipment if paid for, truck, flatbed trailer, hopper bottom. Don't have a good van at the moment. I do all of my own repairs, change and mount tires. Just not the major stuff. Have a guy that does that for me. I have my own operating authority. I currently use this equipment in another business, so just hauling my own products and equipment. I have been watching the loadboards off and on for about 2 years. Freight seems to be higher now than it has been. I have driven trucks for 20 years, just not full time. I would fill in for drivers here and there. Currently, I help a guy I know out when he needs drivers a couple times a month pulling a hopper bottom, sometimes a van. The only thing that I would need to do to put my truck on the road is change my insurance to for hire and put apportioned plates on the truck. Just got a new insurance quote a week or so ago. $4000/year, and plates around $1600. 300 mile radius. The main reason I'm hesitant is that if I make the jump, I know I'll have keep the truck running because of the overhead. I cut back on my current job from full time to 3 days a week back in August. I also farm about 450 acres, but a good bit of that work is seasonal. My thoughts are run the truck 3-4 days a week. That will make my time more flexible to account for weather and work on the farm.

    I have been thinking of staying regional, within about 300 miles of home. That way I can make a 1.5-2 day trip out of it, with a load going out and one coming back. Right now, there were 799 flatbed loads on Truckstop within 75 miles of me going out about 350 miles. I'm about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, just across the river in Ohio.

    I don't want to contribute to cheap freight. I've run my numbers, and have spreadsheets out the *** with different $/mile, loads, miles/year, etc. If anyone wants to take a look, I can send them, but to keep the story short, I think that at $2.20/mile all miles, if I run about 50k miles for the year, I can make a pretty good go at it. I'm thinking my operating cost (Plates, insurance, fuel, repairs, not including driver) at $1.10-1.20/mile ($55k-60K). Driver (Me) $0.85/mile ($42.5k), and the company $0.25/mile ($12500). I like to figure off of all miles rather than loaded. Makes it easier for me to figure because if it's a big deadhead, but pays enough, it all works out. I don't plan on staying out more than overnight, and keep within 300-400 miles of home.

    Are these numbers realistic? I have talked to numerous people over the past year or two. Some said they'd look at my numbers...no response. Others say right off the bat "there's no money in trucking." There's also no money in farming, but I've been building some things up and have been making it work. I want to know if I'm way off base on my thinking and my numbers. I don't want to run 100k miles a year, and I don't need to make $250k. I just want to make more money than I'm making now, and have my time more flexible. I'm a little concerned with making any jump until after the new president takes over to see what happens. I'm planning on staying in my current spot until at least March 1st. Just planning.

    I'm open to thoughts and suggestions. I have done lots of research on all of this. I'm going to make some kind of move, I just want some other eyes on things to make sure I'm looking at things the right way.
     
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  3. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

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    Your numbers look good. I’d pull a van vs flat bed, or even a reefer. Quit dragging your feet, you already have missed the highest rates trucking has ever seen. By March 1 which could turn into July 1 after planting season, all the big dollars could be gone until next cycle.

    Seriously, get after it! You have put a ton of thought into this and I know you’ll do great. I grew up around farming and my Dad still farms good size so I know exactly what you mean. You’ll do fine but get going and stock up some money before you miss the boat.

    Insurance wise that sounds a bit cheap but your overall numbers are correct. Your radius you can make work but don’t box yourself in to only that.
     
  4. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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  5. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    Your way off on that insurance quote. There is absolutely “No way” that they quoted you $4k for a year. Not even liability is that low. A new authority and or owner operator quote is gonna hit you for a minimum of 20k. You might get lucky and get one for 18k. You best call other insurance companies/brokers to confirm what I’m telling you.
     
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  6. W Bench Farms

    W Bench Farms Light Load Member

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    My authority is not new, has been active since 2010, and have always had the same insurance carrier. Liability $1,000,000 plus $100,000 cargo on one truck $4522. That is not any comprehensive. On my older equipment, I don't think it'd be worth the cost.
     
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  7. W Bench Farms

    W Bench Farms Light Load Member

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I originally thought the insurance was pretty cheap, but I have had it quoted several times over the past year or so, just to keep up with rates. For hire, 300 mile radius, one truck, liability/cargo only, steel-lumber-general freight, $4522.
     
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  8. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    What company are you insured with ? Not the broker or agent, but the actual insurance company. I just renewed mine and have more coverage than you have stated, liability alone I’m looking at $5100.00 for 1 million plus I have another million for an umbrella. My agent is going through Northland.
     
  9. W Bench Farms

    W Bench Farms Light Load Member

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    Progressive. $1M liability was $3844. $100k cargo $658 w/ $2500 deductible.
    300 mile radius, and I'm based in Ohio.
     
  10. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

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    Your existing authority combined with paid for equipment, low radius, and low overall miles make you a good risk. I figured you’ll end up around $6500 but that’s still close enough to not make much difference in your profitability.

    Side note: Trucking and farming IMO are pretty similar. Most people from the outside looking in see big money easily gotten. What they don’t realize is those people having been doing it a long time are the ones who made it and figured a way to survive. All they see is big assets and lots of land. Not the many many who went broke trying. I do acknowledge though these people who figured it out do tend to have done very well for themselves. It ain’t easy tho!
     
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  11. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    Absolutely unheard off. Something isn’t right. But good luck to you. I’m not gonna burst your bubble. Especially with progressive, there the highest in the industry. If I was you, I would call another agent(other than progressive) to make sure those numbers are close. I’ve been and owner operator since 1984 and that rate you got quote on reminds me of those good ole days that it cost me to get insured. Just to let you know what my renewal was this time, I’m at $9200.00, 2 million liability, $100,000 cargo, $25,000 trailer, $50,000 tractor(comp) 2 million general liability and a few miscellaneous.
     
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