is it worth it to be a true o/o?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Bigchevy, May 20, 2015.

  1. q in sac

    q in sac Light Load Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    Big Chevy. Your 60k a year driving job is cool. But if you said your not going anywhere financially. Then you need to check your lifestyle. If you have too many bills going out, your wants instead of your needs, that an issue that needs to be addressed. Do you want to challenge yourself? Are you willing to take the risk? You have guaranteed $$$$ coming in. Are u willing to give that up for some "satisfaction"?

    Any of the vets on this forum can lead you to the promised land, but they can't make you cross that river. Fear of that river sets in. When you ask for opinions, listen to what they say. Don't get offended when people are giving you direction or their point of view of your questioning. A lot of times there are underlying details that you need to figure out. Listen, 1st and then react later after thinking about what they said. Many of the vets here have suffered the famine and feasted on the good times. Many of these O/O's have 10+ years in their business. Ask any of the vets here and they will tell you they were ready to throw in the towel when bad times came up out of nowhere. But their burning desire and vision kept them going.

    Have you developed a business plan for this venture? There is so many variables in this industry that you will need to consider. Just where you live at, That's a DEAD AREA for flatbed freight. And the pay is below $1.50 per mi. Question. What will be your operating costs doing flatbed? Do you want just to break even or make profit? A lot of things to think about. Remember this: THIS IS A BUSINESS not a hobby. The few have took in the time, took the risk and became successful over time. Many and I do say many, have failed and lost everything because of not researching. "It's nothing personal, it's strictly business." And that's the mentality that you need to develop, to survive in this business. Continue to deep dig deep, step out of your comfort zone. You just don't know how deep that river is until you stick your feet into it.

    Live long and prosper.
    Long FLD, Bigchevy and double yellow Thank this.
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  3. Bigchevy

    Bigchevy Light Load Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Thanks q in sac. I was mainly talking about the guy that was saying anyone friving is stuped.. not his exact words. I have talked with a lot of people and have been thinking about it for a while. The company I am withruns a lot in colorado, the pay is decent for the wall board to denver. I know I will not make a killing, and I know their is a great risk, but their is risk in everything. 60k a year is good, for my area it's decent... after reading talking and listening I have decided to just lease on with my current company for some support. I have made a plan, I have done almost everything I can with what I know. I'm not saying I'm going to do this right this second. Just in the future
    KANSAS TRANSIT Thanks this.
  4. georgeandson

    georgeandson Heavy Load Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    1 mile down the road.
    to answer your first post quickly:
    Stay a company man at 60k a year or get another line of work. Dont waste your life being a slave to your truck.
  5. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    And be slave to your company for 60k
  6. jstephens

    jstephens Light Load Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    dayton ohio
    there is two people in this world 1 is someone who can work for others and 2 someone who likes to do things there own way and not worry about the extra bs. owning your own truck can be great but you have to be strong minded and not give up when things get hard. theres been times when my truck would break down multiple times a week and i would seriously be thinking about working for someone but i kept my head held high and kept going .. why you ask? cause i can drive when i want where i want and as much as i want. i can make 1500 a week and work 3 days a week or make 3000 a week working 5 days a week.. its all up to you
    q in sac, shanman and Bigchevy Thank this.
  7. 062

    062 Road Train Member

    Oct 20, 2013
    Only a slave if you don't enjoy what you're doing. Trucking or any other job.
    SheepDog and Strider Thank this.
  8. spyder7723

    spyder7723 Road Train Member

    Mar 31, 2013
    sarasota, fl
    You go ahead and work a full year for 60k. I'll keep my truck and make more working half as much.
  9. SheepDog

    SheepDog Road Train Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Sand Lake, MI
    I had to read this several times, to make sure I was reading it right Hurst... If you generate $2,000 - $5,000 a week AFTER fuel, tolls and permits,,then your doing way better than I am.

    I have a truck and trailer payment of $596.00 plus $329.00 and my fuel is around 750.00 a week. After my fixed and variable expenses I am lucky to make a profit at all, let alone $2000-$5000. I am having a hard time generating more than $2200 a week gross revenue... I have a 48' step that can haul pretty much anything but I don't haul OD because rates suck. By the time I get the permits and the time delays for OD hauling,,,,it just isn't worth it to me. I have yet to find the elusive crowd I hear about... they are like Big Foot, almost non existent, but yet people still talk about
  10. SheepDog

    SheepDog Road Train Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Sand Lake, MI
    Wait, what??? A guy that wants to start a business,,,,doesn't really have a business when he only had a few dollars in his pocket??? Wow,,,I have heard many stories growing up about, I don't know....Papa Johns, Ford, and the list goes on and on,,,regarding the owner's who started with nothing, financed their soul and now look at them.... It is called sacrifice brother... When a person wants to be a business person, they do what they have to to get it done, surely you get that???
    Bigchevy and kimbosa Thank this.
  11. Hurst

    Hurst Registered Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    I would like to emphasize that netting $5000 is not my norm. Realistically,.. a $4500 - $5000 settlement comes along about every 6 weeks. The money rolls up and down like a roller coaster. Some weeks are really good,.. others meh,.. I'll survive. Main thing is I dont want you to think I'm crying poor me and running those kinds of numbers all the time. Reality is much different. Also,.. I really dont want to get folks bent out of shape or delusional giving my net numbers out. I do things you probably do not. I dont want to go into detail openly about it, it would not set a good example for rookies or new O/O to follow.

    I had a few steady weeks last summer where I netted $7000 - $8000 weekly for 5 weeks straight, running pipe out of San Antonio up to Watford City. Other guys were dead heading back to Tex just to keep running the pipe. I would grab hay or some rental equipment to cover expenses on the way back down.

    That and I am always on the look out for partials. Either I or my dispatch call brokers asking if they have any hotshot loads or partials,.. the kind they save and dont list on the boards. Its difficult to line up and make work most of the time. But often enough,.. things fall in line and those partials raise the rate to the truck. I mean would you do a 25k coil and book another load with it? I have and do it as often as I can. I havent done the math, just guessing here,.. but I think a good 15 to maybe 20% of my income is from partials. They dont pay much by themselves,.. but when you put a load paying $2.44 together with a partial paying $1.50 - $1.62 thats rolling for 80% of the route,.. you can see where this pays off.

    When I go out, I stay out 5 - 8 weeks at a time. All I do is run loads back to back,.. no breaks. I have a set goal/money I need to bank before I return home. I wont come home until that goal is met. When my wife comes out with me,.. we stayed out on the road for 4 months last summer. I do take breaks for a day or 2 when she is out with me. She doesnt cope well with the monotony like I do. It works well,.. because she's doing my laundry or shopping in walmart while I am sleeping. Soon as I wake,.. she hits the rack and I'm doing what needs to get done.

    I haul anything and everything. I do OD loads when they are profitable to do. My dispatch handles getting the permits while I finish up delivering what ever load I'm on. By the time I go after the OD,.. everything is already setup. My wife is in the back printing up the permits that were emailed to me.

    I dont know anything about that elusive crowd either,.. if they exist,.. I am shunned and out of the loop as well.

    I attribute my success to being at the right place at the right time. I have a really good deal with the carrier I am leased with. People here can say what they want about eastern Europeans, but we have a great working relationship. My dispatch doesnt take any BS from people. I've been in the office and listened to how she talks with brokers. She is brutal,.. she says look I can do the load for this amount,.. can we make this happen? Then I hear her snip at who ever is on the phone,.. she says well I dont have time for #### chat,.. call me when you want to talk business and hangs up on them. 2 seconds later she is calling on another load. Thats all she does,.. all day long. I am very fortunate to be where I am and in the position I am in. My truck is paid for. Other than fuel, ez pass, PM's, minor repairs, insurance and annual registration,.. I have no other bills regarding the truck. I mean dude,.. I bought a $20k truck,.. I've put 260k mi on it so far and not one single mechanical break down. Just dumb stuff that a 10yr old truck is going to see. Plus I do 99% of everything in cash,.. so thats all I do,.. I sock as much cash away as I can. I set goals,.. when I have enough of a nest egg,.. I'll make another move. Most of the money my wife says I can spend goes right back into the truck. I am constantly looking for ways to get the truck more efficient and profitable. I started out with a 435hp C15 that barely saw 4.5 - 5 mpg. I am finally seeing steady 6 mpg tanks. 1.2 million on a very reliable pre emissions ACCERT. Who else talks so proud about a reliable ACCERT? Not many,.. so I know I am very lucky and I try to remain as humble as I can because I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am right now.

    March made 12 months as an O/O for me. You guys have a bigger head start than me. I'm struggling to catch up with all you guys in terms of truck and equipment. I dont want to finance. Or if I do,.. I dont want to finance more than 25%. I'm jonesing for a newish 579 Pete and I want a lighter trailer and try some different things. Thats what I am saving for at the moment. I'll get one,.. I'll get it on my terms,.. and I want to get for under market value. All I can do is be patient and keep working until I can make it all happen.

    I dont have the perfect business model,.. nor do I understand all the lanes and the spot market is a mystery to me. I just keep trying and keep pushing myself while I still have the energy to do it. I'm 47 now,.. I know it wont be long before I need to slow down. I feel it in my bones already.

    RubyEagle, 123456, Bigchevy and 4 others Thank this.
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