10 20-25' 3/8" chains grade 70
10 rachets 3/8"
10 4" straps 27' or 30' length ( I prefer 30')
20 chain protectors
20 strap protectors
5 sets of coil racks
10 pieces of 4" x 5' beveled wood for coil racks
10 pieces of belting approximately 4' in length
3 piece tarp set. 2 steel and 1 lumber tarp with 8' drops
1 box of 50 21" bungee's
10 moving blankets approximately 6' in length. You can also use carpet. This is to protect your tarps from damage. You can also use felt or carpet padding. You can buy the blankets at Harbor Freight for about $7/each. You could also start out with disposable baby diapers and use duct tape to secure them in place.
Optional equipment to start:
2-4 4" hand rachets w/straps
6-12 2" had rachets w/straps
The above is the minimum you will need to get started. You can expect to spend approximately $2,200-2,500 for new. I would suggest buying 1-2 extra 4" straps in case you cut a strap. There will be additional equipment you may want to add later. For instance, if you plan on doing over sized loads you may want to purchase 1 or 2 flashing or strobe lights (amber), 2 oversized signs and 6 flags. If you are new to flats, you can wait on the flags, signs and lights. I would not buy them unless you have booked your first load. If you use amber lights with an oversized load in Georgia, you will need to purchase an annual light permit from the state. Ten chains and straps should be sufficient to get started. You can always add more later. You may also want to purchase 3-4 1" hand rachets. they can be used to secure dunnage and other small things on your truck or trailer.
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I will add a couple of comments about securement equipment. I started with 10 chains and binders. I currently keep more that that on my step deck. I have rarely needed more than 10. However, I did need 12 chains on a load that I recently pulled. If you pull a flat, you should do well with only 10 straps and binders. If you only haul steel, you might consider buying a side kit. That would certainly save your tarps. I didn't have blankets, felt or carpet when I first started pulling a flat. I also punched holes in some tarps. I would usually recommend that anyone pulling a flat have as many straps as you have winches. But, I started with 10 and have not had a need to use over that in MOST situations. Having the hand ratchets will provide extra securement, should it be needed. If you see that you will need more straps or chains, you can buy them later. If you plan on leasing to a carrier, you may be able to buy your securement equipment through them for a discount. You may also need about 6 8' pieces of dunnage that will reach across the width of your trailer, but you can usually pick that up along the way. I would not go out and buy extra dunnage. Most shippers have dunnage you can either use or purchase. Most furnish their own dunnage. I carry more securement equipment and tarps, etc., than most flat bed people. That is due to the type of freight that I haul. I would not over buy in the beginning. If you need additional straps, you can pick a couple of at a truck stops, but will pay a premium price. I can buy straps from about $13 at Truckpro. Many trailer dealers and truck parts stores sell straps for much less than truck stops. When you cut a strap, don't throw them away. Instead, cut them up into 12" strips and use them to protect your straps. If you buy extra straps, you will eventually use them.Zangief Thanks this.
Landstar does not sell the equipment directly but they have a vendor named Tri City Canvas in Granite City,IL. that can sell you anything you can possibly need at a nice Landstar discount. With credit approval from LS they can even deduct payments from your settlement. Their website is www.everythingforyourflatbed.com
Hello everyone. My goal is to get on with Landstar, so I was hoping you could give me some advice.
To give you a little background, I have been a company driver for the last two years and have a perfect record, no tickets or accidents, and have never had a moving violation of any kind in my life.
I am single, with no kids, pets, or other dependents.
For the past few months I have been saving up some money, but have a ways to go in that regard. Luckily, I have very low living expenses, so that should help speed the process up a bit. I have no debt, and my only bills are for my cell phone, internet, a storage space, and car insurance and gas. I normally stay out about three weeks and go home for 3-5 days, and this costs me about $200 for a hotel room, or I give my sister that money to stay at her house if she needs the cash. Overall, I would say that my total living expenses are about $600/month plus food.
At my current company I'm pulling a van, and will probably stay with that once I make the move to Landstar, at least for a while. I may eventually make the move to flatbed, but where I'm working now they only pay one cent more per mile than what I make with the van.
At this point, I've been thinking I would like to run an area starting in Minnesota/Wisconsin, and then go down southeast toward Georgia. Then maybe go west as far as Texas if it makes sense, and then back north to Chicago or back home. I want to avoid the northeast like the plague - I don't care how much it pays, it's just not worth it to me to go up there.
I would like to get a truck that is not so expensive that I am working just to make the payments, but not so run down and old that I'm constantly breaking down either. I know repairs are to be expected when you own a truck, but hopefully if you get something decent to begin with, you can keep that to a minimum.
My questions for you are:
How much money should I plan on spending to get a dependable truck? The ones I like so far are either a Kenworth W900L or a Volvo 780. Two completely different types of truck, but I like aspects of both. I haven't test driven either one yet, so who knows, I may end up in something completely different by the time I do actually see what's out there and decide to buy.
Another question is: Would I be better off waiting until I can pay cash for a truck, or in my situation would I be safe to finance one?
Finally, aside from the truck purchase, how much money should I have on hand before making the move to Landstar? After doing a lot of reading on this site, I know there are lots of expenses that will add up. I really want to make this work, so I'm willing to be patient enough to wait until I can save the money required to give myself a good chance at success.
Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
My questions are:
I think that is usually preferable to pay cash. But, it is also important to have money set aside for major repairs. If you decide to finance your truck I would suggest that you keep your payment under $1,000/month. In fact, the lower the better. The W900 and Volvo 780 are heavy trucks. Neither would be my first choice to pull a van around due to the weight of the trucks. Ideally, it would be good to have enough money set aside to pay for a major overhaul or other major expense. An overhaul can run from about $10,000-20,000. If you check out the truck and do an oil analysis and dyno, you can probably get along with less. We all have our own level of comfort when it comes to taking risks. You should start making money within the first week or two after orientation, whether you lease on with Landstar or another carrier. I would caution you about one thing. If you decide to go with Landstar, it can take several weeks to get through their approval process. Most carriers can get you approved in a matter of a few days. Landstar has always taken a longer time to get an approval. Just make sure you allow yourself enough time. If you have all your information in order and they can easily check your references, it will help speed up the process. You will need hazmat endorsement on your CDL before you can lease on with Landstar.
When you lease to a carrier, such as Landstar, you must be very proactive in order to be successful. Landstar doesn't have dispatchers, so it will be up to you to find and book your own loads using their load board and agent contacts. Landstar now also requires that all new BCO's (owner operators) install an EOBR in their truck.
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