Yes, you can buy your truck insurance through Landstar or you can get your own, but as far as health insurance I think they offer a discounted rate through through an independant agent. The fuel surcharge is paid 100% to the O/O and right now it's .31 cpm but it changes weekly.
Some agents do have loads for refers but I think you have to have your own refer, Landstar don't have any. I can't swear to that but I think it's right.
Landstar has as many flatbeds as vans and we do heavy haul and power only too.
I don't want to discourage you but I would not recomend Landstar to anyone who has never been an O/O before. It's not a very forgiving company. They will help you out some but for the most part you're on your own.
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I have met some agents that have tried to keep some of the fuel surcharge. But you need to tell them that it's yours and you won't take the load unless you get it. And you can report the agent to Landstar and they'll help you with getting what you contracted for.
I have insurance through my wife so I haven't even looked into that. I did get their workers comp that is required if you don't have your own.
Some agents do have Reefer loads but like posted above I think you need to have your own trailer.
I pull a Stepdeck (DropDeck). I like it because the tarp fee is all yours like the Fuel Surcharge.
And the loads pay better than the Dry Van.
Landstar will make sure that you are compliant and have access to the tools that you need to make money, because that's how they make money.
But you need to do the work of finding your loads. You can go home whenever you want and stay as long as you want. They won't even call you. But you need to make sure that your business has the money to survive the time off that you take.
The heavy Haul is where I'd like to be. I've only been driving for 20 months so I need alot more experience but those loads are paying pretty well.
Right now I'm in SoCal visiting with my Mother who is sick. I've found a load going out this Sunday and have lined up my reload already for next Tuesday. While heading for delivery for my reload on Tuesday I'll start looking for a load home to Texas from Washington.
I've had almost 100% positive feedback from drivers that I've interviewed before applying with Landstar. A few had problems getting loads from the internet but they weren't Computer friendly types and had issues using the PC. Landstar will show you how to use the PC and there is a third party vender at the Grand prairie terminal that sells Dells if you need one.
I had experience with thier Broker board coming in so it's even easier now that I have access to their prices.
You do your check calls on the laptop and add fuel money to your card. You can view your weekly statements and cards balances online.
You can check links for the price of fuel and the discount that Landstar gets for you.
You can view available loads and sort them by revenue, wieght, mileage, and so on.
You have to be able and want to take care of everything your self. Landstar doesn't babysit. They do monitor your activity very well.
Like I said, they give you the tools to make money so that they can get a portion of that.
The agents are independant contractors just like the drivers. Landstar has a customer service center to mediate between the two. I've used them quit effectively.
With 8,500 O/O's and 1000 to 1400 agents at any given time, you have access to a large portion of the available loads. Not always what you want but often close.
One driver told me before I signed on, "Landstar is the best of the worst".
You can still have problems with the Customer or the load or the agent but there are resources available to help you overcome these problems.
Landstar makes money when you make money. I make money when Landstar makes money. That's what makes me happy and keeps me rolling.
Any body that has some gumption and a few business smarts will get along fine at LS even starting out. HOW EVER if you are used to your company and your dispatcher holding your hand like happens at almost all other companies you WILL NOT like LS and will think they are a bad company. I've run into guys that claim LS sucked, when I dug a little deeper I found out all they could do was drive a truck from point A to B. Totally unable to ANYTHING else.
Like finding your next load off the load board, calling the agent and making all the arrangments etc, planning your fuel money, tire purchases and all the other day to day things that you must do when you are a O/O.
But I've found that for the most part they will steal anything that you let them.
You're pretty much are on your own at Landstar. Until you ask for help. So if you don't need the help, then you are mostly on your own. As long as you stay compliant.
Try to keep your record clean.
Have good enough credit to buy a decent truck.
Have money saved for the unforseen.
Have a positive attitude for life.
Ask questions when you don't know before it gets out of hand.
The ability to make minor repairs helps.
Have a Credit card incase your money runs out and you haven't made enough yet.
Have a Maintenance Plan and Fund.
Keep the door closed and drive. Get the loads that pay and drive the miles.
Have a support team that is there for you.
Be prepared. And worry about nothing, Pray about everything.
Hope that helps, just my .02 worth.
These are the reasons why I say it's not a good company to start a career as an O/O with. Most, but not all, drivers don't plan for any of this. And most don't realize what the start-up costs are after you buy the truck. Landstar doesn't pay any of these costs, they are deducted from your settlement. So if you're not expecting it, it can be a hard hit when you're expecting a good settlement and you get it and see that plates, permits and insurance has just torn your money to shreds. Plus the fact that it can take around two weeks to sign on with Landstar sometimes and another three days in orientation class, so now you're two and a half weeks in and not made a dime for the truck payment coming up.
Now you're pressed for time on the first payment and you're on a system that is completly new to you so it does take some getting used to. Hopefully you can get running quick and make some money but alot don't realize that sometimes booking your own loads is not as easy as you think.
The one thing I see over and over is guys going where they want instead of where will pay them more money. Florida is a nice place if you're paid by the mile, but not on percentage, same as Texas.
Landstar is in my opinion the best company for an O/O, but not if you don't know what you're doing. Expecting to learn it as you go here will have you meeting the repo man.
Right if you have a truck and you don't plan for this type of stuff and on locating loads, well.............
I live in Texas and don't have a problem with loads. Florida is also easy if you know the agents not in Florida that work Florida. They're not worried about controling frieght in Florida.
About 25% of Landstar's loads aren't posted on their load board. And they tell you this in Orientation. To get the higher paying loads you need to build relationships with some of the agents that you like. They will get you the loads not posted.
But you are responsible for getting yourself loads, and for not getting yourself loads.
Stay at home as long as you want. Or not.
Get a truck with a lower payment if you want to sit at home more. Or by a the truck of your dreams if you want to roll all the time.
Choices are yours.
Apparently the agents are NOT told the same thing the BCOs are told in orientation...... build up a list of drivers to work with before posting the loads on the board. I had over a yr at LS when I quit and no success with agents that I worked for and were praised by them as doing a good job. None of them would call me direct on loads, I would see some of their loads posted and would call them myself. A friend of mine has been with LS 2 yrs now.... same thing. My opinion is that 95% of the agents are too lazy to pick up the phone and check where you are or are too lazy to look in their rollodex for your truck number and then look you up in the computer.
This leaves me to assume the agents either are not told to make a list when they go to orientation, or else most of them don't care.
For example I ran across a new agent that CLAIMED she was looking for a list of good drivers... CLAIMED she put me on her list. And then NOT ONCE did she ever call me.
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