I've been reading through the forums here, and im not having any luck finding what I'm looking for. Every post I can find about new O/Os starting out is based on getting your own authority etc
Let's say for the moment, that I've already found a truck and financing for said truck, and I have some money set aside. Not a lot, but some to start. My intention would be to lease on to the carrier I currently work for pulling flatbed loads. I already know what the revenue looks like because I've been a percentage paid company driver there for almost 2 years.
The question here is this... What are the steps that I would have to take prior to leasing on to a company? What expenses are generally my responsibility? What's the normal business filing for this? What things should I be aware of BEFORE I go talk to the boss about making this change? I want to know as much as possible about a fair deal on this before hand so I know if I'm getting screwed
Any input is helpful. Thanks
Considering some carriers require you to be incorporated and won’t allow an LLC or sole proprietor. Some require you to run on their base plate, some require you to have your own, same with insurance. So I would suggest you talk with the carrier first to find out what they require and allow before you sign the papers on the truck. That way you won’t get on the hook for the truck only to find out that you don’t have quite enough money saved or they won’t allow the truck you bought.
The first thing ... absolutely first thing is get your house in order, learn how to organized your business and home life.
Then the second thing is to do your due diligence in the truck, dyno with blowby, oil analysis on all fluids, ecm dump (full not summary) and any other thing that can tell you what work has been done like dealer order records.
You also need to have two to three months operating expenses, just in case.
Yeah I'll have a talk with them. I just wanted to know more about the usual process
I haul for a small carrier. 35 trucks, almost entirely local except about 10 company and o/os that run regional flatbed which is where I would go because that's where my experience and most of the money is.
They don't care what I purchase for a truck as long as it's reliable and inspectable. I've been looking at a few options which is have to decide on after talking with them.
I don't have 2-3 months expenses saved, but I do know that we pay our o/os weekly, finance repairs, provide loaner trucks as needed, and fuel expenses are deducted from settlements, so there's a fairly good safety net there. And I have my household in order, bills are minimized to prepare for possible lean times, little to no debt, etc.
I will have the talk with them when I'm ready. They already know that's my long term goal. As I said, I really just wanted to know a bit more about what's NORMALLY expected
1. If I'm leasing on do I still need my own MC or DOT#?
2. How do you recommend filing as a business?
3. Assuming I'm running their base plates, what insurances are usually required for ME to provide?
4. What are the most important questions for me to ask?
For the company I'm leased onto these were the steps, after already said going thru the truck very thourghly and house in order. And you want to talk to the company to confirm as to this is how it is here.
#1- Copy of title front and back.
#2- EIN# to file 2290, after getting my EIN# my company filed my 2290 and then I pay the $550, which you have 30 days to pay after filling.
#3- A recent DOT inspection, not only passing but up to company specs. Be sure to check the company specs for new lease on trucks, like my company instead of DOT specs of drive tires 2/32 minimum, the company's is 5/32 for new hire on trucks.
#4- filling out paperwork for license, insurance, and permits, my company has gives the choice of their plates and insurance or yours as long as insurance meets requirements, again talk to your company.
#5- pictures of the truck
#6- they send your truck numbers and company name, etc., stickers that you apply to the truck, that's how my company did it.
#7- start driving.
Again that's how my company did it. A very easy and simple process taking only a couple of days.
No you don't have to get a MC or DOT#, that's only if you get your own authority, that's what leasing on is you and the carrier agreeing to run your truck under there MC and DOT#.
As far as what business filling method to use, can be different for everybody, that is something I would ask other operator's at that company or a financial advisor. I just run under my name as an Independent Contractor, works for me, might not for you.
Withe my company I pay for my truck, trailer, bobtail, and workers comp., And the company covers the big one load insurance ,part of the percentage they take of the load. Again talk to the company, License and Permit Dept.
As far as important questions, you've already been driving for them so you should have a good foot in the throttle, but as about the questions I've already stated.
Ask about when settlements go out as to that could very likely be different from company settlement days.
Ask about dispatch- is it forced, do you deal with the company agents yourself on lining out loads, can you deal with outside brokers if they don't have a load for you ( if so is there a pay difference, with my company I get more percentage of the load because I found it on my own, but generally outside broker loads pay less anyways.)
Fuel- do they have a fuel program, and where is there biggest discounts and if they have rebates with any one. As far as rebates go I was leased on with a company once that supposed to have gotten quarterly rebates back from pilot/flying j, still waiting on those and it's been about 6-7 years since I left that company so don't hold your breath on that if any.
Repairs- do they have any shops that they have better discounts with or national tire accounts. In the case of something happening that you may not be able to afford, will they pay the bill as a loan or are you on your own, that will help you determine what kinda of nest egg you need for repairs, but always plan for the worst.
You said your going flatbed, ask about securement equipment, do they offer anything, quality of equipment which you should have a good ideal about. Do they have any accounts with equipment companies so you can pick up equipment yourself, like custom tarps or even better quality equipment, if so desired.
I could go on and on but this is getting pretty long and that's pretty much the a,b, 3's of it. Hope it helps.