New Owner Operator Few Questions

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by 1arko23, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. 1arko23

    1arko23 Bobtail Member

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    Hello, sorry for the long post but wanted to get some insight into my plan for 2021.

    Backstory...
    My father in law started driving July 2019 by finishing Salt Lake Community College CDL school, and against many peoples advice, buying a brand new 2019 Volvo VNL 860 I-Shift Automatic Tractor with used Reefer Utility Trailer. Almost two years later and he is very happy where he is financially. He was showing me the books (very organized knowing where every dollar goes), and it got me interested to get my CDL and start driving as well. He drives reefer loads from Utah to Midwest and Back. Takes about 4 days on the road and 3 days home.

    I started my CDL school and hoping to get into a truck around July 2021 due to needing to hold my job for childbirth and health insurance.

    My questions:
    Being a new driver I will be looking to buy a brand new truck (Volvo VNL 860 I-Shift) or fairly new truck with less than 200k miles on it. Leaning more towards the brand new. I may opt out to get a Dry Van Trailer and see how that goes running from Utah to Midwest.

    Is it better to start my own business, with new MC and everything else, or should I consider adding my truck to his existing business and operate under his authority?

    How would I go about financing options? Would I need to get financing on my name, or is it better to get financing under the business he owns?

    When it comes to taxes? What is a better option? Going on my own, or adding a truck to his business?

    Our goal is to have a small fleet and eventually find a piece of land to open up service and parking for Semi Trucks (10 year goal).

    My wife has been dispatching him and I plan for her to dispatch me as well.

    Another concern for me is health insurance for myself, wife, and 2 children. That may be why I have been at my company for so long and not ventured out on my own in trucking or other business. Working for the company is paycheck to paycheck but safe.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    @Ridgeline & @Dave_in_AZ
    `
    Guy in Tennessee did the exact business model you describe. He was the envy of the neighborhood. Couple of maintenance expenses and a fender bender and he lost it all, including his home because he had business and personal finances intermingled.
     
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  4. 1arko23

    1arko23 Bobtail Member

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    I wouldn't tie my personal finances with business. Business would be separate regardless of going with the existing business or opening my own business. Having a Business LLC protects personal property. My father in law had to put up his house as collateral to get financing due to being a brand new driver. He has since already taken the house off from collateral and now just runs the business and pays business expenses.
     
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  5. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

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    2020 was basically a record year. You may want to temper your expectations a tad.
     
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  6. 062

    062 Road Train Member

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  7. 1arko23

    1arko23 Bobtail Member

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    My expectations are to make a decent living in this business. With the inflation, economy, and housing prices going up non stop, its very hard to make a future working a regular job while everything else is getting more and more expensive. I believe with hard work its possible to make a good living in this business to live comfortably. I guess I will see how things are in the first half of 2021 before jumping into any decisions.
     
  8. 1arko23

    1arko23 Bobtail Member

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    He got his first year for $1300 per month starting out with Progressive.
     
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  9. 062

    062 Road Train Member

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    How many years experience did he have and how many will you have when he adds you?
     
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  10. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    I think running under your Fathers MC# would be best. Less paperwork, and if for some reason, he has to close it down, you can get an MC# and hire him. Keep the financials separate as possible. For the same reasons. A simple contract, outlining insurance, plates, fuel taxes, etc. It can all be ran through his MC#, and charged back to you. The only things you would need is a EIN# in the form of an LLC or S corp. or Sole Proprietor. Also, Collision, Fire, theft coverage on financed equipment, paid HUT2290, and bobtail,( Non Trucking liability ) insurance. Everything else would be through him, and charged back (paid) by you. Paying you on a 1099, and charging you back for everything. You write off all you’re costs. You two can use this as a template, to be tweaked for future O/Os. He should make at least 10-15% off your Truck. After all he has a lot of Liability riding on you. Also has to pay the Office Lady, your wife. If She can handle the deadlines for all the Regulations, to help stay Legal, And book loads, all the better. Depends on how involved she is willing to be. Her role could become very stressful. You’ll need to be careful not to take what she does for granted, and be very supportive. Nothing causes more problems than an unhappy wife, who feels unappreciated. Hopefully you can all pull your strengths together and be successful. Good Luck.
     
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  11. The Crossword Trucker

    The Crossword Trucker Heavy Load Member

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    Your father in law has been insanely lucky.
    Probably went in with some small business experience ?
    Probably has an IQ of 120 or better...are you also in this range?
    Is your family Mormon? Has he received great advice and or connections and a leg up from fellow church members?
    Where is his freight coming from? Maybe he has business connections that are helping there?

    You see me making a lot of big assumptions here right?
    That is because there is something pretty abnormal about your story. Something is missing.
    While it is perfectly possible for a person go straight from trucking school to o/o, success is very unlikely . Not impossible mind you, but unlikely.
    You need to figure out exactly what your father in laws superpower is and honestly ask yourself if you also possess it.

    Anyone here with any sense will tell you to work for someone else for two years before you buy a truck.
    The rules of life however are different for everyone
    Good luck
     
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