New Owner Operator needs guidance

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Nakobi, Mar 21, 2023.

  1. Nakobi

    Nakobi Bobtail Member

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    Hello guys, I am totally new to the trucking world, yes I have a lot of knowledge from reading different materials/trainings here and there but never the practical thing. I just opened my company name, got my DOT,MC & BOC-3, about to financial a 2018 freightliner 389k miles hopefully it goes through, I will probably lease a trailer. I already have a driver with 2 years experience, then I have a dispatcher as well. Please kindly advise and guide me on stuffs to take note of or to avoid to be a successful owner operator. Thank you
     
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  3. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    What are you planning to haul ? What commodities is your “Dispatcher” going to set you up with ? Are you going to pay your driver 1099 or W-2 ? Seems you have the equipment sort of set up, please elaborate what your game plan is……..
    According to you, you’ve done a lot of research, have you researched on how trucking is doing today with inflation, low paying rates, high fuel prices, and high insurance rates for new starter’s?
     
  4. NH Guy

    NH Guy Medium Load Member

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    You are going to need a better business plan than just "buy a truck and hire a driver" do you have any idea of costs to expect?

    Why does a 6+ year old truck only have 389k miles? Why, and how long has it been sitting?

    How much of a reserve fund are you going to have on hand for expenses? Fuel, tires, maintenance, wreckers, repairs for when something breaks, etc

    Who told you getting into trucking in this economy was a good idea? Lots of companies going under right now, what are you going to be able to do differently to avoid this?

    Why are you going to put your entire business into the hands of a hired dispatcher? Being an absentee truck owner doesnt sound like a very smart move to me.
     
  5. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    FIRST ---->>> your driver will fail you, 2 years experience isn't enough for a start up, try someone with 7 to 10 years who has been working in different lanes and knows what good freight is and what is bad freight. Having a dispatch service as a start up is stupid, you need to know what they are handing you so to manage the truck, having it just just take loads leads to a failure.

    Second don't just buy a truck, do your due diligence by having the truck throughly checked - Dyno with blowby (which isn't watching the vent tube), having a complete ECM dump, having an independent mechanic go through the truck and check everything which is used as part of the negotiation. Trucks are niot cars, they are tools that are considered very high performance which can lead to catastrophic failure rate with high repair cost and long down time.

    Third hope you are well funded. you can't run without paying the bills. Driver retention is the most important thing, you HAVE TO PAY YOUR DRIVER BEFORE YOU PAY YOURSELF. AND if your truck craps out on you, shop time is getting longer because of a lack of mechanics who want to work on trucks, so the truck is down, the driver is idle and he isn't being paid so what happens?

    He leaves, you're screwed.

    YOU NEED AT LEAST 5 to 6 MONTHS OF WORKING CAPITAL TO RUN THE BUSINESS AND SUSTAIN IT THROUGH HARD TIMES.

    To go along with this, the trucking industry has the highest business failure rates, it is normally 85% first year failure which now is close to 93%, and with the entrance of people trying to be armchair steering wheel holders (that is a new guy with no experience buying a truck and hiring a driver to make the big bucks), it will increase as it did in the past.

    Fourth we are going into or already in a recession (depending on which talking head you listent to) and this industry have 27% overcapacity, entering it on a down trend in revenue and an up trend in capacity, plus we have a large number of new entry (0-3 years) drivers who can not drive which insurance is responding to them.

    I can go on but it is tiring to hear all these people thinking they can become fleet owners and hiring (most of the time) crap drivers which hurts the industry in the long run. It drives down the rates because many of these marginal owners are getting desperate not to fail and they take what ever they can to just barely pay the bills.

    EDIT - by the way you are not a new Owner Operator, you are a fleet owner.
     
  6. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    Good ol' Ridgeline, tells it like it is. Being a bit less gruff, I can say from experience, you are destined to fail, HOWEVER, it can be done. Things that ruin these ventures are, insurance, ( that alone will kill you) compliance, and above all, repairs. With a truck like that, it's inevitable, that truck will be down more than it's running,,heck, you'd almost be better buying a new one, that way when, not if, you fail, you have some resale, provided the driver doesn't plow into stopped traffic, that is. What I did, was go with a "power only" deal, and eliminated a ton of hassle. If you can hook on to a decent contract, opportunities are out there. Due to the failures, there's probably more freight than ever. With so many company jobs, and GOOD ones too, it's almost foolhardy to go it on your own these days. Best of luck.
     
  7. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    OP, I know your bottom lip is pooched out right now after reading the above replies. Unfortunately, its the truth though.

    My advice, get YOUR CDL and drive for a company for a minimum of 4 years, then see where you are. Sometimes we seem to let our dreams run our passion. Dreams are just that sometimes... a dream. Get yourself some firsthand experience, then rely on your true experience.

    I once posted here for a new entrant........
    I've had six heart stents. They don't put you to sleep to do that. You're awake & talking so you can see & hear everything going on including watching the monitor.
    I've been reading up on this so, I told my cardiologist, I think I'm just going to do the next one myself. I mean, I've done a lot of research on this and watched a ton of youtube videos & I think I have it down. After I do my first one, I think I'm just gonna buy me a white coat & go in business for myself.

    Now that don't make much sense does it?

    Whether you believe it or not, its the same thing. Either of these ideas are just as silly as the other. I don't mean to offend or belittle you, but think about it..... it really is the same thing.

    The following statement can apply to either dream/idea.
    Put that on hold until you've been able to get some training and practical experience. Once you have about 4 or 5 years of training & personal experience, then consider doing it by yourself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  8. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

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    Maybe you won’t have the same type issue l, Luckily I own several, but last truck I bought I checked everything.
    Have all records since it was new.
    Run it two weeks, shows misfire in cylinder 6.
    3.5 months in shop, wasn’t cylinder, but the PLUG into the computer had a broken pin.
    $16,618.75 later, after tearing engine apart from top to bottom, it’s ready to go again.
    Would’ve put a bunch out who are just trying to get started if they’re not prepared.
     
  9. Nakobi

    Nakobi Bobtail Member

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    Thank you for all the feedback, this is why I am here. In respect to the driver retention, i was going with the approach of a 1 year signed legal contract for my driver, would u suggest a different approach?, also I look into getting a more experienced driver. I also have scheduled with an independent mechanic to go inspect the truck upon potential approval. My greatest question is in respect to the repairs, from your experience with a truck having the mileage I stated, assuming there are no prior issues. How much averagely should be kept aside for repairs monthly? I had initially worked towards $3-5k, can you comment?. I understand the economy is currently bad with lower $/mile for trucking as compared to the past years & with overcapacity. will you totally say the venture is currently not profitable to go into at this time if you can get it right with other aspects of the business (experienced & available driver, available funds for repairs for 5/6 months, steady dispatch even though $/mile is low) etc.
     
  10. Nakobi

    Nakobi Bobtail Member

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    Thank you for the advise, I will consider it
     
  11. Nakobi

    Nakobi Bobtail Member

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    Wow, that is a definitely a terrible way to start a business.
     
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