You are describing me in Nov of last year. Down side for me is that I had 1 1/2 drive minimum to see trucks. And it seemed that the day before I was leaving to look at one would get a call that it was sold .
I was in a different price range so most that I looked at did not have the problems you described. I had issue with who was selling them. In the end the one I bought was a lease return from Interstate and was an LP truck. The guy had it from about 30K miles. I spent 4 hours going through maintance reports and the same name kept coming up. Thought it was a maintance manager or something then found some papers in cab with driver name and it matched. After it was all said and done I was beat but then I had to start looking for trailer.
Congrats and while it seems like it takes for ever to get your MC activated when you look back on it it will seem like it flew by.
No experience but getting Authority
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I think you will find that most states require you to have active authority before allowing you to purchase your base plates. You can lease to a carrier and get your own base plates in your home state, but you will still need active authority. When you lease to a carrier, there is a form you must fill out and it would be a good idea to have a copy of their authority. It makes things run much more smoothly if you have everything in order. By the way, you will also likely need to prove residency in your state when you apply for base plates. I would be prepared to take a property tax receipt, utility bill, etc., when you get your plates. I would check before leaving to get base plates to make sure you have everything. In my state it is an all day job when I walk my plates through. You don't want to make two trips.
We did the FMCSA form on 2/12 and it posted on 2/15. We're already a couple weeks in and just need to get the insurance on there before the waiting period is up on Mar 1.
Base plates won't be an issue at all. My wife has worked for local municipalities for the past several years in procurement and knows that main tag office well. Whenever they buy police or fire vehicles they have to go to the same office to get those plates, as well as regular plates for unmarked police cars since it's a city on the title. I'll make sure she has the latest property tax bill in her purse LOL. Georgia also requires everything, including authority, before issuing plates. Our IFTA stickers came in the mail yesterday. PlumCrazy thanks for the heads-up on the non-IFTA states. I need to go ahead and get the KY numbers in progress since they don't require authority on the app.
G/MAN I've bought dozens of vehicles over the years and only got screwed on one, knock on wood. I picked up a 95 BMW 740 sedan a few years ago that was a high miler some kid couldn't afford the front end repairs on. By the time I got all the parts in and got the ride squared away, I discovered it had bad valve guides and was using a quart of oil every other tank of gas and fouling a couple plugs. Turns out he had to have had it good and warmed up when I came to check it out and it was windy enough that day I didn't see smoke. As they say, "that'll learn you."
Interesting. The lady I spoke with at OOIDA said the waiting period was the waiting period, and began once the application posted on the Federal Register. I was specific about asking on timelines for insurance, since I am starting from scratch and not a lease operator just filling the form out with equipment I already have on the road.
It'll certainly suck if that adds another 2 calendar weeks, but a minor setback if so. We'll see what happens and I'll record the experience here for others to learn from.
OK.. a little progress for an update today. I finally got my insurance policy nailed down and the company name on the FMCSA site magically corrected after all the phone calls and faxes the last 2 weeks. That enabled me to start the insurance with everything (co name) proper and update the BOC-3 so that when the insurance batch processes tonight, I'll be ready for review on the MC authority and checking daily for the "active" status.
A root canal would have been more fun than getting insurance. Not a problem with actually buying a policy mind you, mainly a problem with squirrelly agents that move with zero urgency and fib a lot to keep you on the hook. So I'll quit whining and share some lessons learned:
1. Well known but bears repeating: If you are a new venture and/or have nicks on your driving history, Progressive will be about your only option. There are others, but they are not highly rated and most likely only regional to particular areas, as-in they will only cover people in a narrow service area. It's a pay your dues thing if you have to operate under their 500 mile restriction. If you find something else and it works out, good for you. My comments are based on my own recent experience and what I've read here.
2. I've seen rumors posted here that Progressive is trialling extended (greater than 500 air mile) coverage in limited markets, and one is Georgia. Long story, but it's true pending my policy receipt with that in writing. There is a catch however. For now it is only writeable by an agent within that region and maybe some surrounding states. Agents elsewhere and direct customers just don't see that option. I'm dealing with an agent outside my area and his contact with the company has approved greater than 500 coverage since we are based in Georgia, even though he doesn't have that as an option when doing the enrollment. As I said, I will believe that when the paperwork it's written on arrives and I can see it for myself. The rumors I've seen also mention that Progressive is headed away from the 500 miles deal anyway, so maybe this won't be an issue in the near future.
3. I accidentally saved almost $2,000 on my insurance. It was a fortunate coincidence. Our business is a partnership (wife and I) and the insurance risk assessment was based on the applicant. That happened to be my wife as she had agreed to beat up the phones to get quotes. Mean time, I was securing financing and truck shopping. To expedite, I did the borrowing on my own merit to get it done fast. As a result, my credit score took a minor dip due to the recent activity and hers did not. Since hers stayed in the "best" category and mine slipped to "very good" her name got the lowest quote. No guarantee that the ins co won't come back later with an increase, but definitely something good for now and a reduced outlay to get a policy posted. Maybe not something that will be useful in all circumstances to everyone, but like a blind squirrel I will get a nut anywhere I can find one LOL. If you trust your partner(s) and feel ok about spreading the liability in this fashion, you could save a little dough.
4. Take the time and read as many of the insurance threads on this site as you can. Don't just get lazy and post a thread asking for insurance help. Learn to use the search feature. Like this thread, sometimes insurance knowledge is buried in a topic that may not be specific to it. Read them carefully to catch things relevant to you. Everyone's circumstance is different. I attribute the huge amount of time I spent reading this site to shaving off 90% of the hassle with this exercise. It still wasn't easy and I still had to get some hard knocks based on my specific circumstance. But I did go in educated and armed with the right questions to ask.
I'll close the update with this personal gem. I may not be deeply experienced in the trucking industry, but the last two weeks have highlighted something I normally take for granted. For you guys that have been company drivers for years and are considering taking the plunge into o/o, take heed. For me it's been a huge test of patience the last few weeks once I really started spending money to kick off the business instead of just reading and talking about it. Nobody is interested in your success other than you. I am already intimately familiar with this concept as I live it daily in another industry. It's stressful and you better be ready for it. Never forget that it is your bank account that will be hit with fixed costs while you are waiting for someone else to sort out a technicality and they have absolutely nothing to lose from your delays. Yeah, you can plan for that to a certain extent by saving up a chunk of operating money, or maybe you're a lottery winner and don't have to worry about it. Regardless, stuff will come up that you never imagined and it is YOUR truck that will stay parked while YOU figure it out and get things solved.
Update: we're in business! The authority is active this morning. I already bought the advance certificate copy and my wife is going to get the plates today. Meanwhile, I'm going to be busy lining up service to get our truck on the road and out hauling freight. If all goes well, I should be out buying a trailer tomorrow and getting tires and service before the end of the week. I'm optimistically shooting to get loaded as soon as Monday 3/14 if the the service folks get things handled promptly and don't uncover any surprises.
So here's the timeline. The lady at OOIDA was right on. She quoted 2-3 days to post on the Federal Register, 10 day review period, then a couple days to approve. She estimated a total of 20 business days from start to approved. Ours took 17.
2/12 - Online form OP-1 (Sat)
2/14 - OOIDA posted the BOC-3 on the MC app
2/16 - The application posted on the Federal Register
2/28 - Closed sale on our truck
3/2 - Insurance purchased
3/3 - Insurance posted on MC app
3/8 - MC active
I suspect if we had not posted insurance by the time that 10 day review period ended, there would have been a substantial delay on MC approval. Being a picky shopper had me buying our truck on the last day I had planned to have one and have it insured (2 days before the estimated review period end). The extra day it took to close the sale of the truck and another extra day getting insurance sorted out put us out to the end of the timeline. Another side note, Progressive and presumably other big insurance companies, post on FMCSA in an overnight batch. So if you're planning, add an extra day for the insurance posting to happen (day after binding coverage, even though the coverage begins immediately). Had the FMCSA picked up our number for review before the insurance posted I am certain it would have gone back to the end of the line and sat several days more.
Congratulations on getting your authority, Redforeman. I hope things go well for you and that you can still to your time line. It is refreshing to find someone who plans things out and had a definitive plan when it comes to getting their authority.
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