Hey guys. I sent this message to a couple of guys that I have great respect for on here but for those of you that I don't know very well, I'd like your opinions. Here is a synopsis of me and my situation:
I'm 30 years old and I get married in 2 months. My fiancee has a wonderful 8 year old daughter. I'm a also moving from Tucson, AZ back home to Huntsville, AL. I've always had a passion and want to get into trucking. However, I don't want to be gone all the time. I am currently a manager for a large company and I make $70K a year. I also have an MBA from Arizona State. So, I have business and management skills. I'm at a point where I'm ready for a change. My fiancee is getting out of the Air Force and she is planning on opening a day care at our new house that i"m building in Alabama. She also sells Mary Kay on the side and she'll is retiring from the military so we'll have abouta 2K check a month from the government each month on top of whatever our earnings are. We both have strong entreprenurial (spelling) desires. I have narrowed my new career path down to:
Trucking- to learn the industry on someone elses dime. I looked at Roehl 7 on 7 off and then I can run a part time business the other week. If I like the trucking, I might consider O/O later on.
Commercial and/or residential cleaning- VERY low initial investment- good money in this but obviously hard work. A good friend of mine with business sense started this 2 months ago and is at 5K gross a month in contracts. Hard work and odd hours like nights and weekends though.
Mobile Car detailing service- Seems to be a good industry with a low initial investment of 6K or so.
So, knowing my situation, what is your opinion? Thanks!
Opinions- Life Choices
The only good plan you have is your upcoming marriage. Going over-the-road may ruin that before long. You are going to cut your income in half. My wife was in the licensed family day care business for about six years. She was lucky to clear minimum wage after insurance expenses, etc. I also had a friend who had one employee and detailed cars for used car lots in the Phoenix area. He tried to sell the business to me. I always thought he was getting these losing ideas from some magazine. For example, he asked me to find as many used Detroit 8V71s as possible. He said there was a market for them overseas. Commercial cleaning? A company that had the schools contract in our town just went out of business. Another cleaning company took over at the same rate. I don't know. You are leaving a profession where your salary is possible because many people work for you. You are entering an occupation where you are the only one affecting your income. You have a fine academic record, but it will not mean a whole lot where you are headed.
Well, Im sure it wont help you much if any, but here it is. Im 53 y. o. engineer with MS degree that I got in 1976. I spent 30+ years in engineering, 13 overseas and 17+ here. I was always attracted to trucking OTR lifestyle. In early 80s I made my mind and got CDL overseas. But trucking job did not happened because of other life circumstances. In 89 I got to this country. I have thought of trucking all these years, but did not do it because of various reasons, main ones were low pay & I did not want to be away from home when kid was young. Now kid will graduate from university in a year or so (itll cut my expenses as well, as you may guess). In addition for the last 6.5 years job was too bad. Even it paid very well, I could hardly stand it, you know corporate america BS. Anyhow, I made my mind to hold this job one more year and quit engineering to go to trucking. On another side if itd be some good place to work with normal people who have brain and can think and who are human I like engineering & what Im doing. I also thought of bunch or different ideas of some kind of business, but nothing came out of it. I did not even seriously tried to start any business, as I have not had any really good ideas. The outfit what I worked for was bought over second time in last two years (now its Thermo Fisher Scientific). After that it became just absolutely unbearable. So I decided to look for other engineering job, as I have to pay for university for another year. Guess what in a month and a half (that is half of November + December where there are a lot of holidays) I got my first interview and a job offer right away. It does not pay as much as I was making before (20% less), but its average $$ for what Im doing. Its still probably about 2+ times more then first year in trucking. So I took this offer. Now at least I go to work with pleasure and at work I have to deal with normal people who can think, not only follow some stupid rules and orders. As about trucking Ill still want to do it, but I like sailing and if you do OTR no way you can sail or have any time for your sailboat (sailing means a lot of work on you boat, unless one has unlimited $$ and can afford paid crew and so on). So I guess Ill stick with this job I just got as well as with sailing for couple more years. As soon as Ill quit sailing Ill go to trucking if Ill still be able to do it physically. By the way you mentioned Roehl has 7/7 program, I need to check on that. So far I knew only Schneider has 2 weeks on 1 week off program that I was thinking about. But in any case that wont be much $$.
Im sure I did not help you, just another story.
Very few relationships last with one going OTR, is it possible? sure but most likely not going to last.
Making $70,000 as a new driver is not going to happen. so will be taking a pay cut.
You may want to look into a local company that does not go OTR but local so you can be home more.
If you are considering O/O then look into rail/container hauling, you can make some decent money doing that if you get hooked up right, and be home more often if not every night (that would be up to you, the home every night part).
I am 62, and have been trucking for a year and a half, married for 17 years. The kids are grown, house paid for and we have some income from investments.
I wouldn't do it if I were 30 and getting married. Your wife needs you at home, and you need to be in Huntsville if you are to build any estate at all.
Maybe you can truck later. I put off my trucking dream for nearly 30 years. But the time came. And here I am.
i have to agree with the above posters. as newleweds you need to be home with your wife and child. with trucking your gonna take a huge pay cut. somewhere around 20$-30$ your first year it all depends on you. the only way to make a million dollars in trucking is if you start with 2 million and even then it's not a guarantee. my advice find a similar job for now in alabama or use your degree. what ever you choose i wish you the best of luck.
Anthony, I to am looking into trucking as it is something I have always want to do since I was a kid. I am 40, married my college sweetheart with 2 kids(13, 7). I am in a area of Colorado where the gas and oil industry has just exploded. I actually got a job offer from Halliburton today. Will actually 3 offers from them. One as a recruiter(contract), a business development mgr in sales and a CDL driver to haul cement to the well sites. They will pay for the CDL and get paid while training for it. The first 2 options are out of the question for me right now. As I am so burned out on sales. I have been a Wholesale Account Executive in the finance industry for 14 yrs both auto and mortgages. The corporate life has all but killed me. I have a $100K+ a year (all commission) job that I can not stand for another minute. Look around locally and network with everyone you meet. Use what you learned to better your opportunities. I am finding out that a lot of the local companies are dying to get their hands on quality people. It appears that the pay for the first couple years is lower than you or I am use too, but after 2 yrs you can start a company or o/o. You'll need to sit down with your fiancée and make a family decision. My wife owns a new home construction cleaning company and I have positioned us, so I could get out of what I do. If you want it bad enough you'll figure it out and make it work. My neighbor runs 5 trucks locally and does will for himself. I just wanted to write you, so you know you are not the only one out there going though this. Money can not buy happiness! Trust me, I feel like I have sold my soul for it. Do what makes you and your lady happy. Good luck.
As for strong entrepreneurial desires, well I can sympathize as I've been in (and out) of business at least 6-7 times over the past 30 years, but I'm sure you know the statistics covering small biz failure rates. Personally I've come to the conclusion that online business is where it's at. Overhead is low as there's no brick-n-mortar store to pay for and all the added expenses like employees, insurance, utilities, etc. (IT, web design and management could be your biggest expense), your clientel is not limited to a specific local (and in fact is the whole world), if you provide goods instead of services there are ways to minimize or eliminate altogether inventory and the storage needed as such. But maybe you already know this...
OK my advice is stay out of the service industry, especially those listed above, as you'll find yourself increasingly competing with those southern immigrants who usually will beat your price. Been in the car wash biz, car detailing for car lots and home cleaning/restoration and consistently ran into problems with price wars. My quality was usually better, but that didn't help keep me in business.
This is no slam against Mexican/Central American workers, but they are always willing to work for less then us cuz for them it's the best paying job they've ever had (and they are usually hard workers too). If the competition isn't there now, it will be at some not too distant point in the future. Just my OP for what it's worth.