Opportunity Knocks: Should I Become an Intermodal Owner Operator?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by philjo, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. shogun

    shogun Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Doing a regen

    I don't know anything about running out of the ports. The only people I talk to run out of Memphis and West Memphis rail yards. Its all computerized so there isn't a lot of waiting. I have talked to owner operators from various intermodal companies, and they all seem to be in the same range. Settlements average between $1500 and $2000 a week after deductions for fuel, insurance, qualcomm, escrow, etc. Most of them run about 2000-2500 miles a week, a majority of drop and hook. The man who does multi-stop loads goes to different distribution centers and makes $50 per stop. Sometimes he has 5 stops on his trailer, so it can really add up if you pull several of those a week.

    I know which companies are more likely to pull heavy loads, and I am still just trying to evaluate my options. I know I could make a decent living do it with the right outfit, and since I pulled multi stop furniture loads, I don't mind taking those type loads that pay better. I wouldn't even consider pulling out of the ports if I had to wait all day.

    I run across the same trucks everyday running between Jackson, Ms and Jackson, Tn and you can set a clock by the trucks I see pulling containers going back and forth.
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  3. nckid

    nckid Light Load Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    If you don't do it you will regret it later and if by chance you can't make it work you won't regret it that you tried.
    SHC Thanks this.
  4. spacetrucker88

    spacetrucker88 Heavy Load Member

    my humble opinion is go for it.I live 120 miles west of Baltimore and I see a lot of nice tractors pulling containers and rail trailers out of and into Baltimore Newark Nj and Norfolk Va. Why some think intermodal tractors are junk I will never understand.I know several container haulers and they all seem to have money and nice homes and vehicles. Many years ago I pulled containers and made a very good living as a matter of fact I paid 5 grand for a tractor ran it a year and had to overhaul it that was in 1992 I think Overhaul was 84 hundred dollars and I had the cash to pay for it. also had a non working wife and two kids cars motorcycles and what have youand still made a hundred grand to the truck. Give it a try
    TmGM Thanks this.
  5. ohio_redneck75

    ohio_redneck75 Light Load Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    i pull from baltimore,md to columbus,oh and with my FSC im making 1.70 a mile and im home all but 1 night a week.
  6. uturn 1

    uturn 1 Bobtail Member

    Apr 1, 2012
    columbus, ohio
    hey redneck75 what company are you pulling for? are they decent ?
  7. tglass24

    tglass24 Bobtail Member

    Feb 17, 2013
  8. Danisuba19

    Danisuba19 Bobtail Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Chicago il
    Go for it. Like u said put some money aside for repair every check and u will be good. Ive been in intermodal for 6 years o/0 for 4 it has been difficult when fuel prices were 5 bucks but if ur smart u can survive and u can't go wrong if ur a beginner, some people might discourage u but try not to pay any attn to them, if ur a hard worker pretty much self oriented u will survive trust me I've been there, afraid of getting a truck and go into intermodal but like I said before, it's the best way to start. Ur truck brakes down ur not far from home to fix it some companies offer fuel card, plates, ins, ext... So u don't have to put money up front an that's even better. Don't get me wrong but u will not get rich or drive a ferrarI not even In 10 years driving one truck in intermodal but u will make more than if u would be a driver and u will make a descent living depends on ur personal expenses. Im thinking about testing new waters but that's only to move up and try to make more money. If that doesn't work out I cal always come back I'm only 28 plenty of driving in front of me. Hope that helps
    RubyEagle, Mooseontheloose and TmGM Thank this.
  9. Pappabear

    Pappabear Bobtail Member

    Nov 29, 2018
    I am wondering about it myself. I see a lot of containers running rt.13 down to Norfolk VA and the rt. 58 corridor. What's the best way to get into this? Is leasing a good option? I live on the lower eastern shore of MD.
  10. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    St Louis
    Hey @Pappabear his post is 6 years old. Buy maybe someone else will chime in.
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