Owner Operator

Discussion in 'Canadian Truckers Forum' started by TJ1993, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. TJ1993

    TJ1993 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 12, 2021
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    Hi guys,

    First time poster on here. This topic has been proberly been done to death but is it worth being an owner operator any more?

    I have been a company driver, highway for 3 years and local for the last 1 year. As a young and kind of ambitious guy was thinking of getting my own authority and all that jazz.

    I am not delusional and know trucking is not what it used to be and understand it takes a lot of patience and a good amount of cash to start off.

    Would be really intrested to hear your guys thoughts and input.

    Thanks,

    If it helps I am in BC totally get it that BC companies are not the best shall we say.

    Heck how about buying a old used truck and putting it into the ports here in Vancouver not sure what the rates are?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  3. Trucker K

    Trucker K Light Load Member

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    Sep 21, 2019
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    I'm still considering the same thing. However, my current job has very good pay well north of $32/hr so that's my dilemma and why I wouldn't just leave my day job so quick. After factoring over 20 years there, benefits, overtime sometimes as much as 65 hours usually available (sometimes earning $2400/week). When I look at becoming an Owner Operator I have too consider multiple factors from home time, truck payment expenses, downtime for loads, fuel prices etc. It's not an easy choice because of the money I'm earning & being able to sleep & eat at home with my family. When I'm driving in the morning to work thinking about the daily 'rat race' it ponders on my mind. However, when I see the Owner Operators racing down highways whiles at work (some even passing in the hammer lane) it makes me think about the trucker lifestyle. A local city driver with a good company gets paid for holidays and builds on their vacation time (I'm currently getting 6 weeks paid vacation time off). As a Owner Operator I would have to work longer days & at the lowest O/O mile pay of $1.27/mile that's minimum 2100 miles I would have to work in order of taking home $1039 (of course after a truck payment & fuel after fuel cap). $1737/week could be made once I drive 3100 miles after fuel & other expenses and truck payment (newer truck per week $800/week). Maximizing your money is the key as a O/O. $1737/week is good around $90,324/annually and personally would be good but considering I'd be trying to drive 10 hours per day in order of earning that (almost impossible because there's load & unload time retention etc.) Different speed limits and traffic and weather conditions makes me think heavily about my local current job.
     
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  4. BigHossVolvo

    BigHossVolvo Road Train Member

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    Dec 15, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta
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    Here is the down and dirty version, NO!

    As a Canadian O/O, doing Canada Only, Local or OTR (Can/US or Just Canada) it is NOT worth it.

    If you can get into something dedicated, like LCV or Super B then maybe, but the Company Rates are so good for those, its still pretty much not worth it to go O/O. Landstar has opportunity, but a lot of challenges.

    A single Michelin Steer tire is now $1000 dollars Canadian, for just the tire.

    You Cannot get parts, you cannot afford the shop rates, you basically need to work on your truck yourself, EVERY moment you're not driving.

    Fuel is expensive, so if the company is playing games with the Fuel Surcharge or Discounts, you will go bankrupt working 100/hrs a week.

    You cannot afford to keep old trucks running with the cost of parts or downtime, you need a shop and a huge parts account, with a volume discount.

    The ports are all controlled by the mob, the going rate to get a truck into the ports is $80 000 cash.

    If you're in BC, work for XTL or Costco Fleet.
     
  5. TJ1993

    TJ1993 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 12, 2021
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    It seems to me you have a pretty good local job there. At your current hourly rate and with the holidays you get I would stay put. I would love to get six weeks paid vacation never seen such a thing in trucking but I guess its taken you years of service to get that.

    I just enjoy the open road and would want to make a go of it but I understand these days the profits that are there are just not worth it. I understand you have to run hard and max hours out on the road but just one break down and it could make you close to bankrupt.

    All that hard work and effort for what? Maybe some other owner operator or guys trying to make a go of it can offer their thoughts.
     
    Trucker K Thanks this.
  6. classicxl

    classicxl Light Load Member

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    Dec 16, 2006
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    I hate to say it but i think in the current situation trucking is in you would be crazy to leave a $32 plus local job especially if it’s a union gig . Way too much competition and guys willing to work for low rates . In the states it’s seem like they have way more options and guys with their own authority right now are making up to 15k a week . but that’s the states not here , i wouldn’t leave your current gig unless you just want to run the show

    I’m actually thinking in 2023 when i’m completely debt free joining a union company like ups or maybe even purolator but can’t afford to take the risk of putting in almost 3 months and then be let go while making lower wages right now .
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  7. TJ1993

    TJ1993 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 12, 2021
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    I can agree with you on that one. The states do seem like they have more options but then again they have lots more cities to cover and a population of 300 million.

    Not sure if anyone has seen the asian mai show on youtube about truckers in the states. Thoses guys themselves say they make good money like the 15k you said. Makes me want to make a go of it but again thats the states not here in Canada. If only it was easy to get a green card in the states...
     
  8. TJ1993

    TJ1993 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 12, 2021
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    Thanks for your input. I appreciate your response hard to find honest people these days in trucking or otherwise.

    Not sure why I still want to make a go of it but by the sounds of it I am signing my own death warrant.

    Guess I will stick to my local job of $25 dollars an hour until the itch comes again which it will lol!
     
  9. BigHossVolvo

    BigHossVolvo Road Train Member

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    Calgary, Alberta
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    No problem, I’ve been an O/O for a while now, done a few different things. I have a mechanical background, so I work on my truck myself. I do ok, the best I’ve had it, has been scheduled regional LCV.

    I’ve watched/am watching many good drivers go bankrupt or burnout trying to be O/Os. The whole freedom thing is over and done with. Everything is about lanes and triangles and servicing the shippers now. So even with your own numbers, leased on, ABL power only, doesn’t matter. They tell you where and how to run, or else you can piss off and starve.

    If I didn’t land this Dedicated/Scheduled LCV job when OTR went bad, I would have already sold my truck and went shunting.

    If someone is paying you decent money, to drive a nice Daycab you don’t have to share, and you work 5 days a week or less; you’ve made it. You’ve literally achieved the dream, that millions of OTR drivers sleeping in truckstops far from home pray for.

    Lastly, trucking in Canada is moving toward all teams. Van/Reefer started this trend, but I’m seeing it now with Super B, Decks, Sea Cans and most recently LCV. Even the company I work for, has 2 LCV teams now. Each team truck has 4 guys. 2 go out for 4-5 days, then swap with the other 2 guys. They’re doing 20-24 000 miles a month LCV!!! I can’t even come close to competing with that, so I survive by being scheduled to service the customers, when the trailers are ready; there is nothing else I can do to remain relevant. Unless I want to go back to CAN/US OTR and be in the truck 24-28 days a month.
     
  10. Elroythekid

    Elroythekid Road Train Member

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    Halifax Nova Scotia
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    If you were in Nova Scotia I'd trade jobs with you and GIVE you my truck.
     
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  11. classicxl

    classicxl Light Load Member

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    Dec 16, 2006
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    i’m in the same situation as you around $25 a hr if i work 11 hrs a day but going owner op isn’t necessary going to make you millions either . i tried that by owning a dump truck hauling asphalt at $71 a hr money just isn’t there here in canada . after i paid fuel put money away for taxes and maintenance then the winter months when everything shut down for the season there’s not a lot left .canada cartage local owner ops are going from toronto to brampton for $60 that’s where we’re at now
     
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