Power only market??

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Soonermark, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Soonermark

    Soonermark Bobtail Member

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    I’ve been on the road almost 8mo with a power only business model. Not really knowing what was out there, I just went for it. I basically didn’t want to buy a trailer in the beginning until I experienced some different stuff and figured out which market to enter. This is what I’ve learned...

    Power only market has some options...
    A. LOAD OUT - You can move trailers and use them usually 7-14 days. Sometimes they are brand new but not always. The longer the better to keep them...gives you more flexibility to do long hauls and still get to destination in time.
    B. TOW AWAY - you can move these trailers without using them from one spot to another. This might be a new specialty trailer. But it’s basically priced like hauling a load in a dry van. Sometimes the rates are pretty good if you are going to the 4 corners of the earth.
    C. PRE-LOADED TRAILER - this is what I expected to be running a lot initially. This market is scarce but it’s usually pretty good rates. I’ve done this in the wind farm and Oilfeld areas where they are moving equipment or generators on flatbeds from worksite to worksite. The trailers are usually crap and be prepared to have tire problems! After the first couple experiences, I just make sure in the contract they fix all those types of problems. And have the cell phone contact of who takes care of that 24/7.

    I share this because I don’t see a lot about this on any threads. If there is something I’m missing, fill in your info. I by no means understand it all. Maybe this helps that new O/O take the jump knowing he doesn’t have to get a trailer right out of the gate.

    Personally I haven’t had any trouble finding trailers or loads regardless of where I am. I’ve learned where the new trailer manufacturers are and know they always need trailers delivered somewhere. I have delivered a lot to Laredo and El Paso Texas. That seems to be a heavy trailer market - probably going in and out of Mexico.

    I have hauled flatbeds, tankers, live bottom, reefer, containers, and dry vans. I personally like the dry van because of the no touch freight and bulk of available loads just about anywhere. The downside to the power only plan is you usually waste a day and sometimes some deadhead on the days you drop the trailer and pick another one up. Rarely can I drop a load, then the trailer, then pick up another trailer, and another load all in the same day. I have had that work out but it’s not the norm.

    I’m out of Oklahoma but I go anywhere I can find stuff to haul. Just for reference, I’m getting about 2300 mi per week over my 7 mo, and I’ve yet to gross under $10k and made as much as $18k.

    Now I’m trying to find that break even spot where it justifies buying a trailer and cutting out the extra deadhead and down time between trailers. If someone has already figured that out, please share. I honestly don’t even know what the cost of a trailer is - I assume a brand new dry van is about $35k because that’s the amount of trailer interchange coverage I have to carry.

    Be safe!
     
    Svmuel, Badmon, Dino soar and 2 others Thank this.
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  3. JonJon78

    JonJon78 Road Train Member

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    So your grossing a minimum of $10k a week, using someone else's trailer for roughly 2300 miles a week and you want to purchase your own trailer why?
     
  4. Cabinover101

    Cabinover101 Heavy Load Member

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    Back about 2004 or so I ran the Power only market. Had some really good months and some bad months. Think my best gross month was about $25k but that was hustling and busting butt all month long. Then there were also lots of sitting or long deadheads with not so good months. Definitely interesting in the different trailers you would haul. In the long run I wanted more stability. Man, some of the flashbacks I was having just typing this :)
     
    JonJon78 Thanks this.
  5. LondRanger

    LondRanger Road Train Member

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    I think he’s talking about 10k - 18k a month.
     
  6. Soonermark

    Soonermark Bobtail Member

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  7. Soonermark

    Soonermark Bobtail Member

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    For the LOAD OUT trailers, I’ve done them for $0 to as much as $1000. I’ve gotten an old one where I had 5 tires blow before I was done with it in a week. But most are new or like new - so not many problems.

    I don’t understand why the variance of pricing...I’m sure it has to do with the urgency of getting trailer moved or it’s in a remote area.

    Even though I like to book trailers as long as possible, 14 days is usually the tops and they typically pay the least. Newer ones pay the least also.
    I’ll try to look back and see what I actually make on the trailers themselves monthly and see with the deadhead and down time, if it’s a better decision than leasing or owning a trailer?
    Someone explain to me how much a trailer lease is and why that might work for you.
    I’ve talked briefly to a couple people who say lease companies want a owner op to have 1-2 yrs experience. But surely there are some companies that do not require as much.
     
  8. Cabinover101

    Cabinover101 Heavy Load Member

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    By the way if you are looking to buy a good used dry van, I have one for sale. 2009 Great Dane
     
  9. Soonermark

    Soonermark Bobtail Member

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    You can email me the details. imarcllc@yahoo.com
     
    Cabinover101 Thanks this.
  10. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

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    I hauled a trailer once. 2 weeks later then scheduled.

    The trailer had new brakes and drums and tires. But no one bothered to fix the lights or register the trailer. And no one knew where the registration was. It hadn't been licensed in 12 years yet traveled the country a few hundred times. Not one truck that pulled it said anything about the expired plates.
     
    loudtom Thanks this.
  11. danny23tx

    danny23tx Road Train Member

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    Well since your close to Dallas you might want to look at trailers in that area. Dallas has tons of trailers all years makes and models. I would look at 2010 and above 10k to 15 k is my price range . Walbash Duraplate with Aluminum roof , I like the spring ride with less parts to break .
     
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