Shoestring start ups?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Shoestring, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Shoestring

    Shoestring Light Load Member

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    This is to all independent O/O's. Running their own authority.

    Just curious how many of you started out on a truly shoestring budget. Something like a cheap truck (under 10k) and just a small amount of cash.

    How many of you pulled it off successfully and what do you attribute your success too? Was it finding a great truck to start with, finding good brokers, or just plain dumb luck?

    For those of you that failed, what do you think was your reason for failure? Bad planning, poor load choice, or just bad luck? If you were to try again, what do you think you would do different.

    I know there are plenty of people on here that say it can't be done. I just want to hear from the people that have actually tried it. No need for second hand accounts of your 3rd cousins, brothers, sister-in-laws husband who failed.

    I have read few accounts on here of people that have pulled it off:biggrin_25514: , and others that have failed:biggrin_25513:. Just wondering what the reality is of the peeps here.

    I have read plenty of posts stating that you need the truck and 10 to 20k to get started. The reality is most people could spend a lifetime and not get that kind of money saved. When your only bringing home about $400 a week, it's almost impossible to save that kind of money. :biggrin_25516:
    So for all of you that have tried it on the cheap, lets hear you story.
     
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  2. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    A couple things. Know how to manage $$$. Don't have wife/kids/mortgage payments and know someone that's been in the biz a very long time who knows people who can fix your truck if needed. A little business savvy will help too.
     
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  3. heavyhaulerss

    heavyhaulerss Road Train Member

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    Shoestring start up's are in the Bankruptcy section. :biggrin_25523:
     
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  4. jmcclelland2004

    jmcclelland2004 Light Load Member

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    The honest truth, in my opinion it can be done. However it lowers your chances of success greatly. We started with a less than favorable budget and purchased very used older equipment. We have had a few runs of very bad luck but have had the resources to continue. We have not been in business very long but are staying afloat so far. I think success will be a combination of the things you stated with luck being a big factor. In short the answer to your question is, can it be done? of course it can, is it a wise decision? that is a definitive no.
     
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  5. grimesjm1

    grimesjm1 Medium Load Member

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    I paid 11000 for my first truck and trailer and went to work. its definetly stressfull. i broke a lotta laws and ran equipment that should never have been on the road. Had a lotta luck and was able to upgrade into good equipment within a few mo.
    luck plays a lot. had i even been dot'd i pry woulda went to jail.

    hired a guy and expanded to two truck a couple mo ago. his second week in he got in a major accident. not his fault but he was in a no-fault state so i had to pay the deductible and a few grand over that out of pocket. something like that would have put me out of business had it happened in the beginning.

    it can def. be done, i did it. it's not easy. but i agree if you wanna sit around till you have thousands and thousands saved, you may be sitting awhile. you'll also notice that half the people that say that on here havent done it yet. people who take a risk and do something hire people like that who are scared too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  6. Kittyfoot

    Kittyfoot Crusty Ancient

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    Go look up past posts by a gentleman called Southernpride. He did it all in style. He's still sorely missed.
     
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  7. Shoestring

    Shoestring Light Load Member

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    I have read a lot of Southernprides posts. He was definitely "old school" and sounded like a guy I would have liked to have met in person. For those of you that knew him, either here or in person. I am sorry for your loss.

    So far we have 2 that have been successful up to this point, although neither sounds like they would recommend trying it. 2 others that have recommendations on how to do it. and 1 that just wants to be a troll.

    This thread is more or less about the ingenuity of the mankind. Can it be done, how to do it, how not to do it. I thought about trying this route, still haven't decided if I am going to try it or not. I am sure there are others out there right now contemplating the same thing. Everyone is welcome to his or her opinion.

    I figured having one thread where people that have tried, could put their experiences in good or bad, would be good for reference. I spent the last 4 days going back through 45 pages of the "ask the O/O". I think I found only a few that have tried it. I am sure there are more than that, they just may not have wrote anything about their experiences.

    So again I say to all that have tried lets hear your story, good or bad.
     
  8. grimesjm1

    grimesjm1 Medium Load Member

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    i wouldnt say i dont recommend it. if i had it to do over i would. i figure i had nothing to lose. if i failed id go back to being a company driver if i still could and work for peanuts again. im just saying i had to take a lot of chances and some of them could have got me in a lot of trouble. if you are like the people on here who are all by the book and can't think outside the box, i would hesitate to try it. if your willing to take a chance, if it pays off its worth it.
     
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  9. heavyhaulerss

    heavyhaulerss Road Train Member

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    The concept of starting out on a shoestring budget is something that can be done, but should be discouraged. kinda like when ya tell your kid's stories of what you did when you were their age & what you got away with. you do not want them looking at your past & think well my parents made it with risks they never should of taken, so why not me? I myself made it on a low budget, but had plenty of cash & resources to back me up. turned out I did not need any of the back up resources. most of that was luck. lucky that my truck did not break down. lucky no one ran into me, or vise versa.lucky I had a veteran 20 year trucker neighbor who told & showed me every detailed aspect of trucking. your mindset. priorities & spousal support have a lot to do with making it also.
     
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  10. Shoestring

    Shoestring Light Load Member

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    Thank you for that post, that is so much better then your previous. It gives someone something to think about. Any and all advice (pro or con) is welcome here.
     
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