Should I go Owner Operator now? Advice is appreciated.

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by drivinhome, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. drivinhome

    drivinhome Light Load Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southeastern Mass
    Hello all. Been around mostly lurking here for many years. I’ve been trucking for 29 years and I still love the business. I have allot of experience in many areas especially local work. That being said I also was an O/O for 17 years locally. For the last ten years I have been an employee. I have tried the OTR gig many years ago but only the Northeast region.
    I have never seen it as good as it is now and I am financially able to get going on my own again. A dream of mine is to finally see the country in all 48. I am not worried about my business experience as I have been very lucky to stay financially stable.
    I’m thinking it’s now or never to do this but it’s hard to leave a job that keeps me in the high 90’s per year. My wife has all the benefits we need and the plan is to do some traveling while getting paid.
    I typically run 6 days a week and use most of my 70 hour clock. My question is can I at least make that running as I do OTR? The rates would say so but I am very aware of market swings. I’m hoping to see all 48 and be out 2 weeks at a time.
    Lastly I am very handy and experienced on the job and will do most all of my own maintenance. My biggest issue is leasing on to a carrier like landstar or running my own authority. Any numbers you all can post would be great. I have done allot of research but your advice would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
    slow.rider Thanks this.
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  3. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

    Aug 31, 2018
    Get your own authority. No sense in leaving what you’re doing now if not.
  4. drivinhome

    drivinhome Light Load Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southeastern Mass
    Thanks for the response. Tough to get honest advice these days. I’m happy making the same money as I just want to return to running on my own and enjoying the USA.
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  5. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

    Apr 12, 2016
    If you were to run your own gig right now, you'd most likely be making more than what you do at your job but there is no guarantee for how much longer it will continue.
    Your current pay is excellent. You are home every week to do reset at home. As a matter of fact you are making more than many o/o with own authority do on average, myself included.
    Yes, there are moments like the last 10 months when the money that they pay us is outstanding but this is not something we can hope to last, as the past shows. When you take the average from the last 10 years, it may not be 90k for the most of us.
    So if it were strictly based on financial reasons, I would not be allured to the current euphoria, especially that your are in a great earning position.
    However, I like the romantic idea of you and your wife traveling together and make money. It is not all about money...!
    As a matter of fact, I and my wife were thinking about the same when the right time comes - closer to my retirement and when our teenage son is on his own.
  6. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Let me ask the op this.

    do you have 6 months to pay the bills when the economy tanks?

    We are on the front lines and there are serious changes coming to this industry soon.
    Farmerbob1, drivinhome and Diesel Dave Thank this.
  7. OldeSkool

    OldeSkool Road Train Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    Sometimes the lifestyle is more important than money. I haul out of a mill 15 minutes away and never more than an hour from home. I’ve had two offers at other mills in the last month that pay better, but I’m happy where I am.

    My point is, if you want to do it I think you should. Money is nice, but it’s not necessarily always better. That is good money though for being a company driver. I own my truck and don’t pay myself that well by a ways.
    drivinhome Thanks this.
  8. Trucker K

    Trucker K Light Load Member

    Sep 21, 2019
    High 90k per year? Whow, that's good money when considering to leave and become an O/O something I've also been debating after 26 years of trucking earning similar money (high $80k/annually). However, being in Canada the rates seem to be changing and only certain lanes (East coast) mainly seems to earn the most whiles running to California too. But unless you're running team to Cali from here the time restraint because of Elogs opposes to 20 years ago.

    I'd say go for it if that's what you want because everyone has a dream and that's understandable.
    drivinhome Thanks this.
  9. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    St Louis
    I think submarine freight is where it's at.
  10. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca.
    Your insurance is gonna be your biggest obstacle. And having like already mentioned, a maintenance fund.
    drivinhome Thanks this.
  11. SteveScott

    SteveScott Road Train Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    Seriously doubt you'll make as much as an O/O for the first 2-5 years as you're making as a company driver now. Insurance alone on your truck and your personal medical insurance will eat up a ton of your profits. If you really want to see all 48 states, get a job with a small to medium sized carrier for an OTR job. I'm not saying it isn't possible if you really hustle, but it sounds like you have a sweet gig now, and should think long and hard before giving it up.
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