Small Business Mentor

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by KW11, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. KW11

    KW11 Bobtail Member

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    I'm interested in managing a small fleet of trucks and would like to hear from O/Os and small fleet owners about a path to take. I think that it would be extremely beneficial to work alongside someone with experience managing the financials and learning rules/regulations before making any initial investment.

    I'm from a small rural area where it seems every swingin' dick takes a stab at driving truck. Flattop 379, 8" cowboy pipes, and more lights than the Vegas strip. You know the story. A lot of these guys run one, maybe two trucks, and spend the rest of their lives on the road. Why? Is it a lack of business expertise?

    My question is whether it's best to make the investment of purchasing a truck and learning as you go OR take a couple months to mentor with someone with experience, sitting in a truck part time. Any insight is much appreciated. Thanks a lot.
     
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  3. Doealex

    Doealex Medium Load Member

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    Maybe there’s some kind of specialized MBA program for trucking businesses?:):):)
    When I took my MBA 20 years ago, there was no special programs for each and every business.
    Those owners with all of their extra lights don’t care how much it costs for their trucks’ extra lights and chrome. Trucking is hard, dangerous business with long hours and a lot of overhead. Them extra lights make some people run harder, take more risks I guess. Different strokes for different folks :D!
     
  4. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

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    Where do you live?

    Bad thing about getting a mentor is you may find the wrong one and learn all the wrong things to do. Granted, with some reflection and experience yourself, you end up realizing those are all the things not to do. lol

    If it was the right person, having a mentor would be invaluable.

    Do you want to manage trucks or own a trucking company? You want to drive or you don’t?

    Maybe figure out more of what your goals are. It’s just hard to help when I could dive off into many different subjects.
     
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  5. againstthewind

    againstthewind Road Train Member

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    to answer a question with a question, you asked why the guy with the flattop 379 cowboy pipes an lites would want to spend his life on the road as if its a lack of business expertise, why would he want to spend his life on the road driving for your fleet?
     
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  6. KW11

    KW11 Bobtail Member

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    I'm not trying to discredit any O/Os. I'm just saying that a lot of the "super trucker" attitude wears off after 5 years on the road away from family. Maybe they enjoy driving truck and being on the road, fine, but I'm willing to bet there's a larger majority of people that would rather pay someone else to drive for them. Why don't these guys make the leap.
     
  7. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    Maybe you could clarify things a little bit.

    Do you want to be a manager for a fleet or do you want to own and operate a fleet?

    It may possibly be because they do great having one or two trucks and they don't have all the headaches and problems and that works best for them. Maybe they enjoy driving rather than sitting in an office. Maybe they know how many trucks it takes to make the money they can make with one truck and they know the risks involved with having more trucks. Do you? Why would you think if they're successful with what they are doing they have no business expertise?

    I hope that you're not suggesting that you want to have a fleet of trucks so the question is do you spend a little time with somebody part time and then go buy these trucks or do you just go buy trucks and let's do it right now.

    Do you have any experience driving at all? Do you have any experience in this business at all? Do you have any mechanical experience? Do you have a place for a fleet of trucks? Do you have the money for a fleet of trucks? Do you have any idea what insurance costs? Do you know what the other costs involved are?

    Have you ever hired drivers? Have you ever managed other people? Do you know what it takes to keep a driver happy? Do you know what it takes for a driver to cheat you and the ways that he can do that?

    Not trying to dissuade you, but I don't think you're going to find a mentor that you can spend a week with and you'll know everything that you need to know and all of your answers will be tied up in a nice neat little bow and you can go on to trucking Fame and Fortune with your big Fleet.

    But I wish you good luck whatever you do.

    Some things to think about.
     
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  8. KW11

    KW11 Bobtail Member

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    I'm from South Dakota and my ultimate end goal would be to own a small trucking company. Putting in the hours behind the wheel and building a good reputation is something I definitely want to do, but living on the road away from family for the rest of my life is not what I'm interested in.

    I see lots of road time and time in the shop cranking wrenches, but I am really looking to step up, learn the business, and take my own risks.
     
  9. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

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    I have one truck and I want to be as profitable as I can with it and have a better quality of life than a company driver. I have no desire to have multiple trucks and manage drivers because nobody would take care of my equipment the way I do.
     
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  10. againstthewind

    againstthewind Road Train Member

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    unless you offer something that other fleets dont you will most likely be managing a fleet of morons. i guess thats the simplest answer, thats the reason i wouldnt want to run a fleet, i know i couldnt compete with what some better companies are offering, so i would be stuck with the drivers with a less than perfect record who may not have a better option.
     
  11. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

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    @Long FLD hits the nail square on the head. The “all round O/O” that takes care of his truck, takes care of his customers and takes care of his business is going to be impossible to beat from a profit potential perspective until you get to a decent fleet size.

    Throw a driver in a truck, and all sorts of expenses and problems show up that the O/O will never have. Stuff gets tore up, preventative maintenance items get ignored, customer service suffers........ Until you get to fleet size where you can afford to institutionalize and manualize operations, the two to fifteen or twenty truck size is going to suffer in margin.
     
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