I would say that anyone who buys their first truck without an exit strategy isn't doing it right.
Taking the plunge. My journey as an O/O.
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If I choose to remain an O/O then I will probably migrate to somewhere with a load board, and more potential income. But right now that is a plan for a later day.
Shaffer company driver pay was:
Base 38 CPM.
PerDiem 14 CPM.
O/O Shaffer pay has two sliding scales, one for my dedicated route, one for non-dedicated loads. At this time they are identical.
There are several additional pay quirks. NYC is an extra 100.
Oregon/Washington is an extra 1Cpm.
Short Haul extra pay policy changes. I do not have current numbers.
0-150 = 166Cpm
151-250 = 146Cpm
251-700 = 121Cpm
701-1200 = 115Cpm
1201+ = 107Cpm
Any distance empty = 86Cpm
FSC 27Cpm this week.
Also note that I will be buying fuel with the Crete corporate discount, which changes over time, but is nearly always going to be a much better price than an independent O/O.Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
Reason for edit: Added info.
Well looking at rates and considering they cover liability and trailer cost. If you stay busy, you’ll make it. Do yourself a favor, one that’s hard to do. Save $250 a week right off the bat. Separate from any other account. Only to be used for major repairs over $3000 if possible.Even then only if absolutely needed. Hopefully when Truck is paid off you’ll have a nice O/H fund. Or a early payoff fund or Down pymt fund whatever. Or an exit strategy fund!! It’s hard to do. I’ve never done it myself honestly. Had I though I would have avoided many nail biting situations over the years.True revenue will only be evident after Truck has been paid for and costs/ residual value of Truck is all figured out. Then decisions will be clearer for keeping or trading up or selling out.
I put .12 a mile away for maintenance, plus an additional .03 a mile goes into my “slush” fund for when I want to take time off and haven’t met my weekly fixed costs I can pull from my “ slush” so I don’t go in the hole.
A nifty side benefit of that account is that they will allow the account to be used for one thing other than maintenance. You can also use it to pay off the truck, if the maintenance balance is higher than the loan balance.
So... My plan is to never touch the maintenance balance by simply paying for everything myself, directly, unless I literally cannot afford it out of pocket. At 15 CPM, the maintenance account will build fairly quickly if I do not have to dip into it.
This is, of course, only a plan, and plans have a habit of changing when they encounter reality.
That said, I will have 10k in the bank after the down payment, and another 10k available credit if needed. I have no mortgage or other debt. My credit cards are paid in full every week. No wife or kids. No alimony or child support. If I cannot make this work, I've probably done something retarded.
You'll either exit at the end of year 1 or you'll figure out burning your wheels up for almost nothing ain't much fun. Percentage pay at a decent company would be a better way to go if not getting your own authority. Burning up and down the highways 3,000 miles a week wearing out a truck really quickly for peanuts sucks. Been there and done that. My exit strategy was very similar to yours. I leased at a company (for a short while about 10 years ago) that paid what Crete is paying you and I knew it was a temporary stepping stone. Dont let that Crete fuel discount be something to hang your hat on. You're still working for poor rates and cheap fuel doesn't make that nothing burger any better. You'd be surprised at the discounts guys get leased at small companies and yes even independents can get some solid discounts themselves.Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
I would always encourage someone to try and do everything on their own at least once. It's a risky business but at the end you can either be proud that you succeeded or have the knowledge that you are not cut out to run your own business. I would never think less of someone who at least tried.
If it were easy, everyone would do it. There's all sorts of ways to screw up. I'm sure I will screw up a bit myself.
The reasons I chose to buy the Crete truck and stay with the company are pretty simple.
First, I know my truck. I have put 250k miles on it myself. It has been reliable. It might still fail tomorrow, but probably not.
Second, I have access to a 100% drop and hook account with all the miles I can drive.
Third, I know people here at Crete.
In essence, I am doing my best to reduce or eliminate as many variables as possible in order to be successful in my first year or so.
After I take the first O/O baby steps, I will probably look for better income potential, but right now I am concentrating more on reducing risks than finding maximum pay for minimum miles.
Ideally, in one year or two, I will move to working under the authority of a different company with a load board, so I can eliminate the dispatcher, and capture better rates. Schneider or Lonestar are two I have my eyes on, but I am not looking too far ahead.
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