Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by FREEBRD, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    There is no doubt that the big carriers have had an impact, but perhaps not as much as you might think. Remember, about 90% of the freight in this country is hauled by carriers with 50 or fewer trucks. That means that the big carriers can only haul approximately 10% of the freight. I have no idea what the flatbed or van ratio is when it comes to the mega carriers versus the small carriers.

    There are just as many owner operators and small carriers that will haul cheap freight as there are the mega carriers. Although, I would expect that the smaller carriers will have more of a tendency to hold out for the higher rates. Many will take a cheap load rather than sit for a day to find a good paying load. You can find blame in every aspect and size of this business.
    FREEBRD Thanks this.
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  3. Travelinman

    Travelinman Medium Load Member

    Mar 22, 2010
    Freebird I too feel your pain as I'm sure many drivers do. You actually seem like you're in a great position to make a good living. Your truck is paid for but you owe on the trailer. Providing your record is straight, lots of opportunities exist for you. The gambling and the depression takes a huge toll though and it's pretty hard to see anything beyond that. But there is hope.

    When I start to feel depressed, I try to shift the focus from myself and do something good for someone. Maybe a random kind act. That always helps. What really helps though, is my faith in God, who I always seek to keep first in my life. Once my relationship with God is in order, then all things fall right into place, kinda like rolling with the wind, instead of against it. If you do this, I am positive things will improve for you in unimaginable ways!
    NavigatorWife Thanks this.

    FREEBRD Medium Load Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Lafollette tn
    Thanks traveling man!
    Yes you would think I'm in a good position to make some real money! And all my equipment is paid for and I good shape! I even have a APU on the truck trailer is also paid for I have enough new or extra equipment to run 3 trucks if I had the work!
    Also my 53' flatbed trailer is paid for! I usually paid cash for everything as I don't believe in credit or depending on banks!
    The only way you get money from a bank is if you have money! If you no what I mean!
    my problem is sitting and rates! I have to keep moving or my thoughts catch up with me.
    SHC Thanks this.
  5. heavyhaulerss

    heavyhaulerss Road Train Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Freebrd... have you considered talking to bbb on this forum. if I remember correctly he moved from the midwest to right close to you. he has his own co,
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  6. Autocar

    Autocar Road Train Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    The Hot Rod Shop Oxford, AL
    Time to reassess your strengths and weaknesses. Which is not an easy thing to do, but is necessary to move forward. You are going through the same thing many of us have gone through. My time was 1988. While having your own name on the doors is neater than a two petered skeeter, it doesn't necessarily put groceries on the table and the fact is, it will not for the majority.
  7. heavyhaulerss

    heavyhaulerss Road Train Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    his strength is his determination,desire, & work ethic. his weakness is he is a trucker, like me.:biggrin_25522:
    FREEBRD Thanks this.
  8. SHC

    SHC Spoiled Rotten Brat O/O

    Feb 26, 2011
    Westville, IN
    Sorry to hear things are just plain bad for you. That trip to the casino was a bad choice, but hindsight is always 20/20 and I've done the same thing (tho never that much $)

    i know that you are independent and I sure hope things work out for you. I hate seeing someone loose it all (mind and money)

    youll prob kill me, but have had any thoughts about selling out and going to a local company to drive for as a company guy?? You have plenty of experience that I'm sure you could get in somewhere good and at a good pay rate. You'll probably make more $$ doing that than you have the last year being an O/O. Plus u can get yourself out of the hole your in by selling your equipment and you'll also get some health care, which at 50yrs old is a MAJOR importance.

    Whatever u decide, best of luck to you
    FREEBRD Thanks this.
  9. windsmith

    windsmith Road Train Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    I could see myself dropping $14K easily. That's why I walk in with less than $500. Most times I walk out with less than $100, and sometimes the casino gives me a rebate (some call that winning).
    SHC Thanks this.
  10. fortycalglock

    fortycalglock Road Train Member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Tourist Town, FL
    I was in your shoes kind of. I had direct shippers as well as brokers I used on a weekly basis. My main direct shipper was bought out in 2008 and most of my main brokers simply didn't have any freight. I struggled and eventually leased to a carrier that had direct freight. It was a great move for me at the time. I'm not saying LS is the answer but maybe leasing on to someone with freight may be the answer. Good luck.
    Autocar, FREEBRD and SHC Thank this.
  11. RedForeman

    RedForeman Momentum Conservationist

    Jan 30, 2011
    Most important part IMO.

    OP: Two things that keep me from the edge of panic are:

    1. Stress over those things that are within your control, do not stress over those things that you cannot control.
    2. Q: How do you eat an elephant?
      A: One bite at a time.
    What will throw any good person into a tail spin is being overwhelmed. 99% of the time, things aren't as dire or urgent as you think. Break it down, using a pen and paper if you have to, and you will get to the important bits and be able to prioritize.

    One thing is certain: You need to make immediate changes (as you've said). Clearly what you've been doing has run it's course. Only you know your business well enough to figure out precisely what is not working. Don't give up!

    Personally, I've extended my own threshold for stress and problem management farther than I ever imagined. Gawd, if my upcoming insurance payment were only $700! Anyway, I got into a bit of mental lockup this past fall. Coming out the other end, I had an approach. Then my feet dragged on implementing it when my son's truck suddenly needed an inframe. Robbed from Peter to pay Paul to make that work. Then just as the corner looked almost turned, my other driver and good friend BigJohn54 (who was literally one load away from kicking off a new direction for my business) suddenly passed away. I go pay my respects and get my butt in the seat. Only to discover that John had been soft-peddling the fact that his truck was getting in dire need of an inframe as well. I've managed to live through all that and more. The "worst case" I envisioned when I wrote my business plan is a weak compared to what I've dealt with. And when I wrote it, people that offered input criticized me for being too pessimistic. When it gets hard to cope, I take a deep breath, suck it up, and try a different approach.

    Christ, this week has been stress-filled mini-episode without even trying hard. Wipers quit on the road Monday night in driving rain on the way to stop 4 of 5. Rescheduled the final to waste ("only" - 2 thumbs up to KW in Jackson, MS) a 1/2 day at a dealer getting the wipers working. Then a reefer breakdown while the last skids were coming off the truck Wednesday morning that also required dealer help (another 2 thumbs up to Carrier Transicold in St. Rose, LA!) to expedite me to my next pickup by 2pm same day. Wrapped up the day by taking a fall climbing out of the cab (bottom foot slipped and careless grip with hands) and pulled a hamstring and banged an elbow. Of course only minutes before scaling a load that was 500 lb under gross, requiring many more trips in and out of the cab and crawling around with a hammer to release stuck slider pins, etc. More drama than a daytime soap opera. And to really wrap it up, my usual tactic of loading Friday to get a weekend at home and dash Monday didn't happen either. So a short revenue week to beat all.

    But you know what? I'm at home, fresh shower and shave, my wife i haven't seen in a few days is on her way home from work, and it ain't all bad. I'll get some rest, tackle some truck chores maybe, catch up on office paperwork, and hit it hard Monday.

    Good luck with whatever you do differently.
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