Wanting to start my own company.

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Kevw45, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Kevw45

    Kevw45 Light Load Member

    Aug 1, 2019
    Hey, y'all! I'm thinking of starting my own business, but the one thing that is making me hesitant, is not knowing for sure how much money I can make daily, and I thought maybe somebody could give me some insight in what to expect. Basically, I want to make $750-$1000 daily, and just run within Texas, or maybe to Oklahoma, or Louisiana. I've subscribed to DAT one time last year, when freight was bad, and figured it would be possible, but there weren't many options, very slim pickings. I've worked as a company driver for over 10yrs, mostly locally. Recently I've been running out as far as I can go, and then turning around to come back. As a company driver, I'm used to just getting in and out of delivery places quickly, and where I'm scared to do things on my own, is not knowing if it works typically the same for O/O's, or are O/O's treated differently, (worse). Is there anyway of knowing in advance when you book a load for yourself, what to expect when you show up to these delivery places, or is it really just cross your fingers, and pray. I couldn't afford to book two loads, which is what it would take to meet my daily revenue goal, not be able to pick up the second, because my first delivery took 5 hours to unload... I'd go out of business! Any info helps, thanks, y'all!
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  3. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

    Dec 8, 2017
    It's difficult to answer your question because different locations different types of freight different seasons all play into that. I think the question you should ask is what is the least amount of money could I survive on? Then anything beyond that you did well.

    As far as delivery times, no you do not know how long it's going to take to get unloaded. Some Freight is better than others if you're talking about refrigerated you're going to camp out there for however long that is if you're talking about van it could be a little bit of time it could be a lot of time. To give you an example I've had places where I've been in and out easily within one hour and I've had other places where I've been there 9 and 10 hours. For me, for where I go, most of the time it's within two or three hours but you never know.

    The Freight business has had some high rates but we're nearing the end of that. This is not going to go on for years and and years. The downturn is coming as it always comes, and the price of fuel is rising.

    It is always an error to want to be an owner operator because you think you're going to make a lot of money. Not that you said that and I understand without knowing what you can make it makes it more dicey, but you need to do it because you like the lifestyle and the freedom and you accept all the extra things that go along with it and when times are really really really really really bad you can survive. If you can figure it that you can survive through the bad times you have nothing to worry about. The good times will take care of themselves.
  4. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2017
    The more loads you book in a week, the more opportunities there are for delays to trash your schedule. If you're running 2 long loads per week, a 4 hour delay is nothing. But if you're trying to run 2 loads per day, then a 4 hour delay can be a real big problem.

    Plus even without delays, you're still talking a whole lot more dock time. Assuming 90 minutes average per dock bump, with 2 loads per week you're spending 6 hours per week on docks, but with 2 loads per day, now you're talking like 40 hours per week spent on docks.

    But you might consider working toward a scenario where you have a few trailers and contract a regular drop and hook account, for example, 2 loads per day from Dallas to Waco. One trailer being worked on at each facility, one on your truck and one in reserve. Then if you add a few more trailers for some regular d&h runs backwards from Waco to Dallas, even if they only have 1 per day....
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  5. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    You won’t succeed with that worry.

    you find what it costs you first and then what you need at the minimum to pay the personal bills then go up from there.

    making $1000 day or $6000 a week is meaningless if it costs you $5500 to run the truck.

    also ...
    you don’t worry about this ...
    Badmon, Vampire, OldeSkool and 2 others Thank this.
  6. HillbillyDeluxeTruck

    HillbillyDeluxeTruck Road Train Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    San Antone
    Simple answer $1000/day isn't hard to do regionally, especially right now in flatbed.

    If you don't know your expenses, then the revenue you make is irrelevant. Truck, insurance, fuel, etc.

    I run Tx regional, the co Im leased to takes too much $ for it, but we're slammed with freight so I stay real busy M-F.
    God prefers Diesels Thanks this.
  7. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    South Texas
    Short answer, it's doable. Even with a flatbed. But we're talking $1,250 one way, and $750 the other. That kind of thing. Kind of like hauling into Florida. Good rate going in, bad coming out. For example, I'd haul barite from Corpus to Midland for $1,250. But once you get to Midland area, you're looking at shredded metal bales, crushed cars, railroad ties, and palletized stone on the way back. None of that stuff pays very good. Be lucky to get $700 for some stone, or $800 for some railroad ties. It's always cheap and heavy, and a lot of miles for the hassle. Plus, the state isn't big enough to catch a weekend load, so you're basically stuck working M-F, and you need to get Friday's freight off your trailer by COB, or you're going to have to deal with it Monday.

    Keep in mind, you might be better at negotiation than me....or you might be worse.

    If you'll go to those states, why not just jump in the deep end and run the lower 48? When I was running Texas, $1,000 per day was my goal, and I struggled to average that over a week. Now that I run all 48, I couldn't imagine making that little. I just hauled a load that could have been done in three days for $4,900. It did stretch out to 3.5 days because one of the drops didn't have a forklift. And that was for a broker I'd worked with in Texas before, and I knew they didn't pay top dollar. There's some serious money out there if you can cross state lines.

    So in conclusion...
    You can make a grand, but you're going to work for it. Every day you're going to have to find the load, book the load, deadhead to it, load it, drive it, drop it, and it all needs to happen each day before you run out of hours. Then you wake up and do it all again, and hope it all works out as good as it did yesterday.
    Badmon, Midwest Trucker and slow.rider Thank this.
  8. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    South Texas
    What type of trailer are you looking at? And have you looked at trucks? And insurance? Just wondering how far along you are in this process, or if it's and idea you're just kicking around.

    New authority insurance is high, but you save money by paying the year in full. If you don't have the scratch to do that, monthly payments are doable, but you're basically giving away free money. If you can pay off your truck, it doesn't cost you anything if it sits. Trailer notes aren't terribly expensive. Mine is, but it's on a 15-month note.

    Fuel is the biggest cost. I use WEX FleetOne. Their app shows me what stations take it, and their current price with discount. I can get pretty great fuel prices, but it's at smaller stations. No discount at mega stops like PFJ/Love's, etc. That's fine, because I don't have the patience to sit in line at the pump while everyone takes a 30 anyway.

    If you pull open deck, use ITS loadboard. DAT for the other trailers.

    It took something like 54 days to get apportioned, and another 41 days for IFTA. And you can't start filing for IFTA until you're apportioned. So expect four or five months before you can leave Texas. Also, 21 days for your authority to go active before you can even start driving. If you stay in Texas for sure, you can just get plates for $900, and you can walk in and buy them. TxDMV number takes about 30 minutes, and you'll need that if you want to run this state. So you need to decide if you're going to go interstate, or stay intrastate. You can survive intrastate, but there's big money going interstate. Weigh the pros and cons. If you're just going to run OK and LA, I'd stay in Texas and forget IRP all together. In other words, if you don't plan to stretch your legs, then don't bother with the additional hassle and money you need to lay out. That's my two cents.
    HPSF and Midwest Trucker Thank this.
  9. danny23tx

    danny23tx Road Train Member

    Feb 16, 2016
    I found it difficult to run those numbers just in Tx . I run van and the more docks you touch the more likely your clock is gonna run out . I had the same thoughts when starting out but running regional and sometimes further netted me good money . My best runs lately were Central TX out to SE regional runs and back . My freight is limited coming out of Austin, typically end up in Sanantonio or Waco running van .
    Midwest Trucker and slow.rider Thank this.
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