I was surprised to see this thread revived, but I'll take the occasion to update my unqualified decisions.
I bought a 50 yd steel dump trailer.
I bought a 1999 International.
I have a broker and friends in the local C&D transport market and have been working for a couple months running demolition debris to the landfill.
I'm making 2X+ what I had been running at $0.65/mi AFTER expenses. I already have my emergency repair fund funded, and it's growing. I'll own everything outright and be in the black by summer.
I'm home every night.
I'm happy, even excited to go to work every day.
This isn't the direction I expected but that's life, we have to be searching for something to find anything. I was searching for my potential and found my next step. Reading through I remember being angry at being told I shouldn't expect success as an owner. The negative replies about trailers and trucks being too expensive to earn a profit. Repairs would destroy me. Oh, and I had to drive years before I could claim to know how, my personal fav. There was no point in doing more than work as a company driver for 5 -10 yrs and maybe then I'd be good enough to reach for more.
I did get an "attitude", but I still think for cause. I didn't get honest answers warning me about risk, I was given a scolding for being so brash as to think I could start my own business as an owner within a single year of getting a cdl. Well I did it. Maybe the next guy who thinks to believe in himself enough to dream of more will get someone to inspire that dream rather than try to grind it to dust.
New drivers need the experienced drivers to help them muddle through. I had been a business owner before, so I already have experience in dealing with the challenges of running a business. Most new drivers don't, but they don't need to be told they can't. Even warnings of pitfalls can be given with a positive attitude. This is what offended me the most. I didn't need the answers to come from here, though I had hoped, but the negativity was unexpected. If I got it, so must others. How many believe the "can't do that" attitude and give up? I witnessed it at another forum too with a young new driver, by a moderator no less. Told the kid he was stupid, for what I don't recall, and called it "tough love". Got myself booted from that one when I called him out.
Many years ago I let an Army recruiter and a disgruntled FBI agent dissuade me from pursuing my dream and settle. I made that mistake once, that was enough. To new drivers I say don't settle, to the old I say be helpful, not spiteful.