alot of o/o also have a 1200 to 1500 truck payment. or higher
make sure you have 7000 to 10000 in your trucking account when
starting out ! If you have a major breakdown, there's nothing worse than
having to call your banker and pay interest on a repair or putting it on a charge card (Big mistake)
A stupid question is easier to correct than a stupid mistake
Who has the answer? Does the O/O or the Company Driver
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The one thing I was most naive about when starting driving was that if I had a perfect MVR I could get hired anywhere to drive any time I wanted. Far from it!!! After pissing off two trucking companies (one who payed me 26 cpm pro miles, and one who paid me 29 cpm practical) by quitting without notice (I did return their trucks and trailers and finish the loads I was on), I am unhireable. My DAC report is clean. My work history outside the trucking industry is good (five years at the company I worked for before trucking). But when companies call my last employer they don't ask "Did you lie to Driver about making him drive tired and illegal to get him to come to work for you?"
Thus, the most important part of becoming O/O with my own authority would be to have control over when I drive by not taking JIT loads that can only be delivered on time if driven illegally. And to not have one ruined trailer tire sidewall become some huge safety concern that every potential hiring company should be warned about (It's not on my DAC but I guarantee company two is bad mouthing me). I don't know how many times I have driven into Chicago where I should never have been when LA would have been a much better drive but my company did not service the west coast.
Maybe it's time I buy (not lease) my own truck. And correct me if I am wrong, but if you are O/O leased on to a trucking company, you may have the right to refuse a load but if you do you may piss off the dispatcher and he may not work real hard to find you another. Whereas if you have your own authority you can choose where you want to go from ALL available loads. Bottom line is I was always hauling CHRobinson loads as a company driver so if company # 2 could make money doing that then I can too.
jlkklj777 Thanks this.
So true, My family owned a company for 30 yrs we went under a few yrs back I took some time off but then had to get back to work, I thought I was being careful when i chose who to work for, but I got screwed, I am still here only because I cant get a job anywhere els, not sure why, but no one calls back, 17 yrs exp no accidents, blah blah, these people promised me a certain amount and a certain milage neither of which has come true, I am a runner and have done a nice job too but I am just a number, now they are hiring for much less than what I was hired for, and I am sitting,, some times dont leave the house till tue or wed which turns into maybe 1000 to 1500 for the week,Been there for 1.5 yrs now. They tell me it is slow but other new guys are pulling 2000 steady, I cant quit, need the insurance for the family and kind of need the paycheck even if it is 400 most weeks now.. As for all thoes benys listed at the 1st of the thread, alot of companys dont even offer health anymore, granted these are more local companys but their gig is to hire you as a contractor and hand you a 1099 at year end, GAFF!!! This is so they dont have to do all the comp and ins, I know paying that is what killed us. AT least if your an OO You can tell your self You will be poor. And not lie. I am looking into a local comapny now, who uses OO's to deliver their stuff, it is all local do about 3 a day and looks like it is doable but who knows, I really have no other choice there is no work in my area. New England, I will survive one way or the other, i just hate how dishonest these companys are to guy's who for the most part will pick their thumb to the bone to stay awake for them, and they could care less.Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
Gee, I posted that last year. Well, long story short; shortly after I post that we did get a 2nd truck and had two running at the same time (or as much as possible) for the guy we bought the 2nd truck from. But then he didn't have enough work for us so we started hauling logs locally. That wasn't enough for two trucks and we have to wait for the pay. By the end of the year the first guy had work for us again, but we couldn't recoup. We scrapped (literally) the 1st truck and the owner took back the 2nd truck and now hubby is driving for him for driver's pay. You just never know how things are going to turn out.
So now we'll be selling off a log trailer, dump trailer, and reefer trailer. It was nice to have control, but we don't miss the breakdowns (and having to pay for them!).
I was a company driver for 6 years and 3 different companies and then became an O/O after all three companies were either bought out or went out of business. None of them are stable. The last company I worked for was in business for 37 years. If you think that you can work for one carrier and retire, you are in the extreme minority. They are all volatile. There are a handful of companies that have been around for decades. The reason they have been around for decades is simple. They make deals and cut their losses.
If you want to be rich, you will not do it by being a truck driver. I don't care if it is as an owner operator or a company driver, if you want to make a lot of money these days, you have to skimp, save, and invest what you have in hopes of getting something out of it in ten years. There are contracts that carriers have which are very lucrative, but the real money in the trucking business is in hauling specialty freight which requires a clean criminal background check and clean driving record. The really good freight requires a good relationship with the customer and the carrier. If you want to make it in any business, you have to have a good relationship with the boss and there are many forms of bosses.
A really great company driving job can pay anywhere up to $100,000 a year. I know of several. You have to do your homework.
A really great O/O can make more than that, but only if he or she is perfect and has done everything right.
BUT! Only an Owner operator can do this!:
A GOOD company driver will have many benefits included with his job. Examples are the following;
Paid Vacation (some pay a flat rate others pay 1/52nd of previous years earnings).
Paid sick days (some are flat rate some are proarted based upon an average days work).
Paid personal days (same calculation as above)
Paid holidays (same calculation as above)
Breakdown pay (varies from company to company)
Detention pay (varies from company to company)
Congestion pay (for large cities such as the 5 burroughs of NYC, Downtown Chicago, Downtown Boston, etc).
Safety Bonuses (could vary from 1 to 2 cpm extra per month).
Recognition programs awarding everything from company merchandise, patches, uniforms, and even cash awards.
Paid Medical Insurance (some may have to pay a portion of the coverages).
Paid Pension plan or 401k with employer match.
Company has to pay half the employees social security.
Company withholds all applicable taxes (federal, state, and local).
Optional AFLAC insurance (paid by employee at group discounted rates).
Credit Union memberships.
Paid mileage empty and loaded (Good companies will be paying in the mid 40's to mid 50's cpm depending upon the company).
Paid hourly for any dock work performed.
Paid for every time you bump a dock.
Paid for every drop.
Paid for every hook.
Wow if I could work for a company who offered even near these benefits I wouldn't want to be an owner operator.
Letme try to answer u this way and u decide which one u want;
a-Average O/O makes more, not too much but more than the top company driver. I am not a good businessman but not stupid either. I stay out 4 weeks and go home for 10 days. When i go home, i dont like to go for couple days.
b-As someone else stated b4, i am a free man. My truck goes whenever and wherever i want her to go. I am the one paying for fuel and i am the one maintaining her.
c-As an owner operator, i am not as comfortable as company driver when it comes to issues with truck. It makes O/O s paranoid ! We have to listen to every rythm change of engine, every leak, every tire and etc...We can not afford to have break down because it is very costly to call a road side service and other BS we deal with when break down. While on the other hand company driver just doesn't give a #### about it, why shd he ? Company paying for the tow, roadside, labor and parts. And if the repair is gonna take to long, they can even give u another truck right away. We O/O s do not have this privilidge.
d-People that u are hauling for can make u unhappy. I crank up my engine and drive to another orientation. Company driver goes to Gray Hound bus station.
e-Tax season is a pain in the butt for me. While it ain't for company drivers.
f-A company driver can get out of trucking business whenever he/she wants. I can not. It takes more time for me to be prepared for a change.
g- As an O/O i have to be able to perform basic mechanic skills. I can't afford to pull into T/A or dealer shop each time that truck coughs! Too expensive. A company driver will not have to deal with it.
h-We O/O s (At least a big majority of us) do not let any other O/O broke down on the side of the road helpless, unless they confirm on the CB that they are OK.
But in general, regardless of O/O or company driver, making too much money or too little, American or not. We are all truck drivers, we eat in same truck stops, we sleep on same exit ramps, we deal with same BS in shipper and recieving end of the process. I am not American, i am not even a veteran truck driver, i been driving only 5 years, but i know #### well that if it wasn't other trucker's especially O/O 's help, i wouldn't be able to make that far.
On the CB, don't let the ####y and childish insults of drivers to each other fool you. When u need them, regardless of their skin, nationality and religion, they are there to help you. At least they were there for me and i am making sure i will be there for them as much as i can.
God Bless yall and be safe.
**EDIT** Ohh and i forgot to tell...I do not have a speed governor on my truckKansas Thanks this.
Wow. U guys really opened up my eyes!! I thought my un-clean driving record was the only thing keeping me out of OTR work. U guys are saying u oryour families owned companies and they went under. 5, 6, 17 YEARS OF EXP AND U CAN'T GET A JOB??!! THAT'S BULL****!!!! THAT'S WHY I WANT TO BE AN INDEPENDENT O/O!!!!
I can't go thru the bull I went thru with companies again!!!! I want to do my own thing!! EVEN IF I GO UNDER, AT LEAST I TRIED!!!! That's a heck of a lot more than most people can say. I don't expect to be rich from this alone, but I have other ideas that will get me there. So i'm gonna search other threads to figure out how. Where there's a will, there's a way. You look for something long enuf, you're gonna get it.
Stuff happens with a business, as well as life. So why not do what u REALLY wanna do with it instead of what's "easy" or "convenient"?? I'm doing that now, and the satisfaction of having MY OWN TRUCK/BUSINESS is WAY MORE APPEALING. A union job with benefits and 8hr days 5 days/wk and paid vacation and decent pay is nice, but it's not the same as doing for myself.
And yeah, REAL truckers help each other out. The comraderie is unlike most professions. One of the reasons why I love it.
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