Why do most owner operators fail?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Wigunowner, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. EZX1100

    EZX1100 Road Train Member

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    i have logged 750 in 11hrs and it didnt cause a stir
     
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  3. Southern Flyer

    Southern Flyer Bobtail Member

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    Keeping a good check on your tire pressures, keeping your fuel filters changed so the truck doesn't have to work so hard to pull fuel, on all engines especially cat's keep a clean air filter (I take mine out once a week and tap the dust out) starting out slower, shifting at the rpms your engine is set at for the most power, and like Afterburn said keep your foot out of it. Who cares if your not running 80 like they are, those are the ones who will more than likely be filling up the truck stops at 3 in the afternoon while your moving right along. It's your truck, your money goes into the fuel so spend it wisely. Remember slow and steady wins the race and just because you have a truck with plenty of power that will run fast doesn't mean you have to all the time.
     
  4. crackinwise

    crackinwise Medium Load Member

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    Well after reading the entire thread it is clear that there are many factors to consider in order to be successful. It is worth saying that at the end of the year when you take a look at all the numbers fuel is going to be your biggest expense hands down. If you base some easy math on a 100,000 mile year and you get an avg of 6.5mpg your looking at $61,538 in fuel costs... What other expense will be that high at the end of the year??? Bottom line is if you go 75 mph you will use more fuel than if you go 63 mph. This is true for trucks, cars, planes ect. Even in NASCAR at the end of a long green flag run drivers SLOW DOWN!!!! Why???? to conserve fuel so they can make it to the end. So if you look at the numbers fuel expense is clearly the biggest so slowing down to a reasonable speed will put more money in your pocket at the end of the year.

    That being said you can also go too slow so its important know where your truck operates the most efficiently. There are modifications you can make to the truck that will help with fuel milage also so its a combination or things to lower that expense but the easiest thing to do is slow down.
     
  5. trees

    trees Road Train Member

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    I agree, I mean we bought our trucks so that we could be independent. We all find what works for us, and I still will open it up AND GO from time to time, usually when I'm running on a really tight schedule... One of the things that has helped me tremendously is my wife, who also drives, she gives me tremendous flexibility.... During DOT inspections the officer calms right down when he sees I'm running as a team, all of the suspicion just melts away, the demeanor you project is a big part of that and I project pure confidence.... I had a cop in Avon Connecticut giving me an inspection once and I told her, "I know what you're thinking, and at one time you'd have been right about me.... I bought a truck because I wanted to be an outlaw... but guess what I found out along the way..... If I lose my license I lose my truck, if I don't keep a close eye on my equipment I will incur major repair expenses, and if that happens I get way behind financially, so... if I'm not real responsible then guess what, I lose my truck... owning the truck straightened me out real fast..." This impressed her, when I lifted the hood she couldn't believe how clean the motor was.... (I had just had it steam cleaned at Atlantic states Detroit diesel..) But yeah, we all find what works for us, or we aren't around for very long...
     
  6. Nicaflatbed

    Nicaflatbed Bobtail Member

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    It is tough to say what makes an O/O successful exactly since there are different types of loads to haul and corridors to run. It takes, I think, a combination of many little things, some factors like speed or time are more important to one type of haul than others. I think it takes a mixture of watching all these things and making what you think is the best decision. Some guys do great runnin hard and others do great takin it easy, but mostly being consistent with work and on top of the maintenance of your equipment keeps you successful. Don't have a rainy day fund of put off repairs you know need fixin, you'll pay for it later. MPG makes a huge difference, so does being on time and dependable. Sometimes to achieve one you affect the other... its not all black and white, but being free to make those decisions is what drove us to be O/O's in the first place. Someone earlier mentioned tires. That gets pricey, blowouts can cost lots of money if they explode in a magnificently destructive manner.. Proper tire maintenance helps, though I have had a brand new tire blow, (Left steer, Yikes) it only had a trip on it, like 3000 miles.. I personally drive OTR and do the 65 mph or less drivin, I get more mpg and feel less stressed. On these long runs at least, the 65 mph does not hinder me as long as I plan my trip accordingly. If I do localized short runs it gets to be more important to get the #### load off and the next one on.. mpg or not I have to hurry.. if it pays well enough.. after all, we aren't in it for the glamour and fame, it's all about the money!!
     
  7. BigJls1

    BigJls1 Medium Load Member

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    WRONG.

    DO it every day I drive, have log book inspection all the time. ZERO log book violations.

    You have posted wrong info.

    we are not in CA, OR or WA.
     
  8. 8-j

    8-j Light Load Member

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    Lol. That's where 90% of my runs are at. So maybe I'll listen to the advice.

    The "Lol" is just because I have to laugh at how unlucky I am if all the other states are nicer about that stuff.
     
  9. Gentlemanfarmer

    Gentlemanfarmer Medium Load Member

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    I think what makes most successful owner operators successful is knowing their numbers. You will hear this from the industry "experts" like Tim Brady from TruckersU.com, Kevin Rutherford, Jim Park and a host of others. I have been operating for two years, and knowing my numbers is what helps us the most. My wife keeps the books and has 15 years of bookkeeping and business experience. We know how much it cost to run the truck per mile, per day and per month. We know our fixed costs which include truck payment, insurance, maintenance, tires, and driver salary. We factor in the variable costs such as fuel, which takes 50% of gross revenue.

    In this business you will need to be disciplined with your money. If you buy a truck, make sure you have enough saved for a 20% down payment, insurance down payment, fuel for a week (at least) and a possible breakdown in the first week or two. All of us have made mistakes, but we learn from those mistakes and drive on. You will learn fairly quickly where the good and bad freight lanes are and then try to stay in the good lanes.

    On the other hand I have seen (and worked with) owner operators that don't know beans about being in business. They don't know any of their numbers, but only look at what a load is paying per mile so they can put fuel into their truck. These drivers live hand to mouth and can never get ahead and only drive to exist.

    Lastly, have confidence in yourself and have a good partner. My wife is my partner, as she keeps the books, looks for loads and takes the pressure off the office part while I drive and negotiate with brokers.
     
    SuavisJ and newly crusin Thank this.
  10. newly crusin

    newly crusin Medium Load Member

    On the other hand I have seen (and worked with) owner operators that don't know beans about being in business. They don't know any of their numbers, but only look at what a load is paying per mile so they can put fuel into their truck. These drivers live hand to mouth and can never get ahead and only drive to exist.

    YES...THERE ARE QUITE A FEW OF THESE GUYS OUT HERE...
     
  11. WhaChuDoinDrivinaTruck?

    WhaChuDoinDrivinaTruck? Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for this way of looking at things. Is there a forum that takes your approach?
     
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