Wonder how far newbies have made it?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Largecar359, Nov 8, 2014.

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  1. skateboardman

    skateboardman Road Train Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    flatbed heaven
    that wasn't the point, his post didn't say he worked for nothing then wait for the hot load.
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  3. kw600

    kw600 Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    Rollin, I admire 99% of your posts. If you don't mind me asking, you mentioned you were still hustling good rates from brokers. Are you on a specific load board or do you work with a local brokerage? I've seen constantly people on here bashing tql and chrobinson as cheap and heavy. I've been with them for about a year know and can agree with them- to an extent. Heavy? Yes. Cheap? Most of the time. However, it took me quite some time to see whos who and how to work with the ones I can hustle with, when they need me. There is freight from them that needs to be moved, and like you said, circle like a hawk before calling in, because you know they need you.
    Surprisingly I have yet to be told no for a rate I'm happy with from the fellas at these "obsurd/cheap&heavy/insert negative comment" large brokerages.
  4. Steeleandsonfarms

    Steeleandsonfarms Light Load Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    Edgerton, OH
    The business was for a finite amount of time. I was hauling exempt commodities.

    As far as operating ratio, I assume you mean profit/loss ratio. I profit 58% of total revenue after fuel, payment, insurance, repairs, and the like.
    6 Speed Thanks this.
  5. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    I get my spot loads from the same sources as everyone else working off loadboards. I work the same lanes all the time and watch the freight in these areas. I get my best rates from the likes of CHR, TQL, and LS. These are also the ones who have the good runs, round trip work. Lightweight or heavy loads I really could care less. Which is amusing because for whatever reason lightweight stuff seems to always find it's way on my truck without me stressing out over it like a lot of drivers seem to. If it's light well that's great, if not, well my truck's kind of fun to drive when it's heavy anyways. Really these megas have some excellent freight and of course boatloads of crappy freight also. And a reload is relatively easy with any one of them also. The bad part with them, excepting LS in this scenario, is they will throw you under the bus when the freight is scarce and my rates are too high. Wheras the small brokers I work with on repeat loads will pay the same on any given load year round regardless if similar freight is moving for a couple hundred less or not. The flip side of that is I hesitate to ask for several hundred more (when market conditions allow for it) than what these smaller brokers always pay year round, in fact I never do that, UNLESS they ask for an option. I'm always glad to give anyone a price if they ask.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    SL3406, SheepDog and 281ric Thank this.
  6. 6 Speed

    6 Speed Heavy Load Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Get over yourself.
  7. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    That's enough. Cool it.

    There's lots of good information in here with lots of good contributors. Let's try and keep it that way.
    BeN DaViS, p47, SL3406 and 3 others Thank this.
  8. Hurst

    Hurst Registered Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    I wouldnt call myself a newbie,.. I started driving back in the late 80's and ran for almost 7 yrs. Got out of the truck for my kids.

    Years later ended up back in the seat due to changing economic times and hardships beyond my control. Kids are grown now so it made things a bit easier.

    I restarted as a company driver. Went through hell with the first company I hired on with. Finally found a great company and the owner encouraged me to going O/O.

    I bought my first truck with cash. I leased on to the same company. Not much has changed regarding how I work, I have more say in what I haul, when I go home and for how long I want to stay home. Other then that its pretty much just like it was as a company driver. I'm dispatched by the same person.

    I have more expenses now,.. but my settlements are substantially larger now as well. You tend to work twice as hard when you have a vested interest to succeed.

    As for growing,.. I do want to eventually get my own authority. It is a goal I'd like to achieve,.. and if/when the time is right I'll go that route. I'm hiring my first driver in January. I'm hoping to be in my second truck between Feb and May.

    I dont have grand illusions about being 'Mega' wealthy. My goal is to create something profitable with out growing beyond sustainability and control. I dont want to be driving beyond the age of 60. By then I just want to dispatch my drivers and remain a comfortable size to where everyone is happy. Reality is often much different then what you envision. If it doesnt work out, I know I can roll my own truck and make a living. So its not the end of the world. So far I have transitioned well. I try to keep my expenses in check. Most of what I spend goes back into the truck. This truck is my livelihood after all.

    I've managed to go from nothing to hiring my first driver in under 3 yrs. So I can brag that yes it is attainable. It is doable. But you have to work at it, cash is king, never finance or go into debt with out the immediate means to pay off that debt. Think it through and always have a goal with a realistic strategy to achieve that goal. Know exactly where and how you will make your money. Dont assume that just buying a truck will automatically make you money. You need someone to pay you to run that truck and that truck needs fuel and expenditures in order to continue rolling. You have to be willing to work twice as hard as the next guy or you wont survive. If you have a poor work ethic as a company driver,.. dont expect to make it as an O/O. Its much more stressful with much more to lose.

    ironpony, SheepDog and Lepton1 Thank this.
  9. Skate-Board

    Skate-Board Road Train Member

    Aug 9, 2014
    Merrimack, NH
    I started in 2006. I was a software engineer and jumped into flatbed trucking with my own authority and no experience at all. I'm still doing ok and happy. Not rich but doing good. I'm surprised how much you can make on your own if you put the effort into it. I've posted before how I ran hard for 2 months straight and really racked up some serious cash.

    The one thing I can't get over is the maintenance costs. Things can really creep up on you. Walking around my truck and trailer a few months ago I was saying to myself, gee, time for a few more tires. Then I realized I was going to need 18 all at once. I don't care how small the repair is. The bill is always $1,000

    I just went home for a week and went through $5,000 in no time. Stupid stuff but it really adds up.
    281ric, jmorris3288, Hurst and 2 others Thank this.
  10. glockwise

    glockwise Light Load Member

    Apr 24, 2014

    No offense, but this is a irrelevant ratio with in the trucking industry in general and a horrible KPI for business owner's over all. It is used to compare companies that are in very closely matched segments with near (exact- if possible) business models.

    Also- if you are a LLC or sole proprietor, your ratio is always 1:1 as wages are included in operating expenses and all remaining revenue is income.

    The Statement of Cash flow is probably the best indicator of how you are doing. It eliminates items that affect profitability like depreciation, accounting methods and timing issues by using the cash method in lieu of the accrual method.

    People often don't understand why they were "profitable", but could never pay their bills and sooner rather than later went out of business.

    Unless you are lucky...people who succeed in business "plan their work and work their plan". They tell their money where to go and don't wonder were it went.
    SheepDog, Lepton1 and BeN DaViS Thank this.
  11. Hurst

    Hurst Registered Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    I couldnt help but chuckle,.. seems everytime I come home its another $1000 - $2000 into the truck.

    Its the one part my wife doesnt seem to understand. OTR semi truck and car or pick up at home is like apples and oranges. The miles we run under the conditions and stress we run these trucks at. When you do the math... not counting fuel,.. the semi truck is actually cheaper to run per mile then say a car or pu truck.

    200k from steer tires, 300 - 500k from drive tires. 15k - 40k for oil changes. 1 million miles before major over haul.

    To put things into perspective, our personal vehicles are throw away scraps of metal.

    Lepton1, Skate-Board and 6 Speed Thank this.
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