Yet another blasted question from a rookie O/O (God help us all!)

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by brsims, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Meadville, PA
    So here's the situation:

    I'm a rookie O/O. First truck, first trailer. Flatbedder specializing in steel haul, dragging a sidekit 48' flatbed. Truck payment is $995.20 per month, trailer is $1,000 per month ($250 per week lease with $0 balloon at the end). Other fixed costs come out to $41 per week.

    It's now winter. Freight in my commodity is starting to drop, roads are going to get a bit slick, and there are thousands of rookie drivers out there causing pileups. Plus, the Great Lakes states (my normal running range) have gotten really over-reactive in road closures and "emergency" situations due to the number of under-trained drivers of ALL vehicles killing themselves and others since they don't know (or care) about adjusting their driving to road conditions.

    I just got my business to the point of showing a small profit, and I would hate to lose everything due to some other idiot not being able to control his/her vehicle on slick roads. Plus, let's face it. This is NOT a season of high profit for flatbed, and I really, REALLY dislike dryvan. Reefer is not even to be considered.

    My thinking is to scale my operation back considerably for the winter, then hit it hammer and tongs in Spring.

    I would still have to run this winter, paying the fixed costs and putting something to the house and maintenance account. But I don't necessarily have to go out and run my tail feathers off for weeks at a time to make the monthly nut.

    On the other hand, I AM a bit greedy. I like money. I did just start hitting profitability, and I'd hate to lose that just because I wanna be lazy for the winter.

    I have money set aside, but I'm not yet at a comfortable level of capitalization for ongoing operations. That money is slowly increasing, but so are expenses due to increased fuel usage. I do not have a functional APU, but I also hate having to idle the engine for heat. Increased fuel useage plus wear and tear on the motor plus shortened lifespan on the DPF/SCR/EGR systems, ya know.

    So (finally!), what would you do? Scale back for the winter, or run like the devil's on your heels?
    SimpleTrucker, D.Tibbitt and Bean Jr. Thank this.
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  3. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Little early in the game to be taking winters off........

    Any thing else to haul over the winter around you...? Oil , propane or salt maybe......
  4. OldeSkool

    OldeSkool Medium Load Member

    Jul 17, 2018
  5. Bakerman

    Bakerman Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hang out in the South for the winter. I see 60' long rebar every week between Phx & LA.
  6. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    The great state of TN
    Why take off? If you have to run the cold weather states, it's just what it is......the show must go on my friend. You'll probably do better running north since everyone hides in the south during these months
  7. RoadRooster

    RoadRooster Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Fort Myers, Florida
    Deliver ski food from El Paso to the north anything back... farm equipment?
    D.Tibbitt and brsims Thank this.
  8. MGE Dawn

    MGE Dawn Heavy Load Member

    May 19, 2019
    Vancouver, WA
    I'd go snowbirding, personally. Run around in the southern states while the weather's nasty up north, and head back when the weather starts to turn favorable again
    brsims and Bakerman Thank this.
  9. stayinback

    stayinback Road Train Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    I wish you the best-

    See...KNOWING the level of idiots on the road- You cant put yourself in such a financial situation.....

    I know its tough owning newer stuff unless your rich- But winter is the EXACT reason why I dont operate owing anyone- (Not to mention new trucks are brutal to work on)

    If I see a storm coming- I work around it or simply just take a few days off.....

    See,You have a $2000 a month fixed expense- You pretty much Have to stay into it...(you can probably afford 3-4 weeks vacation per year)

    This is the downfall for owning new- and owing a note-

    Best advice is......Take her slow n easy...Watch out for Big Box newbies flying by.....And keep your toes warm
    D.Tibbitt, brsims and Tx Countryboy Thank this.
  10. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

    Sep 15, 2017
    Theres always a big need for bagged palletized pellets up into the north during winter.

    Take something worth the drive down to florida then bounce right out to alabama without wasting any time. from alabama to like indy, louisville, lexington cinncinatti area.. Then from there back up north for a few days off. Id try to stay out of PA/WV during snow.. That area is dang steep.
    ChevyCam, brsims and Bakerman Thank this.
  11. truckdriver31

    truckdriver31 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    bad weather can pay very big $$$
    D.Tibbitt, starmac, loudtom and 3 others Thank this.
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