I want to be an OTR OO

by Jeff
(Southern California)

There are a LOT of details involved with my question, so please bear with me. I have been a successful taxi driver in southern California for about 10-15 years. It's not a bad situation, but I'll never make enough money to live the lifestyle I want.

I've wanted to be a truck driver for many years, but most of you know it's not easy and there are many, many reasons why it's not easy. For me, the simple fact is that I'm a TERRIBLE employee.

Nobody wants me in their office, their shop, their customers' location, etc. I bring this up because other web sites have suggested I go get a job as a trucker first. I tried that for a short time, but to nobody's surprise, it didn't work out.

Now I'm saving some money with intent to buy a truck. I have a lot of questions about what to buy, where should I find loads, should I connect to a company as an OO, should I get my own insurance, authority, etc.

I think I should also state that home time means nothing to me. I have no permanent residence anywhere and I have no wife nor family. I can be on the road all year, every day (even Christmas!) and it won't bother me in the least.
Let me try to group some of my most significant questions by subject and hopefully I can get some good info.

The truck
Is there a brand of truck that's better for the kind of hauling I'm planning on doing?

How much horsepower do I need?
What wheelbase should I get?
Are aluminum wheels really that important?

Are re-capped tires that bad?
Do I need an air-ride suspension?
Why do the used truck sites all list the front axle weight and the rear axle weight?

The work
Are loads that easy to find? I already downloaded an iPhone app that has many, many loads every day Are these all going to be very low paying?

Should I perhaps let a company provide me with insurance/authority/loads? I know that will mean less money at first, but probably a lot more stable work. I know it also means giving up some degree of independence.

What kind of money can I really expect? (This is a two part question based on whether I have my own authority, etc. or not.)

Let me also add that I had originally planned on saving until I had cash to pay for a used rig (no trailer) and being able to start my new business with no debt.

As I research more and more, it looks like this is probably not going to happen, but I at least have enough money to pay MOST of the cost of the vehicle and not have a huge monthly payment.

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Jul 27, 2016
I'll make it simple... NEW
by: Anonymous

.. I'm not really gonna adress the other stuff, just the truck.

You love driving? You wanna be OTR?

You are gonna live in the truck. It will be your home. Get something that you LIKE regardless of cost.

Don't buy a truck just because it gets better fuel mileage... and you hate it other than mileage

Be able to split gears. Dont get a straight 10

You like the sound of turbos? Do you like to listen to the engine when you drive instead of the stereo/

Get a Cummins ISX with a 3 stage Jake and a 13 to 18 speed.

Get a sleeper that you can be comfortable in.. at all times, or even for TWO people to be comfortable in.

If you are into trucks, this is your chance to shine.

Watch a bunch of "BigRigVideos" on Youtube...

See what you think of those trucks. Then get Clint Moore to build one just for you.

Talk to the Owner Operators that have NICE trucks.

They will tell you everything you know.

You already have ONE good thing on your side: you actually WANT to drive OTR when most truckers either want to be home every night or at least every weekend.

Good fortune to you. If you want to start with a company that will give you a taste of OTR driving and will give you a great rig, try Western Distribution.

Pay isn't that great (in the beginning) but they will hire you as an O.O and help you get the rig.

And you will be gone pretty much... as long as you want to be.

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