I want to be an OTR Owner Operator
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 O/O, 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.
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?
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.