Potential Owner Operator with Questions About Trucking

by Connie
(Rancho Cucamonga, CA)

I have a cousin who has been a truck driver for 6 years now. My father is willing to buy a truck and pay for the expenses (gas, insurance, taxes, etc.) He wants to make a decent profit and wants my cousin to make a decent living.

My cousin says its complicated to figure out who gets paid what, so I said I would look into it. What did I get myself into? LOL.

I understand what he means by "it's complicated". My dad was even thinking about buying two trucks in order to make more of a profit, but see how it goes first with the first one.

Should we just move on or keep moving forward and learn more about this trucking business?

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Mar 11, 2011
by: Anonymous

all i can say is, don't jump unless you test the water first. a lot of people and company out there are gonna lie their ass off just to get you tied up in their hand and toyed with you when you're in. truck driving is the hardest job you'll ever encounter and unless you get pointers from the veteran drivers who's been doing it for so long, you're in for a suicide more or less. There are companies who does a lot of humiliating transaction that is so uncalled for like deferred paycheck, deception with regards to how much the loads gross and how much you get out of it. Sometimes they will say, no forced dispatch but if you don't accept it, they'll put u in the corner or hole for 8 hours until you ponder on everything and learned your lesson. They make you log your paper works the hard way in the most impossible way too. They bitch and complain at you for being late even though you never really get your 30 hour restart. They wont give you lumper fee and have u unload it by yourself but they will collect lumper from the broker and never will tell you about it. In short, some of them are undignified, worthless, dishonest, deceitful people from the supervisor to the dispatchers.... they will give u a hard time. Trust me. I have to fight just to get my paycheck and just to fulfill my home time. Plus I have to put up with a crappy trailer and when it breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they won't gonna send you some help right away. There are only few companies left that are really taking care of their drivers nowadays. Thats why alot of them are trying to become Owner-Operators or just quit to just get over and done with it. Think again. There are lots of respected drivers who will give you a piece of advice or two. And some of them will lie to you. You should be keen to see who is telling the truth but I know I am. So goodluck out there.....

Dec 15, 2009
Connie from Rancho Cucamonga
by: Jimmy

Hi Connie, yours is an interesting question. Is this trucking venture between you and your cousin only? Or are you involved too, besides making inquiries?

The first thing I must tell you is trucks use diesel fuel, not gas. Would your father pay cash for the truck? New or used? Would he buy it and then step aside and your cousin runs the business? Or would your dad have his nose in the business constantly?

Actually, it's a pretty simple premise. You buy a truck, get the required paperwork in order, find customers to haul for (or brokers to find customers for you for a fee), then haul the freight, get paid, pay your expenses and hopefully have money left over for a profit. However, dear lady, anyone can punch holes in this premise.

You need to haul loads that will give you, the owner, a profit. In this current economy, shippers are not willing to pay every time fair rates. They know that there are carriers who will take the load for low rates. This hurts the little guy.

Getting paid can be a problem also. A breakdown can ruin your profit for that load. You have no say in insurance and cost of fuel. Most importantly, you need a business head on your shoulders.

If your Dad is quite well off and can use a truck as a write-off, it may work. The fail rate is high. FYI. Jimmy

Dec 15, 2009
by: Eugene

For me, I would start with a lease purchase. This will allow you a good look into what you will be getting yourself into. Look for a company that offers a no questions asked, no hassle walk away lease.

Chances are, if it is not for you, then you will know it fairly soon. If it looks like you can make a go of, then great, complete the lease and then trade the truck and start a lease on a newer truck.

If you complete 2 or 3 lease programs, then, more than likely have what it takes to step in to owner operator shoes. Remember!! always have a transportation lawyer look over ANY lease and give his or her ok before you sign.

Going into business for yourself can be very stressful. If you are not prepared, then it is a good way to go broke FAST.

May God bless you on this journey, and keep us posted.

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