never asked questions are the worst!

michdave

New Member
1
Unless you have great backing and even better credit....wrong time to become one. Sit back and wait to see what happens.....
 
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needtoknow

Member
2
Becoming an O/O

To anyone thinking about becoming a O/O - do your home work first or better yet start as a driver.

There are a few companies out there - which I won't mention their names - that will sell you a truck with a verbal promise of making $3,000 to $10,000 per week depending on the equipment you buy. They have offices facing the 401 or the 410 showing you all the trucks driving up and down the road and how you can be one of them.

They charge twice the going rate for a down payment on these trucks with the promise of job placing. I get these guys coming to my office with brand new or slightly used equipment expecting to make $3000,00 per week doing local GTA P&D.

The disappointment they get when they find out they have been had, they then return the equipment losing their down payment. Usually this down payment came from a job payout, inheritance, second mortage or a family member loan. They try and take them to court to get their money back but they lose because all the promises are made verbally.

Do your home work first!
 
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jeepnut2010

Member
5
The "NEVER NEVER" plans also hurt. But these practices still go on. When I took my accredited driving coarse they fed unemployed guys the piece of paper of "what you could make". That practice is unfair to someone who thinks "How hard could it be?"
 

Igor Galanter

Well-Known Member
20
Don't be shy....

Well, current generation is more informed then us , when we started , not only because of internet, but because drivers pool is more diverse now. And I noticed newbys mostly "know it all" characters. It doesn't go well with the industry. All forums very useful. Myself still like "show and tell' though...My 2 cents...;)
 

jeepnut2010

Member
5
Igor I find its harder to learn from the seasoned drivers due to hanging up the keys....or NOBODY talks anymore. I strike up more chats at Truckstops wandering around looking at Deck loads...checking out securement and inspecting tractor/trailer combos. It is a changed Industry.
 

Musicman

New Member
1
Just out of curiosity, do you guys consider owner operators and contractors the same thing? I've been doing the math for a while with the company Im currently driving for and it seems like I could do pretty well owning my own truck and driving for them. I dont expect to make a million in my first year either. Maybe the second :D jk.
 

rickwill

Active Member
10
Just out of curiosity, do you guys consider owner operators and contractors the same thing? I've been doing the math for a while with the company Im currently driving for and it seems like I could do pretty well owning my own truck and driving for them. I dont expect to make a million in my first year either. Maybe the second :D jk.
The best way to make a million in trucking is to start with two. LOL
 

Musicman

New Member
1
I am looking into buying my own truck but contracting to Challenger. Nothing new of course, 4-5 years old with not too many miles. I work for them now and Im very happy here. Can you give some advice to a first time buyer O/O? I have seen the O/O package and it looks pretty interesting and I am keeping a close eye on expenses that I would incur now as if this were my truck.
 

alx2

Member
5
Musicman

From our Humble experience running three trucks lots of miles a week.

We now have a Peterbilt with 4.4 million KM with no major engine repairs to our knowledge, did the main bearings this summer .

One freightliner 2004 - 1.8 million Km (mercedes engine)
One freightliner 2005 - 1.65 million Km. (mercedes engine)

The freightliners are better on fuel but not as reliable. they get 2.7 and 2.9 km /l respectively.
The pete gets 2.59km/l.

Do not go near a VOLVO unless you are Russian or Romanian and must have one. Notorious for electrical problems that are costly and hard to repair on the road.
I know nothing about Internationals, they were crap back in the mid nineties so never got one. I hear they are good now.

I would recommend a peterbilt that is a few years old with a Cummins. It would have to be a Plastic Pete if you want to venture into California.

Simple reasoning:
They cost a little more up front but are much more reliable. The dealer network in the US is great and they are not overwhelmed with work so they can always fit you in.
Freightliner, dealers can be several day wait.
You have only one truck and if it does not run you do not earn.

Do not buy brand new as the warranty is usually useless from my experience. Buy older in good shape!

Secret to longeavity is using LUCAS oil additive at every opportunity.

Good luck.
 

noproblembuddy

Site Supporter
2
From our Humble experience running three trucks lots of miles a week.

We now have a Peterbilt with 4.4 million KM with no major engine repairs to our knowledge, did the main bearings this summer .

One freightliner 2004 - 1.8 million Km (mercedes engine)
One freightliner 2005 - 1.65 million Km. (mercedes engine)

The freightliners are better on fuel but not as reliable. they get 2.7 and 2.9 km /l respectively.
The pete gets 2.59km/l.

Do not go near a VOLVO unless you are Russian or Romanian and must have one. Notorious for electrical problems that are costly and hard to repair on the road.
I know nothing about Internationals, they were crap back in the mid nineties so never got one. I hear they are good now.

I would recommend a peterbilt that is a few years old with a Cummins. It would have to be a Plastic Pete if you want to venture into California.

Simple reasoning:
They cost a little more up front but are much more reliable. The dealer network in the US is great and they are not overwhelmed with work so they can always fit you in.
Freightliner, dealers can be several day wait.
You have only one truck and if it does not run you do not earn.

Do not buy brand new as the warranty is usually useless from my experience. Buy older in good shape!

Secret to longeavity is using LUCAS oil additive at every opportunity.

Good luck.
I agree with Alx.

I know that a recent experience with Volvo last year that had to do with DEF was costly and, quite frankly, a gong show when none of the dealerships from Ohio back into Ontario could diagnose the problem.

Alx is also very correct about Freightliner. In my experience, there was one o/o who had a Freightliner and it was in the shop regularly for electrical issues and the shops were slow, as Alx pointed out.

Peterbilts are awesome. The same guy who hired an o/o with the Freightliner had 6 Petes that used to be on with Laidlaw. With regular preventative maintenance, you can drive the snot out of them, take them into the mountains of Pennsylvania, heavy loads...whatever...and they still keep going. The shops have no problem getting Petes in and out quickly.

Can't say anything about Western Star. K-Wobblers are neither here nor there for me either. Have no experience with Mack or International, although I gotta say International does make spiffy looking trucks and fleets use them, so they can't be bad.
 

Musicman

New Member
1
I've been driving a Volvo for the last 7 mths as company driver. Had no major issues with it yet, knock wood. To be honest I was looking at either 08-09 Volvo or roughly same year Cascadia. Would love a Pete if I can find one that's affordable and doesn't have 5 million km on it already. Would like to keep payment under $1000/mth if possible.

The heart of my question here though is, is it still possible to make a decent buck driving under contract for someone as opposed to try and go it alone, completely independent?

Please all opinions are important.
 

lowmiler88

Site Supporter
30
Musicman you can make a good buck driving for someone and have home time, depending on how you work and average driver would make 60+ with us a good driver would make 70+ and home every weekend. It is all up to you in how much money you will make whether you are a company driver or an owner operator. If you want to be an owner operator you should be mechanically inclined and willing to do as much of the work yourself as possible, our guys grease their own trucks every week and do any other repairs possible. As far as which truck to buy everyone has a different opinion we are getting more Volvo's as getting a Freightliner into a dealer in the east end of Toronto is almost impossible but they are the easiest to get repaired on the road. We had Pete's but you pay for the name and again terrible service in Whitby, we had Kenworth's and all dealers in the US seemed to close at 4:30 in the afternoon and they never had parts (I must never had problems with the truck it was the engine). We have 5 Internationals through Penske and they seem to be workhorses with not a lot of problems, we have never bought any because I find them lacking on driver amenities on the inside. Any truck you buy look at past work records and if they do not have any run away or if the truck has a lot of problems run away. Good luck getting an 09 for under a $1000 a month I think your down payment will need to be pretty high for that number. Remember you should have enough money in the bank to carry you for 6 months (payments and living expenses) because there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there looking to separate you from your money. Good luck with your decision and talk to other employees/brokers before you sign on with anyone.
 

loaders

Site Supporter
30
Musicman, going it alone takes considerably more work than putting you and your truck on with an established company. Yes, the rewards can be higher, but it is a trade-off. Unless you have at least one customer of your own that can keep you busy 50-75% of the time, you're better off going with a carrier who already has those contacts. As lowmiler88 says, investigate, research and ask lots of questions about who you're going to partner with. Identify for yourself what type of freight (van/flat/reefer) you are familiar with, what lanes you are comfortable with, and the corporate culture of the carrier before signing on with anyone. The brand of truck you select should be determined by reliabilty, access to service (down time is very low paying), and of course, how much you can afford. As in real estate, make the biggest down payment you can to keep your monthly carrying costs manageable. Last, but not least, never forget that you will have a very demanding partner who will need constant, sometimes expensive attention....the truck!
 

Musicman

New Member
1
I already work for Challenger and will most likely sign on with them. I have talked to a few drivers and love the culture around here, very easy to get along with with 1 or 2 minor exceptions. I have no issues with running hard and giving it all I've got and i'm not a mechanic by any stretch but I'm not scared to get my hands dirty if necessary. Kind of like my Volvo just wish the sleeper was just a bit bigger.
 

Igor Galanter

Well-Known Member
20
Hi, Musicman!
Personally, I would prefer to be contracted to the company with all O/O's only. Make it more less fair game. Is it worth for you to take a look at trucks "Challenger" sells after 3-4 years ? Another important thing.. When you compare prospective incomes make sure you know as much details as possible ( how big is a family, expenses, hobbies, what is living condition etc..) And yes, ask as many Q: as you can...
 

chica123

Site Supporter
20
Hi there Musicman.

I would like to say that Lowmiler and Loaders have given some very sound advice. Owner operators can make more than a company driver. But at the same time you MUST be willing to do as much of the work on your truck as you can. That means when company drivers may be relaxing with their families on the weekend, you could be doing regular maintenance or repairs to your truck. If you feel you will be taking your truck to the shop for basic things like greasing, changing lights, alternators, hoses and the like, you will find your profit go down the tube in an instant. The more in tune you are with the workings of your truck, the better it will serve you. We live by the saying, "don't let a small problem turn into a big problem". And that means sacrificing your free time. For many owner-operators it is an ideal means of putting their mechanical skills to excellent use. And don't forget you also have to know how to manage your money down to the penny. You might find one month you have little to no maintenace costs, and the next month you spend thousands. So please take your time and put lots of thought into the decision. And do what you feel suits your skills best!
 
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