Advice to new owner/operator
07-18-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #10
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
I'm looking for a home... And naming names...

My "going to retire at" carrier spoiled me, Laser Transport out of Windsor Ontario Canada... Oh well, that is no longer in the cards, they shut down our US operations in December of 2019.

I bounced around a bit, incredibly ugly out here, even went back to the oil field with a job paying $65 an hour driving their fuel truck, with health care benefits that would choke a horse. Covid cured that job. The company was Chem Oil, out of Texas. We worked out of Dickinson ND...

Then unemployment... No work in Michigan, could not interview, covid again. Can't make this sheet up. They are hiring, but cannot hire you because of covid... Whatever.

Landstar, I swore I would never go there... I did, I gave it time, and more time, had one good pay day in 9+ months... Don't get me wrong, I made a lot of money, it just never found its way to my bank account... I wish I could say there was lots of cocaine and high dollar hookers involved, but I cannot...

I hung it up, went back to an old carrier that I left for good reason... Arrow Freight Systems out of Taylor MI... Not much has changed... But!

Bottom line, I made more NET after fuel in my first two weeks, $9800, then I did in a month+ at Landstar. I worked less and with fewer miles and headaches. Both weeks were under 40 hours on the ELD.

My current carrier, Arrow, is heavily into automotive, and that scares me, as do a few other things that I knew going in when I returned, as I used to work here and left for good reason.

But, I make money here, which is good. The bad, they are skimming off the top, they will not give us the rate sheets, and we have caught them before doing this, at least I have.

The other issues, they have no direct deposit, hence the two week paycheck, as the paycheck man is always on vacation... Then the sign on the front door that states, "Drivers and Solicitors use the back entrance", which is the garage door on the other side of the complex, a 1/4 mile away. They don't really care much for us here, which is cool, as I don't care much for truck drivers either... That is sarcasm guys... ;-)

So, I stumbled upon another carrier out of Texas, where I have another friend working... TrueNorth Transportation. I have seen his settlement sheets, and they have the same discounts as LS in regards to fuel and only take 15%, with Americans at the helm. And what is nice, I can use their dispatch to look for loads when I am driving to my destination, or dispatch myself using any broker I choose off of any load board or contact I still have in my phone, including LS.

They supply the big name load boards in their package, and I can use my own brokers or agents, their take, 15%. I can use their insurance or mine, they supply plates at a huge discount vs Michigan, bring my own trailer or rent a van from them, whatever one wants to do.

Just the fact that I can use my own proven brokers is enough for me to jump ship, I know who has freight around here, LS never gave me access.

And if I want to work directly with a shipper, I can do that too.

I am actually pretty excited, this is like having my own authority without all of the headaches, or the ridiculous Landstar fees and chargebacks along with a dispatch service when I am cruising down the road, that is priceless right there. Landstar is not a billion dollar company for nothing, and if you notice, the current fleet of LS trucks are no longer those nice shiny rigs from back in the day... They were breaking me.


User's Signature: 2008 ProStar, OEM 600hp CM-871, 18spd, 3:42, in framed in Rawze's driveway. Every day is a fresh new episode of, "The Twilight Zone"... Rod Serling lives rent free in my head. I can smell the Chesterfields.
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07-18-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #11
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
(07-18-2021 )JimT Wrote:  Nothing wrong with trying something, then switching if it doesn't work out. It's your truck after all. That's one of the drawbacks for those lease-purchase guys, they are usually stuck with the one carrier until the truck is paid off, if they make it that far.

if those numbers are your take home after deductions then your doing pretty good, in my opinion. You'll probably notice that short hauls tend to pay higher rates compared to long hauls. But that usually means more work instead of mindless driving :)

Biggest thing you need to figure out, and noone else can do it besides you, is what your costs or expenses are. How much money do you need to make in a day/week/month to cover all your bills, expenses, taxes, savings to future maintenance, savings for downtime (expected or unexpected) and just general savings. When I first got started I had estimates and over some time I was able to get very exact numbers. I know exactly how much I need to make per day, week and month. In fact, I don't worry about actual cents per mile as fixed weekly/monthly costs make up the bulk of my expenses.

In the end, you find what works best for you, your lifestyle and your bank account.

Monies, minimum $700 net a day, preferably $1000. If you are working short haul, $100+ an hour minimum, anything less, you are spinning your wheels. A good example is a buddy of mine, he boasts about going around the block for $200, but he only does one run a day, maybe two if he is lucky. He used to call me bragging about his numbers when I was starving at Landstar... He is going broke, dying a slow death...


User's Signature: 2008 ProStar, OEM 600hp CM-871, 18spd, 3:42, in framed in Rawze's driveway. Every day is a fresh new episode of, "The Twilight Zone"... Rod Serling lives rent free in my head. I can smell the Chesterfields.
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 Thanks given by: Nostalgic
07-18-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #12
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
(07-18-2021 )JimT Wrote:  if those numbers are your take home after deductions then your doing pretty good, in my opinion. You'll probably notice that short hauls tend to pay higher rates compared to long hauls. But that usually means more work instead of mindless driving :)

Those are gross numbers. Of all, the only good run in my opinion was the 1,200 mile run that paid $4,200. It grossed over $3/mile, whereas the other runs have been floating around $2/mile gross. By the time fees and everything else comes out, it’s around $1.25-1.50 per mile.

It seems that there are plenty owner operators here with lots of experience and have played the numbers game.

I get the reality that every company out there is trying to get rich and it seems that most owner operators are just looking for a decent above average lifestyle.
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07-18-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #13
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
(07-18-2021 )JimT Wrote:  if those numbers are your take home after deductions then your doing pretty good, in my opinion. You'll probably notice that short hauls tend to pay higher rates compared to long hauls. But that usually means more work instead of mindless driving :)

Those are gross numbers. Of all, the only good run in my opinion was the 1,200 mile run that paid $4,200. It grossed over $3/mile, whereas the other runs have been floating around $2/mile gross. By the time fees and everything else comes out, it’s around $1.25-1.50 per mile.

It seems that there are plenty owner operators here with lots of experience and have played the numbers game.

I get the reality that every company out there is trying to get rich and it seems that most owner operators are just looking for a decent above average lifestyle.
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07-18-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #14
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
(07-18-2021 )Lead_sled Wrote:  
(07-18-2021 )JimT Wrote:  if those numbers are your take home after deductions then your doing pretty good, in my opinion. You'll probably notice that short hauls tend to pay higher rates compared to long hauls. But that usually means more work instead of mindless driving :)

Those are gross numbers. Of all, the only good run in my opinion was the 1,200 mile run that paid $4,200. It grossed over $3/mile, whereas the other runs have been floating around $2/mile gross. By the time fees and everything else comes out, it’s around $1.25-1.50 per mile.

It seems that there are plenty owner operators here with lots of experience and have played the numbers game.

I get the reality that every company out there is trying to get rich and it seems that most owner operators are just looking for a decent above average lifestyle.

If that is gross... That is not good in the least. You have to figure your net miles, less fuel and payments. Do you know what it costs to operate your truck per mile? The "nut" as we used to say in the car business. I grew up with the "nut", it will make or break you.


User's Signature: 2008 ProStar, OEM 600hp CM-871, 18spd, 3:42, in framed in Rawze's driveway. Every day is a fresh new episode of, "The Twilight Zone"... Rod Serling lives rent free in my head. I can smell the Chesterfields.
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07-18-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #15
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
Sorry to hear your Landstar experience has differed so much from mine. As for the shiny trucks, well, I think that says more about the mentality of the business owners than the income. Shiny is nice, but it doesn't earn me more money. As I tell everyone who asks me, Landstar isn't for everyone. It works well with how _I_ like to operate, but everyone has their own needs or preferences. Location also has a big impact at any carrier as customers and contracts will vary.

As for working directly with shipper/brokers, I can see why a big company like landstar doesn't want the O/O's or BCO's to deal with them directly as there's a lot of little details to handle and not just money/rate related. Personally I've found a few agents that will act on my behalf to secure loads. One even gave me access to her Truckstop.com account to search for loads, even call about them, as long as I booked the loads through her. Snagged some good TL and LTL flatbed loads that way. Personally, I like not having to deal directly with this aspect of the business as a one truck owner operator. Maybe my opinion will change if my business grows to multiple trucks.

I have a friend who's in a lease-purchase through JRC Transportation. They are all owner-op, mostly flatbed and actually have a pretty good track record of guys completing the lease-purchase. They are a more traditional dispatch style. No forced dispatch, but not always a lot of choices. He gets 85% of linehaul, but rates are a bit lower then I see and runs tend to be more local/regional. Fuel discount is also a bit less. He was limited to whatever tractors they acquire (currently freightliners through Selectrucks) and they "discourage" paying off your lease early :( He's home a few more nights a week than I am, but he hauls near max weight (mostly lumber, concrete block and rebar), gets worse fuel mileage, pays a lot more in tolls and grosses about the same as I did (about $1000/day before %, deductions, fuel) before I found my current gold mine shippers.

Again, your costs, both personal and business, will determine how much income you need. Two people can make exactly the same amount of money and one will get rich while the other goes poor. Not trying to knock people's choices, just pointing out that each person's situation is different.


User's Signature: "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." – William Gibson, Neuromancer
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07-19-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #16
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
JimT,

I am not a lease purchase operator, I paid cash for my truck in 2013, $65,000 at the time, set up for hauling propane, pump and lift axle included... Quite the deal at the time, did I say I paid cash? Oil field work, North Dakota, did four years up there and made bank.

And then reality hit, another screw up, wound up paying $38,000 cash for the first in frame about a year into truck purchase, done at a stealership that I thought I could trust only for them to royally screw it up. and then another one $20,000 + fixing all the screw-ups only 80,000 miles later, the following one in Rawze's driveway. I discovered that folks sell trucks when they are toast, I did not know about EPA trucks back then, I figured I had at least 300,000 more before the first in frame... Boy, was I wrong.

more than $50,000 in repairs alone on a truck that is not worth $30k at this point. I had overall more than $110k++ invested now into a bottomless pit that had half a year of down-time on it to boot that I had to try to climb back out of.

Some of it was because of the torture/neglect of emissions trucks by original owners that get sold and I bought into not knowing any better, but much of it was my belief that there could be trust in the dealership OEM side of repairs .. Boy was I mistaken, My eyes are open now though .. you gotta do everything yourself, even your own in-frames in a friends driveways if need be, if you want it to be done right and not to bankrupt you.
-- (my story): http://rawze.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=2972


Been in this racket for over 30 years... You would think I would know better... ;-) Personally I believe myself to be as dumb as a box of rocks for sticking around this long... I am sure others will agree.

To your point, "Rich Truck Driver, Poor Truck Driver" I will not play games ... I'm debt free, and I could not survive on the shi#t Landstar was handing me... At the end of the week the bottom line was this, I got to keep roughly 30% +/- of the gross... THIRTY f$%k/ING PERCENT! Sorry...

The shiny trucks... Take a look at the Landstar fleet... I was there in 1991 when they went public... Sorry, times have changed, and there is nothing there to write home about.

Landstar is a BILLION dollar outfit, and they got there on the backs of their drivers. Excuse me, their BCO's.

I never found the value in the company, it was never there in my book, and I tried to make it work... After their pound of flesh was ripped out of me, there was no reason to stay. I will happily be moving on...


User's Signature: 2008 ProStar, OEM 600hp CM-871, 18spd, 3:42, in framed in Rawze's driveway. Every day is a fresh new episode of, "The Twilight Zone"... Rod Serling lives rent free in my head. I can smell the Chesterfields.
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07-19-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #17
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
(07-19-2021 )Waterloo Wrote:  ...
I never found the value in the company, it was never there in my book, and I tried to make it work... After their pound of flesh was ripped out of me, there was no reason to stay. I will happily be moving on...
Ive called about a few of their loads posted to DAT and laughed at em b4 hangin up. If their lease on drivers are making similar rates and having landstars ridiculous cuts taken out i cant imagine how any of their drivers afford to feed themselves.
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07-20-2021, (Subject: Advice to new owner/operator ) 
Post: #18
RE: Advice to new owner/operator
Well let's see...I deposited $8267.82 for one weeks running at Landstar last week. Now I don't do that every week but I do usually average $3800-$4000 deposited into my bank account weekly. Not putting anyone down but there is money to be made of you want to go find it. I would never use a dispatch service. They don't have your best interest in mind.
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 Thanks given by: Rawze , smorgan87





  
  
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