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Any truck drivers in the house?

biggeemac

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So, our own business is doing quite well. Certainly well enough for me to walk off my job. So i am contemplating what ill do once i leave my job. I dont like gaming anymore, tv does nothing for me, cooking doesnt really hit the spot.....soooo, that leaves me with.....making money.

Being that this country has a trucker shortage, and i have always had a fantasy of truck driving, im looking into being an owner operator.

Theres plenty of youtube truckers making videos. Many of them seem to imply that its quite lucrative, provided you play the game right.

Wanted to see if there was anyone doing this line of work and if you agree that a smart operator can do well....and any other things that i may want to know that can help me make a decision on it.
 

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minivanman

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It depends on your definition of 'well'. I've known the Zeitners for years and they do REALLY well, but I'm not sure if it is because they started way back when or not. As in really well, I can say they have enough money to play with $100,000 toys every week. I don't know how many trucks they have nowadays. As for just wanting to drive a truck.... they can't get in the far left lane for a reason.... they aren't fast lane material :rofl: Hey, I thought that one was pretty good. lol

2 things I wouldn't do these days with all the idiots on the roads.... drive a truck or ride a motorcycle. I've been thinking about putting roll bars in my minivan ;)
 
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biggeemac

biggeemac

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Well, i turned one very unsexy job into a lucrative business. I’m not afraid to tackle another, seemingly, slow lane gig into a great income by learning the business, and then hiring the right people to do the dirty work.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

minivanman

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I don't think owning a trucking company is a slow lane business. If you do it correctly, you can have that thing going strong in no time. But you said YOU wanted to drive a truck, not own a trucking company.
 

lobo

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I have always thought about getting into a trucking business when I had cash to fund it.. Seems like if you could get your hands on a truck or two, and with a bit of B2B sales skills you could get going pretty quick.

But isn't the trucking industry going to die pretty soon with the talk about automated trucks to make the supply chain industry 100% efficient?
 

DronePilot

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Plenty of money in the trucking business. The family that started R+L Carriers live 20 minutes from me. My cousin is good friends with the grandson of the founder. Multiple mansions, indoor water park, basketball court, you name it.

There will always be a need for truck drivers. I’ve heard CDL’s are getting harder to get year after year too so might as well jump in now.
 

B. Cole

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Long post, but hopefully a good glimpse.

My dad, grandad and great grandad were all 3 truckers. Grandad owned a small trucking company toward the end of his life, ran 4 trucks. My brother in-law is also a trucker. Here’s my take -

Extremely satisfying if you love traveling and siteseeing. It was cool watching my grandad talk about places he knew, he could drive around the country with no map as if the whole place was his hometown. Knew little stores and landmarks all over America. Didn’t even need a map, just tell him where you need it. He and grandma had a wall in their house with a souvenir plate from every state in the continental US, including Alaska.

It can be lonely if you’re the type to get lonely. Social media and cell phones nowadays make it much better, but you’re gonna sleep alone most nights. Tough if you have a family, my grandad and great grandad (their names were Tom and Jerry, that was their handle lol!) would tag team to keep each other company. One slept, the other drove - they’d run loads from NC to California in a couple of days, so they were much faster than solo drivers. That plus a little creative log book fudging :rofl:

It’s a numbers game - I remember loads being posted with a price per mile, but sometimes you could bid the price.This fluctuates, and bidding is somewhat of a race to the bottom. Back then, if you bid 0.89/mile, and a guy bid 0.88/mile, you got no load, but that’s a big difference on a 2000 mile trip. Back to calling around looking for work. Most people had someone (their wives usually) trying to line up their next loads. Build relationships with the dispatchers at companies that put out work - most are women, so be a gentleman and they’ll look out for you. Once you’re in and they trust you, they’ll call you to offer loads if they know where you are. It’s very much a family-like community.

You have to be efficient and keep dry running between loads (fuel and time with no pay) to a minimum. This is hard in some places, and all makes a difference on your bottom line. Obviously it’s best to get reloaded right at the dock when you unload, if the load goes where you want to be next.

Fuel costs in different areas make a difference - plan your refuels and calculate that into your bid.

DOT is watching your butt - prepare to be inspected at every corner, especially if you have a junky looking rig. You’ll also have to keep a log of drive time/sleep time to show them, and it must be up to date at all times. This may be different now with smartphones and gps, I’m sure there are apps and software that track you.

Truck repairs - be prepared to break down, lose days of pay and spend a few thousand dollars in a remote part of the country when something goes wrong. Maintenance and condition of your truck is king. Grandad had one cabover International with almost 2 million miles on it. He always said this truck was still running because it was a cabover - “it ain’t easy for the driver to pop the hood and f*ck with stuff” :rofl:

When it’s time for tires, it’s several grand. Brand new on the front - no recaps allowed.

Big companies (even bigger problem now) like R&L dominate the industry and provide guarantees that you simply won’t be able to. They are running on employees paid per hour, and can afford losses to get their trucks to the next profitable load. This just means you gotta try harder to get your piece, but isn’t that the case with everything?

Keep in mind where you’ll park your truck when you’re home. Some neighborhoods won’t allow it to be at your house, so you’ll have to pay parking fees at a truck stop or bounce from Walmart to Walmart as you get kicked out lol! We were fortunate to have a big yard out in the sticks, nobody cared that there were semi’s parked in the back yard.

All in all - if you own your own rig, few jobs feel quite as adventurous and free as trucking. You can pick where you go and set your own pace once you learn the game.
 
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Jadpapi

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There is money in the trucking business, I drove trucks 9 years ago. It wasn’t for me. I have a friend leased a truck last year, and his 1099 was 199k, and he cleared around 90k for himself. I also have a Russian friend in Indiana who owns small company maybe 10 trucks or tho, and he is millionaire. He been in the business for years tho. The hardest part is keeping a driver because it’s easy to lease, and they will make more money this way.
 

Dignium

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I hold a CDL and have 3 months OTR experience. Going to drive local for now but want to return to 49 state solo OTR.

I've heard the average profit margin in the industry is 5%, with corporate relocations being the top end. As a driver you are literally in the slowlane with most OTR paid by the mile.

Meanwhile I am driving that slowlane on the lookout for huge unsolved needs in the trucking industry to execute on in the fastlane.
 

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