Owner Operators - Paying yourself a wage and keeping your books up to date

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
If I was buying,Leasing a truck. I would take only a driver wage.
This is what I do, and the pay is the same every week, even if I don't work that week. My settlement direct deposits in a business account on Thursday night, and the salary portion comes out of that account into our personal account every Friday. I also have a maintenance account that gets $160/week thrown into it which never makes it into my business account (managed by Schneider).

Buying or Leasing, you MUST change your mentality from being a company driver immediately. Not doing so is why 99% of people fail.
For instance, I had a huge January, and a mediocre February (murphy's law attacked me for about 2 weeks straight).

And I highly recommend doing your books every month. It's nice to analyze profit/loss statements, fuel costs per mile, and other expenses to see where you can improve.
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
Buying or Leasing, you MUST change your mentality from being a company driver immediately. Not doing so is why 99% of people fail.
For instance, I had a huge January, and a mediocre February (murphy's law attacked me for about 2 weeks straight).
I have to agree!Trucking can be a feast or famine type of deal. Even as a driver you must put away for the lean times.It is not like Johnny punch clock that makes the same money everyweek no matter what or douchpatchers, Most are on salary and make the same money every year.
And I highly recommend doing your books every month. It's nice to analyze profit/loss statements, fuel costs per mile, and other expenses to see where you can improve.
I agree doing your books every month is important. I am sure you make mental notes on every load that you do in regards to weather it was worth the time and effort. Company drivers that get a choice of loads and no forced dispatch should make a mental note or keep some kind of log on what loads work and the ones that are too time consuming to be worth it. That said if they offer more money for multidrops, That can be worth while.
We used to do a load that would pay FDA AND USDA as a stop plus all waiting time, 3 drops in Chicago including Chicago proper. Other drivers hated it. I would jump on it. Owsego, Chicago proper and Alsip every dock bumped Ka-ching! re- load in Indy ( the circle) Park there over night, Stay as long as you like and the kick it on home.
 

8978

** Commie Express **
Supporter
Takes 2 seconds. I just did it. It recalculates in a millisecond. How much easier can it be when your on your laptop, just take your receipts and type them in.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Takes 2 seconds. I just did it. It recalculates in a millisecond. How much easier can it be when your on your laptop, just take your receipts and type them in.

I'm using Profit Gauges from letstruck.com. Let me correct that, Maria Maria is using them, I just hand over my receipts each week. Let me correct that, I hand over my receipts when she reminds me to go back out to the truck and bring them in. I absolutely love the program (or at least the results that I get to look at)
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
Pretty easy to do if you keep on top of it. Kind of like doing up your log at the end of the day. Get on the laptop and update the spread sheet.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Really! How many receipts do you have a day?

Letstruck. What a joke. It's like the MMA of forums. Kevin wanted to interview me on his show but I refused.
I have occasional scale tickets, toll receipts, anything I happen to buy that is for the truck. she just takes them and keeps them till the final statement of the month, then enters everything in including my settlement info, receipts, personal vehicle miles, kids pay for helping work on and wash the truck, total miles for the month, and days out.

I have only visited their forum a few times, never posted anything. Lots of opinions of KR, but from my perspective, he and his team have been nothing but helpful for anything I ever needed.
 

DubbleD

Color Commentator
If you have a spreadsheet your books are up to date all the time.
if you are keeping it up! LOL
Takes 2 seconds. I just did it. It recalculates in a millisecond. How much easier can it be when your on your laptop, just take your receipts and type them in.
I'm using Profit Gauges from letstruck.com. Let me correct that, Maria Maria is using them, I just hand over my receipts each week. Let me correct that, I hand over my receipts when she reminds me to go back out to the truck and bring them in. I absolutely love the program (or at least the results that I get to look at)
...seems to me.... thar's a recurring theme here..... just can't quite put my finger on it....

.... OH.. Let Maria Maria DO IT!!

upload_2014-3-21_8-13-54.jpeg
 

revelation1911

Well-Known Member
I have a simpler plan I call it a savings account I put money into it to pay big items like the insurance a year at a time
and save about 15-20% and to pay bills for 6 months in it. When things are slow I transfer a few dollars.
Also buy and sell on the net to make pocket money. If I's running several trucks a sheet of paper might be good.
But since I only use one of mine right now I know if I'm making money or not.
Buy tangible things you can see and sell if you want money. The rest is just a Ponzi scheme subject to the whims of others.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I use Quicken Home & Business to manage the checkbooks for the company and the house. It lets me do my invoicing as well. Since that's always up to date, I can see my P&L whenever I need to.

Weekly, I have a spreadsheet for doing tripsheets. This easily moves my mileages into another sheet I have for doing my IFTA so I can track how much of a refund or payment I have to make at the end of the quarter. I can keep it to $20+/- each quarter.

I have another spreadsheet that lets me track my loads. I don't accept a load without putting it into this spreadsheet. It has my Statement of cash flow in it that I track and adjust based on real time expenses from Quicken. This will show me how profitable a load is before I even accept it. It also has all of my actual miles in it so I can tell how good my year is looking too.

95% of what I do book wise is done on the dock waiting for the shipper/receivers. I invoice my customers most days before I even leave the receiver. If the next load is real close, I might wait until I get to the shipper to do the paper work for the last load.
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
I highly recommend doing your books every month. It's nice to analyze profit/loss statements, fuel costs per mile, and other expenses to see where you can improve.
Ive been doing this for awhile now, but should’ve been doing this from the start
 

Protege

New Member
its great to keep track of mileage/fuel cost but when you're out and not getting the same loads its difficult to keep it low. you can only reject so many loads before you start hauling one of them. Brokers are the reason for this industry going down. I think it should be against the law to broker loads, if you cant haul it then you shouldnt get the loads.

As for me, I started O/O a year ago. I have an accountant that keeps track of my payroll and i have an excel spreadsheet for the end of year so I can keep track of all my receipts/repairs. Last year instead of paying money in, I received money.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
its great to keep track of mileage/fuel cost but when you're out and not getting the same loads its difficult to keep it low. you can only reject so many loads before you start hauling one of them. Brokers are the reason for this industry going down. I think it should be against the law to broker loads, if you cant haul it then you shouldnt get the loads.

As for me, I started O/O a year ago. I have an accountant that keeps track of my payroll and i have an excel spreadsheet for the end of year so I can keep track of all my receipts/repairs. Last year instead of paying money in, I received money.
Basing your business on last year's numbers in an industry that changes its position weekly isn't really a good idea.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
its great to keep track of mileage/fuel cost but when you're out and not getting the same loads its difficult to keep it low. you can only reject so many loads before you start hauling one of them. Brokers are the reason for this industry going down. I think it should be against the law to broker loads, if you cant haul it then you shouldnt get the loads.

As for me, I started O/O a year ago. I have an accountant that keeps track of my payroll and i have an excel spreadsheet for the end of year so I can keep track of all my receipts/repairs. Last year instead of paying money in, I received money.
Explain why running the spot market makes it difficult to keep mileage and fuel costs low. I’m really not following that one.

As for getting money back rather than paying in, unless you just bought a truck and are in the middle of your biggest depreciation years, I would be concerned about the fact of getting money back. This is a business, and if you aren’t paying taxes, you are either making a poverty wage or setting yourself up for a very disappointing IRS audit. I don’t care how good somebody thinks their accountant is, businesses that make a real profit pay taxes.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
The auditing software compares your tax return against a million others and compares your job identification against those of your peers.


Guess what happens if it's not in the middle of that Bell curve?
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
I highly recommend doing your books every month. It's nice to analyze profit/loss statements, fuel costs per mile, and other expenses to see where you can improve.
I have a question

How do you know how to allocate fuel?

When it was purchased or when it was used?
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
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