New To Trucking quest: I am thinking about buying my own tractor??

Toko

New Member
i have been a company driver for 2 1/2 yrs. Also o/o. I am considering buying a tractor for $30k -$50k or so...But I am nervous!
Can i get enough work and make enough money ($1500 or so weekly) to make it work?
Also how do I get loads & go about running this show alone???
thanks.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
i have been a company driver for 2 1/2 yrs. Also o/o. I am considering buying a tractor for $30k -$50k or so...But I am nervous!
Can i get enough work and make enough money ($1500 or so weekly) to make it work?
Also how do I get loads & go about running this show alone???
thanks.
you mentioned that part of your time is as an owner operator. Was that a lease purchase situation?

Are you looking to buy a truck and lease to a company, or are you looking to get your own authority?
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
you mentioned that part of your time is as an owner operator. Was that a lease purchase situation?

Are you looking to buy a truck and lease to a company, or are you looking to get your own authority?
In other words what is your plan to employ this truck? Buying a truck without a plan is a good way to get the wrong truck, and waste your money.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
I think he means he wants to clear $1,500 after expenses. It's been a very long time since I worked off of load boards, so I have no idea what rates look like today. However, when I did work from load boards, $1,500 after expenses was possible if you booked yourself right. At first, you'll want to put as much as possible away for maintenance. A $30K-50K tractor will likely not be in perfect shape. But it's not an unreasonable figure for something decent, if not luxurious.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
my authority. i will drive it.
Where are you getting your trailer from?

What kind of freight?

What lanes do you intend to run?

Whatis your anticipated cost per mile?

Do you have funds to finance your operational costs, or will you have to factor your loads?

What state will you be operating out of? That affects insurance costs, and can you afford the first year insurance payment as a lump sum?
 

Toko

New Member
1) i can get a trlr.
2)freight?
3)mi. cost?
4)i have some funds for breakdown.
5) from Md/De to east of Miss. r. north & south.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
1) i can get a trlr.
2)freight?
3)mi. cost?
4)i have some funds for breakdown.
5) from Md/De to east of Miss. r. north & south.
Depends on the industry segment. Dry van? I'm not so sure. Mid-Atlantic to Gulf Coast has been a pretty tough market the last couple of years. I ran reefer in that same market earlier this year, and it was danged tough. Eastbound rates were pretty low, and the only thing that made it tolerable was a good regular weekend load I stumbled into. While it lasted.

A lot will depend on your operational cost. A truck that is 5 - 6 mpg, and requires a lot of maintenance isn't going to help much. Can you net around $1200 after all expenses? Maybe. A lot of people cant make it work too.

You really need to develop a business plan, figure out what you're going to do, and plug the numbers in to see if it makes sense. Before you buy a truck. OOIDA has a cost planner here:

Cost per Mile

Once you have an idea where costs are going to be, you can play with the numbers to see what it will take to generate the kind of profit you want to see. But you really need to nail down the answers to the questions I asked so that you know what you're going to be doing. There's a huge difference from a dry van operation to a flatbed operation.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
my authority. i will drive it.
Getting your authority is simple if you let somebody else handle it. OOIDA and NASTC are two good places to do this. You can do it all yourself, but the fee isn’t that bad and you know you aren’t making any mistakes that way.

Getting the authority is the easiest and cheapest thing you will do. Figure $6-700 if you let someone do it for you.

Before doing that, you need to see what insurance will cost you, whether you can be insured, and if you can afford it. Driving record, experience, and your location are all three very big factors here. Location alone could add $20k to the yearly cost. You will need 10% for a down payment up front.

Load boards aren’t cheap. DAT, Truckstop, and 123Loadboard all offer packages that give you good insight into average rates and such. Figure on spending $150+ per month here.

Freight has picked up again and is pretty strong right now. That said, it will slow down after January into Spring. Be prepared for that.

Plan on working hard in the beginning. Lots of new stuff to learn, and it can be a little overwhelming, especially when things go wrong that you are used to having taken care of by dispatch or a driver manager. It is all on you at this point, so something like a freight claim can now become a disaster.

Where do you live? If it is a decent freight area, learn the region and work it hard. Don’t get hung up on running long loads, because more often than not, a long load will land you in a bad area.

You need cash on hand or good credit. Better to have both.

How much are you planning on spending for a truck and trailer? Will this be cash or financed?
 

BlackBart

Well-Known Member
i have been a company driver for 2 1/2 yrs. Also o/o. I am considering buying a tractor for $30k -$50k or so...But I am nervous!
Can i get enough work and make enough money ($1500 or so weekly) to make it work?
Also how do I get loads & go about running this show alone???
thanks.
Depends what yer haulin. Kinda like a good job, the good **** aint gonna just fall in yer lap. That’s workin off them load boards. You wont be the only feller with that idear. Gotta beat them bushes to find the good payin ****.

Also, ya won’t be a company man no more. Yer job dont end when ya goes home. Youll hafta be doin yer own wrenchin and **** too. Won’t be able to just pay a shop that might have ya waitin fer days anyhoo.

Best o’ luck.
 

Fins

Well-Known Member
And your own billing and accounts receivable, fleet admin, truck washer, and on and on and on. You'll never put the keys down and take a day off. At least not until you become well established and that doesn't just happen over night or in a year.
 
Top