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I want to be an owner operator

hi kevin, im 28, a new driver and want to be an owner operator. i listen to road dog constantly, and you guys have overloaded me with info, which is a good thing. im working for clarke road transport out of nova scotia, canada, and am very pleased so far.

so, how do i decide what truck to buy, new or used?

wouldn't there be more risk with a used truck?

what should i be looking to spend?

any advice would be greatly appreciated

thanks, and have a great day

*CRASH*

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I'm doing a lease purchase with Hirschbach motor lines on a 2015 international prostar paying $621.73 per week for 208 weeks did I make a poor choice here??thx Gary cook

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if you don't have a balloon payment at the end you'll end up paying under $130k for the truck which is not bad at all. your weekly payment is also lower than most leases i've come across. hopefully you get lucky and not have many engine issues.

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Not to be sarcastic but you need to take notes during the show or record it cause all these questions have been answered on the show many many times......but for the sake of trying to answer your questions from a owner-op of almost 30 yrs I would buy used due to the fact you will have lower start up cost. Try to bank $10,000 for maintenance and continually add to this account. There is more risk in a used truck but unless you just buy a piece of crap you should be able to stay ahead of your repair cost. As far as the question "What should I be looking to spend" the answer to that is a LOT........this is the trucking business everything you will touch, buy or spend will rock your wallet. GOOD LUCK ''italic text''

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Get your hands on Clarke's pay package / contract , and run that company truck for a few months but keep detailed notes of what you would make, what your fixed and variable costs are going to be, and what you are going to end up seeing for clear money. Any time your truck goes to the shop, ask what the repairs would cost if you were paying. Keep good fuel milage records and establish what your cost / mile and % 's of revenues are going to be. There is no rush to jump right away and don't be afraid to put in a good 6 - 8 months doing your homework, all the while keeping an eye out for trucks and prices that are going to fit your budget. I would go used to start for sure , pre '08 DPF for sure. Kevin preaches pre '03 to avoid EGR , but a 9 year old truck in our climate of the Maritimes is going to be in pretty rough shape unless you know of a truck that the owner has taken extra effort to keep ahead of what our winters can do. Drive that company truck like its your own . Let your company know what you are doing , so they can give you as much info as possible as to what to expect. Dont be afraid to get another companys pay package and run their numbers to compare carriers. Listen to Kevins shows and check out the Lets Truck website, there is all kinds of info there about picking a good starter truck. Be patient and good luck.

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money in the bank. This is the 1st priority. I have seen several people buy used trucks and the 1st run out break major engine or trans components. Putting them in poor finances from the start. $10k is a min $15k would be better. This money is operational only. Once you start running it could take 30-45 days to get money in the door. If you have money in the bank you have more options for better paying loads, (maybe quicker pays are less per mile). Stay away from factoring places. Also you have to pay yourself a wage, again money in the bank helps ease that. This does not mean you get $5k a month. Wages are not 100% of profit unlike what some owner operators think. This doesn't include any start up costs. Plates, insurance down payments / payment, UCR, heavy highyway tax, inspections, or start up truck repairs. All these have to be paid upfront also. So again you maybe looking at another $5-7k depending on the type of trucking you are planing on doing. box/refer/flatbed local or OTR all these can change prices a lot. Trucks are hard to pick. If you are box freight then for sure find the most aerodynamic truck you can. Other types are not as dependant on aero trucks, but they still help. Do you need a full condo or can you use a day cab? Midroof or flattop? A lot of options. Most truckers do not consider this. They just look for the deal. With fuel getting over $4.00 a gal it costs to much to make a bad choice!!!! maybe thousands per year. Risk of a new truck vs used , hmm do you see new trucks in the shop for repairs? Can you buy $125k truck? or can you afford a $25K ? Just starting out I do not think I would buy new. My 1st truck 93fld 360hp cat, 9 speed , no tilt, no air seats, a real pos, but it got 6.45 mpg and never broke. Ran it for 2 years, had it paid for in 6 months though. Next truck was a 2000 classic xl. big difference. 7k vs 40k So what Im getting at is you can have a big payment with maintance or a smaller payment with maintance. Start looking at trucks. Call ooida get insurance quotes on some trucks . Figure out where you are wanting to run then you can figure plate costs. These can help give you a better idea for true start up costs. other things to consider for start up. Internet cards/access , faxing services (ring central) , cell phone plan (updated for more mins, you will be on the phone more with brokers/agents ), accountant (too help with payroll and tax with holdings), a laptop, in truck printer/scanner (this is a must!!! it saves so much time no more truck stop bad faxes) not sure does canada require OBR logs? if so that is another expense. A fuel card is optional but it can help or hurt if you miss a payment, Loves offers a card that allows you to get cash price, no rebates. So I know its a lot to think about but start slow, get some numbers, and think a lot more. And if you become a owner operator be ready to go, it is a fast learning curve, and if it fails remember it is your fault, not your bosses. GL

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I don't just WANT to be an O/O, I WILL be an O/O...

If all goes according to plan and Gods will, I will be my own boss in 12 months..

Unless you have customers already set up for you to haul their freight, I would plan on contracting yourself with someone who has their authority already and they have customers. You will still need the money in the bank KH was telling you about but, you won't have to wait the 30/45 days to get paid. Don't just think of the big carriers to contract with, there are some O/O's out there that have just a couple trucks and will charge you from 10% to 30%, depending on what they provide ie; insurance, tags, ifta stickers and fuel filing. I already know two people that have their own authority and will charge me 10% That 10% will be for the use of their authority and loads. I will still get loads off load boards and start saving money to go for my own authority within 6 month's.

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You may find that being leased to a carrier is more cost effective than having your own authority.

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I would strongly suggest you look at some other carriers as well, Clarke will not allow an older truck pre 03. I would not even consider anything newer than 03 for your first truck, you can learn to fix many things on an older truck yourself, not only saving you potentially thousands of dollars but also helping you better learn how to operate your truck, and not be at the mercy of a shop on the road. Once you have a year experience you can go to landstar if you can't find another carrier in your area that you're comfortable with. Save some money, pay cash for your truck and make sure you still have money in the bank, I've been on both sides of that fence, and you WILL make smarter and more profitable decisions without a truck payment or the feeling of being cornered by a lack of funds, or feeling like you can't go to another carrier.

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If you are going to become and Owner Operator you should check out Kevin's book if you have not already done so.

https://letstruck.com/store/stop-holding...

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running canada,the cost of your fuel is so expensive that you can't buy fuel smartly.the price is fixed,by the oil companies.if you run in the states learn how ifta works,and how to buy fuel properly.buy non-emission engines.no egr no dpf and no scr.this will be difficult to find in N.S. because your market is slim.your market should be north america wide.look for freightliner fld with a 12.7l engine to start.

Update

no canada does not.but don't buy a truck with emissions on and take them off.if your truck didn't come with emissions on it.you'll be fine

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1)Buy a pre 03 no EGR truck or a new glider kit with a pre 03 engine. Go talk to a mechanic you trust and ask him what he thinks about these trucks with all the EPA mandated Junk. The only thing I was curious about does Canada have any California type emisions laws if so you might be forced into buying a newer truck.

2)Try to keep your fixed costs as low as possible

3)Get some good accounting software like Profit gauges. Set up a fake company and plug in the numbers from what you are doing as a company driver for a few months if you have access to what the loads pay. This will give you a pretty realistic idea on how profitable you could be. Go to the OIDA website to get some numbers for tires, maint, insurane ect. Do this for a few months. Remember keep up with all miles run not just loaded miles remember most of this truck stop talk about pay is loaded miles not all miles run huge difference.

4) Be very nervous about lease purchase plans from trucking companies do your homework.

Good Luck

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Resources to Learn the Business of Trucking

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I agree with Aaron. Hands down the best resource for getting started as an owner operator would be Kevin's start up books. This is an absolute must buy for someone who wants to become a new owner operator. This will help you step by step through the start up process as well as purchasing the right truck. This package is worth every penny and I guarantee it will save you thousands of dollars, by preventing you from making all the rookie mistakes. You can't afford not to buy it. I hope this helps you and good luck with everything.

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I'd like to know would you be afraid to buy a 1982 peterbuilt 359 with a Cummins Big cam 400 it has about 190 k on rebuild.

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