5 Ways to Succeed or Fail as an Owner-Operator

Your relationship with the carrier or customer is an important factor in determining your ultimate success or failure, but your part in succeeding can't be understated.

June 2013, - WebXclusive

by Jim Park, Equipment Editor - Also by this author

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Take off the rose-colored glasses. Life as an owner-operator is an uphill climb with plenty of curves to keep you on your toes.
Take off the rose-colored glasses. Life as an owner-operator is an uphill climb with plenty of curves to keep you on your toes.

Sometimes owner-operators are their own worst enemy. They too often do things to undermine their business – like budgeting based on the best of times, not year-long averages.

Or they switch carriers to one promising more home time, for example, without checking everything, only to discover they can't make payment with the truck parked in the driveway every night.

A small fleet owner in Eden, Minn., who has had experience with owner-ops who don't look at the big picture, offers these Top 5 ways to sabotage your future:


  1. Assume that the warranty on a new truck will result in near zero maintenance costs.
  2. Assume that a big horsepower engine hauling light weights will actually get better mileage than the smaller engines, and assume the truck will deliver the fuel economy numbers the sales rep promised, all year round under any load.
  3. When starting a new job, and having checked out trip sheets and income statements for existing drivers, assume your work ethic is at least as good as theirs, and that you'll be happy doing the work required to produce the big income.
  4. Believe whatever a recruiter tells you is involved in the job, and assume that it can all be changed in a heartbeat at your request.     
  5. Assume the work will always be there, and live (and budget) as if you costs and revenue will never change.

That may sound cynical, but his observations are accurate – at least some of the time in almost all cases. It's human nature to be optimistic, but as a business operator, only you can make the right decision. Whether it's running a single-truck operation or a large fleet, you have to do what's best for the business. Good decision-making comes from being informed and knowledgeable.

That's why one of the biggest and most common mistakes both new and seasoned owner-operators make is not asking enough questions. That one's followed closely by looking at the world through rose colored glasses.

Here's my Top 5 list of things you must do to prosper as an owner-operator:

  1. Understand and accept that people will pay you only for the work you do. If you're willing to do more work and take on more responsibility, you'll earn more. Nobody makes $2.50 a mile in a hook-and-drop operation.
  2. Build long-term relationships. Jumping from carrier to carrier only costs money, and the reason you have to jump is probably because you didn't do enough research up front. Rates, costs, customers, safety records, internal relationships all affect your operation. Know what you getting into before you sign on so you won't have to quit and start all over again in three months.
  3. Understand the economy and sector of the business you're getting into. Avoid sectors in a downturn. Search out carriers that serve growth industries, have long-term relationships with good customers and their own drivers. High-turnover carriers aren't the place to build long-term relationships.
  4. Keep your revenue and income expectations realistic, and budget for the slow times. Know your costs, and live within your means. This applies especially when choosing your truck – spec to squeeze every penny of profit out of the thing, and drive it like your life depends on it.
  5. Never lose sight of the fact that trucking is a business and a truck is just a tool. It's easy to be in love with the open road and a big shiny truck. Many successful owner-ops have achieved all of that and more, but it takes years of hard, smart work to get there.

Success in business is not a right. It's a reward for a well-executed business plan.



  1. 1. ed cain [ June 10, 2013 @ 09:38AM ]

    Really liked the article good sound advice

  2. 2. johnny mac [ June 11, 2013 @ 11:59AM ]

    excellent article , thank you .

  3. 3. Randy Munson [ June 13, 2013 @ 10:26AM ]

    The article is right on. I learned early on how much it costs to switch companies. Also I have seen many owner operators with new pickups, boats and bikes,,,financed. Then when the truck falls down, they just arn't making " enough money here" to pay for repairs. Buget for the hard times,you won't be sorry.

  4. 4. Nathanael [ February 24, 2014 @ 11:27PM ]

    To many people are telling me this is not the time to be an owner operator, but I been hearing that for years

  5. 5. francisco [ May 26, 2014 @ 09:31PM ]

    Hey Nathan don't listen that ppl they just want to not do it what u need to do it

  6. 6. Anthony [ October 20, 2014 @ 04:27PM ]

    Hi I've been driving trucks since 2006 I've been thinking of owning a truck for the last year and everyone I talk to said it's a bad time a NY advise on a good company in n.c to wrk fo

  7. 7. Carl [ December 25, 2014 @ 10:21PM ]

    Thank you for advise. I'm just starting out as an owner operator. Need all the help I can get.

  8. 8. arturo zubia [ January 05, 2015 @ 01:45PM ]

    Hi I am going into owner operator I am looking for any help and advice. I am looking into eagle logistics services company. Any info on company?

  9. 9. Tess [ January 13, 2015 @ 01:04PM ]

    I am a owner operator... Eagle is a good company

  10. 10. Yo [ January 29, 2015 @ 11:35AM ]

    Actually I have to disagree with the horsepower/fuel mileage thing.My father was an owner operator for 25 years as I have been a good share of my life.My dad consistently averaged 6.5-7 mpg with Cat engines 450-575 hp set up to run at as close to 1300 rpm as possible at highway speed.Cat engines were never known to be mileage getters but he consistently got good mileage with high horse engines by gearing and running them right.

  11. 11. efrain soriano [ February 04, 2015 @ 06:33PM ]

    i like to hear all kind of coment about trucking . please i need help how to succeed i am and onwner operator any good suport is very wellcome.thanks

  12. 12. Joe [ February 23, 2015 @ 11:16AM ]

    Me and my wife run containers out of port in Sav Ga.We only pull port to yard yard to port. 1.7miles each leg. Pay is not great but with both trucks we net 1,700 to 2,100 per week. The work is super easy and only log 6 to 8 hours a day. Sav port is very well organized and we are in there 45 min to 90 min on the very worst trips. Chassis are pretty easy to get and most of our pulls are paired-up so we may have to swap chassis 4 or 5 times a week.

    I tell ya, if you live within a hour or so of a port, this seems like the best job you can have. Heck, for 30 to 35 boxes a week each we only use $125 in fuel. Total expenses run about $53/day/truck, that's insurance, workers comp, a small maintenance escrow too. We really like the work. This is the second Co we have worked for down there and we have found a good fit for us.

  13. 13. Bhullar [ March 14, 2015 @ 01:55PM ]

    I am looking to get into trucking as well. I have been reading a lot about it since its better to be prepared than not. But mostly I have seen people talking about not being paid enough and all the crap that comes with it.

    I have seen a lot of truck owners who make a lot of money. They started with one and not they have many. I don't understand why is everyone sending a msg across that do not get into it? I have had the same feeling from every single website/video I have visited.

    I want to start off driving for a company for a few months and then buy my own once I get my feet wet. What are some good companies to work for and pay good as well? Also, I don't want to be away from home for too long. I would like to run loads around 600-800 miles each way and then back home. Take a day off and then again hot another 600-800 each way and back home. Is this something realistic and be able to make good money at the same time? More questions to follow once I have these sorted out. Any help shall be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  14. 14. Bhullar [ March 14, 2015 @ 01:56PM ]

    I am looking to get into trucking as well. I have been reading a lot about it since its better to be prepared than not. But mostly I have seen people talking about not being paid enough and all the crap that comes with it.

    I have seen a lot of truck owners who make a lot of money. They started with one and not they have many. I don't understand why is everyone sending a msg across that do not get into it? I have had the same feeling from every single website/video I have visited.

    I want to start off driving for a company for a few months and then buy my own once I get my feet wet. What are some good companies to work for and pay good as well? Also, I don't want to be away from home for too long. I would like to run loads around 600-800 miles each way and then back home. Take a day off and then again hot another 600-800 each way and back home. Is this something realistic and be able to make good money at the same time? More questions to follow once I have these sorted out. Any help shall be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  15. 15. Tim [ March 22, 2015 @ 07:36AM ]

    Appreciate the article.......I'm new in the business....recently retired at 46 y/o and wanted to do this in hopes of starting my own authority and building a fleet.......anymore info would be appreciated......God Bless

  16. 16. Edwin [ March 22, 2015 @ 09:49AM ]

    Iv been driving for 7 years as a company driver I found a company pullin pnuematic trailers which sound promising but incase if all fails which is what I am trying to prepare for any advice on a good website to pull loads from or any good brokers I'm not interested in doing refer loads pref. dry containers I'm not really sure yet please help ? And how do I pick loads...I run hard and work harder this has been a childhood dream every where I read they say stay away good way to go broke ect but I know me and what I could do I just need the right path, anyone willing to point the path ....

  17. 17. Mike [ April 04, 2015 @ 07:42AM ]

    What worked for me was finding a carrier that had several divisions to choose from so the option is there to pull a different commodity when things slow down. Get all the endorsements on your cdl. You will be more valuable to the company. Also i found taking advantage of the carrier's fuel and tire network will cost you less for operating. Lastly chrome and chicken lights do not increase the freight rates so be frugal and set a budget for those things if you have to have them. Also i see too many new o/o go under because they lack financial discipline in their personal life. For example when the big truck is running good, the money is good. Now comes the new vehicles and/or toys at home. Remember to be frugal, set a strict budget, do your own repairs within your abilities and be safe.

  18. 18. pat [ April 20, 2015 @ 08:05AM ]

    Hello, everyone..)
    I have over 30 years in the heavy costruction and trucking industries, am a college graduate, took lots of business courses. It took me 28 years to step into ownership, 10 of those spent saving $ for this step. My Advice? DON'T BUY YOUSELF A JOB. This is a business, do the math. What are your non-business $ obligations? Can I work on my equipement/have the tools, experience, inclination (I do, its one reason for the "delayed" start..) because breakdowns can destroy one? Do I have savings for @ least 6 months of business survival? Because you/we/i are a start-up business (in an extremely competitive/low margin field), just what it
    Estimate revenue low, expenses high, does it make $? If not, then wait, learn more, save. Because its your/ours/my Remember? "We all have plenty of people willing to lie to us, success comes from being honest (and realistic..) with ourselves"
    We will be the worst enemy to ourselves that we will ever have. So, honestly self-evaluate. It'll be the most challenging step one takes, but building a business can also be spiritually rewarding (or it can crush
    Good luck!

  19. 19. Terry [ May 23, 2015 @ 08:11PM ]

    My husband has been driving since the 80's . I've been a homemaker the entire time. I agree with all previous comments. My husband has been a owner-operator since 2006 or 07? I would tell everyone don't do it. Not enough loads . It's plenty when you work for company. When you work for yourself it seems the work dries up. Maintenance takes a big chunk out of your paycheck. No more paid vacation or health insurance. My opinion is that you become a slave for the truck. If you are married it may be that your spouse should work. Unless you are working for a big company pulling expensive loads it's not worth it. It's not worth missing time seeing your kids grow up . Just my opinion. I love my husband but I wouldn't want him to do this job all over again. Being a owner operator that is. He can drive truck but I'd rather that be that someone else foots the bill.

  20. 20. Ricky [ May 27, 2015 @ 03:33PM ]

    I will be honest I started Trucking in 1972 work a few years sell my truck and do something else then I would buy another truck do it again I guess it gets in your blood LOL , I made just as much in 1972 as I do now really made more back then due to the fuel. The DOT is so bad fine you if you look at them wrong . I did make a Little money did not get rich by no means freight is so cheep . If I were to do it again and I might dont get me wrong I would lease to a Oil field company pull a tanker I would not haul freight to cheep.

  21. 21. kushtrim [ June 18, 2015 @ 03:52PM ]

    I started debt free and did not make it..I have my own authority and is no good paying loads available but sometimes is no loads at all.I am working on selling everything .I lost 200,000 dollars and destroyed my credit score.Having your own authority is the worst thing u can do .

  22. 22. Mek121988 [ June 24, 2015 @ 02:41PM ]

    Hey kushtrim what are you selling. Email me

  23. 23. Daniel Ford [ July 15, 2015 @ 02:54PM ]

    I'm a brand new lease/operator advise I was given. DONT DENY ANY LOAD and DO YOUR PRE TRIPS THROUGHLY

  24. 24. bluemule [ July 15, 2015 @ 06:32PM ]

    Like to hear from some o/o's running lb/la port intermodal in socal

  25. 25. gene [ July 22, 2015 @ 12:09AM ]

    I became an owner operator without being a company driver first. To Kushtrim, there are other options. Find a dispatcher online, there's thousands. Lease on to a company. I don't know your full story but there's no reason to throw your money away. I hope all goes well, if you need a dispatcher I have at least 2 that can find you loads starting this week. Email me if you want info,
    Also, I am a owner OP so I know a little about trucking. What trailer are you pulling? I do flatbed because it's versatile with more loads than dry or reefer all year round.

  26. 26. Tom Bosch [ July 25, 2015 @ 05:46PM ]

    I'm just starting out in CDL school. O/O is where is want to end up after surviving my first 6mos./year and knowing enough of the business. I do want to buy a luxury sleeper cab, one of those mini-RV rigs. (I am not married, no kids, don't own a house. No ties.) Realistically, how much should I be putting away to start as an O/O? Thanks.

  27. 27. Blue cheese [ July 28, 2015 @ 05:54AM ]

    I just quiet my company driving job after six years of driving . I believe it's time to become and O/o any advice.. I can't take it anymore ..

  28. 28. moffet man [ July 29, 2015 @ 06:12PM ]

    Blue cheese, I'd recommend working for an o/o and see how they run things. See where you thinkimprovements can be made, and make em Tons of research and enjoy hauling whatever it is that you're hauling.

  29. 29. Joe [ August 07, 2015 @ 01:50PM ]

    Love the article and love all the comments got a lot of insight from them. I've been driving for about 10 yrs now hauled almost everything from refer flats bed and dry van local and over the rd. I haul haz in takers now locally but been thinking of buying a truck and going back on the rd in January or march. I'm not going to lie it scares me cause I have a family that depends on me as I'm the only income. I've always told myself that if the risk didn't scare me it probably isn't worth doing. I would love some feed back from anyone. Thanks.

  30. 30. I. Austin [ August 07, 2015 @ 04:06PM ]

    Well he goes, I've only been driving about 6/mos. My fiance wanted me to move to Atlanta to live with her. She said if I did she would buy me a truck, so I found a reasonably priced Freightliner. Something l felt would be in my means to pay back. I understand there's a lot I need to know and learn. It seems like everytime i see myself about to make some real money, i hear about another costly regulation. I'll be buying this truck Monday, Aug. 10th. I've already talked to a Broker. I Quit my old job to make this thing happen. I'm at the point of no return. I got to make this work. I'm ready for the challenge. I need all the advice, suggestion and help i can get.

  31. 31. kendrick [ August 17, 2015 @ 03:00PM ]

    I enjoy the story great points and I see where my mistake were made .I.Austin go for it get with the co. that best fit u research the co. ,whatevr situation u going to parter up with.I been driving since 2006 on and off ,I drove hard while on the rd made alot of bad choice mess up my caeer for years.I did the o/o love it first few mths of it were learning experince fuel at the TA Pliots and ects was hurt me and put dem big check to the side for maintaince to be honest were i brought my truck at was the bad part to start off 2000 dwn 600 a wk 2400 mth 2006 freightliner this was in 2011 .Ato everyone plan your start off rite

  32. 32. David Forgach [ August 23, 2015 @ 07:31AM ]

    Ive been a resturant business owner for 15 years. Very interested in becoming an o/o but have no idea how to get started? Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

  33. 33. Leo [ September 14, 2015 @ 04:48AM ]

    Starting a new business is not easy. Before buying a truck do research and learn the things from owner operators and ask experienced drivers. Keep asking what should be done before doing the things blindly. There are thousands of owner operators and experienced drivers to be asked. Losing and winning are the game of business. Remember doing something is better than doing nothing.

  34. 34. Akil [ September 14, 2015 @ 08:38PM ]

    Hey Gene, I'm looking into doing o/o with flatbed. Could you, or anyone here with the knowledge base, please contact me and let me know some good brokers/sites etc that'd be beneficial for me. Please and thank you ahead of time.

  35. 35. Devon Dorsett [ September 18, 2015 @ 01:19PM ]

    I will be attending trucking school next week. But once i graduate i would like to buy my own truck instead of using the company truck. What type of truck should i invest in? How do i go about negotiating a contract or do i let company pay me by miles? Help!!

  36. 36. Deborah Lockridge, Editor [ September 23, 2015 @ 01:35PM ]

    Devon, I would suggest you start out with a company driver job. Succeeding as an owner-operator is tough enough when you know the business and the industry. You'll need to get some experience under your belt first.

  37. 37. Angel Ortiz [ October 07, 2015 @ 04:49PM ]

    Hi i been driving for 7years and now i

  38. 38. Angel Ortiz [ October 07, 2015 @ 04:51PM ]

    I been a driver for 7years and now I want to buy my own truck any advice

  39. 39. ramon [ October 11, 2015 @ 08:06PM ]

    I was in a motorcycle accident, which left me paralyzed. I got a small settlement from his insurance, but not enough to live on. I have two daughters that depend on me. I've been reading a lot on the trucking business, and in my predicament, I was wondering if it would be wise to become a truck owner, and hire a driver. Would i still be able to turn a profit. PLEASE HELP.

  40. 40. Tresa Fore [ October 16, 2015 @ 08:36PM ]

    I am thinking about getting into trucking business and not sure what my options? I would like to start with 1 or 3 trucks and employ 6-9 truckers. I do not want to carry hazardous materials, I would like to take loads instate from point a to b. I really do not understand the owner operator vs leasing vs working for just one company? I was under them impression I could finance a truck. But I do not know how to get the jobs or even who to talk to about getting the jobs. How does a dispatcher plan into this? Any advice? You can inbox me at place trucking advice in subject line. Thank you

  41. 41. James coghlan [ October 23, 2015 @ 08:21AM ]

    Would love speak with a current owner operator..thanks 734 678 7212

  42. 42. Steve [ November 22, 2015 @ 12:41PM ]

    Lots of great comments here. I was a successful insurance business owner for 30 years and retired 5 years ago. Kids are grown and tired of not working believe it or not, plus my retirement savings could use some help because of the horrible economy and investment returns. I decided to get into trucking and eventually be an O/O, but I can tell you from many years of experience that owning ANY bussiness is very difficult, and unless you have some serious business management skills you will not survive as an O/O. I've known several that made close to $300,000 a year, but either managed their money poorly or greatly miscalculated the cost of doing business. Besides the cost of buying/leasing and maintaining a truck is the cost of things like business liability, umbrella and medical insurance. Medical insurance in particular can cost 1-2 thousand a month. So even though your gross earnings are $200 to $300 thousand a year, you might only be left with $40,000 after overhead expenses and taxes. The profit margins are very slim in this business and you need to price your services competitively. Don't just assume you can learn to drive for a few months then make it on your own. It's a tough world out there. Don't make it worse for yourself. Learn the ropes for a while before you consider taking the plunge.

  43. 43. Ronald Towles [ December 28, 2015 @ 03:48PM ]

    All these comments sound so negative. This is America and it is very competitive. It is what has made America great. Correct me if I am wrong. Why are so many trucks and drivers out there. Transportation and hauling cargo is one if not the biggest businesses going. I appreciate the questions from the new comers coming into the field of truck driving in the o/o business. Even I myself am seriously looking into the o/o.Been a driver for approximately 20 years. I have talked to many a o/o. They say be patient. don't take the cheap loads unless it gets you to the next big payout load.That way you at least get your fuel paid for.You also need to weigh your options and what is best for you and your family and business.Always plan for a raining day.Pile the money up.Do not go out and buy a bunch of fancy toys.That will come. Until then enjoy your business.

  44. 44. Rolland Wolf [ January 01, 2016 @ 10:10AM ]

    I have been reading these comments and there are a lot of hopes and dreams here. I was an owner operator running team with my wife for 8 yrs. The first six months were hell, DH miles kill. simple as that, but so does sitting around. In the end it was dedicated freight which made us successful. All miles paid. Driver unload, stop and detention pay went a long ways also. All three require no overhead. The truck is sitting still yet still generating revenue. Health reasons took us off of the road, and that is where I learned the harsh truth about living beyond your means. We didn't lose everything, but it was close.

    This is the advice that I gave another driver which had I followed I would be living the high life now.

    First, what do you need to survive in your personal life. Before you make your first cent as an O/O decide that.

    Second set up one bank acct to DD that amount into.

    Third, roll every cent over that amount into another acct and never touch unless for a business cost. If possible ignore it completely until needed.

    Lastly, get an accountant to handle it all, pay the taxes on everything. Every bit of the accountants fees are deductible.

    A LOT of hard work goes into this. The gentleman I gave this advice heeded it and had the discipline to stick to it. He now owns multiple trucks and sticks to the original formula. Good luck gentlemen.

    P.S. Running team with my wife also helped a lot.

  45. 45. Erick [ January 03, 2016 @ 12:39PM ]

    Hello, I am a rancher with a couple semis, a 48 ft flatbed, dry van, and cattle pot. Getting a little bored this winter and thought about having the wife do chores and me doing some otr trucking. Any recommendations where to start?

  46. 46. Ron [ January 06, 2016 @ 03:40PM ]

    Hi, My quick story, I was a company driver for over 22 years. I always wanted to try to o/o thing. This week I am in orientation with a large established carrier,that is predominantly o/o. I brought a used 2012 t660,(from the dealer) so I don't have large payments, or large operating expense. I will give it my best. Be safe.

  47. 47. ken [ January 07, 2016 @ 03:42PM ]

    Don't need a new truck.just keep it simple.look over everthing.and ask a lot of questions if they start to Chang up the story then it maybe.not to good. remember they need a job too.and the last thing is yes your an o/o but you don't need the new Harley truck car for mama new house new anything this will get you faster that the truck payment.keep it simple

  48. 48. William [ January 10, 2016 @ 07:37AM ]

    I hope the established trucking company isn't Prime.

  49. 49. Babs [ January 21, 2016 @ 09:25PM ]

    It is kind of scary venturing into it for the first time, despite all the information out there. I have slightly over two years of commercial trucking experience and now look forward to being an o/o.

    The big question I have is, is it better to start with a lease to own truck or just simply go for financed truck ? This answer is critical to me because I am in the process of incorporation and CVOR acquisition at this point.

    Getting the truck will follow right after registration and having the right information ahead of time will it a whole lot easier.

  50. 50. Justin [ January 25, 2016 @ 10:20PM ]

    Is it profitable to own a truck an pay a driver to haul loads for me.?

  51. 51. Rockie [ January 27, 2016 @ 06:40PM ]

    Yes and no is the driver go a take good care of the truck like u would an depends on the rate that I get. I make. Round 2.50.-2.80 per mile but we have direct freight with furniture company. Watch it self with company's. And remember I can't make it on .98.per mile. Pluse fuel these company's are marking more than wat they say.

  52. 52. Paden [ January 30, 2016 @ 01:04PM ]

    I own a freight brokerage and we are going to buy at least one truck this year to be asset based. The real key is what market are you going to serve and will you drive a reefer or a van. Reefer is the way to go for us. Big money when produce is in season and out of season shorts hauls around NY, PA, NJ,MA will still make you $800-1200 for a super easy run.

    The other thing I would say as an o/o wanting to run their own company is make sure you have someone who can books loads for you. You might miss good loads while your driving and be stuck with whatever is left on the board if you need a brokers load.

  53. 53. ELVIN [ January 30, 2016 @ 07:26PM ]

    After being doing this for six years, it's all really simple. You get your own truck and trailer and make sure that they are in very good condition (pass any DOT Inspection). Get your own authority, start with CH Robinson and TQL and after a year, get a loadbord or two, factor your invoices an live happilly ever after.
    I can not put it any simpler than this.
    Just remember: "GOOD WORKING EQUIPMENT"

  54. 54. Bart [ February 02, 2016 @ 12:00PM ]

    Just getting started in the trucking industry. I'm 45 years old and fairly business savvy. I attended this with Academy and am now driving truck for swift. I am starting my research now to figure out if, when, how I will go about becoming an owner operator.

    If I decide to embark on this endeavor, I will be looking to purchase a truck ASAP, when it is paid off purchase another and to put a team in the first truck on a salary, when its paid off purchase another do the same, and so on and so on any advice or information would be much appreciated.

  55. 55. conda [ February 02, 2016 @ 07:45PM ]

    I am having hard time reading and understanding comments of owner operator,s suggrstations .
    I been in business as o/o ( own authority)
    Not tagging with other carriers , using their authority and calling as O/O.
    Over 14 years.
    If you using broker load you in trouble as business person with own authority ..
    You must find a Carrier with an overflow loads Who will approve you as an approved Carrier for that company , and if you are lucky enough get a good line haul supervisor / dispatcher and you really work good and hard they will pay you after few years of your business with them .
    I worked with the company till I got a so called a no-match supervisor/ line haul
    And that went down hill fast , he start cutting the rate , want to know why I am geting higher rate ,without looking my history as what extra work i did to deliver goods where others have refused or failed.
    So that was my end.
    Back to rate , yes unless you get $2.50 a miles with fuel surcharge included ,you are doom to fail . The real cost of any milage driven.I grantee !!!
    Is all have to be accounted for .
    Any milage$1.98 is just to cover cost only of insurance,maintence ,fuel,lic plate,cost of IFTA, fee and fee and fee.( government,)
    Remember you have to drive .one cannot hire driver with that amount, $2.50 a miles is a breathable rate. Don't let any one fool you.
    Remember the slogan to broker load . You will go broke .
    Some one else is feeding in you and you are blinded if you take any lower rate over
    500 miles .
    Less then that should be fixed rate.

    Hope you remember this.

  56. 56. Griff [ February 03, 2016 @ 10:57AM ]

    The rates are n the toilet you can't run for 1.50 that is insane.There should b a cap on what the brokers get and the o/op gets solid money.Its 2016 engines are 25,000 the brokers don't help with that.

  57. 57. Griff [ February 03, 2016 @ 10:58AM ]

    I think they should pay 3.00 -3.50 a mile today

  58. 58. Jeff Bayless [ March 13, 2016 @ 12:38AM ]

    I wholeheartedly agree with #4. In order to be successful as an owner operator, you must know AND CONTROL your costs, and live within your means. As applied to your truck, shiny and new means ridiculously high truck payments. I started my trucking career as a company driver drivng a Swedish tuck with 1.3 million miles on it. While it wasn't the prettiest thing on the road, it was a reliable hauler. So when I became an O/O I wanted the same make of truck, but with 500K miles on it so I could expect to get at least another 500K out of it. I saved myself $100,000 getting a 2010 model instead of getting a new one. That's a lot of mulah that I get to keep for myself.
    <a href="!Financing-a-Truck-and-Trailer/c1sbz/56ddf41c0cf27a9067c21176">-Jeff</a>

  59. 59. Scott jr [ March 26, 2016 @ 06:55PM ]

    I'm just graduating trucking school and thinking of going o/o but in state to save money on truck purchase and over head I'm thinking about grain hauling any suggestions??

  60. 60. Marvin jr [ April 05, 2016 @ 01:27AM ]

    Hey I've been driving for a company for over 3 years and thing of becoming owner /op I had been talking with people over at capital solution about a load to start my business was wondering would that be a good route to go

  61. 61. ed [ April 06, 2016 @ 06:43AM ]

    Im moving to a new state and I have been driving for a year and a half. Im thinking of starting a company to drive locally when I move. Maybe long haul once every few months. Is this a good idea or should I just find someone to drive for. any help would be great.

  62. 62. Aziz Omer [ April 08, 2016 @ 01:02AM ]

    Scott Jr. --- I think you should drive for at least one yr for other pple and get to know what's really going on out there.

  63. 63. sidbark [ April 10, 2016 @ 08:05PM ]

    I have found that the best way to start as an owner operator is buy a older truck 10 to 30,000 pay cash liability work it local. If it breaks down your close to home. I bought 8,000 truck put 12,000 into it I run a belly dump pit to pit I'm home every night I earn 700 to 1,000 a day. Not all but some will provide fuel and deduct it from your checks. Most local don't car about age as long as its in working order. The down fall is its seasonal where I am 7 months and you don't start getting paid for a month.

  64. 64. minerk [ April 18, 2016 @ 06:57AM ]

    if you can handle the driving, you can get used to driving.. money is the motive.. driving for pay will make you love driving.. to become owner operator you need some knowledge of routes and rates... everything can be learned... the first thing you need to know is overcome fear. most that hold back fear they will fail... .. some do fail and some make a good living and expand.. my suggestion would be to give it a shot if you are a strong and persistent individual... the other way is to gain some experience. just drive for as a company driver and see if driving is what you will like to do for money... because you will drive if you become an owner operator.. and you will drive a lot.. so keep in mind that money will only come with miles.. and making payments to keep equipment running its the biggest downfall for many who want to have a life out of the drivers seat. just my 2 cents,,, also do a better negociate a getter trip rate.. don't let broker dictate you future business with them.... if they call you all the time.. you are provably making too little.

  65. 65. Rob [ April 20, 2016 @ 08:59PM ]

    Can anyone recommend a good app or dispatcher service for loads, no more than 10% going to dispatcher fee?

  66. 66. Steven [ May 09, 2016 @ 01:17PM ]

    I have my CDL IL looking at becoming an OP I'm looking for a truck and financing a pre emission condo sleeper freightliner / Volvo Detroit / Cummins. I need great load brokers please let me know of some
    Thank you


  67. 67. Joe [ May 18, 2016 @ 02:30PM ]

    I may have the truck your looking for.

  68. 68. Keven [ May 19, 2016 @ 07:18AM ]

    I'm currently thinking about becoming an owner operator. My company offers a program but just want to know what others think is the best route?

  69. 69. Keven [ May 19, 2016 @ 07:20AM ]

    I'm considering an lease program through my employer. Has anyone had experience good or bad with this?

  70. 70. Anthony facer [ May 21, 2016 @ 09:46AM ]

    I am really considering leasing my own truck i work very hard each and everyday been with my company for 9 years and i am just looking to branch out on my own and not be held back if anyone could give me some good insight on how it all works please email me thank you AF

  71. 71. Scott B Harrison [ May 25, 2016 @ 06:10AM ]

    The problem with being an owner operator either leased to a company or running under there own authority, is there are to many hands involved in the overall equation of transporting a load from point A to point B. If you really think about, its mind blowing that a driver can actually make a paycheck at all.You are essentially providing an income for everyone involved around what you do and in return, you will work long hours, live in a box, be chased down by the law all the time, and contribute to the overall decline of your health to provide income for the following - Brokers, D.O.T., each state, federal highways, trucking companies, shippers, receivers ,lumpers,truck stops, repair shops, truck dealerships, road side service abuse, fuel taxes, fines, and the list could go on and on . the biggest scam on the list would have to be brokers and trucking companies getting up to 30% of what you make with little or no overhead on there side involved and laughing all the way to the bank while tuck in nice and cozy in there own bed every night for a goods night rest, while your looking for a place to go to the bathroom at 3am or up unloading a frozen load fighting with a the lumpers.

    Well anyway, good luck. SB 26 YEAR VETERAN OF TRUCKING INDUSTRY

  72. 72. Dart [ July 01, 2016 @ 09:41AM ]

    Whats all required to become a owner operator ? Own USDOT ? MC ? Insurance ?

  73. 73. Dart [ July 01, 2016 @ 09:42AM ]

    What's all required of a owner operator to get started USDOT ? MC?insurance ? I have no idea and wanted to explore my options with my new company ?

  74. 74. Jack Wright [ July 09, 2016 @ 09:34PM ]

    Explore a business that you have more control over. Don't try starting a trucking business without realizing the myriad of hoops you have to jump through

  75. 75. Cheyanne Hansen [ July 11, 2016 @ 07:18PM ]

    Owner/ Operators looking for affordable healthcare! We offer state to state, $0 deductible, lock rates in for 3 years AND cover STATE TO STATE!!! check out my website at

  76. 76. Tresa Fore [ July 13, 2016 @ 01:11PM ]

    Where do you find companies or individuals to book loads? Where do you find companies that need loads shipped?

  77. 77. Trucks N Roses [ July 16, 2016 @ 04:56PM ]

    I have drove truck for over 16 years I have always been a company driver Intel this week I bought a 2013 freightliner cascadia I have been with my company
    R&M for a year as a company driver my miles has always been good I did not get the truck from my company I bought it from a freightliner dealer I'm hopping to stay with. R&M but worried about the buck a mile empty and 1.20 loaded I'm open for input about can a guy make it at that my payment is 1500 a month stay safe and good luck to you all

  78. 78. shadow ridge tech [ July 30, 2016 @ 09:12PM ]

    hi, my name is jeff my mom and dad started a trucking company and everyone is saying you do not need a new truck i was a technician for ten years and now im working for my family and the first thing i told them is to get a good truck a dodge they got a ford the last truck i will every get and i told them that but it happened the truck had less than 90k on it broke down three time in the first 10k miles and cost them 35k in new turbo, injectors, high psi fuel pump and still got bad gas mileage and then the motor blew i recommend a new dodge they last the motors are 2 million mile motors and they can haul why would i get a new truck because it is warranted for 100k miles and that keeps you from spending 35k every 10k miles on bull that could be fixed under warranty after putting the ford in the grave yard my mom and dad are making 5k every week my mom stays home and watches load boards and dont think that is easy you need to be up at three or four every morning to get the right jobs and dont think im a stupid technician i am a college student for engineering. and i am an honer student. i hope everything goes good for all of you.

  79. 79. James [ August 27, 2016 @ 07:48PM ]

    I used to drive for 7 and 1/2 years. I was an O/O and earn about $61250 yearly after tax. The problem was my wife at house saw the money came in and spent a lot with clothes, new car, hair salon, tanning, gym, and a new house in Nashville in 2010. Now after our divorce I drive to a company and a got a new girlfriend that stays with me in the truck and we bought a small cheap house in a very small town near Tupelo/MS and I slowly saving to buy my truck and be a o/o again. If you are single, great - but if you want to have a girl like me, it's all about the person next to you if helps and support you. Just my 2 cents.

  80. 80. Shane [ August 30, 2016 @ 09:20AM ]

    Hi Im opening a Motor Carrier Support Service business.
    We are not a broker. Some of the service we will offer are: Load Finding service, Invoicing in your business name. Direct customer marketing. We work for the Motor Carrier and serve the interest of the Carrier. We work for % of booked miles depending on the level of service required. You can drive with out worring about the next load! Email me for information

  81. 81. Shane [ August 30, 2016 @ 09:27AM ]

    I am soon opening a Motor Carrier Support Service business. we are NOT a Broker! Some services offered are:
    Load finding
    Invoicing in you business name.
    Direct marketing for your business so you have your own customers.
    And more... Charges are % depending on level of services required.
    Email me for updates and information

  82. 82. Evan [ September 10, 2016 @ 12:36PM ]

    I have been a company driver, then moved to ownership. I quickly became an Independent. I recently decided to expand the business. I'm leasing on the RIGHT O/O with FB/SD or Van trailers. We are located in. Southern Ohio. Everyone NOT in the industry told me that it's a losing business. I never bought high dollar shines new trucks. Chrome doesn't increase revenue. But, that's just me. If you need more information or advice...

  83. 83. Lee [ September 22, 2016 @ 09:05PM ]

    Hi, I've been a General Manager for a large corporation for 30 years. I've always loved driving, particularly to different states. While initially I understand that I'll be taking a big drop in earnings, the trade off is none of the corporate BS on a daily basis. Given time and the gaining of experience I would expect to be able to purchase a truck outright, from then on the earning potentially sky rocket. I'm a very personable guy, I work my ass off and business relationships are something I excel at working on. I'm by no means ignorant to the cons of the industry, every step I take will be carefully thought out. My biggest concern is what effect this will have on my wife and son, they're both very supportive of me doing this but being away for days at a time is something I'm worried may take a toll on them.

  84. 84. Andy [ September 26, 2016 @ 04:43PM ]

    Ran as an owner op for about 6 years. Several jobs later, I accepted a job as a company driver.....BIG MISTAKE.. Kinda like going from driving a pinto, then getting into a top of the line Porsche. Now going back to the pinto. Not good. Any solid advice on good companies to lease on to? Looking to most likely stick with reefer...(produce, most likely). Really good money there. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


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