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    Thread: Should I buy a truck to start my own trucking company?

    1. Junior Member
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      05-25-2013 02:06 PM #1
      I am in quite in a pickle. I have my CDL class A and I am an engineering student. Both are my passions just like cars. I currently work full time as a yard jock. Anyway, my friend and I we tried starting a business before but we failed, now we are thinking of buying a day cab truck to do local and regional deliveries and we have friends who are truckers and would drive for us. We also have his brother in law who is a middle man between truckers and shippers so we're good with that. I also understand how much trucks are and how much maintenance will be, trust me I've done the math I'm very good with it.

      My friends and I have talked about it and we're thinking about it.

      So do you think I should start this with my friends and have my own business?

      I was thinking about getting a Peterbilt 389 daycab with a Cat 550 hp engine. Or a Kenworth w900 with similar specs.

      http://images.traderonline.com/img/4...01781067_1.jpg

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      05-25-2013 02:07 PM #2

    3. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 02:08 PM #3
      I thought small trucking companies were hurting bad due to fuel price fluctuations?
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      05-25-2013 02:10 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      I thought small trucking companies were hurting bad due to fuel price fluctuations?
      Nope, all they have done is raise prices of shipments, why do you think groceries and most products have gone up in price?

    5. Member aethelwulf's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 02:12 PM #5
      Starting your own business takes a lot of time and effort, is that really something you want to be doing while you're a student?
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      05-25-2013 02:15 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by aethelwulf View Post
      Starting your own business takes a lot of time and effort, is that really something you want to be doing while you're a student?
      I've managed to work about 35 hours per week still being a full time student, I think I can handle it. But you do make a valid point. That's why I want to do this with my friends, I don't wanna do it alone.

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      05-25-2013 02:27 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by 908AudiTT View Post
      I've managed to work about 35 hours per week still being a full time student, I think I can handle it. But you do make a valid point. That's why I want to do this with my friends, I don't wanna do it alone.
      35 hours is the extreme low end for an entrepreneur/start up. Why not wait until you finish school, so you can devote your full energy? Otherwise, I see both school and your company suffering from lack of focus.

      I love the idea, and often have thought of doing something similar. Whatever you do, keep us updated.

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      05-25-2013 02:29 PM #8
      As someone who works with many a small-fleeted mom & pop trucking company, the margins are low low low.

      As in "miss out on a couple loads and you're going under" low.

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      05-25-2013 02:29 PM #9
      This doesn't make a lot of financial sense. I would recommend buying a Cessna and starting your own airline instead
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    10. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 02:32 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by 908AudiTT View Post
      Nope, all they have done is raise prices of shipments, why do you think groceries and most products have gone up in price?
      But fuel prices can spike during a shipment (after it is quoted)... you have to be able to absorb such unexpected costs.
      Many small trucking companies went under when fuel prices kept going up.... they could never recoup the loss from previous shipments.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 05-25-2013 at 02:41 PM.
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    11. Member RzinDubs's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 02:40 PM #11
      I would focus on getting experience in whatever field of engineering you are pursuing.

    12. Member Ed52's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 03:18 PM #12
      Do this math:

      Take estimated operating expenses and X2 that number
      Take estimated profit and multiply by .5
      How many hours in a week dedicated to running company = not enough

      Hey, at least you can say "I am the boss" = priceless!

      The trucking business is a bad financial risk...there is always someone who will undercut your rates.

      It's best to be an employee and be able to sleep at nights.
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      05-25-2013 03:27 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by RzinDubs View Post
      I would focus on getting experience in whatever field of engineering you are pursuing.
      This and you can't make a profit for yourself while paying someone to drive your truck. Not to mention a top dollar Pete. You will have to drive it and you'll need a lot more than a whole 35 hours. And no just because the cost of food goes up doesn't mean trucks are making the same profits of 20 years ago. Work for somebody first. A small company where you can get hands on and see everything you need to see there is a lot of things that people don't see unless your in it for a while.

    14. Member Denniswhat's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 03:28 PM #14
      Look into insurance costs. Especially if you are going to have people drive for you. My buddy owns a truck and drives and it is not cheap.

      Your an engineering student.. I would be focused on doing the best you can in school and getting experience in the field you want to work in so you can get the best job you can when your finished. Your paying all that money for college, why are you thinking about starting a trucking company when you want to be an engineer?

    15. 05-25-2013 03:59 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by 908AudiTT View Post
      I see you picked a truck with a horrible amount of aerodynamic drag. I've heard that 2/3 of fuel used at 65 mph is used to overcome aerodynamic drag.

      Do yourself a favor and learn a little more about fuel efficiency and what can be done to reduce drag. Your future will depend on it if you are to be successful at the trucking business.

      Classic-looking Petes and Kenworths look cool but represent a cubic a$$-ton of lost opportunity.

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      05-25-2013 04:06 PM #16
      Is it even worth to be a truck driver at this time?
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      05-25-2013 04:15 PM #17
      Highly likely not to work out.

      Razor thin margins as stated.

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      05-25-2013 04:55 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by RzinDubs View Post
      I would focus on getting experience in whatever field of engineering you are pursuing.
      This is what I would do.
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      05-25-2013 05:02 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by peevish1 View Post
      I see you picked a truck with a horrible amount of aerodynamic drag. I've heard that 2/3 of fuel used at 65 mph is used to overcome aerodynamic drag.

      Do yourself a favor and learn a little more about fuel efficiency and what can be done to reduce drag. Your future will depend on it if you are to be successful at the trucking business.

      Classic-looking Petes and Kenworths look cool but represent a cubic a$$-ton of lost opportunity.
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      05-25-2013 05:28 PM #20
      Sorry but if you are asking the car lounge whether your business idea is a good one you are in trouble.
      Mike

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      05-25-2013 05:39 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by FuelInMyVeins View Post
      Is it even worth to be a truck driver at this time?
      No. Long hours and low pay.

    22. Member XM_Rocks's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 06:22 PM #22
      I sell heavy haul trucks amd large yellow iron construction pieces for a finance company.

      I also have a yard in DE that currently has a blue 2009 Pete 389 day cab at that yard that matches the one above.

      Dual Axle, 550hp, Cummins ISX, 18 speed and 467k in miles.

      If you need any help PM me.

      Quote Originally Posted by peevish1 View Post
      I see you picked a truck with a horrible amount of aerodynamic drag.
      I've heard that 2/3 of fuel used at 65 mph is used to overcome aerodynamic drag.

      Do yourself a favor and learn a little more about fuel efficiency and what can be done to reduce drag. Your future will depend on it if you are to be successful at the trucking business.

      Classic-looking Petes and Kenworths look cool but represent a cubic a$$-ton of lost opportunity.
      Actually the truck he listed is used to haul flatbed' step deck and lowboy trailers.

      Normally with large construction pieces or other bulky items (like bridge trusses and silos).

      It's 550hp and a 46,000lb rear end so it built to haul heavy loads.

      The trucks that you are referring to haul flat box trailers of a certain height so aerodynamics matter and can it is repeatable with each load.

      They have lower power and lower rated rear ends too.

      The heavy haul trucks carry so many different items it is not repeatable.



      Vs.

      Last edited by XM_Rocks; 05-25-2013 at 06:50 PM.

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      05-25-2013 06:25 PM #23
      Thank you guys!!! A lot of good opinion.

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      05-25-2013 06:27 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by XM_Rocks View Post
      I sell heavy haul trucks amd large yellow iron construction pieces for a finance company.

      I also have a yard in DE that currently has a blue 2009 Pete 389 day cab at that yard that matches the one above.

      Dual Axle, 550hp, Cummins ISX, 18 speed and 467k in miles.

      If you need any help PM me.



      Actually the truck he listed is used to haul flatbed and lowboy trailers.

      Normally with large construction pieces or other bulky items (like bridge trusses and silos).

      It's 550hp and a 46,000lb rear end so it built to haul heavy loads.

      The trucks that you are referring to haul box trailers so aerodynamics matter.

      They have lower power and lower rated rear ends too.

      So you think if I do go through with it I should get a sleeper cab or maybe a Volvo VN for better aerodynamics? I kinda thought about a day cab because a sleeper is obviously heavier, but also they get better aerodynamics.

    25. Member XM_Rocks's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 06:36 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by 908AudiTT View Post
      So you think if I do go through with it I should get a sleeper cab or maybe a Volvo VN for better aerodynamics? I kinda thought about a day cab because a sleeper is obviously heavier, but also they get better aerodynamics.
      You need to decide what you want to haul and what distance.

      You can get heavy haul trucks and regular semi trucks in day cab or sleeper.

      I have a heavy haul Volvo condo sleeper in stock now that is like a mini RV.

      Full kitchen, shower, bathroom and big bed area.

      It's a heavy haul truck but made for hauling a something somewhere and staying like an exhibition trailer or a race trailer.

      Trucks are made in all shapes, sizes and specs.

      You just need to decide what you want to do.

      Honestly before you splash out on your own I would recommend driving for a company first.

      That way you get a taste of what it's all about and what's right for you.

      I am a banker... not a trucker so I don't have any first hand experience of life on the road.


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      05-25-2013 06:43 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by XM_Rocks View Post
      You need to decide what you want to haul and what distance.

      You can get heavy haul trucks and regular semi trucks in day cab or sleeper.

      I have a heavy haul Volvo condo sleeper in stock now that is like a mini RV.

      Full kitchen, shower, bathroom and big bed area.

      It's a heavy haul truck but made for hauling a something somewhere and staying like an exhibition trailer or a race trailer.

      Trucks are made in all shapes, sizes and specs.

      You just need to decide what you want to do.

      Honestly before you splash out on your own I would recommend driving for a company first.

      That way you get a taste of what it's all about and what's right for you.

      I am a banker... not a trucker so I don't have any first hand experience of life on the road.

      Well, like I said before, I am a yard jock and I feel like I am very comfortable driving on various conditions and mostly parking! We all know that's the hardest thing to do in a truck.

      But our plan would be to only haul regional or local in the northeast, I'm from NJ so this is an extremely busy truck route specially with the seaports from Newark and New York.

      But for heavy hauls, what do you look for in a truck? I get more torque and HP, but is there something in the chassis build that I'm missing?

      For example, my truck is an Ottawa 4x2 DOT approved for use, I know they have pretty much bus engines and do not have anywhere near 2050 lb ft of torque, but these babies can carry fully loaded 53 footer containers.

      So to haul fully loaded containers or even regular trailers, what should I look for? I want to be versatile with one truck for now then obviously get other trucks.

    27. Member XM_Rocks's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 06:48 PM #27
      If no overnights I would just go with a non heavy haul dual axle day cab.

      Power in the 400-450hp should be adequate.

      I would also ask around with other regional trucking guys in your area to see what they are driving.


    28. Member zane!'s Avatar
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      05-25-2013 06:58 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike0105 View Post
      Sorry but if you are asking the car lounge whether your business idea is a good one you are in trouble.
      Mike
      Sad but true...

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      05-25-2013 06:58 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by XM_Rocks View Post
      If no overnights I would just go with a non heavy haul dual axle day cab.

      Power in the 400-450hp should be adequate.

      I would also ask around with other regional trucking guys in your area to see what they are driving.

      Yes! I work in a truck area and do see a lot of these babies that do only local or regional. However, my company is dumb because they use VN Volvos with sleepers to ship locally no more than 100 a day, they waste too much diesel in my opinion.

    30. Member TM87's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 07:08 PM #30
      You cant do it as a student. 35hr a week as a trucker, is nothing.

      My whole moms side of the family are truckers. I know a lot of truckers here as well. A lot of Bosnians took on trucking instead of working in the factories when we first arrived in the states.

      There is a lot more involved then just owning a truck. My cousins started as drivers for somebody else. Slowly making money and bought their own trucks, then a second truck. They are independent owners who contract their truck to dispatching companies etc etc.
      A side from trucks he needs insurance, at least 50k in the bank in case of repairs. He is very flexible w hours and destinations he takes. He can be away from home days in.

      I was visiting once, when he had to leave because one of the drivers took a wrong route and got the truck stuck in a wrong way before a low bridge. He had to pay for a chopper to lift and turn a truck around.
      One of his drivers crashed his truck. Insurance nightmare PLUS a lawsuit potential.

      Just like any business there is a great risk.

      My advice finish school. If you really want to be a trucker, get some experience working for somebody. Later, buy a truck and work as subcontractor. See where that takes you. Don't jump heads first.
      "Your pants too tight,your wheels too bright"

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      05-25-2013 07:23 PM #31
      want to troll this thread but compared to the guy who got ticketed following a state trooper at 90 this op is a genius


      had a tenant that drives car carriers, made good money, but also went in cycles, he got hosed hard when the economy **** the bed.

    32. Member dromanbujak600's Avatar
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      05-25-2013 07:23 PM #32
      I assume you are a young person. Don't do it or you'll have no life. I know a few people that are truck drivers and when they don't work they sleep. That means 5 days driving non stop and 2 days sleeping. It's just not worth it. Now it's time for you to start a family, get GF/ get married and etc...
      Trucking is for old men that are single.

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      05-25-2013 07:26 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by TM87 View Post
      You cant do it as a student. 35hr a week as a trucker, is nothing.

      My whole moms side of the family are truckers. I know a lot of truckers here as well. A lot of Bosnians took on trucking instead of working in the factories when we first arrived in the states.

      There is a lot more involved then just owning a truck. My cousins started as drivers for somebody else. Slowly making money and bought their own trucks, then a second truck. They are independent owners who contract their truck to dispatching companies etc etc.
      A side from trucks he needs insurance, at least 50k in the bank in case of repairs. He is very flexible w hours and destinations he takes. He can be away from home days in.

      I was visiting once, when he had to leave because one of the drivers took a wrong route and got the truck stuck in a wrong way before a low bridge. He had to pay for a chopper to lift and turn a truck around.
      One of his drivers crashed his truck. Insurance nightmare PLUS a lawsuit potential.

      Just like any business there is a great risk.

      My advice finish school. If you really want to be a trucker, get some experience working for somebody. Later, buy a truck and work as subcontractor. See where that takes you. Don't jump heads first.
      You didn't read my first post, I don't wanna drive, I have truck driver family members and friends who say they are very interested in also starting the business and they would drive, I would only drive when I'm off school like now.

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      05-25-2013 07:27 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by dromanbujak600 View Post
      I assume you are a young person. Don't do it or you'll have no life. I know a few people that are truck drivers and when they don't work they sleep. That means 5 days driving non stop and 2 days sleeping. It's just not worth it. Now it's time for you to start a family, get GF/ get married and etc...
      Trucking is for old men that are single.
      Like I said, I won't drive! LOL

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      05-25-2013 10:50 PM #35
      When I was a long haul guy I looked in to Hot-Shoting as we called it. Basically there are two ways to do it.

      1. Get a crew cab dually with a goose neck flat bed, and do short over night loads.

      2. I think 20 foot box truck with a sleeper, and do the same.

      Since both rely on short over night hops the per mile was high since most couldn't hack the overnight part of the job. I tried it myself as owner operator for a bit, but once I crossed 30 overnights got stupid hard. Conversely getting up early got easier.

      Both are big in the center of the country, but I am not sure of the east coast as I rarely went there.

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