Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thinking About Buying That "Large Car" and Becoming an Owner Operator?

With the many big trucks on the road, often we see many familiar trucking company names and colors. But the vast majority of freight is still hauled by "Independents" or owner operators. Owning a tractor-trailer and running your own "authority" is similar to running any small business. A good amount of thought must be put into planning and starting your trucking business.
Many truck owners opt for a "lease contract" with a large logistics/brokerage company. By doing this they ease the burden of having to hunt for customers themselves. In essence, the company is leasing YOUR services, truck and time. This also means an obligation to run only said companies freight and no other. For those starting in the industry, this may be a better choice until more experience is gained.
When buying that shiny new ten wheeler, don't let emotions get involved. Some new luxury "Road Trucks" can cost upwards of $125,000. Or the price of a new home in most of the country. After your "spec" and other options it could run nearly $200,000. For many this will simply be too much to get started, try looking for a good "new/used" tractor and keep the miles around 200,000 with plenty of drive train warranty remaining.
When buying an older used or "reconditioned" tractor, familiarize yourself with terms like "dyno testing" and "oil analysis" these reports are critical to the overall value of the truck. Check the warranty on the reconditioned or rebuilt motor, was the build "long"(complete engine) or "short" (top half). And like with any vehicle, check the history report for any "rolls" or major wrecks. Next is tires, drives, ("caps" or new), steer tire odd or uneven wear (clues to steering problems). Is there ANY leakage, cracks or welds on the frame rails? Rebuilt rears, drive shafts,clutch, and turbos? Such items could cost ten times as much to replace in a ten wheeler than in a standard "half ton"
In closing,just remember while some add-ons may be critical (aux power unit,deer guard) however, be wise as to extra expenses. Forget about the ten "low-pro" wheels and tires until you've achieved some success. Just remember to go at it like a business person, conserve cash, reinvest, be frugal, and most of all be safe!
Ride with pride!
Eric Lorence was a "long haul" truck driver for twelve years before leaving the industry to start various internet businesses and engage in other pursuits.
Visit his Home Page: Zen Trucking
Read More Articles Here: Thought Search Articles
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