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Fleet Owner???

Discussion in 'General Expediter Forum' started by wwb6698, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. wwb6698

    wwb6698 New Recruit

    I did some research and it looks like being a fleet owner might be a good opportunity to make some money while not haveing to drive. Does anyone out there recommend or not recommend doing this for a liveing?
  2. miko

    miko New Recruit

    I think everybody wants to be in that position.
    If I had the resources, I would certainly look into it.
    You might want to take into consideration also how much money you have to invest in order to get a few vehicles going, and with which carrier you want to lease on.
    My van for example is leased on to a smaller company, if I was the owner of a vehicle with a driver in it, I would probably not make much for a living, nor would my driver. You have to figure out where to make the most money and live comfortable, and your driver still earns a decent buck. I am sure somebody around here has some more valuable info on that matter.
  3. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    In addition to Miko's good comments, I think you'll find the successful fleet owners became such because they drove their own truck for a few years and after learning the ropes, including potential overhead and profit, types of personalities to hire, best carrier for their financial goals, vehicle type for max profit.

    If you are a successful trucking expediter with plenty of working capital, a good business sense and access to a labor pool of reliable drivers preferably teams,, you could also be a successful fleet owning expediter.

    We have watched many fleet owning aspirants fail for lack of funds, or for hireing drivers that failed to comply with agreed upon operations plans. We also know many fleet owners who make a good living managing their business from the home office.

    We wish you success in developing a plan if expediting is the route you'll take.

  4. DannyD

    DannyD New Recruit

    I don't have any experience w/ the bigger trucks, D units & such. With vans though, I wouldn't think there's enough income to support 2 people unless it was husband/wife, father/son, something along those lines.

    Others may disagree w/ me, but from my experience that's what I've come to conclude. I would think a lot of van drivers will quickly see that even w/ a payment, they can make a lot more money owning the van than working out of someone elses.

    Again, D units & such might be a different ballgame. I would think they bring in more money & w/ the right owner & driver, a win/win situation can come out of it. Others can give you more information than I can on D units, but I would stay away from putting a driver in a van unless it's your son, wife, or someone along those lines.

    Good luck w/ your decision,
  5. davekc

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Terry's advise is right on the money. It is not a path to go down unless you have strong capital, reserves, and really understand how the business works. One must also have the ability to adapt to numerous continual changes. "what is good today, may not be tomarrow"
    You can do well, but you can get financially hosed as well.
    20 years
  6. raceman

    raceman New Recruit

    Oh my God! There is not room for my response on this topic.I will say one thing. You must have a nice chunk of change and then good luck learning how to find good drivers.

    OTR O/O
  7. merkurfan

    merkurfan New Recruit

    Before ya do it.. Think rental cars.. Cuz that is how most are going to treat your trucks, like rentals. They won't take care of it, but will complain till there is no tomorrow when it breaks down. Sure there are drivers out there that will take care of your equiptment, but if you can't tell the good ones from the bad ones are you willing to risk a 100K truck on them?

    Personally, if I owned a few trucks I would avoid leasing them with a company and get setup with NLM and go after my own customers. That way your not spliting the money 3 ways.
  8. redytrk

    redytrk Active Expediter

    The secret to making a fortune as a fleet owner is...To have TWO fortunes to start with!
  9. raceman

    raceman New Recruit

    Well, I am not sure you need two fortunes to start with but you **** sure need ONE. I still think you can make good money doing this but as I said above, you must find people you can trust. I just had a driver return my truck in worse condition than any rental car and I have never been in a crack house but I think what he did to this truck was worse.

    I think if you have your first fortune, get good equipment, good drivers and run them with someone that keeps them loaded or load yourself,it would be good money. I don't think I will ever prove that because I just can not take all of it anymore.

    I am a driver and therefore I will stick to driving

    OTR O/O
  10. davekc

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member

    NLM can be tough if you are a solo owner. The way it is set up is that you have to bid or (accept/decline) every load. The board is loaded roughly every hour or so. This must be done whether you have any available trucks or not. In addition, NLM works on a point system. If you miss some of the load offers, it counts as points against you. It can be a real pain without it being handled on a ongoing basis.
    Most of their freight is awarded based on your points.
    Not for the faint at heart if doing this alone.
    Many of the carriers have agents/dispatchers in that is all they do.
    20 years
  11. Crazynuff

    Crazynuff New Recruit

    I knew raceman would contribute . He's surely been there and his experience and advice can save others a lot of headaches. I hope things go well for him in the future .
  12. TJ959

    TJ959 Rookie Expediter

    I've been on both sides. I own a D truck now and I've driven for an owner to see if I liked the business. I'm with the other guys. You need to drive for a while to get a picture of what you're getting into. It's very possible to make some money but you're more likely to have an experience that is less than satisfactory. Raceman would be a good example of what to expect and a very good source for advice.
  13. Broompilot

    Broompilot New Recruit

    I do not have any expierence being a fleet owner. I do however have expierence being a business owner.

    First of all any problem small or big in hired driver is going to be yours. What do I mean yours? Go ahead make the plunge, lets say he has a drinking problem well now, you have a drinking problem. He wants time off NOW your truck is going to go down NOW. I have managed people my entire working life, that is why I have choosen this Industry I am in charge of ME and only ME.

    I am not saying I would discount ever being an Owner of a couple of trucks but right now I am free of the bondage of others personal mismanagment of there lives. You will be their best friend until you cannot help them out of there mismangement problems and than you become the hated one and your truck will be their wrecking ball.

    It takes skill and knowledge to manage people, and in this industry you are dealing with a high visability to liability not only your investment but the banks $ that you will be responsible to pay back weather or not that equipment is running or not.
  14. raceman

    raceman New Recruit

    The advice that BroomPilot just gave above is right on the mark. I too have managed people all my life. Never did I deal with anything like I have in this business. My record is one in seven drivers are good and trust worthy. Bad odds.

    Broompilot said it better than I have ever heard it said. Their problem is your problem. To continue his example don't forget when they are late, you are late and so on and so on.

    Fleet Owner can be a money maker but I am first hand experience telling you it takes more than a good work ethic. I have a positive attitude, come from a very successful business family, have had trucking throughout my family all my life and have owned businesses, work for big companies and none of it applied to this. PERIOD! I wish you the best of luck and my door is open to give you answers and ideas based on my experience but I would not reccommend this to anyone with out all the stars and planets being aligned and a good base of experience and a boat load of luck.

    OTR O/O
  15. FJK1954

    FJK1954 New Recruit

    My suggestion....Dont buy any more trucks than YOU can drive!!}>
  16. RichM

    RichM Moderator Emeritus

    At one time in my life I was a manager of a company called Par Microsytems in Utica NY. I had 137 employees reporting to me through 12 supervisors. Guess what, I had 137 problems.
  17. x06col

    x06col Active Expediter

    Actually, you had 149 problems, agendas, and other issues. As I have gone thru the gyrations of trying to find drivers ie contacting them from ads like the ones on this site, advertising, etc. I seem to be experiencing the samo, samo. Most are wannabes, have a year or two experience, or none. All but a few, hold their weekends, holidays completely sacred. Most are completely selfish, and are concerned about only "what is in it for me" there is some concern about taking care of cusomers, their freight, and their needs. But, not much concern. Most whom have been in the business a couple of years, and have not graduated to their own truck by then, certainly raises a red flag for me. The other newbe, newbies are flat not an option for me. Also, most prospective drivers I speak with that have some experience have been ruined either by a past fleet owner, their carrier, or both. I refuse to start a relationship like this with any suspicions from either side of the fence. When you take the soup (revenue) and water it down three times, it gets pretty thin at the third watering. So, income is not that attractive. Unless you team, and then it is very difficult for three people to live from one truck after the soup has been watered that much. I couldn't imagine buying a truck placing a driver in it, park it somewhere, and grovel for freight alongside 2000 other contractors, without having my destiny in my hands.

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