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Newbie from Nashville, TN

SamAdams

Active Expediter
Offline
Hi gang,
Long time reader, first time joiner/poster. I have really been thinking for a while about becoming a Cargo Van O/O and do some expediting. I've been reading the site for a while, mostly on my smart phone during down time. I have been driving Van Box Trucks and under 26000lb Internationals for most of my adult life. I work in construction but I'm really just not happy with my job, and my lack of being able to take days off. On top of that the company insurance I have sucks and I'd be better off with individual insurance for me and my family anyway.

I have the money to buy a truck, that's not a problem. I make "OK" money right now, and have the perk of having a free company truck (09 loaded 4x4 quad cab Tacoma) which is a hell of a perk but my job just sucks. Daily I'm exposed to the elements and forced to crawl around under houses and in attics and I'm just sick of it. My wife is a nurse and she makes ok money so I think it's time for me to be by own boss and venture out on my own. I make close to a grand a week now, and I'm worried I won't be able to sustain my current lifestyle but I may be wrong. Another thing is I'm going to try and stay local and statewide which I know will hamper my earnings as well. If I stay out I probably don't want to stay out more than a day or two since I have 2 small children at home. I work 16+ hour days now and the small amount of time I spend with my kids now isn't very good quality so this is why I'm wanting to improve on my life.

I have a lot of questions, so please bear with me. I'm an admin on a couple of big forums so trust me, I will search before I ask a question and understand that 95% of questions are just repeats of questions already answered.

Thanks for letting me join,

SamAdams
NashVegas, TN
 

paullud

Veteran Expediter
Offline
I don't think you will be able to maintain your lifestyle in the beginning, especially with the home time you want but if you can get some local contracts on your own you might do OK.

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mcavoy33

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
Like Paullud said, I highly doubt you will be able to maintain your current lifestyle, expediting is a lifestyle of it's own. I do it because I love being on the road and I love not knowing where I am going to wake up tomorrow. I also love the challenge of getting a call @ 11 pm and having to deliver a 900 mile run by 2 O'clock tomorrow afternoon.

But if I wanted to make more money, I'd consider other jobs but the lifestyle is what appeals to me.

I think budgeting on $1k a week is too optimistic, I'd plan for more around $500 and when you do have those 1k weeks, count them as a bonus. If you want more hometime, expect less pay and expect to spend more on fuel dead heading home.

But getting your own local contracts is key to making more money and being home more often. You get to keep the carrier's overhead "grab" and that can offset your dh cost.
 

LisaLouHoo

Expert Expediter
Offline
It is a life that requires sacrifice snd on the fly financial planning...because the business itself is on the fly.

Sacrifices are not just financial, but alsi physical, mental, and emotional. Knowing this going in, you'll adapt.

Good luck!

"Bruises fade and bones will mend-but a psyche can be ruined FOREVER" : LisaLouHoo, c. 2008
 

BillChaffey

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Offline
If you want to spend time, quality or other wise with your children. You wont do it Expediting unless you take them with you. You may find Courier work near you. But looking to clear a grand a week after expenses I think your going to sadly surprised.
 

SamAdams

Active Expediter
Offline
Hi all,
Thanks for the replies. I'm sure I'll have a hard time maintaining my current lifestyle, but what ya have to understand is that my current job sucks, which makes me ****y all the time, which means the time I do have off work is not good quality time. Know what I mean? Driving is something I have the passion for, and I definitely have the drive to succeed and make the best of what I have. The reason I was looking for statewide driving is so when I deadhead I won't be 500 miles away to get home. Plus there's some local companies advertising it on Craigslist, if I could get ANY of them to answer my emails.

Bottom line is my quality of work-life balance sucks right now, and if I can improve that then I will try. I really wouldn't mind being the "go anywhere do anything" guy if I didn't have kids, but I gotta think about them. And I know people's opinions is that if you have kids it isn't the life for you, but my thought is to work when I want to, and take the time off when I have to so I won't miss important stuff I've been missing by working a demanding job. I already bought a replacement car to replace my company truck, so I'm good in that department and am have been making decisions to buy a truck as well. I have some equity tied up in a Chopper I could sell and just about PAYOFF a good year old cargo van and then I wouldn't have to worry about payments. I work in construction so I think I can convert the van to "liveable" in a couple of days and have some great ideas before even reading what others have done to their vans.

Regardless, I'm glad to be here and thankful for the knowledge this site is giving me. I over analyze everything and the knowledge this site provides me helps make a good informed decision.

SamAdams
 

bluejaybee

Veteran Expediter
Offline
If I stay out I probably don't want to stay out more than a day or two since I have 2 small children at home. I work 16+ hour days now and the small amount of time I spend with my kids now isn't very good quality so this is why I'm wanting to improve on my life.
This statement leads me to believe that expediting won't be for you. A local gig is not true expediting and unless you know of one from the get go, it may be hard to find one that will suit you. You could find jobs driving delivery trucks, but what will that pay? Probably no where near a grand a week as you want. I usually try to get home every weekend, but I have other income, so I can do it. And in the past, I came home empty after every load. Can't do that now with fuel prices the way they are. So I stay out a week and it makes a big difference. I am not out to make the most I can, but I am not going to do it for nothing.

Good luck to you!
 

Wolfeman68

Veteran Expediter
Fleet Owner
US Marines
Offline
To be brutally honest but you won't be able to come anywhere close to the lifestyle you outlined here if you go into expedite.

I know being your own boss is appealing, but don't be deceived. Granted, you make the decisions but they are not always what you want to do. More often than not, they are based on what you have to do to stay in business.

Your best bet is to check with local courier or package delivery companies in Nashville or the surrounding area. That will put you home every night as a rule, but I doubt if you'll make a grand a week.

Good luck with your decision.
 

paullud

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Hi all,
Thanks for the replies. I'm sure I'll have a hard time maintaining my current lifestyle, but what ya have to understand is that my current job sucks, which makes me ****y all the time, which means the time I do have off work is not good quality time. Know what I mean? Driving is something I have the passion for, and I definitely have the drive to succeed and make the best of what I have. The reason I was looking for statewide driving is so when I deadhead I won't be 500 miles away to get home. Plus there's some local companies advertising it on Craigslist, if I could get ANY of them to answer my emails.

Bottom line is my quality of work-life balance sucks right now, and if I can improve that then I will try. I really wouldn't mind being the "go anywhere do anything" guy if I didn't have kids, but I gotta think about them. And I know people's opinions is that if you have kids it isn't the life for you, but my thought is to work when I want to, and take the time off when I have to so I won't miss important stuff I've been missing by working a demanding job. I already bought a replacement car to replace my company truck, so I'm good in that department and am have been making decisions to buy a truck as well. I have some equity tied up in a Chopper I could sell and just about PAYOFF a good year old cargo van and then I wouldn't have to worry about payments. I work in construction so I think I can convert the van to "liveable" in a couple of days and have some great ideas before even reading what others have done to their vans.

Regardless, I'm glad to be here and thankful for the knowledge this site is giving me. I over analyze everything and the knowledge this site provides me helps make a good informed decision.

SamAdams
The issue is that you will find a lot of drivers don't have quality time off to start with, I know I am always trying to get everything caught up that was not taken care of while I was gone, then family time, and then you are rushing trying to get the van back together. I am "taking" some time off, it was forced by work on the van, I am stressed by finances so it is not that enjoyable, I keep worrying about getting back on the road. The type of job you are looking for is not impossible but it is unlikely to work or even be available. I think if you were willing to adjust your lifestyle way down you would be better off getting a job as a local delivery driver. Please don't think having a paid for van is going to make it all that much easier, a typical payment is only a few hundred bucks, there are a lot of other costs involved. To be honest I don't think you will make it work and you will not find a company that will lease you on with the requirements you want. On the other hand though I think given your location you could buy an old Uhaul box truck, put a hitch on it and run boats out of Vonore, TN or smaller loads out of Alcoa. It might mean you are gone a couple of nights a week but it would allow for a couple of days off as well.

Posted with my Droid EO Forum App
 

ebsprintin

Veteran Expediter
Offline
In searching the site, look for posts by a member named geo. He runs the kind of routes that might work for you.

eb
 

jansiemoo

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
I'm gonna throw my two cents in here -with the disclaimer that I wouldn't have said anything normally, but this is a very, very important point- at least to me.

You sound like a smart guy, and you're going about your research thoroughly. I know you say right now that you are stressed when you are home, and that time is limited. This is not going to be any different, except you'll make less money due to higher expenses and the fluctuations of this industry.
Most important, however, is that I feel very strongly that you may be overlooking this one point: your kids need you.
Even if they're little. Even though they don't see you enough now. I rarely saw my father growing up because he was on the road. My sister doesn't remember any of the time we spent with him and has a fractured relationship with him. It cannot be stressed enough the damages of a semi-absent father.
Now that I'm older and have joined the industry myself, our relationship has blossomed and I believe we have a better relationship than many.

I am not going to say everyone on the road is a bad parent because they're not home, and God knows there are too many parents who are at home and aren't being 'parents', too. I just want to offer you this viewpoint to consider because I think it's underrated in the decision making process. There are buttloads of data on the importance of a father in the life of a child, and this is a choice for you and your wife to make.
IMHO, I'd cut out cable tv, eating out, and sell **** before I took a job where I wouldn't be there to tuck my kids in (at least 5nights a week).

Again, just my opinion. I don't think any less of those on the road- in fact I respect them for the sacrifices they make- but not often discussed are the sacrifices of the family. Too many people are inbetween a rock and a hard place when they make this career change (re: leaving your family), and I don't think you're there.
 

jansiemoo

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
After rereading your posts, I know you are making your kids your priority, but the point which may be lost in my ramble is that *I feel* it's not being home for the baseball games and plays, it's the everyday little stuff that matters more in a kid's life. Just want to clarify that. :)
 

teamjdw

Expert Expediter
Offline
You should stay at home with your family,and please continue to brew that fantastic brew!
 

mcavoy33

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
You should consider getting your CDL and get a local driving job where you are home every night. You'll make garbage wages for the first year but once you get some experience mail delivery runs pay $18-23/hr and your home everyday.
 

paullud

Veteran Expediter
Offline
You should consider getting your CDL and get a local driving job where you are home every night. You'll make garbage wages for the first year but once you get some experience mail delivery runs pay $18-23/hr and your home everyday.
It will very very rarely work that way, local companies like to see a minimum of 2 years OTR and the line to get in places like that is filled with people that have much more experience and are looking to be home because of family.

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mcavoy33

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
It will very very rarely work that way, local companies like to see a minimum of 2 years OTR and the line to get in places like that is filled with people that have much more experience and are looking to be home because of family.

Posted with my Droid EO Forum App
I've always thought that too but I constantly see ads for local drivers and the 3 people that I do know with a CDL all drive local.

But it might just be my city that is the exception. But math and odds also tell me that I've been much more likely to meet local drivers who are in town everynight than OTR drivers who are on the road 3 weeks at a time.
 

zorry

Veteran Expediter
Offline
I have a brother-in-law that runs a run for Fedex ground. It's unusual cause it's a 24 ST. He only knocks out about 90 miles per day,delivering packages to Walmart,Home Depot, a hospital and various plants on his route. I rode with him and I loved it. Same faces everyday, but only for 3-15 minutes. About three hours of his day is in a major mall. He works 0700-1700 M-F with w/e's off.He owns the truck and the route so he can sell the route when he's done. It'd be a pay raise if you were lucky enough to get a deal like he got on the trk/route.Most likely you'll find smaller trucks and routes for sale,but worth looking into.
 

zorry

Veteran Expediter
Offline
I run team with my wife. If B-in-Law would sell me his route I'd buy it and buy my wife her own route. We'd be home nites and weekends together. He won't sell it.:(
 
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