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Cargo Van NPR vs. Freightliner for OTR in NORCAL

Discussion in 'The Newbies Paradise' started by 2fast2curious, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. 2fast2curious

    2fast2curious New Recruit Owner/Operator

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    Hello everyone . Im new to EO and im looking for advice or insight. So please don't hesitate to put in your comments. I am in the middle of financing a 2013 NPR (diesel) from Penske. I have a USDOT# and need a vehicle so i can apply for my MC. Im only a signature away from financing it, but I was a bit reluctant learning that the NPR is 4 cylinder. I wasn't sure if the Isuzu motor was up to the task for what I was gonna use the truck for. My main purpose for the truck is to do local driving in the bay area and up and down California on LTL loads and contract work. What ever Company or broker I can find to put loads on my truck. So I decided to read some internet blogs and post of what people where using for long hauls and such. Mostly mixed reviews but a lot where advising against the NPR because they were built in mind for local city driving. So this had me thinking. Infact it got me thinking alot because some of the reviews even said that Isuzu has poor engine builds too underpowered. Im about to finance a 16ft truck but now im thinking about a 20+ footer under CDL. On top of that dilemma a few have mentioned that diesel is not always the way to go because of maintanance cost and operation. So now it's a debate for me because I have been a believer of Diesel trucks as I use to own a a Dodge 2500 cummins 4x4 truck. It's obvious I am new to this but a former refinery worker I am trying my hand in Owner/Operator world of small freight/expedit. I have so many questions . Here are my vehicle options

    2013 Isuzu NPR 16ft 134k miles (Penske)
    2007 GMC 7500 Duramax/Allison 156k miles (Budget)
    2012 Freightliner M2 Cummins/Allison 266k miles (Penske)
    200+ (any dry boxtruck you advice here)

    The most I am concerned about is mileage. Should I be with Diesel trucks like the cummins coming in @ 266k miles? Is duramax reliable? I know their consumer trucks are but what about commercial?

    now I am entertaining smaller gas box trucks like :

    2014 GMC savannah G33903 6.0L-V8 16ft 112k miles (penske) looks like a great truck but has a lower GVWR (12300) than the isuzu and both are 16footers. I dont know what kind of sustainable income i can get with that kind of GVWR? So I am unsure about that also. I read somewhere that you want to get 20+GVWR for your truck to make money. Mind you im a CDL only holder ...anyone have any advice or experience with what I am going through? How do you Use your truck and what do you haul with your small box truck? What route did you go with? Any advice would help this beginner. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. BigStickJr

    BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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    Wow, not so fast.
    You’re ready to finance a truck and You’ll look for work ?
    Contrary to rumor, having a truck does not guarantee riches.
    If you must drive, drive for someone for a year or two and learn the business.
    You’ll risk only your time.
     
    • 2fast2curious

      2fast2curious New Recruit Owner/Operator

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      true advice. thank you. I did drive for a small warehouse company 15 years ago and for medical companies delivering hospice equipment. so maybe a van doing small freight? if thats the case man i wasted money in my DOT app and services from DAT. I cannot work refinery anymore because of unhealty work environments. A friend told me about small freight that is why i dove headfirst. any advice helps. thank you
       
    • ucfd608

      ucfd608 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      You paid for your dot number


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    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      The problem with small vans is there are typically too many of them.
      If you find a good steady job for one, then spend your money.
      The more you read on here, the more you’ll learn.
      Also, don’t spend good money after bad.
       
    • 2fast2curious

      2fast2curious New Recruit Owner/Operator

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      Yeah I paid for my DOT through a company to get me all things i needed to get a truck on the road. MC,CA, USDOT through a company called DAT solutions. My plan is to go through load boards and find work for my truck. I mean thats how it goes right until i find a broker who likes my work. Im trying to get a feel or idea on what else everyone else is doing.
       
    • ucfd608

      ucfd608 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      To be honest you need to find a company to drive for for about a year learn the basics before venturing out on ur own it seems to me you are putting ur wagon before ur horse with getting a truck then looking for work the work needs to be setup first


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    • 2fast2curious

      2fast2curious New Recruit Owner/Operator

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      true. I don't know where to begin to look for work in small box trucks that will teach me about this field. Has anyone ever succeeded in just feeding off the loadboards until they found something consistent? I did find a few companies like Ceva but Im an ex felon and they don't hire people who have felonies. That is why Independent/owner/operator has been enticing to people in my position. not much option for people trying to support a family but Im a willing person. Even taking equity out of the house to get a truck
       
      Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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    • roadeyes

      roadeyes Veteran Expediter Charter Member

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      Please do not above all else either take equity out of your principle residence or use it as collateral to finance a truck, period! That is the best advice I can give.

      I get the feeling that you are trying to strike out on your own right away because nobody will hire you due to your previous felony conviction. I think your money would be better spent on trying to get your criminal record sealed or expunged and then as others have mentioned, try to get hired on as a driver with a company before purchasing a truck. You also haven't mentioned the additional cost of insurance, both vehicle and general liability for your business which will be quite high being a new entrant into the industry.

      You are trying to find ways around your problem but the high costs to do so without any guarantee of work will sink you fast imo and if you have your house tied to the truck for collateral................
       
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    • 2fast2curious

      2fast2curious New Recruit Owner/Operator

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      Thank you for the advice. I live in california and getting your record expunge is not easy. Most of it has to be governor pardoned. Only wobblers can be expunged. Thats california for you. Trust me i have been living with is nightmare for 17 years. I want to leave this god forsaken state but the wife has a carrer in the Department of Corrections. So im stuck. Most companies don't hire felons most if not all don't care even if the felonies are 5 years or older. Many people in my situation goes being an Owner/Operator and broker their own loads. I have yet any experience in brokering just getting my hands wet in bidding. I hear what your saying about collateral. I am not doing that. But I do have a great refinance person who is able to pull 10k @ a time for added $50 on my monthly mortgage. My mortageg is around $1650 right now for a 5 bedroom house. so I am good. Just a follow up on what i have been doing since this post. I have heed to many peoples advice here. Looked into more companies with fleets who is willing to hire and alot wants either experienced or non felons. Again I am back to square one. Good news is i talked to a parcel comapny who is willing to take me as a contractor If i own my Cargo van. They did ask me to put a competitive bid rate for the area i plan to deliver for. It's per hour. So the big question is. Does anyone have a good formula for bidding. Specially in Cargo van. I said goodbye to penske because they didn't have the cargo van i wanted (Ford Transit 350HD)...anyone have any bidding experience per hour on a 9hr route?
       
    • ucfd608

      ucfd608 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Look at Swift I know several felons who work there it is a starter company but it will get you your class A cdl an experience


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