Owner Operator

Drive2020

New Recruit
Owner/Operator
Offline
Just call Bolt Express, lease on and go all in. You have to be like a junkie/gambler and go all in to see what it's like. It will take you a least six months to tell whether or not you are making any money, or if you are breaking even. I made 16k gross my first six weeks with Bolt back in 2010. I started with a paid off van (5500 for Chevy Express 3500 with 120k miles on it) and 250 dollars in checking/savings. I had no credit cards. One blown tire on my trip up from Los Angeles to Toledo for orientation would have put me in a homeless camp. It worked out though, I guess God was with me. But you get the point. It's all speculation until you just dive in. Some only get 2000 miles their first month. Individual results will very demonstrably. If you are like most drivers "myself included" you're going to try it anyways, no matter what advice you get. The only bad thing is the pandemic. That is a whole nother level of problems on top of being new at this. I took every single load they gave me, stayed in service the entire first 6-7 weeks. Like I said, you have to be all in and let the loads/chips take you/fall where they fall. Then sit back for a day and deduct all your fuel expenses, food, maintenance account expenses, and van payment/insurance to see what you have left over. If you can live with that, or even less "as there will be some bad weeks and you have to save for those" you might be cut out for this.
Very helpful. Thank-you
 

Noname

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Offline
Call Bolt, or any carrier, and see if they will accept your model/style/age van. If so, what Blizzard says makes sense. But stick with it.
Covid has slowed things down, but loads are slowly picking up. Some companies state they are having their best year ever. A lot depends on their freight customer bases, but you can only go with a carrier where your van will be accepted. Get with a company and learn the business first, then you can try thinking outside the box. Don't reinvent the wheel.

Trivia for you to think about. My last driver in my van with Bolt grossed a little over $5000 in 19 days of service. But that 19 days was spread over more than a month. He was a good driver, but he decided staying on the road for long periods wasn't his cup of tea. Especially when the gross gets divided with an owner. Staying out a long time isn't my cup of tea either, but since I own the van I don't have to split income, and I can afford to go home a little more often. You may not make that much in your 19 days, might make more, but you have to stay in the freight lanes to keep rolling. Learn where your company freight areas are and work in those areas, and return to them on your own dime if you take a load out of the good areas. If it's your own van, you'll do okay, with some flexibility for your lifestyle. If you drive for an owner, you really must stay out for long periods to make it worthwhile.
 
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blizzard2014

Veteran Expediter
Driver
Offline
Call Bolt, or any carrier, and see if they will accept your model/style/age van. If so, what Blizzard says makes sense. But stick with it.
Covid has slowed things down, but loads are slowly picking up. Some companies state they are having their best year ever. A lot depends on their freight customer bases, but you can only go with a carrier where your van will be accepted. Get with a company and learn the business first, then you can try thinking outside the box. Don't reinvent the wheel.

Trivia for you to think about. My last driver in my van with Bolt grossed a little over $5000 in 19 days of service. But that 19 days was spread over more than a month. He was a good driver, but he decided staying on the road for long periods wasn't his cup of tea. Especially when the gross gets divided with an owner. Staying out a long time isn't my cup of tea either, but since I own the van I don't have to split income, and I can afford to go home a little more often. You may not make that much in your 19 days, might make more, but you have to stay in the freight lanes to keep rolling. Learn where your company freight areas are and work in those areas, and return to them on your own dime if you take a load out of the good areas. If it's your own van, you'll do okay, with some flexibility for your lifestyle. If you drive for an owner, you really must stay out for long periods to make it worthwhile.
Hey, what companies are having their best year ever? I know there is a ton of non-automotive freight to be had out there too. Also, some companies might be moving medical supplies for COVID. I am considering another go at things. I just received a small inheritance that took many years to clear probate. I can buy a good used Ford Transit or Promaster cash and still have 10k in savings and almost 20k in credit. All from a part time job for 3 years and planning on the couch. I have been off painkillers for three months too. Same pain issues on painkillers as off painkillers, just using a device called the QUELL. I have it set up to get meds every 6 months. BP meds and blood thinners. I have self tester for blood thinners. I only use insulin once a day after my 1 meal a day, and will only do so before bed. I do not drive on insulin. I also have no problem being on the road as long as I can get a hotel over the weekend maybe once a month. That is usually when I take my time off, over a weekend when I am not loaded by Friday, but remain available for any Monday pick-ups within a certain radius. I was about to go back with Bolt a few years ago but had a small PTSD breakdown when driving the van home from the dealership. It reminded me of the medical issue that almost took me. But all is god now.
 

blizzard2014

Veteran Expediter
Driver
Offline
Very helpful. Thank-you
Well, it is the only way to know for sure outside of going to work for an owner. But you will have a hard time finding a good owner because they tend to look for drivers with experience. A lot of people are not cut out for this line of work and quit too soon. There was one guy in orientation back in 2006 at Panther who was like "do we have to sleep in the van in this cold weather?" Me and my buddy laughed that he wasn't going to make it through the week, because owners usually have their drivers sleep in the van while in orientation. You have to love driving, living on the road, challenging and stressful work, and enjoy meeting new people; and you have to be able to come to terms with the fact that none of the shippers or receivers will appreciate you. It's most often times a thankless job. That pretty much sums it up right there.
 
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