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Vantastic Article On Cargo Van Owner Operators

Lawrence

Founder
Staff member
The lowdown on downsizing: Hauling in the cargo van owner-op niche

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With its under-10,001-pounds regulatory category, cargo-van hauling might seem to hold the key to addressing some of the biggest complaints among Class 8 owner-operators.

Outside of placardable hazmat hauling in a van, such owner-operators do not have to cross scales, keeping them out of the prying eyes of temperamental inspectors. Parking well away from crowded truck stops and rest areas is easy — many van operators make use of campgrounds and RV parks, often with shorepower available.
Home time often can be achieved more easily, given vans are capable of well more than double the typical fuel mileage of a Class 8. Empty somewhere late on a Thursday? “When you can get 18 to 20 miles per gallon,” says Landstar-leased van owner-operator Darren Ayres, it might make sense to deadhead a few hundred miles to “be home and spend the weekend in the house.”


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LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
None of that showed up the first time I looked at the thread. Thanks.
 

geo

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Owner/Operator
US Navy
great piece, that is why I went to a sprinter, when you are able to make same amount of money with a smaller unit why not
 

jjoerger

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
US Army
If I could make the same amount of money in a van I would switch from my straight truck. At 70 to 80 cents a mile I would have to run 3500 miles a week to equal what I'm currently earning driving 2000 to 2500 miles a week. I like the idea of a van but for me a straight truck is more profitable.

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skyraider

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
US Navy
Sprinters are great, wish I had had one in 2009. Funny how things change--I remember in here when "Ban the Van " was a popular expression,,,now look whats going on..yes vans are easier to park, no weighing, low maintenance, and just plain easier on the mind.IMHO
 
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guido4475

Not a Member
When I used to own my 10 wheeler the rates being offered were not too far from cargo van rates at that time. It was difficult to get used to, but I easily adapted to the van lifestyle, loving every bit of it, wishing I would've done the cargo van thing sooner. Sure, the loads dont pay as much as a straight, but not too far away, for the most part. I average no less than a dollar a mile for ALL miles the van moves every year. Im content with that, as I have learned that I also keep way more of what I make compared to a straight. Oil change? 60 bucks and 15 minutes doing it myself. Engine and trans? $5,000 for both, 2 weeks doing it myself. License plates? 160 bucks. Full coverage insurance? 18 bucks a week. Van wash? 6 bucks at a self serve wash. The list goes on and on. But the most important thing to me is my freedom. Nobody telling me what to do, or when to do it. No lane restrictions. I can get into any place a car can, not including drive thrus.

The bad? Anyone can get into this part of it. And it is scary what is out here in the van segment. From former cdl drivers who can no longer hold a cdl, to foreigners who cant speak a lick of English. And its getting worse, oversaturated. Because of this, loads are fewer for everyone. And being in a van means that one had better be patient. Because we do sit more at times. But that is where flea markets. Swap meets, junk yards, anytime fitness come into play to kill that time.

But, if the straight thing is what you want to do and like, so be it. Whatever makes you happy.
 
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geo

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Owner/Operator
US Navy
80 cent a mile I wouldn't have gotten out of bed for that. my avg was around $1.75 mile, plus extra money, making inside delivery, white glove services, going on military bases , school's malls, and my favorite D time.
 

Dave Sullivan

Active Expediter
I have run cargo vans for 35 yrs ( as well as ST & TT) The vans have always been the the back bone of expedite transportation. Its a clandestine entity or a dirty secret. can anyone say just how many vans are out here ? The brokers will get it done as cheap as possible and list it as " partial " you know damn well they are getting more.We sent 3 vans to pick up a ST load yesterday because one of the team quit and they couldnt cover the load. All of us has a story about all the vans we see sitting, loading, unloading. My customer will ask me what i have close by and we try to accommodate each other. With the ELD the vans will be very valuable. If our president trump closes the borders or raises tariffs and all the mfg is damestic like when i was a kid. Stick with and it will come around. Stick and stay and make it pay.
 
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