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Working the numbers and confused

bentleytech1

Seasoned Expediter
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Well....I said I was was willing to listen, so I guess I heard.

No matter which way I do it, I'm going to learn what the real miles are, where to go and not to go, and which carriers are the right ones to work for and fit the way I work.No matter what, those are just the hard lessons that I have to learn, and the only way I think that can be done is going to the U of HK. (University of Hard Knocks). Experience is a good teacher, and when a lesson is learned, it's not soon forgotten.

As for living on the road and expense, it can be as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it. It's one of the really few things that you actually have control over.

As for showers;well I can always take a B---h Bath with a pint of water, and a basin, and have done that on many occasions. Also with short hair (crew cut) I guess I won't need a hair dryer or a curling iron. Also, Ive been happily married for 25+ years, so I really don't need to impress to many people these days. As long as I'm clean shaven and look somewhat respectable for pickups and drops, I think that's probably good enough.

Life is what you make it. Like Forest Gump says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never really know what you're going to get until you bite it" I think this is the same way, and as I finish my "education" on EO before doing the next step, at some point I will just have to "bite it". No are no guarantees in this business, any other business, or in life. You just do the best you can.
Thanks for the information and encouragement as I start my adventure.
 

gregsr40

Seasoned Expediter
Offline
Just reading these threads I now know for sure that driving for a O/O is the only way to start.I like, bentleytech1 have been looking into this Biz.We are both about the same age and have been looking at the boards for a long time and have learned a lot and still have a lot to learn.
Many Thanks to all.
gregsr40
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
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You know I am reading all of this and got to tell you that I worked the numbers a while ago when money was better and I could not make it work as a driver with a van.

Vans are C H E A P so buy one and start out with it. But if you can't afford one, or if you are coming into this with little money, go find a job first.

With that said, it is hard to determine what you are going to end up with, one company may work while another may suck for you - not much of a choice. It is hard out here, right now there is a false sense of it continuing but there are two really big worries; oil prices and the economy tanking again. Just the thought of the price of oil hitting $150 a barrel while congress is letting the Biodiesel subsidy pass into history.

A lot of people think working for the largest company is great while others can't stand being just a number. This all depends on the goals you set that you expect to get out of this business.

The other thing that some forget to mention is that it costs to get started, travel and at least two weeks of waiting to really make anything. Companies will seed you for a week or two, while others will treat you as they would anyone else right form day one.

When it doesn't work out with an Owner or a Company, then it costs to move on. For the number of times I moved to another company and I played it cheap, it cost me just in direct costs an average of $1100 - not to mention the losses of a lack of work.

The last thing that is forgotten a lot of times is most of the people who are giving advice started in different times and know how to run the business to make the money in hard times. It is not a bad thing to learn from them but these days are different from even two years ago and will change again in the next year or so.
 

pjjjjj

Veteran Expediter
Offline
It costs me about 37.5 cents per mile to operate my van, including payment, QC, insurance etc. etc. and depending of course on how many miles factored into the fixed costs. Round that off to 40 cents a mile, work for a company that pays 70 cents a mile only on loaded miles (I don't) and you can see how a van won't support two (or even three) separate bank accounts.

I just can't believe that there are that many people doing this just to roll money over, so there must be at least a little money to be made. I understand that some weeks are up, and some weeks are down, but overall at the end of the year, most people doing this and paying attention to running their business, must be making a living.

If we use the $0.40 per mile as cost, and $0.70 per mile as income, and use the "posted average of 1800 miles per week , then it works out to something like $0.30 x 1800miles avg. x 50 weeks = $27,000 per year or $540 per week. Is that reasonable? It seems low to me.

IMHO 1800 paid miles per week average is too high to count on for preparing a biz plan/budget.

IMHO you should base your number on 48 wks vs 50 wks - things tend to die off a few times per year.

IMHO unless I am missing something, you have taken the 'profit' of $0.30 and multiplied by your weekly paid miles... and you have forgotten to deduct the operating costs of the deadhead miles, which could be some 30-40%. (Perhaps I misunderstood LBD's post, but I believe he is saying $0.37 operating expense per mile, all miles, and you are using the 1800/wk as paid miles without accounting for the unpaid miles).

IMHO you have to consider there are many views as to what 'making a living' actually means. It is in the eye of the beholder. Like has been mentioned elsewhere in current and historical posts, it's best if you have no debt to service, best if you don't have to count on contributing income to a household, and many expediters have another income source (pension/disability/etc), and/or a spouse with a steady job with benefits. You will also read posts about this being a 'way of life', as opposed to 'making a living'.

There is a reason for experienced expediters to recommend to newbies that they start out driving for an owner, and it's great advice. In every business, there are things you are not going to learn until you're actually in it. At that point you learn to swim or sink. You don't want to be in a position of having to swim when you might rather walk away.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
Yes, the operating cost is per mile for every mile driven. That includes the 4 miles to the walmart/target/meijers and every other short or long drive. Run your numbers very conservatively. If they make sense then when your actual numbers are better you'll be doing ok. That's why I round my 37.5cpm costs to 40 cents for calculations. I'd also figure on more like 45 weeks as even 48 weeks is a long time to be out on the road. You may do more than 45 weeks but again, if your numbers work with 45 weeks and you do more that's just a bonus. Measure twice, cut once.
 

RoadTime

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
My search skills must be getting getting bad since I can't find the answers I'm looking for so I will put them here:

1- Where can I find the EO spread sheet that was mentioned?

2- Since there was talk about buying a used cargo van to start, I was wondering what your guys take is on how many miles is to many and how much more life could be expected out of it for a gas 1-ton cargo van with regular maintaince. It seems like most of the cargo vans for sale on here have around 200,000 miles. Should I even consider a gas cargo van with that kind of milage to start off with? Thanks
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
Offline
1- Where can I find the EO spread sheet that was mentioned?

I found one at OOIDA

Figuring Cost Per Mile - Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

It can be modified easily for your own needs.

I had a modified version of it, but once upon a time I was trashed for mentioning it.

2- Since there was talk about buying a used cargo van to start, I was wondering what your guys take is on how many miles is to many and how much more life could be expected out of it for a gas 1-ton cargo van with regular maintaince. It seems like most of the cargo vans for sale on here have around 200,000 miles. Should I even consider a gas cargo van with that kind of milage to start off with? Thanks

It all depends, me?

I don't care because there isn't a thing I can't fix.

But for a lot who are mechanically disabled, I would look for low mileage vans.

There are a LOT of them under 100k, look around locally. Also take a look here in the classifieds and also truckpaper.com. Don't forget Ryder and Penske.

Get the largest (3500 GM or E350 Ford) with the longest body you can get.
 

geo

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Offline
i am retired once from the navy, and been doing this sents 1992 and having extra income coming in makes it easier during the hard times like in 1994 was a bad year

no matter where you go there are two things you must learn todo how to make system work for you , know who you are working for
when the dispatcher learns who you are and what you are able to , and know matter what i don't turn down much
if i do it because it won't fit thur the doors
also you need to firgure how long you want to stay out and go home

also when i ran the road i look at each layover as a business op i sold new and used trucks, genset, marykay,laptops,mason shoes, heated window wipers strips for wipers , mirrors, heated window washer liquid so liquid was heated clean off window easier and faster etc
 

kwexpress

Veteran Expediter
Offline
if there is anyway possible do not go to work for anyone driving a van.life in a cargo van is much different than tt or st there just isnt that much money to go around.vans are cheap get your own. if you dont like expediting you can always sell the van. if you own a van you will have the option of getting the heck out of dodge and going home when you want to.working for an owner you would be lucky to afford the fuel to do so.just to many people to please. to many different personalities to many expectations from both sides.if you want to be happy doing your job then do it for yourself and get paid by the company direct
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
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You know what's really confusing is trying to tell someone that they need a reason to get into this and put up with some of the bs and then be told that they were told they can make a lot of money.

Out of something like 40 people I talked to in the last year, about half thought that the company paid the taxes.

Out of those 40, most would work for what came out as 20 cents a mile in a van.
 

bentleytech1

Seasoned Expediter
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Gregg, I have finally gotten to the point that I can "make the numbers work!! I also well understand that I would be a contractor and that ALL costs, taxes, and all other costs are on me. that's part of being a contractor. Not sure why anyone would think there is BIG money in expediting, but I certainly can see how you could make a pretty good living. I look at several on the forums that are doing ok, and several fleet owners that are doing ok, or they would invest there money elsewhere.

It's like every other business.....Plan your work...Work your plan.
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
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So let's say you work for Panther and you make $1.30 a loaded mile. Have you figured out how much money you will gross after the costs (truck related)?

Is that 31 cents a mile?
 

nightcreacher

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Before anyone gets into trucking as an owner operator,you better first figure your house hold bills.If your head over heals in debt,than you better just go to work for someone and forget being owner opp,'cause guess what?,Ya guess who caused those bills in the first place.
What do you think your going to do when you get an advance to do a run and there is ,lets say $500.00 on the card?You going to save it for your bills,or put it away for when your truck breaks down.Remember your bad in debt,that's right,buy some chrome for your truck.
But seriously,you do have to figure exactly what money you need each month for your regular bills.
Now after that,it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure a profit,loss statement.
You have your fixed expenses,and your variable,the variable can either make you or break you.
Some people don't need as much to run as others,and when they tell you they are making a killing in expedite,they might be.
Your going to have one thing you will need to know.Expedite rates are set higher,cause the runs are 1;timed delivery,and pick up,but mostly because they are shorter,and it's hard to find teams that want to run short loads
Good luck,you will need it
 

guido4475

Not a Member
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It always amazes me just how many drivers and/or o/o's out there do not have a clue to what their cost per mile is, or even worse yet, how much their vehicle weighs empty.When I learn this of somebody, I just walk away and shake my head.
 

nightcreacher

Veteran Expediter
Offline
You know if your going to haul what is considered cheap freight,maybe your better off not knowing what it cost to actually run your truck.I even bet when most people figure their cost,they don't figure the cost of replacement.Or how about this,they take the truck payment out,instead of depreciation and interest.Hope they never get an IRS audit.
 
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