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Owner Operator 411


11 February 2009

Anti Idling Regulations

Anti-Idling Regulations

See my other posts:

FAQ for the Owner Operator
Definitions and Industry Terms
Blackrock Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)
Interactive Cost per Mile (CPM) Calculator Spreadsheet
Privacy Policy
1) Owner Operator 411 – Welcome
2) Income and Expenses
3) Financing and Credit
4) Operating Authority or Leasing?
5) Equipment
6) How To Do Bookkeeping and Other Necessary Paperwork
7) What You Need to Know About Loadboards
8) Companies That Lease Beginning Owner Operators
9) What You Actually Need to Get Started - Licenses, Permits, Insurance, and Taxes
10) Truck Driving Schools

Click here to open an Anti-Idling Regulations Chart  by American Transport Research Institute (Updated 08/08)
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I am sorry I have to do this, but due to spam "comments"  I feel I need to moderate comments from now on.
I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to my legitimate commenters.


Anonymous said...

I have a few questions in becoming a owner operator. 1 is how do you calculate how much cents per mile you need to make to break even or be profitable? 2 what is a realistic net take home pay minus a truck payment since that can vary? And lastly is it better getting paid a percentage of the load or by the mile?

Road King said...


Good questions!

The only way to know how much to calculate how much you need to break even (or hopefully, profitable), is to do some research.

You need to decide what type of hauling you will be doing (van, flatbed, etc.), whether you will buy/lease/rent a trailer, and an estimate of your expenses. You must consider how hard you are willing to work (how many miles you are willing to run, and how many days a year you are willing to be on the road.

Go to the interactive cost per mile calculator at (you can click a link from any of my blog pages), and enter your numbers. This calculator will compute your net. You can use it if you are doing a percentage of the gross, or mileage. Don't forget to include deadhead miles (running empty).

Check out some trucking forums and talk with drivers at a company you think you might want to lease your equipment to. See if anyone will show you their settlement (pay) stubs. Don't use the highest paying loads, as you won't always get those.

Check out OOIDA's (Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association) 2012 drivers profile for some facts regarding gross income and net income. Frankly, I think these number are a little high. Most of my friends are truck drivers. They are leased to different companies, haul different kinds of freight, and drive in different regions of the country, I don't know of one that makes that kind of money.

Your best bet is to talk with some companies you think you may want to lease to, but don't believe everything they tell you. They tend to tell you that they will keep you loaded with high paying loads and have you home every weekend, but in reality neither of these statements are usually true.

Sorry I couldn't give you an exact answer, but there are so many variables, it is impossible. Hope this helps you some.

Anonymous said...

Thanks roadking that did help some, for me I'm only interested in local owner operator companies. No more otr for me, I rather be home with my family and actually have a life outside the truck. I've been offer what seems like great opportunities from a few different carriers such as Towne Air, Triple Crown and FTI and all are local like I've been wanting. I already own my truck and have money set aside for maintenance. My only concern is what my net pay will be since I'm hearing from Towne Air for example that there drivers take home $2,200wk after all there deductions, which I'm hoping is after fuel and all the truck insurances and permits. I think netting anything less than $5k-$6k a month really isn't worth becoming a O/O, my idea would be from that to save money for maintenance, set aside money for your taxes. Since I don't have a truck payment I don't see why my take home pay should be anything less than $1,350 a week and from that pay myself and take care of my family. Do you think this figure is unrealistic? BTW My Name is Elijah.

Road King said...


The first thing you need to do is to find out exactly what will be deducted from your settlement (fuel, fees, etc.), and what expenses are not deducted from your settlement (permits, insurance, etc.) for which you will be responsible.

For example, let's say you use a company provided fuel card and they charge you for trailer rent. Usually there is a fee for using the fuel card, so when you get your pay, it will be gross pay minus fuel and card fee and minus trailer rent equals "take home". If you purchase your insurance through an outside insurance agency, then you will have to pay that yourself. So even though your "take home" is X amount, you will still have expenses (insurance, tolls, meals, routine maintenance [oil changes, filters], taxes, etc.) which will reduce your NET.

One expense that few people think about is a retirement account. When you are young, it seems far away, but believe me, time creeps up faster than you think, and before you know it, you are old, and have nothing saved.

There are many expenses which people don't think of. Such as gloves, cleaning supplies, equipment weighing, truck washes, cell phone, laptop, and maybe required equipment for your truck, such as load jacks, chains, binders, bulkheads, etc. Of course, some of these are one-time or occasional expenses. Most of these will be paid out of your "take home". The fact that your truck is paid for and you have money set aside for maintenance certainly helps.

Keep in mind that while the company you lease to may have this equipment for sale, they can not force you to buy from them. This includes insurance. Shop around, you may be able to find it cheaper somewhere else (try OOIDA).

Not knowing what the loads actually pay, I can't say if $1,350 a week is realistic or not. Frankly I think that $2,200 a week take home is high, but I could be wrong, and $1,350 would be more reasonable.

Keep us posted and let us know what you decide. If you do lease to a company, let us know how you are doing.

Good Luck! And thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Roadking for all your advice and opinions, it's hard getting real honest un-bias advice from real truck drivers because half doesn't know what there talking about and the ones who does do not like sharing there experiences. Even though I have been driving for 5yrs I still keep an open ear to drivers who have true knowledge, when I get situated and come up with what I think is a solid plan I'm going to send it to and get your advice.

Thanks, Elijah

Road King said...


Thank you again for leaving a comment, and thank you for the compliment.

I do try to "tell it like it is". I receive some fairly irate emails, telling me I don't know what I am talking about, or that I am a liar.

Several people have told me that they make huge amounts of money, and act like I'm an idiot because I say that that isn't the norm. Decent money can be made, and so can good money, but it isn't easy, and it isn't for everybody. So I say, it you can make a go of trucking, you are doing well. If you can net really big bucks, my hat's off to you. I say net because it doesn't matter how much you gross, it's how much you net that matters.

Keep in touch.

Natalia Williams said...

hello roadking my fiance has been driving for various companies for 10years or so now he is a trainer for a company but wants to become a o/o. i was a accountant for 2years until i got layed off so i know what to do on that end as for as keeping him organized and ready. he is planning on leasing with the company he is with. so i just want to know what kind of advice would you have for us if any. and further more i would like to thank you for letting everyone know that it is more to this business than sitting behind the wheel and just driving.

Road King said...

Mrs. Williams,

Thank you for your positive comment. I wish more people could understand that becoming an O/O is a business, and does involve more than just driving.

With the background that both you and your husband have, I think you may have a good chance of success, although rates in most segments of the trucking industry are flat right now.

The fact that your husband is planning on leasing to the company he is already with is also a plus. He is familiar with their freight and rates.

The only advice I can give you is to:

1. Do your homework. Use the interactive cost per mile calculator, to find out if you think you can make a go of it.

2. Talk with your husband's company. Make sure he will get his fair amount of freight. Are there other O/O's working for them? Do they get enough work, or does the company favor company drivers and pass over O/O's?

3. Make sure you will have enough operating capital to keep you going until you start making a decent profit.

4. Consider purchasing Owner Operator 101 to see if there is anything you should know, but haven't thought of.

5. Think long and hard about making the switch. Do you really think you will be better off financially, or is it just that the idea of being an O/O really appeals to you?

Whatever you decide, I wish you luck. If you do decide to make the jump, let the readers know what problems you have encountered.

Anonymous said...

Hi Road king.
In advance thank for shear with us all your knowledge about this business.
I'm 23 years old and im looking for something good to do that can give me a good life in this country. All my life I have been interest about business and to have my own company (big or smoll)for that reason I feel more inclined in the business of trucking that in get a college degree or join to the airforce or whatever. Here (in truking )I have seen a potential business that would be what I'm looking for.
My goal is own trucks (could be 1, 5, 10 or thousands) and of course hire good drivers that take care of my equipment and the business.
I know that it doesn't come fast and easy.
I have been driving for 6 months at swift and I have some conclusions about what is good for business and what isn't .One of those is that I think that a dedicated route is a good way to have your business under control, you will know how manny miles you will run and how much you will make. In my little experience I have seen that work OTR is very unpredictable and stressful don't mentioned that you are more likely to make mistakes and get in troubles. Also find drivers for a dedicated could be easier be cause they will enjoy a regular pay check and can be home often.
I will show you some counts that I have done for now with the knowledge that I have gained in this 6 months.
im trying to figured out the cost per month and mile based in 10.000 miles and supposing that the companny pays the plates the lisence and the tolls. I hope you could give me some advances, add information and make corrections where it be necessary.
Insurance 800/mo 0.08/mile
Tr payment 2000/mo 0.20/mile
Parking/wash 200/mo 0.02
Taxes (I don't have information yet)
Tires every 8 months 700/mo 0.07/mile
Oil change 300/mo0.03/mile
Maintenance 300/mo 0.03/mile
Fuel (6 miles/gl 1666 gl for 10000 miles=1666x2.50(galón price)= 4165/mo = 0.41/mile or 0.42/mile.
The total is:8465/mo 0.85/mile
In some topics I may put too much and in others too little but I try to make a balance, also always it's better to see extra money in your banck that you didn't spect and salve it for an emergency.
Anyway what I would like is that you please check it and tell me in what topics im right and what don't.where destinate more money and where take a little and please if yoy can give me information about fees and taxes it will be awesom. do you think that for taxes and fees I should destinate 500/Mo 0.05/mile aside of the 25% of my net income that I should salve for pay taxes quarterly?

In conclusion if a mile cost me around 0.80 to 0.85 CPM (without a driver)I wouldn't to work for less that 1.45 or 1.50/mile.
if I have a driver it will increase the cost per mile to 1.20 to 1.25/mile.
So if I operate my truck at 1.45/mile I will make 6000/month (without take the 25% for taxes) and if I have a driver I will make 2000/month(without take the 25% for taxes).
10000 is the minimum amount of miles for make money but in a dedicated you often run more of 120000 making your business better.
Thank you so much por your time and attention.



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