Kona said:My woman and I did some research. Driver school is about $7k. Nationwide licensing, taxes and various permits is about $20k. Insurance is $9k and then the monthly varies depending on what you haul.
After that, I've decided on the Peterbilt 389, which is around $80k for the one I want. I haven't priced it out yet, but I'm gonna need some advanced electronics and some serious customization. I may have to ship it to Hawaii to do all that stuff myself, which is another $4500 each way.
The class is crucial. I'm a little worried about driving. I've pulled boats forever, but still. Moreso, I need to learn how to maintain the Peterbilt, and how it all works.
Getting business is our next project. It looks like bigger trucking companies want volume from their customers. With the beef industry slump maybe I could swoop in and drive cows around. Who knows.
I dont know from personal experience but insurance for a new CDL driver is supposedly much higher than for a driver with 1-2 years. Driver school can be a lot cheaper at community colleges and the classes run for months, not weeks.
If you pulled and backed boats, you have a leg up. 53' trailers are easier to back. They just require more room.
The engines run probably a million miles but electrical and regeneration problems can get expensive. An engine oil analysis is a must. Most owner / operators keep a fund of at least 10K for repairs and they add to it out of every settlement. Detroit VS Cummins seems to be as big a topic as the truck its in. I just check the oil, coolant and belts and close the hood
Biggest worry as an owner op is breaking down far from home and paying to be towed to a shop, getting a 10K estimate and being told it will take 3 weeks. Now youve given up whatever load you were hauling, are sitting in a hotel for weeks, and not making any money. All the payments, truck, insurance, repairs, mortgage etc are all still needing to be paid. If this happens in the first year or so it can bankrupt a business.
389s are beautiful trucks. Saw a Harley Davidson one today. Badass truck. They give out "super truck" cards when you get a scale ticket. It makes me feel like a kid again and I gotta fight the urge to not see what card I got before I check to see if my loads weight is legal. You can check out all the cards HERE
The driving really isnt that difficult. Every experienced trucker wants to make it sound like it takes years to get good. Its really just about making good decisions and controlling your speed and space. And knowing the weather conditions where youre going.
Establishing your own customers and forming business relationships is key, from what I hear, anyway.