Any OTR truck drivers on here,,

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SB21, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I got a few questions for ya.
    I used to drive OTR , I quit around '91. Had to get custody of my kid.
    Anyway , I'm thinking of a career change , thought about buying a decent cheap rig and take up driving again. But I'm not wanting to drive like I used to. Used to leave out Sunday nights , get back Fridays or Saturdays. Back then tho , I wouldn't get any sleep till maybe Thursday. Honestly. But I'm thinking of just running for 2-3 weeks and spend a week or 2 home. But Im not wanting to be rushed to make tight time limits to deliver loads like it used to be , that's why I never got any sleep , plus paper log books was easier to fudge your driving time. Now it seems everything is computer logs. I don't need to make a ton of money , but I don't want to go in the whole forever. I've got a good friend that's a diesel mechanic and he said he'll help me on maintenance and he'll go with me to look at and find a decent truck . I'm just looking to stay busy and make a little money in the process. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Three words; DONT DO IT!
    Over the road ain't what it used to be, and with the newest hours laws, your screwed, especially as an owner operator!
    Then there is the costs, outside the cost of a decent used truck and trailer, there's all the paper work like road and fuel taxes, permits and insurance, and all the other horse shit thay goes with that pony! He'll, I would't even drive for some one else unless it's local home every night kind of deal, the pay per miles hasn't kept up with the cost of living, a quick and dirty google-fu shows any where between .38 and 48 cents per mile! Yikes, that's not much if you think about it, under the current hours laws if you drive your 70 hours per 6 day week, that's about 3000 miles, for a total of $1140 per week on the low side and 1320 on the average!
    If I was you, I would go dump truckin or find a good route or a good city driving job and get paid by the hour! About $18.00 per hour is what to expect!
  3. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    I concur. Don’t do it. It’s like buying a job. The same work is available(more $$ as well) almost everywhere. Nobody can pass piss tests these days. :D
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  4. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Retired in '06 but still have a son and buddies doing it. OTR ain't even close to what it was when I started in the 60's. Most of my time was as an owner operator with the last 25 years as specialized hauler. DON'T DO IT! Look at the turnover rates for both company drivers and owner/operators. Road expenses are out of sight.Onerous regs/laws have you by the short hairs whichever way you turn and they come up with more and more of them every day. Diesel cops are revenue generators for their state/city/county and are good at it. Companies fire / break your lease for the most minor of infractions as the insurance companies hold a heavy hammer over them. Even as an independent you have little control over when you run or want time off. Dispatchers are held to the fire to move loads. as an independent you turn down the brokers and they call someone else whose truck/trailer payments are higher Company drivers are little more than ridin'& guidin automatons and treated as such. Get a job as a piano player in a cathouse. You'll be happier and better paid for the hours put in.
  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Just to give you an idea of the costs for an owner operator. Say you find a decent Peterbuilt with a couple hundred thousand left on the engine before a needed overhaul. A new clutch is $2000 installed, and full inspection and fluids change is $600, a set of drive tires is $3500, a fifthwheel rebuild is $250, and various other expenditures just to get the truck ready for inspection! Then there's all the paperwork. Plates are about $2000, insurance is $1500+ P.U.C. permit is $1000, and road taxes (due quarterly) are going to start off right at go at $3000, so, that's just the truck, and you still gotta add the trailer to the mix! Road permits and fuel surcharges and taxes are going to really put a hurt in on you!
    Then, you have to sit down and figure out what YOUR cost per mile is for every thing including the fuel ( figure About $3500 per week @6.5 miles per gallon, 3000 miles) give or take with the current fuel prices. If your cost is under .19 cents per mile, your doing pretty damn good! From there, you need to price your rig per mile, the average when I was running the Pete was $1.80 per mile ( that was my theoretical, I charged by the clock, @24 hour cycles) so you need to cover all your expenses with the mileage figure. If you come in under $3000 profit, your loosing money every mile you roll! A good independent should make $8000 a week before expenses, and average around 4000 take home!
    My Pete made $2800 per day gross, and my expenses were about .09 cents per mile/hour! Yea, a specialised set up is the only way to fly if your going independent!
    BTW. a standard 12 yard dumper should net you about $70 per hour, all the hours you can get away with, up to the max of 70 hours per week! No mandatory reset however, so run it like you stole it!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  6. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    ^^^^That is some excellent information. My post was based on my good sense. :whistle: Like when my co-workers planned the daycare with their wives and kids. Carpooling as well. My exact quote was as follows. “That’s going to end badly.” I think that quote is just as relevant here. Sorry. You asked. :D

    The IBEW is often looking for guys with a CDL. Tree crews, line crews, and dirt crews as well. Sometimes it’s as easy as going to the hall and signing the books. FYI. :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2018
  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Bus driver slots have openings all the time and you are home every night.

    Buddy of mine early retired and got bored....just started driving a school bus for extra cash and something to do.
    Gator 45/70, sec_monkey, Meat and 2 others like this.
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @oldawg "Get a job as a piano player in a cathouse. You'll be happier and better paid for the hours put in."

    Errrr….just exactly where do I apply for this job? I do have excellent references! :whistle::whistle: LOL! Sign me up! :ROFLMAO:
    Gator 45/70, Dont, Zimmy and 5 others like this.
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I gotta know, just what kind of references DO you have, I'm sure piano player isn't all!
  10. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Yea , not sure I'd do well in a bus driving slot. I'm not to good at dealing with the public these days.
    School bus ,,,, naw,,, I drove a school bus as a student/ driver in the mid 70s,,, I was hauling white kids to black schools and black kids to white schools. Those little black b'stards , and I don't mean that in a racial way , it was their upbringing , but those little spits were throwing pencils, suckers , all kinds of crap at me driving down the road , bouncing off the windshield . Yea , but I got a few of them when they stood up to throw stuff , I stomped the brake pedal . I'd probably be in jail for that today.
    Well , thanks for the comments and insight. I was thinking of driving 2-3 days , drop the load , take a day or 2 to play around and move on. Just dreaming I guess .
    I may go ahead and look into the dump truck thing, I believe I've got a good shot of getting in on some of that road work.
    Thanks again.
    Gator 45/70, Yard Dart, Zimmy and 2 others like this.
  11. Big Ron

    Big Ron Monkey+

    Consider a local union outfit/gig. Most likely part-time for a while anyhow. I wouldn't go back over the road. Imagine SHTF and your far away from home.
  12. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I'm keepin' that info to mu self. Never know when retirement gonna get boring yaknow.
    Gator 45/70, sec_monkey, SB21 and 3 others like this.
  13. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I'd be willing to just take a part time gig there , just when ya think you need a little break ,,,,just in case , I'll start brushing up on my piano playing,,,,,,,:D
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  14. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator


    Fedex plus UPS drivers reportedly make gud FRNs plus they is probably hirin fer Thanksgivin n Christmas :) :)

    Oil field truck drivers also make gud FRNs from what we have heard, however oil prices went down recently, so they are probably making a bit less now

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  15. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Yes sir , all good options. But I'm looking for work I can do at my pace , if I'm not feeling like working one day , I won't . Ya see , I'm in the position were I don't need to work full time , I just need supplemental income. I'm not weighted down with debt , so that helps my position. I've worked for myself for 30+ years. So I'm not real fired up about some yahoo looking for that high production yes man employee. I'm looking at knee surgeries , so I'm not able to be in a high productive , or fast paced delivery job. I think whatever I do is going to have to be on an almost self employed type job , were things can go at my pace. So , believe me when I say , I know the job I'm describing that I want , may be what almost everyone wants , but no employer has a position like that available.
    But thanks for all of your suggestions , they are all useful thoughts , if I could just retrofit it to work with my body and health restrictions.
    sec_monkey, Gator 45/70 and oldawg like this.
  16. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Buy and sell on ebay. I use it to supplement my retirement. I've bought and sold not only nationwide but quite a few countries outside of CONUS. Find a not TOO narrow niche in something you're good at and enjoy and exploit it. I certainly don't get rich at it but do make a few extra Washingtons for front pocket money. My gig is pretty seasonal so buying up local or craigslist as well as ebay in the winter and reselling in the summer and still have all the time I want for rocking chair or other exploits. And like you I've spent most of my adult life self employed so it's not at all scary to me.
    sec_monkey, Gator 45/70 and SB21 like this.
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    SIL did the buy low sell high on Flea bay to pay for his degree.
    Cruised the flea markets,garage sales,estate sales
    Myself I have problems selling spiffy stuff that somehow I think I will be using down the road....LOL
    Alf60, SB21, sec_monkey and 1 other person like this.
  18. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Sounds like me and you think alike . Why get rid of something that you got a great deal on .
    Gator 45/70, Alf60 and sec_monkey like this.
  19. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    IIRC many OTR's are leaving? something about a new electronic system that tracks and can even shut you down so ya can't even start your truck if it thinks your over hours or some such????
    SB21 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  20. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    ^^^^Zonar is one system they use in the utility industry. Tracks everything. On a related subject I saw many trucks going down a mountain pass at 35 mph. 4 ways flashing. I was like WTF?! Company rules and the insurance companies are completely bonkers these days!
    SB21 and Gator 45/70 like this.
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