After much research and the support of my beautiful wife, I am taking the plunge and becoming an Owner Operator Leased to Swift.
What does that mean exactly? Well, some say it's like being a company driver with a truck payment. However, it's not that simple. Basically I will be self-employed and lease my truck through Swift. I will be responsible for everything at that point, but Swift pays for my DOT# as well as the base plate registration every year. All other expenses fall on me. Yes, that includes fuel.
However, I get a fuel surcharge based on the national average price per gallon. One of the benefits of being an O/O is that I will be able to fuel anywhere and when I want. I won't have to go by the fuel route they send me. In a nut shell, this is the area where I can make the most money. The better fuel mileage I get, the more money I bring home.
Now for some of the details:
I will get paid $0.94 a mile loaded and $0.89 a mile unloaded plus fuel surcharge. Right now I get anywhere from $0.30 to $0.33 a mile for both depending where I am at.
They recommend putting $0.05 a mile into my maintenance account but I can go up to $0.20 if I choose. The maintenance account is like a savings account and if I want or choose, can take money out of it at any time for whatever reason I want.
My taxes will be handled through American Trucking Business Solutions (ATBS).
I have to take a Success 101 course as well and that has to be completed within two weeks of signing the papers or I get put on safety hold until complete.
That's just a brief synopsis of it but in the end, running exactly how I am now, I have the potential to bring home between $800 and $1,200 a week. That is after ALL expenses are paid.
Angie and I have talked extensively about this and weighed the pros and cons. I have also talked to many O/O and in the end feel like this is something I not only can handle, but can be successful at.
It is a huge gamble, but sometimes in life you have to take chances and make shit happen instead of sitting back waiting for something to happen.
One of the things that takes some nervousness out of it for me is that Swift has so many people there to help and keep you on the right track. The more successful I am, the better it is for the company.
Oh, forgot to say that this is a 2yr lease. At the end of the term I can turn in the truck and get a new one, go back to being a company driver, or buy the current truck.
Another benefit is that I will no longer have to worry about out-of-route miles since I pay for the fuel. For example, the load I picked up in Baltimore going to Iowa; my route took me up through Chicago. I asked to go through St Louis to stop by the house but was told no because it was 232 miles out-of-route. Well, doing the math that means if I was an O/O at the time it would have costs me $80 to go through St Louis. If you ask me, stopping by the house at the cost of $80 is more than worth it. Obviously it would be a case by case basis, but you see what I mean.
The next step is heading to Phoenix to pick out the truck I want. Probably gonna be a 2010 Kenworth T2000 with a Cummins Engine and 10 speed. As for the color, I will have to see what they have available.
Anyway, I have so much running through my head right now I feel like a babbling idiot, so I will close for now but will keep crankin out the updates.
Sent from my Sprint® BlackBerry®