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ThaddeusW

How Do You Make Money With A Truck?

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Well I really need to ask this question. I am at a point in my life where the family business is starting to both drive me crazy and bore me. It has its moments but I would rather do something else. I have three options so far; go back to college, become an electrician or something in the trucking industry.

I went to college for Electrical engineering which I liked but the more I thought about it the more I started to reconsider a white collar sit in a cubical job. I really don't want to go back to college at this point. I went to Thomas A. Edison high school where I took electric shop because I always like electric/electronics since I was a baby. I learned allot there and can almost consider myself an electrician but without a license and thorough code knowledge. I even do jobs on the side every now and then.

Now I ask how do you make money because I have never been around trucks at all. I would like to know how some people buy a dump truck or tractor and go to work. How do you hire yourself out, how do you get work? I like vocational work not over the road stuff.. I would rather play in the dirt or haul equipment on a lowboy, roll off, crane truck stuff like that. I have wanted to ask this question for some time but it just seemed silly. Now after a few rough weeks and just hitting a slump in life I need to do something fresh and new. I need another option.

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Thad,

The only real way to make a small fortune in the trucking business is to start with a LARGE fortune. To ask people all around the country and the world is not the best way to go about it. This is also a bad time of year to try to speak to the owner of a dump truck outfit as it is the busy season. Now the way to get a feel for vocation work is to find the owner of a small operation who will sit down with you and tell you about it. The best way to do it is to be born into the business, but it doesn't sound like this is your back ground. Find the right owner or supervisor or small fleet owner who you "click" with and you have a way to get your feet wet. If you have the means to buy a truck, insurance, fuel, maintainance you are ahead of the game too, but there is little chance anyone will put you on without experiance. As in anything new, "baby steps" is the best way, maybe the right guy needs a "gopher" around the shop, and as the relationship grows, so does your income and your ability. I am kinda rambling, but I think you need to work on this closer to home. I mostly learned the wrecker business on my own, but I had my bro-in-law and his brothers as my back up most of the time and my relationship with many other towers grew as well. You can do what ever you want if you put your mind (and your back) to it. Make the right friends and you can go a long way, but don't rush, live and learn.

T.

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Thad

Always have a back up plan. Something you can fall back on if what you're chasing doesn't turn out to be your dream job. Perhaps cut back on your hours at the family business initially while you try your hand at something new but don't stop working with your family until you are established in something you enjoy. Don't burn your bridges.

If you want to look into getting trucking experience, accept the fact you won't be in charge of a nice nine axle truck/lowboy combination from day one. That's probably stating the obvious. Approach your local operators and ask if they need truck washers, shop floor sweepers, local delivery drivers etc. I know you'd prefer not to go into long distance but perhaps working in a haulers yard spotting trailers, washing trucks, keeping things tidy will help you get a good reputation.

Whatever you do, try to make sure you're having fun! It makes things so much easier.

Cheers

Andy :mack1:

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The only way we have found to make owning trucks worth it is to have your own work, and not by working for other people. Too many owner operators cut each others throat and the rate is low enough it almost doesnt leave anything for the truck. Dont get me wrong, there is decent work out there sometimes, and having a good truck with out any payments helps too, but for the monetary investment you are better off owning a taxi cab than a tandem......

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I totaly agree with Maxidyne, around here tri-axle dumps are getting 65.00 to 75.00 per hour for a well over hundred thousand dollar investment on a new rig and a owner-operator with a small excavator with a crap haul truck and trailer is making 85.00 to 125.00 per hour, You do the math, a very rich heavy towing operator told me years ago when i was considering buying a OTR rig that the only money in trucks is towing them and repairing them and selling them. lol and now that i have owned new ones and old ones i have found out he was right. lol, but thats just the economy here, i live in the communist republic of N.Y.State. It might be better where you live. Like someone else said to you,"Don't Burn Any Bridges", Be smart about your money,A low intrest Cert. of Deposit at a bank can make more money than a truck, good luck ESD :thumb:

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Well like I said Im looking for options and I appreciate all of your input so far. I wont be burning down any bridges as not only am I tired but my mother too. I hear you can get upwards of 40+ bucks an hour as an electrician. Now I also herd you could make as much or more with a truck and thats why I asked.

Keep the information coming.

i live in the communist republic of N.Y.State. It might be better where you live.

ESD I live in NY city :D .

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My advice is if you dont own a house or have huge loans to pay off, test the waters to see if its a for you.

After you get your CDL I would reccomend start with part time dump trucking on weekends.Lots of small companys need fill in drivers for weekend help. Its a good way to get time behind the wheel and on job sites.

to find solid work it really helps if you have honest friends in the buisness. Not just so you can work for them but for there contacts if they dont have any work for you. It also helps if IT STAYS DRY!. here in Chicago people can get $75-$80 an Hour for semi dump trucks, $100 an hr and up for low boy moves depending on the machine moved permits etc... Some times we charge by the load and get $210 a load if we haul out of down town to a far away dump. most dumps are charging around $50 clean clay. Some dumps close to the city are charging $65 and up!!!. 4 loads a day in traffic is about all you will get unless you go back for a 5th "preload"to get rid of early the next morning. So its good if all the stars line up the night before. If you get D.O.T fines or mechanical trouble your day wages is likely wasted or even worse puts you back. I am very suprised how some of the new guys buy a brand new 100k rig to play in the dirt. and cant figure out why they have no money. Most of the small outfit guys that have been in busness for a long time still like to use older equipment because it sometimes more cost effective. I see new lowboy trucks alot but the majority of the dirt trucks are all 7+ year old macks.

so in the end test the waters slowly. and learn from what the successfull owners did to survive.

Let us know what your plans are.

Trent

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I know theres good money runnin contaminated dirt. A big run is from New york city down to philly or other dump sites that take contaminated dirt. As long as you keep busy and go easy on the truck you should do alright. Would you buy a new truck or used?

Chris

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I know theres good money runnin contaminated dirt. A big run is from New york city down to philly or other dump sites that take contaminated dirt. As long as you keep busy and go easy on the truck you should do alright. Would you buy a new truck or used?

Chris

If I was going into trucking I would buy a used dog. It sounds like the best investment as you can get a decent running truck for under 15 grand and put it strait to work. Lets say I do decide to get into trucking, my initial investment will be low and if it doesent work out I dont have to worry about 200k worth of truck payments. Just sell the old girl and move on.

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Get a triaxle. Dont go with a tandem. In jersey you get 80000 lbs with a triaxle and a bigger box. More material= more money

Chris

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Guest Bollweevil

Thad, I have owned and operated my own trucks since 1983. I have hauled chicken's out of Ga. Boxed Meat out of the mid-west,produce out of California Apples out of Washington state, dairy products out of NY. and Ohio . Citrus and produce out of Florida. Cows to Kansas, I have pulled a flat bed hauling lumber, a water tanker , a 39 ft. frameless dump trailer, reefer, I even pulled doubles for a freight line.for a while. THE BEST TRUCKING, that I have ever done is with a tandem dump, right here at home. When I started trucking, it took me at least a year, maybe longer to learn the things that would not work in the trucking business. If you own a truck , you have to control what you do with it. Otherwise, you cannot control your expense's. Now before you even think about a truck., you need a reason to own one. That means that you have something to haul with it. That is the first thing that you need to address. Then you have to have insurance, A first time owner does not get the best rates. Who is going to work on it, Who's going to change the oil, grease it every week, fix flat tires, replace injectors, keep the brakes, and clutch adjusted. It would be good if you can do some of this yourself, someone will have to. A gravel driveway is a rough place to have to work. do you have a friend with garage space. Here in the North Ga. mountains we usually have about three to three and a half months of the year that we can't do very much. I don't know about your part of the country, but down here we have to get with it when we can. You will have to put back three truck payments, three insurance payments , three light bills, three phone bills, are you getting the Idea. If you run a truck hard enough to do what you have to to survive. you will probably go through a set of drive tires in a year. I have had to replace a set and a half of steers a year. You will find out that when you get out of the truck you have to get under it. Does any of that sound interesting. You get to handle a lot of money in the trucking business, The problem with that is most of it belongs to someone else. You will get to gather up a lot of tools and other stuff, right now I probably have at least 20 or 25 old tires that I need to pay 10$ each to have someone haul off. If I could somehow figure in every hour that I have spent either on the phone, waiting for a load, waiting to load, waiting to unload, loading and unloading working on trucks or trailers,running from one side of this country to the other, I probably made less than 5 bucks an hour. There is a lot of freedom in owning and operating this kind of business. Do you have the self discipline, to make it work for you? Later, James

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Well like I said Im looking for options and I appreciate all of your input so far. I wont be burning down any bridges as not only am I tired but my mother too. I hear you can get upwards of 40+ bucks an hour as an electrician. Now I also herd you could make as much or more with a truck and thats why I asked.

Keep the information coming.

i live in the communist republic of N.Y.State. It might be better where you live.

ESD I live in NY city :D .

Thad, i hope you dont take offense to my remark about N.Y. State but the reason i say that is when you have to register your truck you find out the fees involved and if you never paid the registration and inspection and overweight fees ,fedreal tax and state road tax and lets not forget fuel taxes at the pump,only to find out that Western Star says my truck can haul 96.000 lbs. safely and N.Y. State says "Oh No,You can only haul 73.200lbs. safely with a factory tri axle and a 18' box you will understand my anger. sorry agian if i was out of line. E.S.D.

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I WAS BORN INTO THE CONSTRUCTION/TRUCKING BUSINESS unfortunlly w/ the death of my dad when i was 2yrs old & the death of my granddad last apirl of 2005 (& he not having a will@ the time of his death ) the family excavating business has ceased after 40 yrs . company was liquidated i still have my connections although im working for a buddy of mine who is also in the business i hope to start back within another year or two . the day his estate went into probate court i had 50 loads of dirt sold to a customer (who has 3 dumps of his own )all i had to was load him w/ the trackhoe & another 20 loads of limestone sold in the next couple of days after that . i had to give it to my buddy that im working for now due to courts shut the business down .

Im bankrolling more cash $$ back now to what ive got so i can buy a 80's model DM OR R model :mack1: DUMP OR TRACTOR & DUMPTRAILER & cover my insureance & tags & have operating money . ONCE THE DIRT NOT ONLY GETS ON YOUR HANDS IT GETS IN THE BLOOD & ITS HARD TO GET IT OUT OF YOUR BLOOD AFTER THAT ;)

I Wouldnt dream of doing anything else . even if it a 12 to 14 hour day a lotta days ;)

When ya 1 st starting up dont go in over your head w/ a new shiny granite :mack1: or worse a petercar :blink: thats a disater waiting to happen

buy a dependable used truck you may have to work on it a little but your overhead w/ your insurance , fuel , tires etc will be lower than they would be w/ a shiny new truck esp when winter comes remember ya cant eat that truck ;)

also it helps to have a shop (but ive done it under a lean too or on the ground in the limstone rock untill we had a shop ) :blink: learn to work on the truck diesel mechanics & tire/road service anit cheap esp if they come get ya off the side of the road! (have a frined from childhood who has a mobile tire & mechanic service here & his cheapset service call is $40 & goes up depending on milage )plus labor & parts /tires every penny ya can save & put in your pocket the better off youll be lot money can be saved by doing most your tire service / oil changes & grease jobs yourself

for example we used to pull clinderrs out of beds & have them repacked done our own tires (includind road service) own oil changes , grease jobs, air ride cab shocks & bags replacing water & hyd pumps radators bout the only thing we didnt do was major O/H's & tranny & rearend & camelback suspension work that was hired out to our mechanic .

& for the wrench turning on major stuff ya cant handle on your own find a good mechanic not a parts changer

Bank roll your money during the working season so ya can set back like a fat cat & so ya dont have to worry how ya gonna pay your bills during the winter ;)

just my 2 cents & have a goodone :)

bulldog

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Hi Thaddeus.

I wanted to clear up some confusion you may be experiencing after reading an above post. I'm Boll Weevil from the other site and my name also happens to be Jim, but that's not me up there with the reply, altough I do wish I owned a 1973 RS700LST!

Sorry I can't help with your question, but I can tell you that a Glazier in local 1087 in NYC has a wage and benefit package of over $41 an hour, so an Electrician would be more than that. I was in that local in the 80's, and like to check in from time to time and see what I'm missing.

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Last summer I did a job replacing a gearbox in the PVSC plant in Newark NJ. I can tell you the Millwright wage and benifit package was $49 @ hour. I had to hire an electrician for 2 days and I think his wage and benifit package was about $70 @hour. The rate for an electrical forman was well over $90. I know in NYC the rates are even higher

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I was a little off I just looked it up.

NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

PREVAILING WAGE RATE DETERMINATION

County -HUDSON

Journeyman

W 45.63

B 22.58

T 68.21

General Foreman

W 55.21

B 27.33

T 82.54

W=Wage

B=Benifit package

T=Total

http://www.state.nj.us/labor/lsse/forms/hudson.pdf

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Guys such great info!

My plans as of now is to get into Local 3, the electricians union. Then maybe buy an old dog to play around with :D . I ask about trucks because man they are a ball to drive. My friend who loves to race around like a clown in his car doesent understand whats so great about plotsing along getting the crap beaten outta you in a truck :D .

bulldog man

I know the feeling. My father had a severe stroke in 94 that left him near brain dead, he passed away in 2003. both my grandfathers are gone also so I am the oldest one left so to speak (the rest of the family either does their own thing or lives half way across the country). Its tough for me and my mother to give the business up. When we sold the machine shop portion I cried like a little girl when they were loading the machines onto the trucks (still have my grandfathers machines though). Hard to give it up when so much blood sweat and tears went into it. I wish you luck getting back into the business!

Green Dash

I knew it when I saw your pics of the black Mack you drive I saw on Hanks site. I also found out when the Boll Weevil from BMT said he was from GA.

EmpireStateDog

No offence taken, in fact you made me laugh!

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Thad in all honesty you will probably be happier just messing with trucks for a hobby if you werent born into it. I have been around them all my life and have owned my own since 1988. I can tell you how I have made it this far.

Working many, many hours and usually having nothing resembling a normal life. The job I work now is 7 days a week 12 a day. Believe it or not you actually can get used to that. But I will have to say the main reason i have made it this far is due to my old 'Dogs. I have been messing with them for so long I really dont know if I could work on another brand (or if I'd want to). I can tell you that people who have never been around trucks much really dont have any idea of some of the stuff that is involved with them. Some of the things that happen are so silly you have to be there to believe it. You will find yourself questioning your sanity on a regular basis but it gets in your blood and is VERY hard to walk away from.

I started trucking with family and am the only one of them left still doing it. Probably explains why I am 35 and have never been married...lol. When you run your own company you have to wear many hats..mechanic, driver, bookeeper, purchasing agent..etc. You basically have to know how to do anything or be in close contact with someone who does.

Why do we do it? LOL Good question but I still get chills when I hear a well tuned Mack motor pulling.

My ol Macks have served me well and I will not buy or own anything else and i would give them as much credit as I would the hard work and long hours I have put in with them.

I know it was rambling but I tried to skim over several points to give you some ideas.

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Hi Thad, Once again I'm late to the party but here's my 2 cents worth anyway. Next door to you here in NJ there's quarries ( like Trap Rock) or large paving outfits (like Trap Rock) or sand, topsoil & fill dirt operations around that'll pay you just enough to stay in business if you have an older truck. If you buy something new you'll have to move out of your home and into the cab to afford it. Anyway, this is a good place to start off with to get your feet wet and better yet, you'll get to meet some other owner operators (there are still a few around who speak English) who could steer you into something that might make you some money. Making money with just a truck and no inside contacts is tough but so is any other business these days. In my case, I have the "B" & "DM" to move and support the machines. I learned that when you focus on a service or operation that you need trucks and machines for (in my case it's septic systems but I still do other stuff) instead of on the trucks and machines themselves, that's when you make money. Without a relative or friend on the inside of some large outfit to help you will make getting started more difficult but if it's what you really want you'll make it. I did by being honest and giving my customers their money's worth (word of mouth is the best advertisement) with no inside help anywhere and there's no reason you can't either if it's what you really enjoy and want to do. Good Luck, Bob :thumb:

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WVDoglover 35 never married ? hell man im in the same boat due to i too love to hear the ole dogs bark & growl w/ a load :thumb: im 31 never married no kids & current girlfriend says im married to my job & trucks anyway :rolleyes:

must be something bout the excavating & trucking business i love i know what it is its not only on the dirt that gets on hands but in the blood too :thumb:B):lol:

Bob : That was way our business was based on was WORD OF MOUTH & also like ya said we gave our customers thier moneys worth like i said in my ealier post 40 years of business ceased due to no will

But ive got a strong will to survive & work & also bring my familys business back to life

Like your set up Bob it reminds me of ours nice setup man :thumb:

Bob & WVDog lover : both preach on yall preach on :thumb: hope i didnt leave anything out in either 1 of my posts ;)

Later

Bulldog (aka Mack)

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WVDoglover 35 never married ? hell man im in the same boat due to i too love to hear the ole dogs bark & growl w/ a load :thumb: im 31 never married no kids & current girlfriend says im married to my job & trucks anyway :rolleyes:

must be something bout the excavating & trucking business i love i know what it is its not only on the dirt that gets on hands but in the blood too :thumb:B):lol:

Bob : That was way our business was based on was WORD OF MOUTH & also like ya said we gave our customers thier moneys worth like i said in my ealier post 40 years of business ceased due to no will

But ive got a strong will to survive & work & also bring my familys business back to life

Like your set up Bob it reminds me of ours nice setup man :thumb:

Bob & WVDog lover : both preach on yall preach on :thumb: hope i didnt leave anything out in either 1 of my posts ;)

Later

Bulldog (aka Mack)

Hang in there Bulldog...If you want to bad enough it will be yours. You already know how to make it happen just have a little patience. If a feller is still willing to work hard and gut it out the world can still be his oyster. Them old dogs will never let you down either.

Glad to know Im not the only one out there without a life...lol. But it definitely gets in the blood. I can see the day when I dont truck anymore..but I cant ever see the day of not having at least one of my dogs.

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Hang in there Bulldog...If you want to bad enough it will be yours. You already know how to make it happen just have a little patience. If a feller is still willing to work hard and gut it out the world can still be his oyster. Them old dogs will never let you down either.

Glad to know Im not the only one out there without a life...lol. But it definitely gets in the blood. I can see the day when I dont truck anymore..but I cant ever see the day of not having at least one of my dogs.

Amen to that brother :thumb: i still got "olddog" too much sentimental value too get rid of him (Lord knows the $$ offers ive had on him to sell :o ) the 1st truck i learned how to drive (including p/u truck ) & its where i got my name too ;):thumb:

ID GO NUTS IF I DIDNT HAVE HIM ARROUND i cryed like a baby when we sold the last R Model we had miss that ole truck (87 Model w/ 300 & 2stick 6spd) :( & Besides "olddog" still can work a good long day too!! he anit the best looking truck out there but i wont be scared to back work him ;) it anit no pride & polish contest in the dirt :P

If i have To ill put a small bed on him & powersteering on him put him back in service & Make the small loads noone else wants (like 10yards or less;) but got the heart on a R Or DM Tri axle to work with full time & finsh restoring "olddog" & still work him but show him too would be a nice memorail to my dad & granddad after all the year they drove that old truck :thumb:

have get buddy to post some pics for me (when i can get him to find the time )

i got off early today im surprised for this time of year i even offered to work in the shop too boss said go home & rest come back in morning :o

later

Bulldog (aka :mack1: )

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Get a triaxle. Dont go with a tandem. In jersey you get 80000 lbs with a triaxle and a bigger box. More material= more money

Chris

yeah sure tri-axle 80'000 doing quarry loads.more material =more money spent at the repair shop and fuel and tires.bring something to read for the afternoon when you'll be sitting with the rest of em. waiting for a load out and then ya can come back and wait again and forget about crossing state lines into NY not at 80,000. more like 64.550 better off with a trailor for that.

anyway ten wheel dump with a steel body. you can hire out to contractors for 55-75 per hour more so on the lower end.too much competition all them new trucks gotta get paid fer. i heard of guys giving three trucks fer the price of two! can you believe that? hey ya have to get your day count in and if you dont get them days during the summer then don't count on the winter to save yer butt either.i fergot to tell you the first thing you should do when you get your dump is place your head under the front of the forward rear axles and wait fer the air to build up and release the maxi's this way you'll be put out of your misery way before ya end up suffering for to long.but if netting 12 to 25 dollars a day is your thing then have fun!

da/dawgg

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