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Old 09-12-2013, 06:09 PM   #81
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Rarely home, lonely, boring, confined to a sleeper 24/7, except for a shower every 2 or 3 days in a truck stop, and a quick hot meal at a truckstop restaurant.
(...)
Losing the pay was tough though. I was bringing home $1000-1500 a week, which for around here is a **** ton.
Hmm.

Well, I'd definitely have to move someplace cheaper, as $1,500 a week isn't a fuckton anywhere I've lived recently (San Diego, Silicon Valley, NYC).

But on the other hand, you've very nearly described my dream job otherwise. Granted, I usually travel by air rather than by ground, but the whole "away from home for weeks on end" thing doesn't bother me in the least- I do it all the time, and in fact I get antsy when I'm in one place too long.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:27 PM   #82
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Hmm.

Well, I'd definitely have to move someplace cheaper, as $1,500 a week isn't a fuckton anywhere I've lived recently (San Diego, Silicon Valley, NYC).

But on the other hand, you've very nearly described my dream job otherwise. Granted, I usually travel by air rather than by ground, but the whole "away from home for weeks on end" thing doesn't bother me in the least- I do it all the time, and in fact I get antsy when I'm in one place too long.
Might be the thing for you then, when you get tired of doing what you've been doing. Yeah, the pay for the most part in that industry is pretty standard around the country, so living somewhere cheaper probably would be in order. Around here, you can get a very nice house for $200k or $800-900/month, and can get enough groceries to last a family of 3 for a week, for around $100. Birmingham/central Alabama has actually been rating in the top 10 in the country or something like that, for best cost of living to pay ratio. Money can go a long way here, it just sucks that the area is pretty shitty overall.

I remember when I went to NYC, I was floored by the cost of things there compared to here. A pizza that you could get for $10 here, was $25-30 there. Or a pack of cigarettes here for $3.50, there $10. WTF! The $500 I took for fun money on that trip didn't go nearly as far as I had hoped.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:42 PM   #83
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Hmm.

Well, I'd definitely have to move someplace cheaper, as $1,500 a week isn't a fuckton anywhere I've lived recently (San Diego, Silicon Valley, NYC).

But on the other hand, you've very nearly described my dream job otherwise. Granted, I usually travel by air rather than by ground, but the whole "away from home for weeks on end" thing doesn't bother me in the least- I do it all the time, and in fact I get antsy when I'm in one place too long.
You obviously have no immediate family to take care of. Leaving a wife for weeks at a time would put a huge strain on a marriage. Small kids means more so. Freedom to move around is one of the perks of being single.

Me? I'd be bored out of my mind inside of a month. I'd end up driving the rig into some db that cut me off, just to see the carnage.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:44 PM   #84
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I take it that you were a company driver. What was your impression of the scene for Owner-Operators, in terms of pay, scheduling, etc?
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:05 PM   #85
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I take it that you were a company driver. What was your impression of the scene for Owner-Operators, in terms of pay, scheduling, etc?
Yes I was. I did flat bed, which pays more than van/enclosed trailers, but also requires more work. You're responsible for securing and tarping loads as much as 50,000 pounds. Which in itself is a several hour job, on top of driving time, in heat, cold, rain, snow, ect. But on average it pays probably 20% more. I worked for one of the highest paying flatbed companies in the country though, so it was pretty nice for a first job in the field.

O/O do get paid more, and have a little more freedom. You CAN turn down loads, and take time off, but you have to worry about your dispatcher considering you unreliable and not giving you the sweet loads. Then you have to worry about fuel prices, maintenance, ect. If things go smoothly, and you run things like a well oiled machine, you can probably bring home 10-20% more per year. If you manage to get the truck paid off, then your pay goes way up. Then you can buy your own trailer, and most companies will pay you a few more cents per mile if you have your own trailer. Then you have the freedom to bounce from company to company if things go wrong. O/O drivers are ALWAYS in demand, and it's easy to find a job.

Also, unless you bring a bike or something, you don't have the freedom that you might think you'd have. You are limited to parking at truck stops, and taking side roads is pretty risky, if you don't know the area. Might end up at a dead end, or at a low bridge. I thought I would get to "see the country" and make an occasional stop to sight see and eat at good restaurants when I started, but soon realized that that isn't really how it's like. You see only what you can see from the interstate, and that's about it. You can wave at places you want to stop as you drive by though.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:33 PM   #86
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O/O get paid quite a bit more, but consider that as an owner operator, if you've got a reliable *used* truck with 200k miles on it, you've got 5 years to pay your $80,000 vehicle loan, at which point your truck will have 900,000 miles on it and be ready for a full rebuild - once you pay off the $20,000 for a rebuild, then you can start making some decent money for 3-4 years until the next rebuild / next truck purchase.

That's assuming you can make it 6-7 years and 1.3 million miles without a significant accident.

Source: My father was O/O for 25 years. Paying off a truck always seemed to be bad luck for him...
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:45 PM   #87
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Yeah, getting it paid off without a major breakdown or accident is the key to making good money. Finding the balance between low price and low mileage is key in a used truck. Get something too new and you'll be paying it off forever, something too old and it'll take a dump on you before you can get it paid off, then you're really screwed. Once you get it paid off though, then you can upgrade to a nice new truck and start making good money.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:06 PM   #88
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Presupposing that one has the means, would it be better to simply purchase a new truck for cash up front, rather than financing a new purchase or always buying used?
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:42 PM   #89
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trucks depreciate just like new cars - there's always some idiot that wants to buy a new truck to start his new OTR career, just to find out that it the absolute worst job in the world for him, forcing him to sell it for a loss. The age of the truck will depend on how risk tolerant and how mechanically inclined you are. If you trust the PO and you trust your mechanical abilities, start out with something that has half a million miles on it. If you absolutely have to have all of the latest greatest tech, then you're going to pay out the *** for all of the latest greatest tech. In the end, they all get your load from A to B. If you think you're ever going to haul 40 tons up a grade, you're definitely going to consider forking out some extra cash for power. It's no fun doing 40mph up a 13% grade with an 80k load with other trucks passing you every 30 seconds because you don't have the torque to run any higher than 6th or 7th gear.

The decision to pay cash or finance should ultimately depend on the interest rate of financing compared to the potential rate of return in an investment.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:34 PM   #90
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trucks depreciate just like new cars - there's always some idiot that wants to buy a new truck to start his new OTR career, just to find out that it the absolute worst job in the world for him, forcing him to sell it for a loss. The age of the truck will depend on how risk tolerant and how mechanically inclined you are. If you trust the PO and you trust your mechanical abilities, start out with something that has half a million miles on it. If you absolutely have to have all of the latest greatest tech, then you're going to pay out the *** for all of the latest greatest tech. In the end, they all get your load from A to B. If you think you're ever going to haul 40 tons up a grade, you're definitely going to consider forking out some extra cash for power. It's no fun doing 40mph up a 13% grade with an 80k load with other trucks passing you every 30 seconds because you don't have the torque to run any higher than 6th or 7th gear.

The decision to pay cash or finance should ultimately depend on the interest rate of financing compared to the potential rate of return in an investment.
Hey! That sounds like my old underpowered ProStar. "I can make it in 6th... or maybe 5th... ****, down to 4th..." barely chugging along. Meanwhile other trucks pass me doing 10mph faster than me. My governor was set at 62. Another plus about being an o/o, no speed limiting. Doing 75-80 on I-35 between Fort Worth and Wichita would have made that trip much more livable. Or my frequent Monday trip from home in Birmingham to Laredo TX. That is a long, bullshit, boring *** drive.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:54 AM   #91
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Joe - If you want to make (reasonably) good money with (somewhat) lower cost of living, look to the Dakotas and the Bakken Shale area.

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Old 09-13-2013, 04:36 PM   #92
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I would, but you refuse to drive 100+ miles out of your way to meet a nearly total stranger.
Well he was in Silly Con valley for a couple of weeks and didn't even look up any of the locals!
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:30 PM   #93
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Well he was in Silly Con valley for a couple of weeks and didn't even look up any of the locals!
I looked up one of the locals, and had quite a lot of beer with her.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:59 AM   #94
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Did you do anything more than look up her dress?
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:09 PM   #95
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Did you do anything more than look up her dress?
No, she was still pre-op, and I didn't want to see that.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:56 PM   #96
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Guess I'm dating myself - I always assume everybody has seen every Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Cliffs - Bugs goes to great trouble to return a penguin to Antarctica, where the penguin starts to cry, leading to the following
Saw this today, thought of you:


Couple of penguins chillin' on the 100th floor of 1 WTC. Jersey penguins. They were born at Jenkinson's Aquarium, which is about 60 miles south of Hoboken, but it's close.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:15 AM   #97
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Hoboken?!? I'm diiiiiiein!
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:10 PM   #98
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That's pretty cool. I used to work on the 82nd floor of the former 2WTC. My thoughts on looking out the windows were probably not much deeper than those penguins - "Wow, cool! Long way down!" Although, this time of year it was good watching all the lights coming on - especially the bridges.
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