November 10, 2014
It has been almost 10 years now since I got out of the owner-operator business for good and sold my last truck, which had been paid off for a few years and was still in good shape.
What made me get out of it? I saw the cost of properly maintaining a truck going up along with the cost of my own Medical and Dental Insurance going up. That was affecting my ability to continue to invest toward my retirement- which is something that should be a priority for any of us.
Everything was going up in price while the freight rates were not. I took notice of the fact that I had a choice I could make-
(A) Keep competing with those who were basically willing to work for nothing and continue to have little time for myself.
(B) Sell the truck and take a good paying company driver job with benefits.
The choice became too obvious. Within a week, I had sold my truck and deposited a Cashiers Check into my bank account. Then I took a month off to find a job that suited me best.
Someone I knew tried to consider that as a 'Failure' on my part. "Not so fast" I told him.
The person I'm referring to had lost his home due to a foreclosure since him and his wife didn't know how to manage their finances and buried themselves in serious debt- with a house they couldn't realistically afford, credit card debt, and payments on two brand new cars.
Now who 'failed'? It certainly wasn't me. I'm doing just fine.
Getting out of something you dreamed of doing may be a temporary blow to your personal pride. It wasn't exactly easy at first but as I turned and looked at the beautiful ride I just sold for one last time, I felt like a HUGE weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I was ready to begin a new chapter in my life.
Admittedly, it took me a while to get through the transition back to working for someone else. I had given up a little of the freedom I had- but also a HUGE amount of responsibility that I certainly don't miss.
As the next few years went on, I paid off every bit of personal debt I had and then found something I never thought I could ever have- A LIFE OUTSIDE OF TRUCKING!
It was nice to go home and not have to do clerical work or maintenance and repairs on my truck any more. My time became..... MINE.
Looking back, that was one of the wisest decisions I have ever made. I am in far better health now due to the reduced stress and have been able to finally start enjoying REAL vacations- and far away from anything related to the trucking industry.
I have seen too many who kept forging on while their families were basically supporting them financially- and then they would suddenly hit rock bottom when the money ran out. Who in their right mind would want to continue to operate a business at a LOSS? I sure as hell wouldn't.
In closing, if you decided to take action after 'seeing the writing on the wall' instead of continuing on while believing in empty hopes, you AVOIDED the likelihood of failure- and the aftermath.
There is a LOT of truly successful owner-operators in this industry that have found a lucrative niche- but I'm sure they would get out of the business before they lost everything- including their homes and worse yet- their families.
Yep! They would get out while they were still ahead.
"If You Are Not A Part Of Any SOLUTIONS, You Are Nothing More Than A Part Of The Existing PROBLEMS!"
November 10, 2014
The keywords, "life outside of trucking" It's a lot more difficult for an o/o to have one,
Being a Successful owner operator is a commitment which goes so far beyond driving. You literally are running a business while driving and responsible for all maintenance, insurance, freight, paperwork, and ALL added expenses.
Although there are many successful o/o's, most will tell you that their home life takes the back burner. Others make only as much as a company driver but with all the added responsibility, however, they love it. It's all a matter of preference and establishing ones priorities in life.
The biggest problem I see is for those who "love it", to the point where they go into deep debt, have no other life at all, just to maintain o/o status.
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