After trucking for 30 years, and being an owner operator for the last 7, I have come to one conclusion: There is only one way to go, and that is- be an owner operator.
And there’s only one company I will stand by and say, they were a pleasure to work for, and I made more money than any other, and that is- Sammons Trucking Co. (STC), out of Missoula, MT, their Heavy Haul Division.
I worked my way up at Sammons quickly. I started out in their flatbed division, leasing their trailer for $165 a week. I averaged about $2 a mile, and about $4,000 a week average gross.
After only one month, I bought a step-deck trailer for $8000 and stepped up to their step-deck division. The trailer lease went away, and the average pay per mile went up to about $3 a mile, with a few less miles. I worked less and made more. I liked it, for about two months.
I knew all along that it was their heavy-haul division that I wanted to get into, but when they hired me they didn’t have any heavy-haul trailers for rent, and I couldn’t afford one. Well, one day they got a three-axle trailer (one flip-axle), that stretched from 29 feet in the well, to a whopping 50 feet in the well.
The weekly lease was around $340 a week. But it was well worth it. Now, I was working way less, and making way more money. I averaged about $5,000 a week gross when I wanted to, and had a few really good weeks in the $10,000+ area (gross). And of course, weeks of zero-dollars when they were slow. I liked the money, and I really liked the pace.
Sammons always let you choose your loads. There was never any pressure to take any load, it was completely up to you. And you could take as much time off as you wanted to. They never minded, they just tried to help you do whatever it is you want to do.
When you needed money, you could stay out a few weeks, take the highest paying freight wherever that leads. Or, take shorter runs and stay home a lot when you wanted to.
Now I could afford to do just one run a week if I wanted to, and deadhead home from it. There were many weeks I would get a short load, say 500 miles, that paid $4 a mile ($2000 gross), and after spending only two days on the road, I’d shoot back home and enjoy five days off for the rest of the week, and still cleared more money than most owner operators do who run 3000 miles a week.
Some drivers would rather run 3000 miles than make $3000.
If you have flatbed, step-deck, or heavy haul experience, and you own your own truck, you can contact Sammons right here.
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