Advice Please Guys

Ok after years and years of putting it off and being told not ‘allowed’ by the missus (she’s a worrier) i have finally decided to go for it, i’ve applied for a copy of my CPC (lost somewhere between 1997 and now!!), applied for a business bank account, saved up £5k for start up running costs, applied for a business loan to buy a second hand truck and am awaiting to hear from a couple of finance companies about rates. (i have seen a Volvo FH12 380 6x2 on an N plate, 44T, very tidy, MOT for 5 months and 1 owner driver for £6000).

Now before i actually apply for the o’licence i need an oporating centre, i’m hoping Sean NSH can help me here as he is only down the raod from me, i have asked around and have been quoted £50 - £60 per week for 1 x truck and 1 x trailer, however i’m sure i’ve read on here that someone pays £35 per week.

The main point of this is that i have not decided what to do, containers, general haulage etc. therefore not sure who to approach regards work, I have done both as well as fridges, Petrol tankers, euro, flats etc. (blimey i’ve been about a bit :confused: ) and have enjoyed all as an employed driver, but now it takes on a whole new meaning, what pays the most? and more to the point where is the regular work?

Question for Sean, why do you stick to containers ? and do you park at your clients premises?, i understand why Neil sticks to euro work (he hates the UK) so am i to assume that you can earn a decent amount on containers?

Any feedback would be greatly appriciated guys

Kindest regards

Richard (Richiessex)

what pays the most?

being an employed driver :wink: :laughing: :exclamation: :exclamation:

Yeah thanks Dennis :wink:

that’s ok Richie - I’m an expert in useless advice :wink: :wink: :wink: :laughing:

what pays the most? and more to the point where is the regular work?

Richard (Richiessex)

You won’t get both together, its swings and round-a-bouts, containers arn’t the best paying job in the world, but the work is relitively constant with most big firms offering a garunteed milage per week, fuel cards and trailer hire.
If you go on boxs your O-centre parking needs to be pretty secure for the occasions you may weekend park with a loaded box. I think Sean rents a space at Tilbury Docks on the Dock Co’s own ground. Other options are Supermarket RDC’s, they pay as good as box’s with no trailer hire, but the work includes nights and w/ends and no fuel card.
You’ve been in the job a while so must have some contacts, ask around for any traction work going, but be careful mate, as there’s always someone willing to shaft the eager and the innocent. :wink:

I’m currently going through the process starting out as an owner driver. These few point’s might be of help. You need to prove that £6,200 has been in an account for 3 month’s prior application. You will need £190 for Operator’s licence application. Find a suitable operating centre, My one is secure and i pay £50 per week, you will need a letter from them, stating that you can operate
from there, then advertise in your local paper,my advert cost £87 + vat. Then you have the detail’s of service and safety checks to show, that’s in place.Also remember , it’s best to have 3 month’s “operating & running cost” accounted for.Payment term’s for most companies are 30 day’s, however this usually means that if you began operating on the 1 AUG, you would be required to invoice for the work carried out during Aug by the 8 Sept. Payment would then normally be made in the first week of OCT. My approximate figure’s for 3 months were £23,000, which my bank manager is ok-ing. Also there are the “little cost’s” ,business stationery ,work wear,operating stationery, truck deposit’s ,trailer deposit, then if you are issued with operator’s licence ,you will pay £297 for it.

Good luck Richard regarding going the owner driver way.
I hope everything works out for you and all the best
for the future :smiley: .

my honest advice to anyone thinking of going o/d is don’t do it unless you’ve got gauranteed work for the wagon your putting on the road and i mean gauranteed, not someone saying “oh yeh, we always need subbies,will have plenty of work for yer mate,give us a bell nearer the time”. it’s very expensive to setup and run for the first few months,you’ll pay through the nose for everything like insurance parking maintanence etc and everyone knows your new so will try and take you for a few bob, plus you’ll have the ministry on your back from day one, with all this to contend with you can’t afford a bad week let alone a bad month!

Thanks for all the feed back guys, i’ve taken many points on board and have the added bonus of not yet commiting myself to anything, not until wednesday anyway, i have a meeting with the bank and by then i have to have my business plan etc. completed for them, from this they will decide on what finance they can offer me regard start up.

Manwell, i’m far too aware of being taken advantage of mate, as part of my long term plan to becoming an o/d i made sure i did time in many different types of transport including a spell in a transport office, i saw the rates certain ‘new’ subbies got in comparrison to some of the older and more experienced guys.

Topcat, i’ve been told that £5k is what is required either in cash or even a credit card, also as it stands today i have worked out that i will need £15000 for the first 3 months, think i’ll just re-check my figures again :wink:

Pual B, you have hit the nail on the head for me, i would very much (like most of us i suppose) want a fixed term contract, the last thing i need is on-and-off work or being treated like an agency driver who just happens to have his own truck, so as Manwell says i have been in the industry for ages and will start to recall some of them there favours, even if they are very old ones :wink:

Again thanks guys i knew i could rely on getting some decent feedback.

Cheers :smiley:

written contracts may prove to be few and far between,weekly agreements seem to be the norm but i found when looking into it that all the firms who use a lot of subbies will talk the job up to get you on, i seriousely considered containers for a firm at felixstowe who gave a weekly gaurantee of 1500 miles per week at a set rate per mile but told me to expect to do 1800 mile a week on average but having spoke to a few lads down there including a couple working for this particular firm they were only doing the 1500 mimimum and had been for a long time although if it got busy through the year it might well of averaged out at something near the 1800 to me the job wasn’t viable at 1500 a week so i backed out of it.
the work i’m doing now which is running bright bar steel just came my way out of the blue and theres no contract involved but i did look into it and found that the steel company has just shut a site in the midlands and moved that distibution to the site i’d be working out of, plus the fact the other subbie had been there twelve years told me it was worth giving a go but even then theres no way i’d commit to any finance until i’d been in there a long time.
good luck, i hope it all pans out for you.

Paul, I read your post (not all roses) yesturday funny enough and that is what got me thinking that containers may not necessarily be the way forward, however (and this is where contradiction comes into it) it would also mean at least (as the old saying goes) if the wheels are turning you’re earning.

It’s running at a loss that concerns me especially from the off, the trouble is from what i’ve been told container companies are the first port of call (so to speak) for many new o/d’s because of the ease of getting at least some work straight away.

This is why i’ve opted to buy a cheap (but good) second hand older truck, so if things don’t work out i won’t be into tens of thousands of pounds of debt, getting the balance right is the hardest thing to get right though, cheap older truck that won’t cost an arm and a leg in maintenance/repair just to keep it on the road.

The other thing is my location, on the doorstep for Tilbury and not a million miles from Felixstow so container companies are plentiful. However Dagenham, Thurrock and Purfleet with all the distribution centres is also to hand.

I’ve been told that Maritime are always looking for subbies, is this who you was going to work for

it’s not mate it were HD, the thing is with containers you get regular work and all important “REGULAR” payments,HD were paying after the first five weeks rather than the 30 day norm plus they offered a fuel card after three weeks which all together made it an easy way to get started but after looking at it a million times i just couldn’t see enough money in it, if like i’ve said your only doing around fifteen hundred mile a week, obviously @ 1800 mile it worked out a lot better and to be honest if this steel work hadn’t come up i would’ve had a stab at it but the thing to bear in mind is you pay a penalty for the regular work and regular money in low rates, i earn considerably more per mile now with a rigid and have no nights out although to be honest i think you’ll allways earn more out of smaller wagons “IF” you can find continouse work for em!
theres a couple of good lads on here who’ll be able to tell you far more about boxes than me that i’m sure will point you in the right direction.

The only bit of good advice I got from an old mate was: Why dont you stick to traction only, You can pull their trailers from the docks, if anything goes wrong, they pay for the repairs, no trailer hire, no tyre bills.

It is very expensive to go for ADR work if you dont buy a truck already specced up, and there are too many delays in tanker work, you might be on demurrage but it wont repay finance payments

traction only for me too! you only have to pay for the front half then :laughing:

Yeah guys i thought of traction only but can you do that in containers? i thought that was more the norm with groupage etc.

On most of the adverts for conatiners subbies they mention trailer hire, so i just assumed they wouldn’t do traction only.

Wheelnut, Chaversdad and convoy, thanks guys.

Paul, on maritime’s advert and web site they offer trailer hire, fuel card, weekly payments with no penalties and a guaranteed mileage per week too, i have sent them an e-mail (you have to register your interest with them and they contact you) it will be interesting to find out the mileage rate.

How long can you see the steel lasting for and wouldn’t you be better off with an artic? i know what you’re saying about rigid rates at the moment and can’t quite work out why! the guy i drive for at the moment has 8 of them and he has always said he gets the same if not more for them from TNT? wierd

it’s not that hard to work out, if somebody wants 15 or 16 ton delivering then thats what they want, it dosn’t matter what it comes on wether it’s an artic,a rigid or a wheel barrow the rate will be the same, at the same time it’s not viable to do four wheeler loads with a six wheeler because you’ll only get a ten tonne rate. on good work you’ll get a cap rate in other words i get a 16 tonne rate wether i’ve got that weight on or not, containers work the same if you go in @ 44t you’ll get paid at that rate even if you take a box thats only got 5 tonne in it, least that was the setup with HD.
would i be better with an artic? i don’t know obviously depends on what work i could get for it, theres a couple of subbies running out of the steel works, traction only with trailers loaded ready by the shunters, i assume they do ok because they’ve been there years!
how long will the steel work last? if i new that i’d be on the telly as a fortune teller :open_mouth: but i should get a long run at it, the firm i’m subbing off have been in there twenty odd years and the other subbie with a rigid twelve years so it maybe more a case of doing it until i get fed up, offered something better or the rest of my days, who knows?

Paul, it sounds like you are on to a good little number there mate, especially if you’re on 30% more like you wrote on your post, well done and good luck to you mate.

the only draw back is though you get continouse work on a decent rate because of that very fact your putting all your eggs in one basket and have got nothing to fall back on should it all go ■■■■ up but is always going to be the down side of subbing with one wagon.

You have a pm Richard


I hope it works out for you mate and may your truck always be loaded and your wheels always be turning :wink: