Created new transport company need help, please

So the story goes; I’ve been a artic driver since 21 now 26. Turned rogue and became an employee of my own limited company this year. At the moment, the business has a small liquid sum of 20K, I could lend her further 10K or more from my own savings should I so desire. I currently hold ADR pretty much all the classes including radioactive (1-9). The plan is that in the next 2 weeks I’ve got the OCR CPC exam which is for the transport manager’s cpc. I should pass this exam with no issues. The manager’s cpc allows me to get and apply for a GV79(Operators license) which will then enable me to register a truck and operate it as part of my business. I have managed to acquire two clients (distribution/transport clients) that have said to commit themselves in providing work on a sub-contracted basis. However, I really would appreciate all the help I can get off you folks for going down this road. It’s a minefield out there and since you folks are way more experienced than myself; I am, therefore, more inclined to listen to your advice so that I can structure this business properly. I need to avoid rookie mistakes so I’m here asking for your help to avoid issues/situations/decisions that i could have known beforehand. I need hindsight and information about rates, how this business should run so that I don’t get undercut because some wiser guy decides that since I’m the new kid on the block he can therefore use that to his advantage. where can I help myself in acquiring as much info as possible. What’s the best rate of work i.e. chilled, containers, dry-boxes, double-deck curtainsiders and where/how to obtain the best deal? I am determined to succeed so if this means taking loads continentally, sleeping in the cab, etc, I’m prepared to do it. Some people have said that you can earn more on a luton-tail lift curtainsider than an artic, what are your views and attitudes?
Perhaps you have reasons not to pursue this type of work - should you have a substitution for it I would be more than happy to hear you out. Thank you in advance my fellow truckers:) Keep calm and take it easy.

Makes sure you do your finances first know how much per mile/km you need to earn and pay your self
Work your base mpg at 6mpg yes you’ll get more but better to overestimate how much fuel you’ll burn than be crying when you’ve underestimated it. What payment terms are they giving you 60 or 90 days from invoice or end of month it makes a big difference to your cash flow. And yes you’ll need to put the other 10k in to it.

As for a luton curtain yes you can earn as much but you’ll be visas best buddy put a taillift on it and you may as well put an empty pallet on it. Rates for them are about 1.20 pplm (per loaded mile) if your lucky and you can work it every day can you get work for this kind of van? Most want to pay pannel van rates for lutons. Or would a pannel van be better

Mate of mine who had a small fleet of 3 wagons doing general haulage off Hull docks started out with a 7.5 tonner doing furniture deliveries. Often he said he made far more money from that one 7.5 tonner than he ever did from 3 artics.

Whilst the temptation is to go out, buy a 6x2 unit and a 45ft tri-axle trailer, investigate the smaller stuff and do some costings. Your CPC course will help you to do this as working out running costs etc is part of the course.

Number one forget the price per mile bit ,forget price per tonne too ,price per job,don’t give out rate sheets ,and don’t give any one anything that they can work out how you price jobs as all you get is clever dicks .for me the rate is decided by the amount of fuel used for a straight forward job priced on coming back empty .

I know how much our subby gets for running just into Wales from Reading and if anyone would like to hazard a guess, I’ll tell you how close you are (PM your guess if you wish) or roughly how much you would charge for 26 pallets of dry freight…round trip of 275km’s, 5 runs/week. If I get any answers, I won’t name the ‘winner’, just if anybody is close!

I would really like to thank those that have posted and I would like to ensure that your time and effort is not going to waste as I am taking your info into serious consideration. Last thing anyone wants is to go into something and say “uh oh” so that’s why I’m trying to find as many people to network with, should you prefer to send a private message please do so, Many thanks and please keep the info coming in

I would really like to thank those that have posted and I would like to ensure that your time and effort is not going to waste as I am taking your info into serious consideration. Last thing anyone wants is to go into something and say “uh oh” so that’s why I’m trying to find as many people to network with, should you prefer to send a private message please do so, Many thanks and please keep the info coming in

You’ll make far more money contracting yourself to companies and agencies as a driver than you ever will running your own trucks on a subby arrangement to other transport companies. The industry is flooded with hauliers and one man bands, hence why the rates have hardly moved in the past 10 years. All you will be is yet another small fish in a big ocean full of piranhas.

Decide why you’re wanting to do it :

a) you want your name on the cab door and 300 spot lights bolted to the front, full set of alcoas and some frillies.
b) you want to make a lot of money.

If it’s a) then fine, do it, but don’t expect to make much more your average employee tramper makes in a given week after you’ve paid for everything.
If it’s b) then forget it.

How u studied for the exam? Distance learning, night school or doing the intensive classroom fortnight just before?

I only paid for the exam fees. decided to go down the road of a Self teaching strategy. Completed a degree a while back and most of that was based around revision, self teaching and hoping for miracles - turned out well but decided i didnt fit the proffession. Bought two books

  1. A Study manual of professional competence in road haulage (complete study course for the OCR CPC examination) revised 12th edition - author david lowe

  2. 44th edition lowe’s transport manager’s & operator’s handbook 2014

make sure you also get hold of previous exam papers so you know what you are up against. cost of exam should be in the region 240 incl Vat.

Interesting response from Left hand down, much obliged. “I wouldn’t touch ODing with a bargepole these days. Far too many regs and VOSA on every corner, auto weighing scales in the motorways, ANPR everywhere, it’s all just money money mnoney red tape red tape and more red tape and then you have everyone undercutting each other to get the work and the rates are slashed to [zb]. As I said in the forum thread, unless you’re a glory boy and you’re more bothered about running your own truck and having your name on the door than running it as a business to make as much money as possible then don’t waste your money. It is incredibly hard to survive as an OD now. What’s written on the forums doesn’t generally sound too bad and do-able, but factor in a breakdown or a puncture and those 75hrs you’ve just worked, well you’ve now just worked them for [zb] all because the money you earned has just gone on fixing the truck/puncture.”

Thanks for your input, really appreciate it. I pretty much had that thought imploding at the back of my mind, but I’m trying to fight pessimism so i tried to keep clear of that thought - what type of solution do you see? luton with tail-lift? What would you do in my position? Change from transport into an agency and buy thistle insurance which would get me DNI to ensure clients assurance? It may be worth doing that in the long run to be honest - DNI of 10million costs around 3.5 grand a year and you are in the clear as long as you can drive - team up with a couple of people - i can think of some to work with you and start cutting up agencies that take the ■■■■ with pay. I know they charge anything for a day run at £13.50 - £15.50 + VAT - any views people? The agency Staffline Bristol pay for work carried out in TESCO’s pay around £13ph+VAT and at weekends obviously more summing up to 15-16 ph+VAT. soz, they must be getting work in at a higher rate or they are supplying so many drivers making such a killing that they have had a change of heart to the other agencies around and desire drivers to earn more - i think the former rather than the latter. what are your attitudes?

One question why a luton tail lift and what type of work do you see your self doing

Disappointing to see the amount of people saying its a bad idea.

There’s always room for new operators, and plenty of money to be made - if you do it right. Don’t go buying a brand new vehicle, start off with something cheap.

And to whoever said that there is loads of red tape surrounding hgv operations has obviously never sat the transport managers Cpc exam. Whilst there is a lot of legislation, none of it is overly prohibitive to new businesses.

If you want to succeed, you will.

Good luck with your Cpc exam.

If you’ve managed to save 20k then you’re obviously good at managing money, so I would say go for it, but only after extensive research and projections of income.

I always work out my projected income at bare minimum less 10% and My outgoings at maximum plus 10%, if it still makes sense after that then I throw caution to the wind…

Good luck.

is it just me, or is there something just not right about this post. apologies in advance if am wrong, but it seems to me you are dreaming about owning and running a truck/s without doing any basic research or homework beforehand. firstly if you have 2 customers already you must know what, where,how often and what weight their goods are. how do you expect to work out your fixed and running costs if you don’t know what work you will do beforehand. you said you have done a degree in transport, then you should have better than average knowledge about how a transport business operates. if you only plan to run transit lutons you wont need an operators licence so why go to the expense of getting one and use up your some of cash flow in doing so. you said you would not go near being an owner driver with a bargepole, but if you start a one man business that is effectively what you will be, if you have to ask which is best i.e curtains, containers, dry boxes, you should know this because you must know what type of vehicle/trailer you will need to do your 2 customers work beforehand, once again I apologise if im wrong but it seems to me you are a long way from turning your dream into reality, so do the research and learn how to go about finding and keeping customers BEFORE you even think about buying a truck, or like many before you you will be doomed before you even start, but good luck with it anyway

How did you get on with the exam pal.

weewulliewinkie - Thank you for your over enthusiastic support:) by the way, I have never mentioned I had a degree in transport but that is irrelevant, experience is one thing and literature is another. Teaching someone to drive a business from a book is slightly different to reality and continuous variable keep changing the picture. Also I do not appreciate when someone tries to undermine others and please rest assured that I am totally aware of the fact that lutons are under the 3.5t category and do not require an O’license. No offence intended weewulliewinkie however your remarks are have not produced anything of value but rather running people down that actually aspire to go in a direction they feel passionate about, therefore if you have not got anything constructive to add then please refrain yourself from sharing your negativity. Please feel free to build your people skills and approach with less of a derogatory attitude. I suggest you read a book named “crucial coversations” it really does give a solution to getting your point across and teaches how not to mock others in the process, all in all - all parties win and share the success together.

Anyway, The aim of this post was to source/research additional information as to not try and be over-competitive or under-competitive for the future clients. So in other words, not to overcharge nor undercharge - of course → I am not suggesting to be running in the minus figures when I say undercharge but what i meant was not to just run around for your fuel expenses with a small portion of profit if the job is worth more(too competitive and being used as an advantage over others). The other reason for approaching people on this post was to get opinions from professionals that have extensive knowledge in this department.

Furthermore, I’ve been doing a bit of digging in the last few weeks that have enlightened me. I have employed someone continue my digging too so by christmas I should have a better view on the current transportation situation at the moment. As to the exam, I have to admit it really wasn’t that difficult - I quite enjoyed the case study and multiple choice - a few nervous smiles and one or two guesses but overall I thought it was therapeutic:D it didn’t even feel like 4.25 hrs had passed however I don’t know the mark till i get the results in 3 weeks - whatever happens it was an experience, much less worse than i thought it would be. Thanks for all the support from everyone and Merry Christmas in advance:)

as you will see I apologised in advance if my take on your post was wrong, I was not intending to run anybody down. I have met many people who intend to start a transport business and the number one mistake they make is buying a vehicle BEFORE they have found the work for it, then have no idea how to work out what they should be charging, you said you have the work from two clients but then ask whats the best truck to use, only you can answer this question. I hope your venture succeeds but all im saying is there is a right way of doing things or you will be doomed before you start, subbying is not the answer without some regular customers of your own. so as I said good luck with it.

Hi mate, I will try to give you a few pointers,and maybe it will help you make the right decisions or you can ignore them. First and foremost do not give up on your ideas,ignore all of the negative feedback that you receive on here because you can earn a living as a OD, you just have to follow the right plan for you.
My input is as follows, you say that you have savings of around £30,000 HOLD onto it and do not use it to buy a truck use finance ( Bank if Possible ) the reasons are almost every OD that fails is because of cash flow, so do not use your available cash, If you use finance you will pay interest but it is a small part of the overall cost ( on £30,000 you would pay about £5000 over 60 months that’s £84.00 per month ). I know the repayment is on top of that but you would have had to spend the purchase price anyway . secondly and most important choice of truck, Then go for a 6 x 2 as you want to cover any work that is offered to you, nothing worse than being offered work but not having the equipment to do it. Trailer at this stage DO NOT buy a trailer as you do not know what work you will be happy with, Plus many company’s will hire you a trailer as required ( plus no running costs ). I am a great believer in subbing for some of the bigger operators as the work is regular, the rates might be a bit less but there is work everyday. And you can continue to work whilst looking for some thing better. But one thing to remember you will not get rich, you can earn a good living plus the extra satisfaction of being an OD, Also last lesson, Truck Driving is not a JOB ITS A WAY OF LIFE. I wish you all the best success in the future and if you keep you feet on the ground you can do it…

Hi Guys, thanks for all your help. I got the marks back for the exam I took in Dec 2014 :smiley: Passed the case study (R1) gaining the a lovely ocr certificate in that department but the multi-choice(P1) didn’t come back as a positive. Still I reckon I did well given that I didn’t attend no course, just read a book and relied on my past experience so now I got to read it again and get a pass for the multi choice.

Well done mate on multi choice, I’m same position as you, took exam, little to no prep, have ideas of what I’d like and how to get it, got a 1000 unknowns bouncing in my head aswell but that’s jus life :slight_smile: I’m gonna apply for ops this week this month hopefully.