Down to brass tacks

Attendees heartily praise first OOIDA Truck to Success class on how to become a successful owner-operator.

May 2019

Chuck Robinson


Members of OOIDA’s Truck to Success inaugural class came away with a lot to think about.

Some 50 people attended the March class, a 2½-day intensive training course for truck drivers thinking about becoming owner-operators.

Peter La Salle, a truck driver out of Savannah, Ga., with 17 years of experience, said the class helped him cut through a lot of conflicting information gathered from truck-driving colleagues.

“My biggest thing in speaking with other truck drivers or owner-operators – they seemed to have a lot of different information. I was seeing a lot of owner-operators falling into the same traps,” La Salle said.

He said he encouraged other drivers to take the class to help sort things out and get down to brass tacks.

Another appreciative attendee was OOIDA Member Jay Armstrong of St. Paul, Minn., who has 12 years driving city routes and long-haul.

“This was a bargain for what the cost was,” Armstrong said.

He had considered getting his own authority last fall but saw this class mentioned in Land Line Magazine and decided to take it. He said he is glad he waited. Learning about all the back-office details, such as tracking medical and driving records and the required vehicle records beyond the logbook was eye-opening, he said.

“The class is so comprehensive that it has brought up things I had never considered,” Armstrong said.

Lee Deavers is an owner-operator without his own authority but working toward that goal. He has been driving seven years out of Piedmont, S.C. He said the amount of information is nearly overwhelming, but he was ready to put it to use. He said he appreciates having the support and expertise of an organization like OOIDA.

“It seems like the truck business has a big target on its back, and everyone is out to get them,” he said.

Another Truck to Success seminar has been scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Blue Springs, Mo., not far from OOIDA headquarters. The schedule has been expanded to three full days.

The training is geared to help a company driver transition to an owner-operator. Among the topics covered are developing a business plan, buying and financing equipment, insurance, choosing your own authority or lease to a carrier, permits and licensing, entrant safety audits and compliance reviews, taxes, and brokers and factoring.

Tuition for the seminar is $495 per person, which includes course materials and handouts and also breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sign up by Aug. 1 to get a free year of membership in OOIDA. The final day to register is Sept. 1.

For more information or to register, go to LL

Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.