Create a free Overdrive account to continue reading

Panel talks controlling costs and other best practices for owner-operators

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Nov 4, 2020

Les Willis, owner of a four-truck fleet, recalled asking a former employer how to get rich. “He said, ‘Watch what rich people do and do the same thing.’”

Willis, serving on an owner-operator panel at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, pointed to the success of his fellow panelists as a good way to apply that advice. Those panelists took a broader approach to watching others, noting the importance of networking, asking key questions of experienced operators, and reading.

The panel was one of four GATS seminars presented by Overdrive’s Partners in Business, which is sponsored by TBS Factoring Service. PIB is produced in conjunction with ATBS, the nation’s largest owner-operator financial services provider.

Expediter Bob Caffee also had wisdom from a former employer to pass on: “He said if you don’t learn something new every day, it’s time for you to die because you know everything.” One way to maintain daily learning is through audio books, he said, since “you can learn while you drive.”

Addressing the session’s topic of best practices for owner-operators, the panelists also agreed that controlling costs is perhaps the most effective strategy for succeeding as a trucking business. Not only does every saved dollar go directly to the bottom line, but many costs fall in areas that owner-operators have the most control over.

“It’s not so much truck spending,” said Gary Buchs, the 2016 Owner-Operator of the Year, but “discretionary spending.” For example, a driver might feel that an expensive steak dinner is fine after a hard day’s work because “I deserve it.”

Linda Caffee, Bob Caffee’s wife and team-driver with Landstar Express America, echoed how easy it is to indulge in unwise personal spending. “You don’t need that million-dollar pickup in the driveway because you’re not going to be there to drive it,” she said.

Showcase your workhorse
Add a photo of your rig to our Reader Rigs collection to share it with your peers and the world. Tell us the story behind the truck and your business to help build its story.
Submit Your Rig
Reader Rig Submission