RV Transport jobs – Sad but true story Tow - away Division
I am writing this blog because in the past year something has really been bothering me. In May of 2011, I was introduced to the RV transport business by a driver from a company in Indiana. I will not mention names of the two companies but one of them is in Wakarusa, the other in Goshen.
As I investigated the thought of being an RV transport contractor I tried to look at all the aspects of the job, like operating cost, initial investment and so on. So I ventured into the business. The companies out there paint a pretty picture of so much money to be made. They even tell you that some of their drivers average over $100, 000 per year and say “you can make a nice living here”. I had an older truck that one of the companies would not take on because it was one year older than what they required- “One year” that was all. I just made my last truck payment – the truck was a 1999 Ford F350 diesel 7.3 real nice truck. So I signed on with the “other” company in Goshen because they had a less restriction policy. Great company, nice people – but had NO reloads what so ever. That outbound load that paid $1.30 per mile turned into $.65 per mile on the return trip “empty – deadhead”. So in two months I found a nice a late model truck diesel one ton dually that the “other “company would sign on. The company in Wakarusa was very nice during the orientation and I thought they were up front with all the things they were saying. They even had “reloads” that would help out in getting around the country and work your way back to Indiana to get another outbound load. So after careful consideration I deleased from the one, and signed on with the other – Now let me get to the point so I don’t lose your interest in my blog
In August of 2011 I signed on with a company that I thought I could make money with. My truck payment after trading in my paid off truck (big mistake) was $400.00 per month. After the big speech of how much I could make, three days in orientation, and about $2000.00 on my credit card to set my truck to their standards, I was on my first trip. THIS IS THE TRUTH – I really worked hard, drove many, many miles, slept in the truck several nights and ate cheap for about four months. I did get a motel on an average every other or third night to get a good night sleep and a nice shower, other times was in a Flying J parking lot and washed up in the men’s room to save money. Below are some numbers to review and really look at this and THINK about the money and cost.
Get paid about $1.28-$1.35 per mile (not counting on reloads) – turns into $.62 per mile
1000 trip = $1300 after fuel, paying your wage, wear and tear and other misc. cost you might get about 35 percent what you could say is profit (around $455.00) after expenses. Now from that you need to put money aside for maintenance, oil changes, and the big thing TRUCK REPLACEMENT LATER. So after driving 2000 miles – 1000 out and 1000 back to the terminal you get about $455.00, NOT a lot of money. Average was about $100-150 per day – still not enough money. Some days I didn’t even make a minimum wage, now that’s sad.
Bottom line numbers.
FUEL - 10 MPG loaded @ $4.00 per gallon = $.40 per mile cost to drive the truck $.35 per mile for driver(poverty level) $.45 per mile for truck replacement cost
Total so far is $1.20 per mile NOT counting on any minor repairs (GOD forbid) you have a major repair – then you are “Out of business”
Here is the big Problem – THE MONEY ALL THE RV TRANSPORT COMPANIES PAY IS JUST NOT ENOUGH TO COVER THE COST OF OPERATING. This is a Sad but True story. The other sad part is these companies have a very high turnover. If they paid so great why are drivers leaving? They have orientations almost every week. We really DON”T know how many contractors leave but I can imagine it is a high amount since new contractors come all the time.
Why can’t they pay a fair wage to keep their drivers? They know the cost of operating. If the money to be made was so GREAT why don’t they have their own trucks hauling the campers and pay a driver a decent wage? Because THEY KNOW how much it cost and pass the cost the newly hired contractor who thinks he or she can make it work. The figures don’t lie; there is NOT ENOUGH in the pay per mile to make it work. Drivers come, and drivers go ALL the time, that’s how it is. This is very sad but it happens.
If any of you out there think this is wrong let me know and come up with the numbers and tell me what I did wrong. In January 2012 after doing my taxes and figuring out all my cost and looked at what my 1099 was I was in shock to see what I really made. I will NOT say what I made because it will embarrass me. IT WAS NOT GOOD. I am not bad mouthing ANY RV companies out there, just a shame the way it is. I blame the manufactures for the “cheap” amount of money they want to pay, why don’t they pass on the cost to the customer and pay these companies and contractors a decent wage so we can ALL make a profit. The RV company is not going to lose, the loss is passed on to the contractor who is new and just “Really don’t know”
So if any of you out there are thinking of getting into the RV Transport business, BEWAERE – it’s an expensive hobby. Know the cost before you even walk out your front door. Stay home and get a local job, save your truck wear and tear, it’s not worth the trip. You can see the country (at a blur) and the money keep s going out of pocket and not too much going in. If you do venture into this business, GOOD LUCK.