According to FMCSA data released last week, approximately 51,000 motor carriers have already received common or contract carrier authority through June of 2021, nearly matching 2020’s record of 59,000 motor carriers. According to the same data, most of the applicants were one or two-truck businesses and were primarily company drivers transitioning to owner operator status. As most seasoned owner operators will tell you, the transition from company driver to owner operator isn’t always seamless. With this in mind, we recently spoke with Rebecca and Chad Teague, founders of the Owner Operator Mentoring group on Facebook, and Steve Goodsell, a carrier and broker who also is one of the group’s admins. We spoke with Rebecca, Chad and Steve to learn more about the mentorship the group offers to new owner operators and how the group has grown to be nearly 7,000-strong. 

How the Owner Operator Mentoring Group Got Its Start

Rebecca is the owner of Rebecca’s Transport, a woman-owned one-truck LLC for-hire trucking operation based out of Colquitt, Ga. With Rebecca’s husband, Chad, handling the driving and Rebecca covering dispatch and paperwork, the couple hauls dry van and reefer freight along the Eastern seaboard. Rebecca and Chad obtained their own authority in 2018 and, at the time, received conflicting advice about how to go about getting their own MC number and in getting other questions answered. 

“I began researching the process myself and putting information together and then my husband Chad said, ‘Now that you’ve got it all organized, why don’t you create a group on Facebook?’” said Rebecca. “So I created the group and posted the information I’d found as guides for other owner operators. Since 2018, the group has grown to 7,000 members. Steve joined the group about a year ago and now is an administrator because he is very knowledgeable and helpful to people in the group. He’s been wonderful to have in the group and since he’s been in it, it’s grown a lot.”  

“I began researching the process myself and putting information together and then my husband Chad said, ‘Now that you’ve got it all organized, why don’t you create a group on Facebook?’” said Rebecca. “So I created the group and posted the information I’d found as guides for other owner operators. Since 2018, the group has grown to 7,000 members. Steve joined the group about a year ago and now is an administrator because he is very knowledgeable and helpful to people in the group. He’s been wonderful to have in the group and since he’s been in it, it’s grown a lot.”  

Steve’s carrier business, High Country Carriers, runs freight primarily in the Pacific Northwest. High Country Carriers is a multi-generational family business that Steve and his wife took over from his parents in 2018. Steve and his wife also have a freight broker business, Blue Sky Logistic Service, that brokers loads for shippers and provides dispatch services.  

Providing Valuable Mentorship to New Owner Operators

As the About description says, there are no stupid questions in the Owner Operator Mentoring group. Discussions cover everything from where to find food and fuel to rates, pay and how to apply for your own trucking authority. The group focuses on mentoring new owner operators and filling in their knowledge gaps around detention pay, dispatch, building relationships with brokers, and running a small business that is profitable.

“New owner operators don’t even know where to start,” said Chad. “They don’t know how to handle certain situations. For example, a new owner operator sent Rebecca a message last night. He had a delivery date for Friday and the receiver was keeping his trailer for 12 days and he didn’t know how to get out of that situation. We have a lot of carriers out there who get in these situations that they don’t know how to get out of and it’s important that they are willing to ask questions and be open minded to accept advice from people that know. If we can be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem, then hey — I’d rather be part of the solution and if that means getting out here and sharing knowledge with somebody else, then let’s do it.”  

“New owner operators don’t even know where to start,” said Chad. “They don’t know how to handle certain situations. For example, a new owner operator sent Rebecca a message last night. He had a delivery date for Friday and the receiver was keeping his trailer for 12 days and he didn’t know how to get out of that situation. We have a lot of carriers out there who get in these situations that they don’t know how to get out of and it’s important that they are willing to ask questions and be open minded to accept advice from people that know. If we can be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem, then hey — I’d rather be part of the solution and if that means getting out here and sharing knowledge with somebody else, then let’s do it.”  

According to Steve, the Owner Operator Mentoring group is the place for new owner ops to get their questions answered, instead of taking random advice from someone they met at a truck stop or coffee counter, or information they got from a fellow trucker on the CB. 

“We’re trying to help as many people as we can,” Steve said. “Unfortunately, you’ve got to be careful about who you take advice from. Some people will tell new owner operators incorrect things because they think when you fail, there’s going to be more work for them. But there’s more work than we know what to do with right now.”

To learn more about the Owner Operator Mentoring Facebook group, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/OwnerOperatorMentoring

Stay tuned to Trucker Tools’ blog for more from our interview with Rebecca, Chad and Steve. To download Trucker Tools’ mobile app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/

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