Best Answer: You are correct in saying that no one can give you an accurate estimate until all of the variables (make, model, etc.) are known. The big questions are: are you going to get your own authority, and are you going to broker your own freight? If not, your insurance will probably run you between $1,500 and $2,500 a year. If you are going to get your own authority or broker your own freight, then it will cost more, but it will not cost you "millions", but you may have to be bonded. If you get your own authority and plan on hauling hazmat (hazardous materials), you will have to have insurance for $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 (not the premium amount, but the amount of insurance). That is probably where the "millions" figure came from.
Yes, $130,000 should be enough to get started and still have a reserve for at least two months of operating capital.
Since you will be the owner,
and your dad will be the driver, he will be your employee. Now we have a lot more to think about: employee and employer taxes and maintaining driver qualification files/employee records, in addition to your normal safety records, HOS records, as well as accident reporting and maintenance records, drug and alcohol records, and supervisor training.
There are a hundred other things you need to know, so you may want to check out the blog "How to Become and Owner Operator and Make Money in Trucking". It also discusses having employees. There is an interactive Cost Per Mile (CPM) spreadsheet calculator, which can help you crunch some numbers and play "What if".
I would also advise you to check out the OOIDA (Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association) website. They have a wealth of information, are a legitimate and reputable organization.
Hope this helps, and Good Luck!
Source(s): A truck driver since 1967, and OO since 1972, and a lifetime member of OOIDA.