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Thread: Becoming a sedan owner-operator

  1. #1
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    Default Becoming a sedan owner-operator

    Hi Everyone-

    I am currently a bus driver in the Kansas City area and am wanting to become a chauffeur. I have no interest in trying to start a limousine company as I'm mainly only interested in sedan work but would like to have some responsibility and control over my vehicle. Also, having been a supervisor, I know what a pain in the butt it is to manage drivers!

    From some of the other threads on here, I decided it would probably be a better idea to work as an employee first and get a good idea of how the business works before starting out on my own but haven't had any luck even getting an acknowledgement from anywhere I've applied. I have a CDL-B w/ P endorsement and a perfect driving record and credit/background check. I think maybe employers are blowing me off because I have a college degree? Is age a factor? I'm 30 but it sounds like everyone likes to hire retired police officers.

    Anyway, since I haven't had any luck with the employment route, I've decided I need to just buy a car and start up a company myself. Does anyone know of any companies in the KC area that do owner-operator arrangements and are looking for new people? I'd hate to try to do it completely on my own as I'd have to do dispatch and sales at the same time as driving- doesn't seem like that would work out too well.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions.

    -Mark Graham

  2. #2
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    You might check at the airport and see what companys service that area. Call and set up a time to go and talk to those companys about working for them. Some might not want to train you to become a company they will compete with for bookings . I would say work in the job field for a year or so to get a chance to see the job from top to bottom before starting out on your own. Good Luck

  3. #3
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    Who in the Kansas City area have you approached? I ask this because I am in Kansas City as well and I know of companies that are hiring people with CDLs and Pass. End. The problem you are going to run into around here though is the non-compete clauses. Most companies have 18-month non-compete agreements you must sign before they will hire you and while they may not be the best legal document, they will still take you to court and drain your bank accounts if you don't follow it.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magra122 View Post
    but would like to have some responsibility and control over my vehicle.

    Also, having been a supervisor, I know what a pain in the butt it is to manage drivers! but haven't had any luck even getting an acknowledgement from anywhere I've applied. I have a CDL-B w/ P endorsement and a perfect driving record and credit/background check. I think maybe employers are blowing me off because I have a college degree? Is age a factor? I'm 30 but it sounds like everyone likes to hire retired police officers.

    -Mark Graham
    Some things just are not adding up quite right. Perfect record, 30, CDL-B w/P and they are blowing you off? I am not sure why anyone would blow you off for having a college degree. Something in the first paragraph came off weird to me - "but would like to have some responsibility and control over my vehicle" - I am not sure what the alternative you think would be.
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  5. #5
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    Default Responses

    For the question about what would the alternative be to having control, I just meant I would prefer to own the vehicle myself rather than being an outright 'employee'. As for something about my situation not sounding right, I agree completely! But I have represented myself accurately.

    For the companies I've contacted, I've applied to Carey/KCTG and Overland Limousine. I've applied to Overland several times (they run ads frequently). There was a company in Bonner Springs (don't remember the name), but they were paying very low and doing a 1099 arrangement but you were an employee, which didn't seem legal so I didn't apply for that one. Otherwise, those are the only companies I've seen post ads. That's why I was curious who specifically I should contact. I suspect most of these companies hire more by word of mouth rather than ads (maybe the ads generate too many responses, more than they can handle?)

    It sounds like with the non-compete agreements in this area, I would have to be a straight employee, which would be ok. I was under the impression that many chauffeurs own their own cars, farm in work from larger companies and do a little of their own on the side. Many that's just how it works more on the East coast?

    Thanks for all the responses. If anyone knows of someone specifically that is hiring in the KC area and could give me contact information, it would be greatly appreciated.

    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Just make a list of every company in the area and call them all up and ask if they are hiring chauffeurs. I get at least 1 or 2 calls a week from people asking that. It shows initiative which I think is better than applying through a job ad.

  7. #7
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    Speaking to some of the more successful operators, I have found that many people won't do your typical job placement ads in the newspaper, Craig's List, etc. when looking for new staff. They would rather rely on the referrals of current employees and satisfied clients for their future employees. This is typically done through in-house announcements/newsletters to the staff and postings to the company's Facebook Fan Page.

    I can tell you that there are companies that are accepting applications in the Kansas City area. You just need to look around. It sounds like you have applied to 3 different companies, Overland, KCTG, and Custom. There are many companies in the Kansas City area including Executive Limousines, Leader, Agenda: USA, Kool Nites, Pech Limousine, A Girl's Night Out Limo, Classic Limousine, American Luxury Limo, Luke's Limo, Art Transportation, Vegas Limousine, Escape Limousine, Elite Limousine, and many, many more. I don't know about everyone of those companies, but I am sure like any other market, there are companies that are good to work for and others that are not. Some companies I would be willing to work, and do, as an affiliate whereas others I will not. I don't believe it is my place to diss some of the local operators here as I am sure they have their reasons for operating the way that they do just like I have some reasons that I operate my company the way that I do. Everyone has their own flair. I can tell you that it is hard to find good, qualified chauffeurs.

    One tip for you...go to Regulated Industries and get your Livery Permit. It is a week long process and you are going to need your Social Security card, DL, DOT physical form, MVR, and some cash to pay them for a background check. Not everyone in KC needs a Livery Permit. It depends on how the company that person is licensed and operates, but getting your Livery Permit from the City will show your commitment to being a solid candidate for employment.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  8. #8
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    Good tip. Thanks for the help.

    -Mark

  9. #9

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    Quick note, if you LIVE in Kansas. Kansas is a RIGHT TO WORK state REGARDLESS of where you are employed. Non Compete agreements are NULL AND VOID for Kansas Residents. I know, because the last company that tried to pull that stunt with me wound up paying me for lost wages PLUS ALL my attorneys costs! I spent ZERO days in court for it and ZERO money to fight it.
    Last edited by slapusilly; December 2nd, 2011 at 11:20 PM.

  10. #10

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    I will say HOWEVER, you CAN NOT work for another company while still working for the current one. THAT is enforceable. Now if you decide to start your own car service and offer to be a "farm out" driver (where they call you to cover excess trips and the likes) you can do that for just about anyone that is willing to give you a call. AVOID AT ALL COST, any job that requires you to be a "Contractor". It's a scam no matter how you slice it! (Execucar comes to mind).

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