This is an old thread, but there is more to be said, much more.
First of all, buying a truck is not the only preparation needed. You need a cash reserve of at least $5K to cover the breakdowns. You need a minimum of $5K to cover operating expeses before you receive the settlements each week. You need personal savings enought to cover three months of bills for those times when the settlement is less than is needed. You have to remember to put aside enough $$ from each settlement to pay the taxes each quarter and any balance due at the end of the year.
We bought our truck in 2000. We just paid it off, but we also had to replace an engine for another $30K. We survived! How? By smart money mangement! We live in California. Our engine blew in Dallas, TX. All it took was one call to our bank at home and we had the loan guarantee for either buying a new engine or buying a new truck. Yes, our personal and business credit ratings are that good.
We had only utility bills, insurance, and a car payment when we atarted out and we did not use our personal accounts for the business. We set up our business accounts (checking and savings) with our bank and also got a Business VISA and Master Card. We also have a Business American Express Gold Card (must be paid off with each billing).
Now we have a paid-off truck and an engine loan to pay. That is okay! We are making double payments on the engine loan. The interest on that loan is another deduction, too.
Why didn't we opt for a new truck? The fuel usage is terrible on the new trucks and they are much more expensive to have serviced. We get between 7.5 and 8.5 mpg with the new engine and it did not have to have all of that smog stuff added to it. We had the people in Dallas check out our transmission before installing the new engine. The clutch had been replaced a month earlier. All of the accessory parts that attach to the engine were in good working condition, so those were simply put onto the new engine. We did replace the radiator at the same time.
We used personal funds for the time it took for the new engine to arrive, be installed and tested. That is what the "contingency fund" is for anyway -- to cover things in an emergency.
Figure it as "thirds". One third of the truck's earnings cover its expenses. One third covers the taxes. One third is for replacement and for the bills at home. I write a check from the business account each month and deposit it into the personal checking account to pay the bills. We still have money in the business accounts and the house is being taken care of, too.
Frankly, if there are a lot of bills at home and no working spouse, then, in today's economy, it is a dangerous time to become an O/O. Company driver is what my husband would have done if we did not have the money to replace our engine. We would, however, have to pay off the loan on the truck. Filing bankruptcy would wipe that out, of course, but who wants to do that?
DRL / ldtransp