Owner-Operator of the Month

James Jaillett | June 02, 2011

For aspiring owner-operators, have savings to cover at least SIX MONTHS WORTH OF BILLS, Killgore says, “for survival until you get your business up and running.” He says new owner-operators need money in reserve for house payments, car payments and business expenses.

“SERVICE YOUR TRUCK front to back, top to bottom, every 15,000 miles,” Killgore says. Maintain the recommended pressure in your tires to avoid blowouts and to make tires last longer. “Tire maintenance is critical,” he says.

DO REPAIRS YOURSELF, or as much as you can manage. “That way if something happens out on the road, you know where to start looking,” Killgore says. “Ask questions about how everything operates and learn about your truck. You’ll know where to go if you do have a problem on the road.”

“Nowadays,” Killgore says, “you have to WATCH YOUR MONEY situation” much better than in the past because owner-operators are bidding against one another for freight and trying to “do it as cheaply as they can.” Managing money well can help get more freight, he says.


Japan by bike

Bike rides through Japan are some of Killgore’s favorite memories from nearly six years of Navy service. “I loved to get away from the base and ride through the country and communicate with the population away from the base,” he says, and he enjoyed talking with “whoever he came across,” locals and visitors alike. Killgore enlisted directly out of high school. “It was advertised as an adventure,” he says.


Kirby Killgore is a finalist for the 2011 Owner-Operator of the Year, which is sponsored by Cummins Engines and produced by Overdrive and the Truckload Carriers Association. The winner will be announced at TCA’s annual convention, March 4-7, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.