As an entrepreneur, becoming a truck owner-operator has the great appeal of owning your own large truck and hitting the open road with a schedule that suits you. With trucking services so in-demand and so many trucks out there on the road, it’s easy to see why becoming a truck owner-operator would be an appealing business choice when you’re looking to own your own company.
Despite the apparent benefits, there are many things to be considered to maintain success as a truck owner-operator.
This guide will help you to stay on track with your successful truck owner operator business.
Why Become a Truck Owner Operator?
- You can drive your dream truck. If you have a passion for trucks and you’ve always dreamed of owning your own, this business set up can not only allow you to make money driving a vehicle you love but give you the freedom to kit out your dream truck, just the way you want it, for the most enjoyable ride possible.
- You have the flexibility of your own schedule. Most entrepreneurs dream of running their own business to have more freedom and more flexibility in their working hours. Trucking can allow you to do that by being able to accept the load times and routes you want based on what works best for you.
- There’s potential for more money. Owning your own truck and business means you can make more of the money that comes in, compared to driving for another company or using somebody else’s truck.
- You have more freedom about passengers. There may be occasions when you want to bring someone along with you for the ride or even your pet that you can’t leave home alone. Owning your own truck means you can decide who joins you for the ride, compared to being restricted by the rules and insurance regulations for a truck belonging to a different company.
- You’ll usually have a steady stream of work. There’s always a risk when it comes to owning your own business and depending on others to choose your trucking operation. However, it’s safe to say that there will always be a need for trucks and delivery services, so as long as you have the means to put yourself out there, you can usually expect dependable jobs.
With the benefits of trucking covered, here are some key tips to help you carve a career in this vital role in the logistics industry.
- Save as Much Money as You Can Before You Begin
You may be excited to get started as soon as possible and may already have found the perfect truck which you can afford repayments for every month, managing to avoid a huge upfront down payment. However, the less you pay upfront, the more you’re going to be paying every month, and without substantial savings, you could be in difficulty if you struggle to keep up with repayments or if something needs fixing with your truck.
Because your truck is going to be everything you’re relying on for a successful business, you need to be sure you can afford its upkeep with an emergency stash of savings. It’s, therefore, a good idea to try and save a comfortable amount of money before jumping in with a truck purchase.
2. Use a Truck Load Board to Maximize Your Potential
You’ll want to fill your truck as much as possible and take on as many jobs as you can in order to earn success and more income. A load board can help you to do that by allowing you to post your empty truck on the board for others to see. Planning to use a truck load board can help you to connect more easily with those companies or individuals looking for a truck in the desired area.
It’s also more reliable by helping you connect with genuine clients and is more time-efficient than you trying to advertise for jobs independently. The less time you spend looking to fill your truck, the more time you can spend on actual jobs.
3. Speak with Your Loved Ones First
The ideal situation for a wannabe-trucker is a solo driver looking to hit the open road and have complete freedom. That isn’t to say that you can’t be a successful trucker when you have a partner or family, but it does become more difficult when you have other people to consider. For this reason, speaking openly with your family about the potential for a new trucking business is key.
As a driver, you may be away from home for very long periods, at all times of day, with a changeable schedule. Be sure you know how to arrange family life, such as if you need to see children and partners, in a way that works around your schedule and which everyone is happy with. This is so that neither your relationships nor your business is negatively impacted down the line.
4. Stay Healthy
Being a truck driver and staying on the road for extremely long hours can be detrimental to your health, not to mention that your schedule may mean you have an unhealthy wake, sleep and eat cycle. If you fall ill due to health issues, this could negatively impact your business if you are unable to drive a truck. Your own good health is therefore paramount for your own good and for the good of your business.
Try to plan out your routes to leave you enough time to make a quick stop to stretch your legs and so that you can avoid long and rushed routes where you may be tired and haven’t moved from your seat in hours. Being a successful truck owner is a lot about a healthy mix of business planning and planning for your own personal wellbeing. To be in the best shape for your trucking business, make sure your finances are stable and that your own lifestyle is tailored for a trucking schedule.