Whether you’ve been on the road for years or just starting your career as a truck driver, you must have spent some time thinking about your own business. Putting in the long hours on the road and flexing your muscles when loading the vehicle might be fun. But won’t it be even more exciting if the profits were higher? If you have the dream, the guts, and the money (or a way to get it), you can consider becoming an owner operator.
- Find Your Niche
If you are not completely new to the trucking business, you know that there are plenty of different niches. Trying to earn money in a niche with too much competition, when you are just starting out, is complicated. Consider a niche that requires more workforce but perhaps pays less. It can help you earn some cash while getting experience and building a reputation.
- Get the Cash
Obviously, any business endeavor starts with the money. You need to invest some of your bucks into a truck. While trucks are far from being cheap, in reality, you just need to find some money for the down payment.
Don’t go for the old equipment even if it seems cheap. You’ll spend more time under the hood than behind the wheel. Do your research and get a fairly new model for your niche. Leave some cash for other expenses, such as insurance, maintenance, and meals.
- Be Ready to Work Overtime
Anyone who ever started a business knows that you need to forget about weekends and vacations for at least a year. You can’t get a good reputation as an owner operator unless you put in the hours.
Understanding that you might need to settle for lower paying gigs in order to get the higher pay in the future, can save you plenty of nerves.
- Get Family Support
Truck drivers often have trouble keeping their families together due to long hours spent on the road. If you don’t have your family’s support for whatever business you are planning, one of them is bound to fail. So if you don’t want this to happen, make sure to deal with your loved ones beforehand to prepare them for the hardships to come.
- Plan for Slow Times
Since you are not getting a salary, you have to be ready for the slow time. You won’t always be getting enough contracts to keep yourself busy. There will be down times that you have to plan for. At first, be prepared to spend about 30 % of your time on the side of the road. Plan for the slow times when the money is coming in.
- Get Advice
If you are an experienced truck driver, you know how important the good advice is. This goes for all the aspects of the business, including accounting and legal advice. Find people who are good at their jobs instead of trying to deal with everything on your own.
Being in the trucking business is profitable when you know how to find the best loads. The trucking industry profits are on the rise and getting a piece of this tasty pie is on every trucking’s company wish list. Here are a few simple tips that can make load finding simpler and more cost-effective.
- Work With a Good Dispatcher
Dispatchers play a big role in finding the right loads. They are an important connection between the freight service and the shippers. Knowing how to talk to the freight brokers and how to get the best deals comes with experience. A professional dispatcher with excellent communication skills can get you the best job with the highest pay. But the sad part is that a majority of the brokers in this field are not good dispatchers or good brokers for the fact. Only thing they care about is to fill their pocket as much as possible drinking off the hard working people’s blood.
- Pay Attention to Your Customer Service
Customer service is one of the most important departments in any company, including a trucking business. Polite, professional, and fast-reacting customer service employees are the best way to work with the right brokers. The reputation of the company relies heavily on the small things that are dealt with by the customer service department.
- Pay For Good Insurance
Insuring your business is one of the first steps toward success without losses. Insuring the load can keep you out of trouble and allow you to find better deals in the future. Plenty of things can go awry with the truckers and the cargo. The damages are literally waiting around every corner. They include accidents, turned over load, fire, theft, as well as health hazards to the truck driver. Make sure that both the load and the driver are properly insured.
- Don’t Forget the Government
We are not talking about paying taxes here, which you’ll doubtfully forget. Moving loads for the US government can be a great high paying job. The government contracts are worth the time and effort, which you need to put in to get them. Regular work and impressive payments can help your company prosper.
- Care for Your Safety Rating
A good safety rating can help you find better paying contracts and allow your company to develop faster. Fulfill the requirements of the below areas to have a proper safety rating. While it might take some time and expenses, a good rating can help you in the future.
- Driver Safety Evaluation – Hiring drivers with clean crash records is the only way to go.
- Vehicle Safety Evaluation – Keeping the vehicles in good condition and doing the inspections on time is necessary for a good company reputation.
- Accident Safety Evaluation – Avoiding accidents is compulsory to have a good rating.
- Safety Management Safety Evaluation -High crash rates can lead to fewer contracts and lower rates.
- Schedule The Right Routes
Delivering the loads on time while using the least amount of fuel and avoiding bad roads is important for developing a good company reputation. You can take advantage of trucking software to plan the most effective routes.
Summer is just around the corner, and in some regions, it’s already getting hot outside. Knowing how to prepare for the summer season can make a trucker’s work easier, more enjoyable and more profitable. While trucking software can remind you when the next checkup is due and how to choose the best roads, there are a few tips you can still take advantage of.
- Refrigerated Truck Maintenance
While the trucking company software is a perfect tool for coming up with the fastest route, it’s still up to you to pay close attention to the condition of the refrigerated units. Summer heat can make the units work harder and break down faster. Accordingly, you need to check the cooled compartments on a regular basis and make sure the proper maintenance is performed. If you are a trucker relying solely on the trucking software to let you know the maintenance time, you might be in trouble. Summer heat should make you check the truck frequently.
- Plenty of Water
Dehydration is one of the trucker’s worst enemies. When loading or unloading the truck, you might not feel the toll the heat is taking on your body. Take advantage of the trucking software to plan the water refill stops.
Whenever you feel an urgent need for water, your body is already seriously hydrated. Try to prevent this feeling by drinking on a regular basis. Whether you want to drink or not, make sure to take a few gulps of water every 15 minutes or so when working out in the sun. Remember, even the best trucking software can’t do the right summer stop planning for you unless you give it the right input.
- The Right Cleaning
Trucking software can tell you when to start your summer preparations. It’s up to you to make sure they are fast and efficient. You need to take care of the winter sand and salt residues. This can help you avoid corrosion during the summer. The importance of summer cleaning can’t be underestimated. You need to get inside such hidden spots as radiator and undercarriage. Whatever hard to reach places you can find, reach there. You can save yourself some costly repairs down the road. Use trucking software to plan the cleaning and schedule repairs.
- Tire Check
Even though the trucking company software can be used to schedule tire replacements, it’s up to you to check the tires in the summer. The heat can wear out the tires much faster than cool weather conditions. Make sure to check the tires before each run.
- Brake Check
Use the trucking software to look up when you last replaced the brake system parts. Hot temperatures can cause the brakes to lose traction. Make sure to prevent these problems by checking the brakes before and after each hot weather run.
Trucking software is a wonderful tool to help you prepare for hot summer truck driving. However, relying solely on software can be a mistake. Make sure to follow the tips and stay safe on the road.
Make trucking efficient with trucking company software. Fuel economy is one of the most important things in making the truck driving profitable. Trucking company software, well-equipped trucks, and smart planning can all go to waste due to the lack of the right driving skills. Whether you are an owner of a trucking company or plan to drive a truck, you need to learn how to make truck driving efficient.
- Time to Change
If your business is using trucking company software, it can help you plan your route. This will help to get somewhere faster and easier. However, many drivers believe that it’s up to them to “up” the speed. The first thing they do wrong is accelerating hard. Quick acceleration and frequent braking lead to increased fuel consumption. While both these things are unavoidable on the road, a truck driver should make sure they are used as infrequently as possible.
- Idling Time
Trucking accounting software allows for good fuel calculation. It accounts for certain idle time for each route. A truck driver should reduce idling time as much as possible to avoid extra fuel burning. Idling a vehicle doesn’t just waste fuel, it pollutes the environment. Make sure to study your company rules about idling in the winter. More idling time should be allowed in the cold weather to keep the trucker warm. Trucking company software gives company owners an opportunity to calculate perfect fuel consumption for winter and summer months.
- No Speeding Allowed
Speeding is not just dangerous; it can increase the fuel consumption. Even if the trucks are not equipped with electronic speed limiters, a trucker should pay close attention to the speed in order not to waste fuel. 60 to 65 miles per hour is a perfect speed for a truck on a highway. Trucking company software does the route and time planning according to the speed limits on various roads. High speeds induce emergency braking, which in turn increases the fuel consumption. Trucking company software can help you avoid situations that require excessive speeds.
- Vital Inspections
Each truck should be inspected on a daily basis in order to reduce the chances of equipment malfunctioning. Trucking company software can remind you about regular preventive maintenance, but daily inspections must be done without any reminders. Dirty filters, improper fluid levels, and worn equipment all lead to increased fuel consumption. It’s up to the company, the trucking company software, and the driver to keep the equipment in check.
- Weight Positioning
Many truckers and company owners don’t realize how the right load positioning can affect the fuel efficiency. This is something trucking company software can help you. If you have an opportunity, you have to move the load as far and as fast as possible. This way you can increase energy efficiency.
Many companies that use trucking company software to plan routes and lower fuel consumption, make truck driving more efficient by encouraging their drivers. Paying cash bonuses and giving other rewards to truckers who manage to lower fuel consumption is a great way to save money in the end.
While a job as a trucker is far from a piece of cake, being a trucker’s wife can be even more complicated. Not many women realize how hard it is to let your loved one go for weeks at a time. Since the truckers are in big demand right now, many men make a decision to train for a new occupation. Suddenly an office worker’s wife, who is used to having her hubby come back home at 7 p.m., has to deal with weeklong absences. Here are a few things that can help a trucker’s wife deal with her husband’s new job.
- Learn About Trucking
Anything you don’t have a good understanding of seems scary and unfavorable. Thankfully, there are plenty of information about the trucker’s job available online. Your best bet would be to browse the trucker’s forums. Various truckers’ stories can give you a good idea of what the job is like and what to expect.
- Become Flexible
Flexibility is a major part of every trucker’s job. You have no idea what might happen tomorrow, which means that your husband’s ETA can change from a few hours to a few days. Forget about running to clean the house and cooking his favorite dishes the moment he tells you that he’s coming tomorrow. Relax and start the preparations only when his time of the arrival is clear. Always be ready to hear about the change of plans.
- Keep Yourself Busy
You’ll be spending plenty of time on your own, so you need to find something to keep yourself busy. Even if you have a day job, you need to plan for the evenings alone. A new hobby is a wonderful way to avoid a feeling of loneliness. Make plans with your friends and family. Spend more quality time with your kids
- See the Benefits
If you make a small effort, you can see the obvious benefits of a trucker’s job. While your husband is away, you can spend less time cooking and cleaning and more time doing things for yourself. Most of the time, people don’t realize how valuable the “alone” time is. Learn how to take advantage of it.
- Get Help
If you have small children, you need to arrange for babysitters. You won’t be able to deal with them all on your own. So before your husband goes on his first run, make sure you discuss the extra babysitter expenses.
- Nurture Your Trust
The main reason for the truckers’ divorce is the lack of trust. Some wives go crazy with jealousy since they can’t control their husband’s every move. The longer he is away, the more dark thoughts tend to creep into the wife’s mind. Thankfully, 99% of the time they are groundless. Learn to trust your husband.
- Go with Him
Most of the time, a trucker has a chance to take his wife on a run or two to show her around. Ask your husband to go with him so you can find out how he spends his workdays.
Unfortunate mistakes newbie Truckers make can be life threatening. Any driver knows how easy it is to make a mistake on the road. However, this knowledge comes with experience. Rookie drivers tend to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors repeatedly. Such mistakes often cost drivers and company’s time, money and sometimes even health. If you are just starting out on your way to becoming a truck driver or planning to hire an inexperienced employee, this information can prove very valuable.
- Flexing Your Truck Muscles
Sitting behind the wheel of a huge machine makes you feel powerful. However, it is hardly a reason to flex your big metal muscles. Bully truckers on the road are extremely dangerous. They intimidate other drivers and provoke accidents. If you feel as if you are about to get your revenge on some intolerable driver at the adjacent lane, think twice. Don’t allow yourself to become a bully.
- Falling for the “Ideal Job” Trap
When you are looking for a job, you tend to hear all types of offers, including those that sound too good to be true. Most likely, they are. Recruiters use all kinds of tricks to attract new drivers to the jobs no experienced driver is ready to take because of a low pay, long hauls, bad equipment, and etc. Be very cautious of the “ideal job” offers and always do independent research.
- Thinking Life on the Road is Cheap
Even if you come home every night, the life on the road is not cheap. You need to pay for food and other services throughout the day. Truckers who don’t try to save on the road end up wondering where their salary went. Try to limit your spending at the truck stops by buying food at the grocery stores or taking it with you from home.
- Avoiding Smart Advice
Any newbie driver should have a couple of conversations with experienced truckers. Any professional truck driver has a trick or two to share. Rookies are often so sure of themselves that they overlook the valuable advice experienced coworkers have to offer. If you are planning to hire a new driver, try to arrange a talk with an expert.
- Taking All Advice to Heart
This is the other side of the advice coin. While there are many truck drivers out there, only a few are truly professional. So taking everything every driver tells you seriously is a big mistake. If the information sounds off, make sure to double check it.
- Not Asking For Help
All people are hesitant about asking for help. Rookie drivers must learn to overcome this fear. Asking for assistance is part of becoming a professional trucker. If you have questions, make sure to voice them. Otherwise, you might find yourself in an unpleasant situation, which is entirely your fault not because you are inexperienced, but because you didn’t ask for help.
- Not Clarifying the Job Requirements
Not all trucking job are created equal. Working in each company has its nuances. Before signing up for a job, make
You’ve got your license, passed the exams, and are ready to conquer the trucking world. Now you face a stressful task of finding the best trucking company to work for. Once you ask Google about various options, you get plenty of negative responses for any company you consider. How is it possible to tell a good company apart from an unworthy one? Here are few tips to make your search easier.
- What Freight?
All trucking companies work pretty much the same way. They try to deliver their freight as fast as possible by spending the least amount of money in the process. Before choosing the right company for your needs, determine which freight you’d like to work with. More often than not, your pay depends on the freight you haul. Tankers can help you earn more money, while dry vans are the cheapest.
- What Time?
How much time are you willing to spend on the road without coming home? Do you want to sleep in your bed every night or is once a week good enough for you? Once you determine this, your choice of the trucking companies will be easily narrowed down.
- What Size?
Many people believe that working for a large company is the best way out. However, there are pros and cons to working in big, medium, and small companies.
- Big companies
The main advantage of working in a big company is ongoing work. You’ll doubtfully be waiting for freight at any location. The work is always available. Some big companies offer CDL training or other benefits that smaller companies can’t provide. However, the wages they pay are often not too high. At the same time, you are just “one of the many” so there is no consideration for some of your needs
- Medium companies
Medium-sized carriers often offer higher wages than bigger companies do. They also have better relations between the workers. The director or owner is easier to access and speak to if you have any issues. Meanwhile, medium-sized carriers are not always ready to offer you the type of job you are looking for.
- Small companies
The rate in the small companies varies, but it’s often higher than in the bigger companies. Each driver in the small company is highly valued and the owners are ready to offer some benefits in order to keep you working. However, a small company doesn’t have too many drivers. Accordingly, if you need a break or a day off, you might not get it since there is no one to replace you.
- What Kind?
What kind of a truck do you prefer to drive? A brand new and shiny vehicle or an old piece of bolt bucket that needs constant maintenance? If this issue is important to you, make sure you check out the equipment before choosing a certain company.
Whatever company you end up choosing, you might make a mistake. This is not a big problem. There are plenty of companies out there so eventually you’ll find the best one for yourself.
Choosing the best Truck Parking Spot is tricky and requires a bit more patience. Whether you are an experienced trucker or a newbie, you are always in need of good tips to make your time on the road as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. If your company is using trucking software to plan your trips, you’ll probably be spending less time on the road than the coworkers whose bosses are trying to save money on the newest technologies.
While the company owners are looking for ways to maximize their profits, it’s up to you to take care of yourself while you are behind the wheel. What can be complicated about choosing a parking spot, you’ll ask. Absolutely nothing if you find a nicely equipped rest stop. Unfortunately, not every road or even every state is ready to provide good parking solutions for a trucker. The trucking software can help your owners plan your stops, but it’s up to you to make them comfortable and safe.
- Before choosing the rest stop to park, make sure you think of a list of things to do while you are there. Do some quick planning beforehand. Try to take care of such things as fuel, restroom visits, and eating at one stop. Otherwise, you’ll be losing time looking for another rest area.
- Take advantage of all the services at the rest area. Most of the time even the most experienced truckers don’t know how many things they can use at a rest stop.
- Use a rest area instead of a truck stop. Rest areas allow you to pull through to a parking spot so you don’t have to back up. More accidents involving trucks happen at the truck stops than at the rest areas.
- When you have a choice, never park at the end of a row. End of a row is a high traffic area. At the same time, many tired drivers choose the end of the row. By avoiding it, you’ll keep your truck safe.
- Try to park so you don’t have to back out. Obviously, you’ll have to back out many times throughout your careers, but each time puts you into a certain danger. Try to minimize this danger whenever you can. Choose a “pull through” or a “back into” option when parking.
- When choosing a parking spot, make sure you don’t park across from the trucks that will need to back out. By not parking this way, you are taking your truck away from the “line of fire”.
- If you don’t have a choice of a spot and need to park next to an oddly parked truck. Make sure to write down its name and the DOT number.
- Try to find the spot with a lot of space around you. Such spaces are usually available in the back of the parking lot. Think about the safety of your vehicle rather than the extra 3 minutes it will take you to walk to the café.
If your company is advanced enough to use trucking software, ask for help when planning your stops. The more convenient the truck stops and rest areas are, the more chances you and your vehicle will be safe.