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.