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owner operator make big bucks in trucking

Making the Big Bucks: Becoming an Owner Operator

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

 

trucker

The Tough Life of a Trucker’s Wife

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Mistakes Newbie Truckers Make

7 Unfortunate Mistakes Newbie Truckers Make

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

how to choose truck stops

How to Choose the Best Truck Stops

how to choose truck stops

how to choose truck stops

If you are an experienced truck driver, you know that not all truck stops are created equal. In fact, some of them are outright terrible. When you are planning your route, it makes sense to do some research about the places you are planning to stop at. But even if you need to suddenly park somewhere and get a bite to eat or take a bathroom break, there are a few tips that can help you make the right choice.

  1. Check Out the Fuel prices

The highest cost you’ll incur at a truck stop is the fuel price. That’s why you need to start watching for the prices a long time before you start running out of gas. After passing a few stops, you’ll get a good idea about the average price in the area. Gather information about at least three of them to make a decision.

Plenty of truck stops offer some kinds of cash back program. The next time you stop to refuel, ask if they have loyalty cards that will help you save money in the long run. While $5-$10 might not seem worth the effort, in 5-10 months it can add up to a significant amount.

  1. Look for Truck Stop Chains

Large truck stop chains usually have a significant advantage over individually owned truck stops. Most likely, a chain will offer higher quality fuel which can be a deciding factor for most truckers. Chain stops offer membership cards so you can enjoy discounts and service benefits. Owners of chain truck stops are always ready to spend extra money to attract customers so the truckers get additional bonuses for using their services. Chain stops are usually larger and have wider parking areas.

  1. Ask About The Services

Nowadays, a truck stop is not limited to a gas station, a café, and a parking lot. The modern truck stops are offering a wide range of services such as truck wash, gym, laundry machines, bowling alleys, and even chiropractor services. You are more likely to find a longer list of services at a large chain truck stop. However, smaller individually-owned stops can offer a few interesting benefits, such as medical and dental services, free internet connection, and a big variety of tasty food.

  1. Look at the Parking Lot

A good truck stop has a big parking lot with wide spaces. Unfortunately, such stops might also be more expensive than smaller ones. However, a large parking lot is often the deciding factor for truckers since it can save you plenty of time and nerves. Even if you are a parking guru, a spacious parking lot can be a great advantage and give you peace of mind.

  1. Trust Your Intuition

After all the research is done, allow your intuition to guide you. Sometimes, your inner voice does a better job choosing a place to rest than your brain does. If you feel that you don’t like something about the way a truck stop looks, just go on to find another one. After all, there are thousands to choose from.