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Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Trucking Company

The trucking industry is an explosive place of business in the United States. In a given year, billions of dollars of profits are created in revenue. That money won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, either. As long as people need products and products need to be moved, the trucking industry will remain alive and well. 

If you’re looking to starting a trucking company, now is as good as time as any to join in. Whether you’re a novice or an expert on the art of trucking, there’s a place for you to learn and grow within this large industry.

You don’t need to have an insane amount of time or money either. Many trucking companies keep six trucks or less, and you can start with a company with as few as one. Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about starting your own company. 

Get the Paperwork Over With

Like anything official, there will be a good deal of paperwork involved with getting your own trucking business off the ground. These forms can be difficult or even confusing to get through, but they will be necessary in order for your company to receive trucking authority and to be seen as legit.

There is an order of operations to this procedure that you need to follow. For example, you will need to apply for a US DOT number PRIOR to applying for trucking authority. You will not be approved for trucking authority without having a DOT number already assigned to you.

Getting a DOT number can take up to a month of time depending on when and how you apply. You’ll also need to set some money aside for submitting these forms, as the processing fees can be quite high. 

For submitting an application for trucking authority, you’ll have to include a fee of around $300. 

Get Money Together and Create a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a trucking company, you’ll need to make yourself aware of the significant costs you’ll be facing. A person who is expecting to start a company will need to put up somewhere between $6,000 and $15,000 to get their company off the ground. 

This is for a small company with one or two trucks to their name. Larger, full-scale trucking companies often burn through $5 million or more a year to keep their operations running. 

For this reason alone, it’s worth keeping your business as small as possible into you feel you’ve created a secure foothold for yourself in the industry. 

In making a business plan, you should outline the various costs you expect to run across. These include things like oil, fuel, maintenance, permits, insurance, and of course the cost of your trucks themselves. You should then outline the amount of profit you hope to make.

Do research on other similarly sized trucking outfits in your area. How much do they make on a typical shipment, and how often do they work? Use this knowledge to construct a potential profit prediction for your new business.

Make Sure You Have Great Insurance

Driving a large truck on the highways can be a risky job. Every year you hear stories of accidents involving trucking companies, and in some situations, people are badly injured or even killed.

Even in best-case scenarios, stellar insurance for your company will be a must. Insurance of some sort is a requirement by law, as you will need to have something in place in case you are found liable for some sort of injury or damage on the roads.

It is a good idea to do your research and to shop around for someone who can offer the best deal to your company. This is not the area to skimp out on, as a good insurance policy can really save your butt when something bad happens down the line. 

For this same reason, it’s always a good idea to have a relationship with a lawyer who knows the laws of the road as well. If you can find an Oklahoma truck driver negligence accident attorney near you that you trust, you’ll be better off for it. 

Should You Buy or Lease a Truck? 

The truck or trucks you purchase for your company will obviously be your biggest expense in getting started. Many would-be trucking company owners seem unsure whether they should pay for this expense upfront or break down this payment over many months. 

If you have the capital available to buy a truck or two upfront, this might be the way to go. If you’re willing to pay all at once, you’re more likely to get a good deal or a discount from a potential seller. You also won’t have to worry about factoring further payments into your monthly budget down the line, which can be helpful.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have the upfront capital to buy their trucks outright right away. In this situation, it might be more helpful to lease a truck and spread out this cost over a larger amount of time. 

Some dealers will lease a truck to you over a series of contracts, while others will provide a lease-to-own agreement that may be preferable. You should shop around and find a deal that works best for your current situation. 

This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your trucking company, and you should approach it with care. 

Starting a Trucking Company

Starting a trucking company can require overcoming a few significant challenges. But once you’re over the hump, it can be one of the most rewarding and exciting industries in the country. 

Need more advice on starting a company? Check out our business page for more.