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Important Business Advice for Owner-Operator Truck Drivers

When you get tired of seeing the same old things and working the same old boring job, you may be interested in starting a business as a long-haul truck driver. Before you do that, there’s some important business advice for those who are considering becoming an owner-operator and starting your own business.

How great would it feel to own and operate a trucking company and build it from the ground up?

There are more than 350,000 owner-operator truck drivers registered in the United States today, and it’s not hard to see why. Owner-operator truck drivers love the freedom that they enjoy when they take the leap of faith and jumpstart their own business.

If you’re a long-haul truck driver looking for a new opportunity, becoming an owner-operator trucker might be a great option for you. But before you go out on a ledge and attempt to start a business for yourself, you should keep a few things in mind.

Here are some valuable pieces of business advice for all of the owner-operator truck drivers out there.

Make Sure You Have the Funds in Place to Be an Owner-Operator Truck Driver

Becoming an independent long-haul truck driver is not cheap.

The first thing you’ll obviously need to invest in is a reliable truck that you can use to do all your long hauling. Trucks can be very expensive, and in most cases, truckers have to spend years paying them off.

Wait until you can afford to put down a large down payment on a truck before you decide to become an owner-operator truck driver. Otherwise, you’re going to end up putting yourself behind the eight-ball from the start.

Wait until you have working capital in place as well. The last thing you want to do is start a trucking operation only to find that you can’t afford to pay for a costly truck repair, insurance, meals, or all of the other things that go along with trucking.

Secure a Truck You Know You Can Count On

As a long-haul truck driver, you’re going to need a truck that you can count on. Whether you purchase a new truck or a used truck, it needs to run properly and be able to stay out on the road.

More than a few owner-operator truck drivers have gone out of business almost immediately because of problems with a truck.

When you’re working with a trucking company, you don’t have to worry too much about the condition of a truck. You can have it fixed if it ever breaks down. But when you own the truck, you’re ultimately responsible for keeping it up and running.

If you can’t afford to do it or if you buy a truck that breaks down on you every other week, it’s going to turn into more of a hassle than it’s worth.

Think About How It Will Affect Your Personal Life

Owner-operator truck drivers need to be dedicated to their jobs. A long-haul truck driver will often spend days, if not weeks, driving all across the country and dropping shipments off.

This can really take a toll on your personal life if you don’t have friends and family members who understand your situation. They’ll constantly hound you about not spending enough time at home.

Take some time to consider how becoming an owner-operator truck driver is going to affect your personal life. Is your spouse going to get why you need to be out on the road all the time? Are your kids going to resent you for traveling so much?

Don’t wait until your personal life is falling apart to think about these things. It could ruin either your business or your home life.

Hire Business Advisers to Help You Create the Right Accounting Practices

If you’ve never run an owner-operator trucking business before, you probably don’t have the slightest clue how to keep records, send out invoices, or pay taxes.

It’ll ultimately be your responsibility to learn the basics as far as doing all these things. But you’ll also need to surround yourself with smart people who can help you along the way.

Set aside some money to devote to hiring people you can trust to help run your business. It’ll help you avoid running into accounting problems later.

Consider Leasing to a Carrier When You First Get Started

Everyone loves the idea of working for themselves and being completely independent. But when you’re first getting started, you might consider an option called leasing to a carrier to get things off on the right foot.

When you’re leasing to a carrier, the carrier that you work with will often be in charge of handling things like operating permits and freight requests. They can also usually provide you with credit card systems that you can use for refueling and more.

While leasing to a carrier isn’t the right option for everyone, it’s an option worth thinking about if you’re not 100 percent ready to be a fully independent long-haul truck driver. Dealing with dispatchers from a carrier for a year or two might be worth it if it allows you to make yourself more independent later.

Take a look at CDLHunter to see some of the trucking opportunities that are out there.

Be Patient and Don’t Try to Grow Too Quickly

Lots of owner-operator truck drivers make the mistake of trying to grow their businesses too quickly. They’re very gung-ho about getting things going at the beginning but eventually lose steam and start to sputter.

Don’t make this mistake!

Commit to being as patient as you can be when you begin working as a long-haul truck driver on your own. It’s better to create a stable foundation for your operation than to bite off more than you can chew and get overwhelmed.

If you take this approach, you’ll be able to turn yourself into a profitable owner-operator truck driver in no time. You’ll be satisfied with the results you get when you put a plan into place and start to execute it without rushing through the process.

Start Working as an Independent Long-Haul Truck Driver Today

You work hard as a long-haul truck driver. Start making more money for yourself and make the future brighter for your entire family by becoming an owner-operator truck driver.

As long as you follow some of the advice listed here, you should have no problem turning your journey into a success story. You’ll enjoy working for yourself and living life by your own rules.

Read our blog to get access to more advice that will help you run a business.