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5 Ways to Sell Your Work Truck Fast

Should I Trade In or Sell My Commercial Vehicle?

Be Your Own Boss: 8 Tips for Becoming an Owner-Operator

Commercial Truck Owner-Operator

As a commercial truck driver, there are a number of advantages of becoming an owner-operator of your own trucking company. By becoming your own boss, you get to be in charge of the schedule, routes, loads, hiring, training, and all other major business decisions. And of course, if everything goes well, there’s also the opportunity to earn a lot more money as the boss. But before you decide to go solo or run your own fleet, there are a number of important points to consider. Here are Commercial Truck Trader’s eight tips for becoming an excellent owner-operator.

1. Have Knowledge of the Industry

Owner-operators often have years of commercial truck experience prior to starting their own business. When you’re working independently, you’re not going to have the resources of a bigger company and you’ll have to find your own suppliers and clients. With industry knowledge and previous experience, you’ll develop a familiarity with effective company practices, expertise navigating the road and regulations, managing employees, and fostering a positive reputation with larger clients that will help you establish a thriving business.

2. Be Dedicated

Any entrepreneur will tell you that successfully starting a business from scratch will take 100% of your time and attention. If you have driving experience, you know what it’s like to be separated from your family, friends, and home for extended periods of time. However, as an owner-operator, the job doesn’t stop once you park. Any time off the road will likely need to be spent managing your business. Becoming an owner-operator is only for those who are self-starters and have flexibility in their personal lives with relationships and living situations.

3. Understand Your Financial Situation

In order for your own business to take off, you have to be in control of your financial situation. Managing a budget will be one of your top responsibilities as an owner-operator. Going into debt, using your savings, handling emergencies, and keeping things moving when business is slow may be critical to surviving. Consider the costs of vehicles, insurance, fuel expenses, regulation fees, regular maintenance, unexpected repairs, and offering competitive pay and benefits to employees. Financial management resources are highly encouraged, so you should consider consulting accountants, receiving legal advice, and making use of investments. 

4. Get Licensed and Establish Your Business

 To become an owner-operator, first you will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). After you have taken the required classes, undergone training, and passed tests, you will earn your license.

When it’s time to start your own company, you will need to establish your business status with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Commonly, new owner-operators choose to structure their small business as:

  • Sole proprietorship: You’re working individually without a staff or board of directors and take on full responsibilities legally and financially
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): You operate individually or through a partnership while your business liability risks are separate from your personal assets


Once you have claimed your status, you will have to apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation number and motor carrier number, which allow you to operate commercially. You will also need to acquire insurance and obtain an electronic logging device with the FMCSA to record your hours of service for business operations.

5. Implement a Business Strategy

Think about what running your own business entails, whether you’re operating by yourself or managing a team. You need a business plan that includes strategies for marketing, finances, and management for employees. Create a company mission statement, overview, and goals for clients, investors, and your staff. And, of course, you need a strategic plan for how you intend to turn a profit and keep your business alive.

6. Use Online Load Boards

Online load boards are websites that connect potential clients with shipping companies. These load boards are great for targeting clients, growing your business, and generating profits.

7. Choose the Right Vehicle

Choosing a work truck or van can be determined by your experience, budget, and long-term commitment to the business. If you’re a newer driver or uncertain of what commercial vehicle may be best, leasing is an option. Initially, this can give you an opportunity to test what vehicle works with your agenda, though it will end up costing more after an extended period of time. Check out Commercial Truck Trader’s Checklist for Buying Commercial Vehicles to help you find the right truck or van for handling shipments and achieving your company goals.

8. Become a Good Manager

If you grow your company enough to take on drivers other than yourself, you need to know how to hire and manage effectively. Because workforce management is an essential element of fleet management, we’ve released a number of recent articles to help you get the most out of your drivers. Check out the links below for more management tips and tricks.

 

Conclusion: With a number of industry requirements, regulations, and responsibilities involved with running your own commercial truck business comes the opportunity to take control. With some guidance, this is your chance to earn more, set your routes and schedule, and find success. Take the next step today and find the right commercial truck by seeing all of the new and used marketplace listings on CommercialTruckTrader.com.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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