On the roads, there are two categories of professional truck drivers: company drivers and owner operators.
Company drivers work for a freight company, whereas owner operators manage the business independently.
Before selecting which path is ideal for you, you’ll need to examine your skills and experience as well as your financial and personal requirements. Here’s what you need to know about becoming an owner operator and starting your own trucking business.
What to consider before becoming an owner operator
Concentrate on researching what you’re putting yourself into. There are two types of facts: the concept you have in your mind about something and the actual facts. Here are a few suggestions to assist you to decide if being an owner operator is suitable for you right now:
Communicate directly with current owner-operators
Talk with other truck owners about the advantages and disadvantages of being an owner operator vs a company driver. Their thoughts may provide you valuable insight into whether or not it is a suitable fit for you.
Consult with a lease-to-own company
These firms have systems in place that allow drivers to rent a truck from the firm or a bank and pay for it over time until they own it. Talk to a few to get a sense of how they work and what they might offer to potential owner-operators.
Talk with a local truck dealer
If you’re not using a lease-to-own firm, you’ll most likely buy your vehicle from a truck dealer. If they’re willing to talk, these businesses are rich with information on owning a truck and the industry as a whole.
What do you need to become an owner operator?
A commercial driver’s license (CDL)
Check your local regulations to be sure you satisfy all of the CDL criteria.
You could already have a CDL if you’ve worked in the trucking sector.
Whether you currently have one or not, be sure you have the right CDL class for the goods you want to transport.
MC and USDOT Numbers
In most places, driving a commercial motor vehicle necessitates the acquisition of a USDOT number.
This is especially the case if you intend to move interstate freight or hazardous materials in large enough quantities to need the acquisition of a safety permit.
Also, if you want to ship regulated goods, you’ll need to have an MC number.
Get all the equipment you’ll need
Examine what equipment or tools your business could require. For instance, most goods will require a truck and trailer, while long or broad loads may necessitate special equipment.
A truck and trailer can be purchased or leased from a trucking business.
Invest in trucking insurance
To make sure you have the right trucking insurance, look up the regulations in your region and talk to an insurance agent about your alternatives.
To handle their vehicles legally, owner-operators often require general and primary liability insurance.
In the case of an accident, this form of insurance will pay for damages to another vehicle or driver, as well as any damage to a storage facility or goods during transit.