Many truck drivers start their careers as employees. After gaining experience in the trucking industry, some decide to work independently to enjoy more flexibility and earn more. However, being an independent owner-operator is a lot more challenging than being an employee. The good news is that there’s high demand in the industry, so finding professional and financial success alone is a very realistic goal.
How to be successful as an independent truck driver? Read on to learn more.
1. Start Small
Even if you have big plans in mind, it can be helpful to start small. Financing a trucking business can be difficult because trucks are expensive. However, just because you don’t have a fleet of the newest trucks on the market, it does not mean you cannot be successful. Starting small allows you to grow your business with minimal financial worries.
Many independent truck drivers start with second-hand trucks and gradually add more vehicles to their fleets to expand their operations. If you buy a used truck, make sure it has been well-maintained.
2. Be Diligent About Truck Maintenance
When you work independently, you are essentially a business owner who must manage all the operations related to the primary activity of your business. You are thus the sole person responsible for truck maintenance and repairs. Taking excellent care of your vehicle is vital. Without a reliable truck, you cannot respect the terms of your contracts and achieve your goals. It’s important to be strict about routine maintenance to avoid excessive downtime.
Another reason to take good care of your vehicle is to avoid being involved in an accident. Accidents can cause serious injuries and property damage that could result in lawsuits against you. If there’s an accident, as seen by many truck accident attorneys, truck drivers are often viewed as at fault in catastrophic road accidents. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your truck is in top condition at all times.
You must to consider is maintenance costs. As a business owner, you are financially responsible for covering the expenses related to maintenance and repairs. Making cost-effective decisions can help you grow your business faster.
How do you keep maintenance costs under control? The first tip is to compare offers when you need a product or service. For example, you can find the best prices for international truck parts online. Moreover, when you order parts online, you can have them delivered anywhere fast. Thus, you can get your truck back on the road in no time.
3. Be Ready to Wear Many Hats
A truck driver who works for a company must focus exclusively on moving commodities from one location to another on schedule. As a trucking owner-operator, you have a lot more on your to-do list. You must plan routes, take care of the paperwork, chase overdue invoices, provide customer support and assistance, and file taxes. Your duties will vary vastly throughout the day and week.
An independent truck driver must think like a business manager to be successful. Although owning a business is more difficult than being an employee, the financial and professional rewards are substantially higher.
Operating independently as a truck driver requires good management skills, but it is very rewarding. You can earn more while also having the freedom to make your own schedule and work only with people you choose. Buy reliable trucks that won’t let you down at inconvenient times.