Do you want to build your own trucking company as an owner-operator? If yes, keep continuing to learn about the essential things you need in order to efficiently run a trucking business!
Without a question, the transportation and trucking industry is profitable. It is very competitive and offers excellent opportunities for truckers. Below are some encouraging statistics from the American Trucking Association that validate our words:
- The trucking business today transports 70% of all cargo in the US.
- Over the coming decade, growth of 27% is predicted.
- 91% of trucking businesses have six or fewer trucks, indicating that small carriers dominate the sector.
However, before you enter the trucking sector, there are a few things you should think about. You may not be able to compete with new and current significant trucking firms if you enter this industry blindly.
In addition to keeping an eye on your competitors, we have curated a trucking company checklist for every truck owner-operator that will point you in the correct direction.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into them.
Table of Contents
Get Your Truck Properly Insured
When running trucks on roads or highways, the risk of an accident or other tragedy is always there. This is why having adequate insurance for your business trucks is critical. This way, you will not only defend your business money, but you will also protect the reputation of your brand. There are several forms of truck insurance available, including primary liability insurance, worker’s compensation, physical damage, comprehensive insurance, bobtail insurance, and others. You can make your decision depending on the solutions your company offers.
Pick Your Trucking Industry
You will know about the many sorts of trucks and the solutions associated with them as you enter the trucking business. Hotshot trucks, refrigerated trucks, medium to heavy-duty trucks, and other vehicles are examples.
Because your startup’s budget is limited, concentrating on one subject is a wise initial move. When your company’s financial situation improves, you may be able to extend your service offerings. The benefit of focusing on a certain specialization is that you can direct all of your workforce in order toward faster business growth.
Understand Your Upfront Costs
Poor cash flow is the most common reason for new business failure. As enticing as the trucking industry looks to be, it necessitates a big commitment on your part. To be able to start driving, you’ll need to make a significant investment upfront. Some of these costs include the down payment on your truck, registration plates, coverage, and license fees. Following these initial expenditures, you will incur additional monthly fees like gasoline, maintenance, and meals.
Create a Service Website for Your Company
Last but not least, create a user-friendly website. Your website acts as a doorway for your customers to know more about the operations of your trucking company. Most customers look for a company’s website before acquiring its products or services. Your prospective consumers will do the same to discover more about the transportation services you offer. As an outcome, your website must contain all relevant information. Check for crucial parts such as the homepage, service page, products page, contact, about us, and testimonials page.
Get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
You must obtain a Commercial Driving permit for both you and your truckers as the operator of a trucking firm. Many states in the US demand a CDL before operating commercial trucks. As stated in a business survey, your trucks must have credentials proving they may also go on public roads.
It is not difficult to obtain a CDL. Anyone who is driving the truck must have a clean driving record and must successfully pass a drug test. This is to ensure that security and dependability needs are met. Once you understand the specific requirements and rules associated with driving a heavy truck, you may apply for a CDL through your local DMV.
Recognize Your Tax Policies
The way autonomous truck drivers and owner-operators are charged is one of the most important differences. Many first-time company truck owner-operators are uninformed that they must start tax payments quarterly rather than having taxes taken from their paychecks on a regular basis by their employer. ATBS recommends that drivers set aside around 30% of their workweek revenues for quarterly taxes. This suggests that you should save all firm records and paperwork in order to track your earnings easily.
Obtain the USDOT Identification Number
If your company operates commercial trucks that cross state boundaries, you must enroll with the FMCSA. The USDOT number is a particular identifying number used for audits, exams, inspections, and compliance evaluations, according to the FMCSA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
After you have got the number, you will be granted permanent authorization. The main copy should be kept at your business, but you need to also print or mark the USDOT number on your vehicle. This can help authorities identify your truck and keep you out of trouble.
Get to Know the Rules You Must Follow
Before you start working as a truck driver, you should be informed of the rules and laws that must be adhered to. To keep your business running, your truck must meet or fulfill CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) standards.
Every truck driver must keep a working ELD, often known as an e-logging device, in their truck. This will help you remember your monthly Hours of Service. Finally, it appears that the CSA has a list of physical characteristics that must be completed in order to qualify as a certified driver. Every owner-operator has to be acquainted with each of these restrictions before driving.
Complete the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Process
The federal UCR contract pertains to your company if you operate a vehicle in statewide or international trade, according to Department of Transportation standards. This system was created to ensure that a driver had full coverage in all states in which he or she operated. You may simply register with your USDOT and mc ids. For more details, consult your state’s DMV.
Obtain a Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)
Finally, if you want to transport products abroad, you must have a standardized Carrier Alpha Code. This model is functional, and most businesses will refuse to work with transportation suppliers that do not have a SCAC. This code effectively recognizes transporters to business authorities while also establishing a framework of confidence for all stakeholders. If you need assistance, you can contact the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA).
Find New Customers and Expand Your Business
Finally, you’ll need to obtain freight to haul when you first establish a trucking firm. Using load boards to locate clients is one possibility for new freight firms. Another alternative is to begin establishing contacts with potential clients through marketing and networking. You can directly contact local shippers and meet new clients where they conduct business.
Final Words – Are you ready to establish your own trucking company?
That brings us to the end of the list of prerequisites for starting a trucking firm. While every trucking company is unique, these aforementioned suggestions may be used universally or tailored to your specific needs. Implementing all of them, or those that fit your business model will set your trucking company on the right track.
I hope you found the blog informative!
If there are any queries, please leave them in the comments area. We would be delighted to respond.
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