How to Become an Owner-Operator in the Trucking Industry

If you’ve been in the trucking industry for a while, then you may have considered the possibility of being an owner-operator. Having your own rig can allow you to enjoy a lot  of freedom when choosing your jobs. Plus, there is the potential to increase your income. Here are five tips that can help you out on your journey to becoming an owner-operator.

1). Consider Buying a Used Rig

The most significant barrier to becoming an owner-operator is buying your truck. If you are just starting, purchasing a new rig could be too much debt for you to carry. However, there are several high-quality, used big rigs that you can buy. For instance, a preowned Peterbilt 579 for sale is more affordable than buying a brand new truck. Be sure to check out as many listings and possible and see which used rig will be ideal for your needs.

2). Figure Out What You Want to Achieve

When you become an owner-operator, you are essentially running a business. Therefore you will want to have a business plan. Your business plan should answer basic questions such as how you will pay your debts (ex. the loan on your rig), how many jobs you are willing to take on, and your financial goals.

Some of the other factors that you will want to consider in your business plan are how you will close deals to get business, your current network of contacts, and your current physical health. Once you have created a complete evaluation of your business plan and your goals, you will be ready to take the next step.

3). Getting Your DOC and MC Numbers

To be an owner-operator, you will need to get a USDOT and MC number. You will also need to make sure that you have your health and truck insurance. Finally, you will have to make sure that you fulfill all the compliance and regulations required for being an owner-operator. For instance, you will need to make sure that your truck has FMCSA-compliant electronic logging devices.

4). Make Sure You Minimize Cost

Now that you are an owner-operator, you will want to minimize costs to maximize your profit. Some of the largest expenses that you will incur include vehicle insurance, the cost of fuel, compliance with vehicle regulations, and vehicle maintenance & repair. One of the best ways to save on fuel is to watch your speed. For instance, if you drive 65 miles per hour versus 75 miles per hour, you can save up to 27% on your fuel costs.

5). Make Sure You Get the Right Rig and the Right Price

Since your rig will be the most significant expense, you will want to make sure that you get the rig that you want at the right price. The first thing you want to do is look at your credit score. Whether you are looking to purchase or lease your rig, your credit score will significantly impact your pay rate. Also, being a longtime resident at one address will help you get approved for a great loan rate. Finally, a stable job history will factor into the rate that you will pay.

Becoming an Owner-Operator

An owner-operator can enjoy lots of freedom and high earning potential. Consider each of the following tips when pursuing your goal of being too owner-operator.