What does it take to become an owner-operator?
If you have a passion for the open road and big rigs, and if you want to start your own trucking business and become your own boss, then you should definitely consider becoming an owner-operator. However, becoming a successful truck owner-operator is not as simple and straightforward as just buying a truck and a trailer and heading out on the open road to make profits.
To achieve success, you will have to perfectly understand trucking and all of its smaller details. If you decide to go into the trucking world blindly and without a proper mindset, you will most likely fail very quickly. In order to achieve success as an owner-operator, you will have to familiarize yourself with all the intricacies of the truck driving world and think like a successful businessman.
If you are new to trucking, it would be wise to spend at least a year or two, working as a driver for a trucking company, such as the Status Transportation, before even thinking about becoming an owner-operator. Also, it would be a good thing to either purchase your own truck or get a loan from a leasing company or a bank.
A specific mindset
If you want to become a successful truck business owner, you need to have a different mindset than an ordinary truck driver has. When it comes to truck drivers, their only concerns are miles and making safe deliveries. On the other hand, an aspiring owner-operator must also think about a large number of business aspects, as well. If you think you will make money by focusing exclusively on your mileage, you will probably fail.
A wide range of costs
Remember that you will have to focus your attention on the aspects that ordinary truck drivers do not have to pay attention to. A truck driver is not responsible for any costs, whereas an owner-operator must cover a plethora of costs on their own. These can include road taxes, fuel taxes and costs, truck insurance, maintenance and repairs, truck washes, truck payments, tires, tolls, oil changes and more.
A truck driver employee does not pay for any of these expenses, In addition, they also have extra benefits that come with being a company employee, such as dental and health insurance, 401k programs and more. On the other hand, as an owner-operator, you will have to provide these benefits for yourself. Just remember not to repeat the mistake of many of those, who have decided to go without these.
Balance between your incomes and expenses
When it comes to the employed truck drivers, all of these expenses are covered by the company they work for. However, being an owner operator means having these expenses cut into your bottom line. Keep in mind that the money you make will be directly affected by the money you pay out. Also, do not forget that many of your expenses will be directly tied to the number of miles you cover. The longer the hauls and the more miles you cover, the more you will have to pay for maintenance, fuel and road taxes.
Before you embark on any long or short-distance haul, you will have to make highly detailed and accurate calculations, so as to ensure that you will end up with any kind of profit.
These are just some of the things you will have to account for when working as an owner-operator. If you think you have the right mindset and that you can handle these, then this is a career for you.