There is no set path to becoming an owner-operator. The essential requirement is the commitment to learn and grow in the industry. There are steps that you can follow to obtain the permit, but that is not enough.
You need the first-hand experience if you want to flourish in the trucking industry. Before you dive into the steps and requirements to become an owner-operator, it is essential to know what is in store for you.
If you are inclined towards this industry and want to gauge more information about the steps involved, you have landed on the right article.
What Is An Owner Operator?
Owner Operators are either self-employed individuals or a small company that offer the services of trucking. These individuals usually gather their first-hand experience by working for the more prominent players. Once they know enough about the market, they set out on purchasing their trucks and working independently.
Becoming an owner-operator means choosing the work that you deem fit for yourself. You do not have to be submissive about deliveries that you do not want to take up. Independence is the biggest motivation for the truckers who leave big conglomerates and start their agencies.
How Much Does An Owner Operator Make?
The money involved in being an owner-operator is much more than the salary you get as a truck driver for someone else. You have your sumptuous profits to take back home.
There have been many acts and regulations that have decentralized the trucking industry. Many individual truckers now enjoy the benefit of setting their prices, which can be significantly distinct from the cartel prices that exist in the market. Manufacturers can quote their prices rather than sticking to the fixed-rate card of the more prominent players.
One important thing that you must consider is the number of expenses that are incurred too. If you are a relatively small trucker, these expenses can stand very tall against your dream to have your truck.
What Are The Steps To Get Into Owner Operator Trucking?
Just like every other career choice, there are some steps that you have to follow if you are set to become an operator driver. You will need a permit and also tons of other assets. You should ensure that you pay due consideration to each step before acquiring any immovable assets for your business.
You have to give a lot of time to this thought before acting upon it. Being a trucker means driving on the road for unhealthy amounts of time. It keeps you away from your family and will wreck your social life. You should involve your close ones in this decision as they will be facing the consequences too.
You must also evaluate your future endeavors. If you have different plans for your career than the one you are indulging in, you should reconsider your business plan before everything else.
The most important and the only quintessential factor is the amount of money that you will require before kick-starting your journey. There are many significant investments, and the most important one out of them is the truck that you will have to buy.
You should have enough money to pay for the down payment. A good clientele can help you recover the EMIs if you are consistent in your efforts. The next significant investment is of an office and parking space, but that can happen after a few months too. You must always be prepared for the contingent liabilities. If your truck breaks down, a considerable amount of expenses are included.
Your business will also need a lot of working capital in the form of fuel charges, Insurance, salaries, meals, and many other such expenses. You will have to make sure that you have enough liquidity to meet out these expenses.
Obtaining The CDL
CDL is the acronym for Commercial Driver’s License. In order to carry out the third-party delivery orders, you will need a CDL. Getting a CDL is a problematic affair as it has many layers.
You will have to pass the DOT physical test, select the type and then pass the knowledge test and the skills test.
Once you get the CDL, a lot of problems are resolved. Your business turns official, and you will be able to land a lot more clients than your existing base.
Good Credit Rating
You must have the power to pay for stuff in credit. You will have to undergo a lot of credit transactions for getting fuel and other variable expenses.
If your bank does not have enough trust in you, your frozen credit can be the reason for your business’s demise. There are a lot of schemes that commercial banks prepare only for truckers. These schemes benefit the truckers by saving a small amount due to personalized mechanisms.
Health is wealth. This quote fits perfectly in this case. If you do not have the right health status, it will be impossible for you to drive a truck. Truck driving needs complete focus for very long hours, and if you get tired quickly, you should consider other options.
Even if you get into the business with perfect health conditions, there is a high chance that the process will strain your body. You should give your body the optimum rest it needs to achieve the maximum productivity levels.
Independent Or Leased?
There are two options that you can consider when you are starting the business. Leasing the operations to a carrier provides you with a lot of room to focus on the significant aspects of the company. The carrier will make arrangements for your freight, Insurance, permits, and even the license plates.
It is better to have an in-house consultant at a later stage. You can go for an independent system too, but it has some risks like slow customer payment. All these roadblocks are responsible for the central management to deviate from the primary business.
Is It Worth It To Become An Owner Operator?
The answer to this question might vary from person to person. If you are highly motivated by the industry and have the right business plan to conquer it, it is definitely worth it. You have to evaluate your own choices, and only that can help you to reach a conclusion.
You will have to make a lot of sacrifices in terms of your personal life and health, but if you have the right skills to manage your time, you will work it out.
Being an owner-operator is the perfect start to turn your small business into better things. Chalk out a business plan with the help of the right advisors, and you will be reaping benefits in no time.
Being an owner-operator is choosing a life of patience and focus. Your decision has to be rock solid because the benefits might take some time to be visible.
The above-mentioned things are the main decisions that you have to consider. If you believe that you have a green check in all the categories, you are all set to deliver some goods!