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Building a Career as a Trucking Owner-Operator

Truckers often start out working for large companies and driving big rigs they don’t own. But there’s a unique opportunity in this industry to be your own boss without actually starting your own trucking company. As an owner-operator, you’ll purchase or lease-to-own your own equipment. You’ll enjoy the freedom of being your own boss, and you’ll essentially be able to set your own paycheck.

Spend some time researching the right equipment for you.

The equipment you’ll need is heavily dependent upon the type of driving you to want to do. A flatbed won’t do for hauling livestock, for instance. Consider whether you’ll be driving intrastate or interstate. Intrastate drivers can get by with a small cab, while interstate drivers will want to invest in a comfortable, roomy sleeper berth. Fuel efficiency is also a major consideration, particularly for interstate drivers.

Create a comprehensive budget.

Every trucking owner-operator needs to make a budget. Over time, you’ll refine it as you get a better sense of your operating costs and income fluctuations. Remember to develop your budget with an eye toward weathering the lean times. Set aside money in a savings account every time you get paid. Don’t skimp on insurance, either. As an owner-operator, you absolutely need disability insurance. And if you have dependents or a spouse, you should get life insurance.

Develop smart driving habits.

Now that you’re paying for your own fuel as an owner-operator, it’s in your best interest to develop fuel-efficient driving habits. Consider your operating cost per mile. It’s likely that driving a little slower will save enough fuel to make the extra driving time worth it. Pay careful attention to your pre-trip and post-trip inspections. As soon as you notice any potential problems, get them fixed. Fixing mechanical issues right away can help prevent major repair bills later on.

At DSW, we’re known for our competitive pay, generous reimbursements, and equipment lease programs for truckers who would like to become owner-operators. Give us a call today at (888) 266-7534 to find out for yourself why our Tucson trucking company is so popular among drivers.