The decision to become an owner-operator truck driver can be daunting. There are many factors that you need to take into consideration before deciding to start your own trucking company. While it is possible to make this decision right out of commercial driver’s license (CDL) school, being an experienced truck driver has its advantages. Additionally, understanding the trucking industry and what potential expenses are associated with operating your own independent business can help set you up for being a successful owner-operator.
Other things that you should take into account:
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
One of the first steps in owning your own trucking business is self-evaluation. Having clearly defined goals can help you make more informed decisions. Being your own boss has some distinct benefits, like the potential for greater earnings and being able to create your own work schedule. However, business ownership is not always the best fit for every driver and their families. You must be able to realistically review your situation before making this big step.
Are you financially ready?
The state of your finances plays an essential part in how seamlessly you can transition into being an owner-operator. Starting your own small business can require thousands of dollars upfront to cover licensing, taxes, insurance, and many other costs. It can also determine how you are going to acquire your trucking equipment. Having a good credit rating can make financing easier. This allows you to obtain the lowest interest rates. Lenders also look at factors such as how long you have been a resident at your current address and whether or not you have a stable job history.
Are you going to buy your truck and trailer outright or finance the purchase?
Deciding if you should purchase or lease a truck has much to do with your available assets. A used heavy truck in good condition can cost over $60,000 and run upwards of $100,000. Another option is to lease a truck. Many trucking companies, including DSW, have lease-to-own truck purchasing options. This can save you the biggest up-front cost of becoming an owner-operator.
Do you have knowledge regarding road regulations?
Not only does starting your own company require cash upfront to cover your operational and equipment costs, it also takes knowledge of all of the licensing and road regulations required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The trucking industry is heavily regulated, with new laws added every year. You need to be prepared to acquire the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers to operate legally, not to mention that you must be covered by health and truck insurances. This can take time and patience as it can take over a month to get your application approved by the FMCSA. Despite these requirements, the potential benefits can outweigh the inconvenience.
Why choose DSW as an owner-operator?
At DSW we take pride in our expertise and will work with you to meet your goal of becoming a successful business owner. We offer competitive pay, a large freight network, repair facility, savings on fuel, and much more. DSW can even help you acquire a semi-truck through our lease program.
We help you grow your career.
DSW is a great place to work for drivers at all stages of their careers. Whether you are just starting out, have years of experience, or want to pair with us as an owner-operator, you can take advantage of great pay, benefits, and an open-door policy with management.