How Can I Become a Successful Owner-Operator?

One of the major reasons why a truck driver with experience may consider becoming an owner-operator is for the greater freedom of job assignments and the flexibility in their scheduling as well as income. Rather than driving a company where hours, pay, and freight is decided for the driver, a licensed CDL driver can become their own boss by leading out to companies as an owner-operator. By doing so, they can choose what jobs they take on, choose what type of routes they want to drive and to some extent, even control how much income they bring in. However, if a truck driver wants to become a successful owner-operator, then they are going to need various things, to begin with.

What You Will Need to Begin Your Career Just like any career that requires an investment in education, becoming an owner-operator requires an investment through the buying of a truck. As with any truck, you can finance, lease, or outright buy your rig. It is recommended that you make a substantial down payment on the truck though as this will keep payments more affordable.

Successful Owner-Operator

You will need a lot of cash set aside for working capital so that you can pay out of pocket expenses such as insurance, meals, or unexpected repairs. You will also need the following: A Good Credit Rating: otherwise getting a loan for a rig will not happen and your career won’t begin. Even if you do get into a truck, having a bad credit rating can cause a lot of financial troubles down the line when it comes to budgeting expenses.

Stable Relationship is important as being away from a spouse or family can cause a lot of issues within the relationship. If you have child custody or have visiting rights with any of your children, this will need to be addressed.

Financial Commitment: be prepared for a long-term financial commitment. You will be paying for that new rig for a number of years, which means your business needs to pay off and you need to be able to afford it.

Expert Professional Advice: when it comes to legal and business advisors, you’re going to want the experts. You are deciding to go into business, which means you need to have a firm financial plan on both your personal finances as well as any business finances that come into play. Finally, you need to be in stable health. Trucking requires you to have a lot of uptime, and if you have any health concerns or issues, your license can be pulled rather quickly, leaving you in a bind.