What an Aspiring Owner-Operator Needs to Ask About the Process

For many truck drivers, becoming an owner-operator is the dream. Owning your own trucking business comes with both major benefits and serious challenges, so it’s crucial to do your research before starting a business. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before making the transition.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming an Owner-Operator

Why do I want to be an owner-operator?

Before starting any business venture, it’s important to clarify your goals, ambitions, and intentions. Being an owner-operator comes with many perks, but it’s also not for everyone. Owner-operators have more independence than company truck drivers, but that also comes with more responsibilities, logistics, and paperwork. Before starting your own business, talk to other owner-operators to get their perspective and see if their experiences align with your goals. 

Will I make more money this way?

On the surface, it may seem like owner-operators will earn far more money than company drivers, but the math is complicated. Your operational costs will be significant and volatile,  especially at the beginning. When calculating income, consider time spent bookkeeping, researching, and communicating with clients. You have to factor in the costs of your truck, fuel, insurance, and permits, and you should be prepared at all times for unexpected repair costs. 

truck driver

You will also have better tax breaks, higher rates per route, and better contracts, especially if you’re incorporated. Taking all these factors into account will help determine whether you’ll make more money independently.

Am I financially prepared?

Running a business is an expensive endeavor, especially at the beginning. The startup costs for an owner-operator may make a serious dent in your savings, so it’s crucial to examine your finances. Do you already have debt? Are you worried about financing treatment for any medical conditions? How close to retirement are you? The answers to these questions are useful in determining how much you can afford to sink into a business before you get it off the ground and start making steady money.

How well do I know the ins and outs of the industry?

Trucking is a complicated industry, and it takes more than just good driving skills to run a successful operation. New truck drivers may be eager to become owner-operators, but that isn’t always a good idea. You need to be familiar with the long-term challenges of being on the road before jumping in. Once you’re certain that it’s the life for you, then you need to learn all you can about the industry, its standards, its operations, and its challenges. The key to a successful trucking business is knowledge of the industry.

If you want to break into the trucking industry, study with Hamrick School in Medina, OH. These trucking professionals have decades of experience both on the road and in the classroom. They’ve trained over 10,000 new truckers over the years and given them the knowledge and experience to succeed in the industry. Learn more about their admissions process online, and call (330) 239-2229 to ask about financial aid.

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