Aug 10, 2019
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Getting Started: How to Begin in the Trucking Business

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Driving trucks gives you a unique opportunity to earn up to $100,000 in a single year. In some cases, you have trucking driving business owners who earn even more than that in a year. Considering how the truck driving industry was a $726.4 billion business in 2015, you have a highly lucrative business where you can make a lot of money if you do it right. However, you have to know the right things to pull it off correctly.

Tip #1: Know the Cost to Get Started

To get through with all the filing of setting up a company, you will pay anywhere from $1,000 up to $1,600. That includes the filing fees. You also have to look at the cost of getting a truck and carrying insurance on it. Typically, if you’re getting started, you may want to begin with a used semi-truck. The cost for these will range anywhere from $60,000 up to $80,000. For a new one, you could pay up to $100,000 or more for it.

Tip #2: Do a Personal Assessment of Yourself

Before you try to set out on your own in the trucking business, you may want to assess a few essential things to make sure that you get it right. For example, look at your work ethic, financial situation, and habits. This can help you to determine if you will succeed as a truck driver. You also have to look at if you will want to be out on the road for weeks on end, or if you would prefer to be home every weekend. Every individual will be different, and while some truck drivers don’t have a problem with this, you have others that aren’t as willing to budge. Besides, look at your health because you don’t want to be out on the road when you start to experience serious health problems. This can strike a financial blow to your business, and in some cases, you may be better off staying on the company payroll.

Tip #3: Do You Want to Lease or Purchase?

As stated before, whether you purchase or lease a truck, it can be extraordinarily expensive. You have to prepare for the cost. Whether you choose to lease or buy a truck will depend on your circumstances. For example, leasing is useful when you don’t have a lot of capital to work with upfront. You can lease the vehicle through predictable monthly payments that will make things easier on you. Instead of paying one big lump sum, you pay for it over time. The potential downside is that leased semi-trucks will almost always wind up, costing you more over the long term. Be wary of the salesperson because they will often get you to focus on the monthly payments, but you have to look at the total cost over the long term. Also, sometimes, leasing companies will add restrictions that can hurt your business. The advantage of buying is that you can do whatever you want with the truck, and no one can tell you that you broke the terms of a contract. Everything is up to your discretion when you buy a truck.

Tip #4: Build a Customer List

After you have gotten your CDL, you will need to build a list of customers. You may have to use load boards in the beginning, but you will want to build up a list of paying customers from day one. This means that you will have to make many phone calls, but over the long term, it will lead to a more sustainable business. You will have a stronger list of customers. As a veteran of the industry, you will earn double to that of what your competitors can make.

Tip #5: Schedule Your Loads Wisely

As much as possible, you want to make sure that dead road time doesn’t eat into your profits. You want to schedule a follow-up load close to each of your delivery points so that you will use less fuel getting from one point over to the next. Submit applications to all the loads in the nearby area to try to get one from there. Compare each of the offers that you receive. In doing this, you will also get some of the most profitable deals to take on so that your business will have higher chances of success.

Tip #6: Consider Your Equipment Carefully

The equipment that you buy will slant your business towards profit or draw you off a cliff into heartbreaking losses. Especially when you first start your trucking business, you want to make as much money from it as possible. Don’t think only of the striking good looks of the Peterbilt. Can your business hold up to the demands on the fuel economy and the profitability? If you couldn’t, then you should look elsewhere.

You don’t necessarily have any hard-drawn lines when it comes to your equipment, but some of the factors that you need to consider include:

  • Torque
  • Horsepower
  • Transmission
  • Driving style
  • Engines

Tip #7: Don’t Let Debt Cripple You

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says that one of the things that he looks for in a business comes from its low debt. Low debt keeps you from having severe limits placed on your business. It ensures that you can function properly, and when times get hard such as the economy goes through an economic recession, it increases your chances that you will have the ability to weather it and get stronger.

Tip #8: Keep Good Credit

One of the things that a truck driver can underestimate comes from keeping good credit. Having good credit will give you access to loans that may not have been available otherwise. This ensures that you can cover the costs of your equipment if the need ever arises. Besides, good credit can help you in other ways like making you eligible for good credit cards like fuel rewards (something that can be advantageous to a trucker).

After you have gotten your CDL, the next step is to get your trucking business started. You have a host of benefits that you get from this, and the trucking business can bring you higher profits and prosperity. Not to mention, you enjoy a greater level of independence than what you would experience otherwise. Taking the most from the benefits can leave you in a better position. You can focus more on accomplishing what you truly desire with this setup.

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