After years of driving a freightliner for a transportation company, it can be very tempting to branch off on your own and become an owner-operator. As an owner-operator, you will work for yourself and build your own business, which can be very rewarding. But, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly-- it is important to plan and be prepared. If you want to make changes in your career and become an owner-operator, use the following four tips.
1. Secure Funding
One mistake that many truck drivers make during the transition to becoming an owner-operator is not having enough capital. Like any type of business, there are substantial start-up costs if you want to become an owner-operator. Unless you have saved a large amount of money over the years, you may need to take out a business loan to get started. Make sure that you have enough capital to cover all expenses as you work to secure contracts and routes; it can take a little bit of time to start turning a profit.
2. Secure a USDOT Number
As an owner-operator, you will essentially be a small transportation company. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires transportation companies to have a USDOT number, which identifies them and allows the administration to monitor safety records. Depending on what type of cargo you plan to haul, you may also be required to obtain a MC number that proves that you have authority to operate.
3. Purchase a Freightliner
As an owner-operator, owning a freightliner is essential to the job. When you're starting out, it is in your best interest to purchase a quality used freightliner instead of a brand new one. A used freightliner will cost a lot less than a new one, so payments will be more affordable. Take your time selecting your freightliner-- it is very important to find one that can last for a long time and won't require numerous repairs that will cut into your bottom line. For more information about purchasing a used freightliner, visit http://www.arrowtruck.com/.
4. Purchase the Right Insurance Policies
Carrying insurance as an owner-operator is typically required by law, but having the right insurance also protects you financially. The type of insurance and the amount of the policy will vary depending on the type of cargo you plan to haul. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced insurance broker who specializes in insurance policies for commercial trucking in order to ensure that you purchase the insurance that you need.