Questions to Ask Before You Start an Owner Operator Business

Whether you are just starting out as a commercial truck driver or have been one for years, you may be wondering if you are ready to start your own business. It may be exciting to finally choose the truck that you get to drive every day, as well as what you want to haul and where you want to take it. However, it is a lot more than buying a truck and hauling loads.

It is a business that needs to be taken care of. You need to ask yourself some serious questions to make sure that you are ready (or even want) to start your own owner operator business. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself. 

Are you prepared to run a business? Not only are you going to be driving hours every week, you also need to do everything else that goes along with running a business. You are going to be in charge of truck maintenance, finding loads, and taking care of the paperwork. Though you may have help with some of it (such as paperwork), you are still going to have to make sure that everything gets done, or your business will struggle. 

Do you have a good savings account? You are going to need capital to get a trucking business started. You are going to need to be able to purchase (or even lease) a truck, which can be quite expensive. Then, you need to have extra money available, in case something needs to be fixed on your truck. What if your truck is out of commission for a few days or weeks? If you get sick and need to take a week off of work, do you have some money to fall back on? It often helps to have a supportive spouse who can help you pay the bills, for the weeks that aren’t as profitable. 

Are you mechanical? You will be able to save money on a mechanic if you are able to do the maintenance on your truck. If something breaks (whether at home or on the road), are you able to work on brakes, change tires, and do other mechanical work? Though you may not be able to work on the engine or transmission, it often helps to have a mechanical ability as an owner operator. You are going to want to do as much of the work as you can, in order to save some money. 

Do you understand the trucking industry? Though you may want to start your trucking career as a business owner, it often helps to have a solid understanding of how the trucking industry works. You aren’t going to want to start a business and then decide that spending days and weeks on the road just isn’t for you. You don’t want to take a loan out for a truck and then find that you can’t do it. 

Do you know other owner operators? The best way to get started with something is to talk to someone who is a part of it. Talk to other owner operators and listen to everything that they have to say. They will know what trucks work best, what you should avoid, and tips to get the best loads, as well as everything in between. 

If you want to become an owner operator, you should ask yourself some questions before you start. You need to make sure that you can make the time to do the business stuff, not just drive the truck. It also helps to be mechanical. This can save you a lot of money (and trouble), if you can work on your truck yourself. It also helps to talk to others who are owner operators. Listen carefully and learn everything that you can from them. They will have a lot to teach you! 

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David Ott

David Ott