Being an owner operator sounds like a dream for many commercial truck drivers. You get to choose your truck, loads, and how often you want to be home. You can even switch it up if you want! However, just wanting it isn’t enough. You have to work hard to be successful at this career.
Here are some tips to help owner operators become successful.
Show up every day. If you aren’t working, your business isn’t going to be working. Though you may not drive five days a week, you need to work hard every day. If your truck isn’t on the road, you should be working on maintenance to keep your truck running smoothly. You also need to use your downtime to set up your schedule with loads. You also can’t forget about your paperwork. If you get behind, you could spend weeks just working on all the paperwork.
But take time off for yourself and your family. As a hard-working commercialtruck driver, you deserve to take time off. You should spend evenings and weekends relaxing with your family. That being said, you may work evenings and weekends and have different days off to spend with your family. It doesn’t really matter when, as long as you make sure that you take time off to relax and unwind.
Choose your truck wisely. The biggest decision that you have to make is what kind of truck you are going to need. Notice, I said need, not want. You may want the flashy brand-new rig, but it might be a smarter decision to buy a slightly used model.
Same with loads. What you are hauling and when is very important. You should always have a goal of taking a load somewhere and bringing something back. You should avoid coming home with an empty trailer. You may also want to avoid waiting for a return load. If you can find something, take it.
Have a budget. When you are first starting out, you need to come up with a budget. You need to budget for your home, like your mortgage and groceries for your family. You also need one for your business, including fuel, maintenance, and other costs. You can’t forget about savings. You should try to put money into your savings (or at least work on paying off your debt) with every paycheck.
Don’t be afraid to learn from some older truckers (and the younger generation). We all have something to offer others, so make sure that you spend time talking to other truckers. You never know what you might learn from them (and how you can help them improve their business)!
When you are a new owner operator, you may feel like you are always working. However, if you don’t put the work in, you don’t have a business. You need to show up regularly, whether you are driving, planning out your week (or month), or just doing maintenance on your truck. You also need to take time off. If you are always working, your body doesn’t have a chance to unwind and get ready for another week. You also deserve to spend time with your family, since they are probably the reason why you are working so hard.
You also need to choose your truck and loads wisely. A good truck is worth every penny that you pay for it, as long as it does what you need it to do. If you buy a cheaper model, it may not have enough horsepower to haul what is on the trailer! Always figure out what you need it to do, before you buy a truck!
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