Truck drivers are an essential part of the economy. Becoming an owner/operator truck driver offers flexibility, access to a steady source of income and the freedom of the open road. It also comes with responsibility to other drivers, pedestrians and the company you are working for. There is a lot to learn in order to be a proficient driver and find steady work, but here are several useful tips that will help you along the way.
Research Different Industries
When thinking about starting a long-term driving career, pursuing one in a recession-proof industry makes sense. Consider driving for stable companies that have a proven track record of continued success, even when the economy is in a rut. It could keep you working, even when many other drivers are struggling to find freight to haul. Even better are the companies that offer guaranteed freight – this worry is then eliminated.
Buy the Right Equipment
Quality equipment does cost more, but will likely last longer and require fewer repairs. This is one area where you will want to discuss your plans with someone who has experience. Find out where you should spend a little more up front and potentially save more over time. Think about future resale value, too. It all adds up!
Take Cost into Consideration
Life on the road can be expensive. When you are calculating your earnings, think about what you will spend on food, lodging and other expenses, too. These costs may be mitigated somewhat if you are leasing with a company that offers benefits, such as fuel perks or tire discounts, so make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples when deciding on the best options for your future.
Hire a Certified Public Accountant
You know driving better than anyone. And you may even be a good business owner. However, you shouldn’t try to do it all. Hire an accountant to help you navigate the murky waters of finance and taxes. This is another instance where an upfront expense can save you money later. You may be missing some big deductions or forgetting a simple way that you could save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars each year. Many companies offer these services to their employees, helping to save their drivers time and money.
While these tips may help you get started as an owner/operator, don’t be afraid to ask questions of other more experienced drivers as well. Put all of this information together with your own experiences and soon you will realize success.