There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to starting a trucking company and it is easy to become overwhelmed with the process and lose sight of how to be successful.
One of the first things you need to before even starting your trucking business is ensuring that the freight will be there for you to haul. Too often prospective owner-operators start spending money on buying equipment, hiring drivers, and leasing trucks that they dig themselves into debt before having any loads to haul. Without the contacts to haul freight, your trucking company will never get off the ground.
Another important thing to do before you start to haul is creating a clear plan for your trucking business. Create a list of fixed and variable expenses and compare that to the amount of money you expect to make from hauling loads. Have a financial plan for your trucking business as well as a personal plan so that you do not mix the two. Owner-operators often make the mistake of merging their own spending habits and needs with those of their company. Be prepared to save about 20 to 30 percent of your expected profits to cover unforeseen expenses such as the breakdown of a truck or a surge in diesel prices and know how this will affect your own personal spending.
After you’ve secured some loads and developed a solid plan, be sure to make a smart decision when obtaining trucks and hiring drivers. Buying or leasing a used truck is likely a good way to save money but be sure that the truck is reliable and will not end up causing you to lose money on repetitive repairs and maintenance fees later one. When hiring new drivers, you may save money by finding somebody that is inexperienced but this could be a risk that should be carefully considered. If you do decide to hire an inexperienced driver, be sure to thoroughly check their skills before sending them out on the road.
Now that you have everything you need to get your trucking company started, it’s time to start thinking about the creative factors that will help you stand out. Come up with a creative name that people will remember and develop a company policy that will attract new drivers. Flexible hours and a variety of benefits can go a long way in keeping your drivers happy and building up a good reputation for your trucking business.