The Cost of Starting a Trucking Company

With trucking leading the way as the dominant mode of transporting freight, there has never been a better time for starting a trucking company. The industry is expanding and there are tremendous opportunities for individual truck drivers to capitalize on this growth. If you’re tired of working under a dispatcher and ready to put in the long hours, starting a trucking company could be the right way to go.

With the proper resources, planning, and work ethic, owner-operators are likely to make much more money than company employed truck drivers. According to the Department of Labor, the average yearly salary of an employed trucker is just over $37,000, while the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association reports owner-operators earn a median gross income of $160,000. The money is there to be made, but here are a few steps that will help guide your transition from a company truck driver to the owner-operator of a trucking business:

  1. Lifestyle
    • Before investing in your own trucking company, consider the lifestyle requirements that are involved. Owning and operating a trucking business requires long hours and lots of time away from home. While owner-operators have much more flexibility and freedom than company employed truck drivers, starting a trucking business requires a lot of hard work. If you’re willing to take on the challenges to turn a profit and build your brand then it’s time to take the next step towards starting a trucking company.
  2. Market and Network
    • If you’ve decided that being an owner-operator fits well enough with your lifestyle and are ready to be starting a trucking business, it is time to market your brand and build a network of connections. Attend trade shows and use any existing contacts to establish relationships with other businesses and trucking companies. When starting out, a successful owner-operator must always be open to working with new people and expanding their base of customers.
  3. Independent or Sub-contract?
    • A big decision that an owner-operator has to make before starting a trucking company is whether to sub-contract their loads. By sub-contracting, owner-operators save money on taxes and reduce their workload by paying other independent drivers to haul their freight. If an owner-operator chooses to stay completely independent and hires their own fleet of drivers, they will have greater start-up expenses but stay in control and maximize their potential profits.
  4. Budget and Expenses
    • When you feel it’s finally time to put forth the initial investment for starting a trucking company, make sure to add up all your expenses and organize a budget for the prospective year. Also, remember to stay in close contact with an accountant and be up to date with the government licensing and permits required by each state.

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