Becoming An Owner Operator In 6 Steps

There are important self-assessments and critical decisions that need to be executed in order to ensure your success as an owner operator. Consider this a general framework of sorts around which to build your self-sustaining, profitable Business.

A Look At Equipment

Be realistic when choosing your equipment. A few factors to consider are the following:

  • What kind of fuel economy will your truck get?
  • Consider forfeiting some comforts to get a more reasonable price on your equipment
  • Think about what areas you will be operating in
  • Consider the age of the truck as well as amenities, warranty, mileage, etc.

Lease To A Company, Or Go Independent?

You will need to decide if you want to lease to a carrier or be truly independent. There are a number of benefits to each.

Advantages of leasing onto another carrier:

  • You won’t need to get your own operating authority
  • The company may reimburse/pay for permits, plates, and tolls
  • In order to operate your truck, you will need insurance which will be cheaper with fleet rates (in most cases)
  • Trailers are provided by the company
  • In many cases, you will have access to money transfers, advances, and company fuel cards

Advantages to being an independent owner operator:

  • You make all the decisions on load selections (without depending on a dispatcher)
  • You decide when you don’t want to make runs and when you do
  • There are no company policies or dispatchers to fight or disagree with
  • Depending on your lifestyle, you can select the loads that suit you best

Consider Your Finances

You can’t realistically think about going into business for yourself unless your finances are in order. Examine the following financial considerations:

  • It’s important to have a good credit rating. Do everything you can to fix it if it needs help.
  • While you’re looking at your credit rating, do yourself a favor and eliminate as much excessive debt as possible.
  • Consider very seriously investing in a time life insurance plan to make sure that your family’s cared for should the unthinkable happen.
  • Disability insurance is another investment that you need to think about making.
  • Make sure that you have an emergency fund that covers about six months-worth of living expenses.
  • Plan for a rainy day, live on a reasonable budget, and get a grip on expense items and your income. A budget is essential.

Take A Good Look At Yourself

Taking a good, long, hard look at yourself isn’t always easy, but it is necessary in order to figure out if life as an owner operator is something that you’re cut out for. Factors that are going to weigh heavily on your decision will be your habits, work ethic, and more. Take a look at the following criteria:

Are your career goals long-term or short-term? A successful future as an owner operator is far more probable if your plan is to keep on driving as long as you possibly can.

If you’re already covered under a spouse’s health insurance, you’re in luck. If you need employer- sponsored health insurance, you might want to stick with a company.

Your health should be impeccable. But even if you’re in good health, this might not always be the case. Are you prepared for a lengthy illness for an injury?

If you’re tied up with shared child custody or have a spouse with an odd work schedule, you may be too restricted to become an owner operator.

Kiss your weekends goodbye.

Are you prepared to run as many hours as possible my maximizing every available hour?

Seek Legal Advice Regarding Accounting, Etc.

To ensure your success, get sound advice from a qualified legal/accounting professional.

You’ll Need A Truck

Everyone would love a sleek, new, shiny truck. But that may not be a frugal decision at this point. Think realistically about whether or not you should buy used – at least for starters.

One surefire way to save money but still be assured of a dependable vehicle is to purchase a used truck and/or trailer from Mickey Genuine Parts. We have an assortment of used vehicles and parts and stand behind each one with the Mickey Guaranty and an outstanding reputation. If you have questions about new or used trucks or trailers, contact us today. Mickey Genuine Parts can make an owner operator’s life better in so many ways. Click here to see some of our used equipment.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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