Meet Warren and April, a newly retired California couple who decided to enter the trucking business. Both recently retired from their jobs and decided to go into trucking after determining that it would be a good way for them to see the country while earning money. Warren was somewhat familiar with the trucking industry having driven for a short time in his 20’s. He had to get his driving skills up to speed after not having operated a heavy truck for so many years. He did this and obtained his Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and passed the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) physical. He then taught his wife April how to drive and she too obtained her CDL.
They decided to own and operate their own trucking company with their one truck and trailer. They had two primary reasons for doing this. First and foremost is that they didn’t want dispatchers setting their schedules. They both have retirement income going to their bank each month so they don’t have to concern themselves with basic income. They wanted to be able to set their own schedule. Operating their own business allows them to work as they choose. They can work a few weeks and take a break if they choose.They sometimes take weeklong breaks if they want to vacation in an area of if they want to visit friends or family members in different states.
Although, they work as team drivers, they didn’t want to work as team drivers for a trucking company. Trucking companies hire team drivers because they want to keep their trucks running around the clock. Warren and April wanted none of that. As independent business owners they can alternate driving time between them as they choose. They can work when they want to work and be off when they want to. Such are the benefits of operating independently. Additionally, they can take loads going to areas they want to go to.
They bought a used truck and trailer from a dealer at a good price. They also shopped very carefully for the proper insurance and licenses. Finally, they obtained their operating authority and were in business. They get regular freight from a few companies and this works out well for them. They are successful fleet owners and are enjoying their new life on the road.
Truck drivers can be quite successful operating their own trucking business. Many operate for years with just one or two trucks. You will certainly have more freedom than if you worked for a major carrier. Good planning is a must so start with a good business plan. You must obtain the appropriate licenses and insurance. Finally, you must have a marketing plan which should include sources for getting business.
A well thought out business plan is a must. In fact it is one of the most important parts of running a business. It is like a road map. It will enable you to determine if you are reaching your goals. Unfortunately, many truck drivers don’t see the need of having a business plan, especially if they plan to be the only driver. However, even small fleet owners need business plans. It may be somewhat time-consuming to make a plan, but it can definitely benefit you in the long run.
This article was originally publshed Nov. 29, 2012 on Ezine.com.