Featured image by Quintin Gellar
Every entrepreneur starts somewhere. For instance, Bill Gates started his multi-billion-dollar enterprise by tinkering with electronics in an Albuquerque garage. Automobile giant Henry Ford started his career as a machinist’s apprentice in Detroit. Earl and Linda Congdon started with just one truck running between Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. Their small business eventually grew into Old Dominion Freight Line, the largest trucking company in North America.
If they can create globally dominant businesses from nothing, you can certainly make a comfortable living by doing the same. Some truck drivers prefer the stability of an employee position, all the power to them. However, others want to be independent. They want to be the owner operator of their very own commercial truck business.
So, if you want to become an owner operator, you will need a mix of personal determination and outside help. In this post, let’s walk through a few critical steps on your path toward entrepreneurial independence.
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Determine Whether It’s Right for You
The first step is not a technical one. It is a moment of personal reflection. Firstly, consider the pros and cons of switching from steady employment to self-employment. You will need to trade set hours and benefits for longer, odder hours, and self-made money. You may be required to test your risk tolerance as you make investments in an uncertain future. So, be sure to loop your loved ones into the conversation and be open to outside opinions.
Register Your Business
Now, to the technical side of becoming an truck owner operator. You will need a CVOR Level 2 (or the equivalent in your place of business). This allows you to operate a commercial vehicle with a gross registered freight of around 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg).
It is also wise to incorporate your business, which shields you against litigation and protects your personal assets.
Buy or Lease a Truck
Your truck is by far your largest investment. In order to finance it, you will need the help of experts. Find an equipment financing company offering truck loans and leases. Explain your business to them, and your hopes for the future. Do you just want one truck, or are you hoping to grow into an entire fleet?
Also, ask them about major repairs financing options. If your truck runs into issues, you want to ensure that the incurred costs do not jeopardize your business.
While the entire point of becoming an owner operator, for many, is autonomy, insurers think differently. According to Truck News, insurers like to see that you are contracted to a fleet and have had your CVOR for a few years. Also, they want to see that you have been incorporated for three years. So, it’s not ideal.
However, you can opt for facility insurance, but the quotes are often much higher. It is better to contract with a reputable fleet for a few years as you make a case for your business.
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So, with a few straightforward steps and a little help from an equipment financing expert, you can become the owner operator of a one-truck business. Maybe you expand to include an entire fleet, or you spend your career working on your own terms. Who knows, you may even grow into a multinational company. You are in the driver’s seat.
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