How to become an owner-operator? The ultimate goal of any business is to deliver products to the end-user. The globalization drive symptomatic of modern civilization has led to the expansion of the companies reach and consequently to the rampant growth of consumer audience. If you are owner-operator - find loads better.
As the surge in the number of consumers is only likely to enhance, ventures will find it increasingly hard to keep up with catering to the needs of this vast pool of customers. And this is where owner-operators can lend a helping hand.
Meet an Owner Operator
Enterprises address big freight companies to transport goods to different destinations. These companies can deliver any volume of cargo wherever you want. Big companies are cumbersome mechanisms that lack the immediacy of reaction and prompt adjustment to unexpected challenges.
Smaller agents who own their logistic business and drive the truck themselves (aka owner-operators) are more flexible in their day-to-day activities and have greater freedom concerning their working routine. It means the ability to select any orders they are comfortable with, flexible working hours, and customized vehicle and other equipment tailored to fit all ergonomic requirements of the driver.
How to become an owner-operator? We at EZLOGZ know that there are considerable financial perks for companies that commission owner-operators' services. Their moderate rates come from self-employed entrepreneurs. They can fine-tune their pricing policies for each project. Besides, they defray all related expenses, relieving the customer of this headache and burden.
Owner Operators: All in the Day’s Work
What are the jobs for owner-operators? Conventionally, an owner-operator is a Jack of all trades. Their first responsibility is managing their own business. It presupposes registering and controlling expenditures, scheduling workflow activities, and maintaining their truck and machinery in order.
In addition, truck owner-operators find clients to transport goods for them, acting as a contracted party or an independent one-and-done agent. To do that, they search for jobs at specialized boards for businesses needing transportation services through personal contacts with the former employers or by using other channels to cinch an assignment. The search becomes easier if the owner-operator contracts with a company that sends them shipment orders as soon as there is anything to deliver.
On getting a commission, an owner-operator either runs errands personally or assigns logistic tasks to drivers employed by them permanently or for this assignment only.
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How to Launch your Business as an Owner Operator
Becoming an owner-operator and free to make your life choices has always been a part of the American Dream, yet it means taking full responsibilities upon oneself, too – both for the venture you are embarking on and for the people who work with you by the side. Armed with this awareness, you should approach the future career of an owner-operator with utmost care. What should you do to become one? At first, if you started your career as an owner-operator then find loads.
Step 1. Size up your Position
Ask yourself some questions about your future occupation. Are you competent enough in this sphere to start a business of your own? Do you realize all the hardships of the trade (being away from home and family for long spans, driving your truck for many hours on end, etc.)? Are you physically fit for this kind of job? Do you have sufficient seed capital to kick off? Do you have a wide circle of contacts in the industry to last you for a time until you find new clients?
By giving passionless answers to these questions, you will see whether becoming an owner-operator is your cup of tea. A tip: if you have worked in this field for less than three years, it is better to peg away as a truck driver first to get the necessary experience.
Step 2. Study the Lay of the Land
It is wise to collect intelligence from professionals – fellow owner-operators and other related specialists, such as small business runners or tax experts. Their experience and advice can furnish valuable information about what the career you have chosen has in store for you.
Also, it is vital to pick a comfortable model for your future activity. By leasing onto some trucking company, you will get a constant inflow of transportation orders, but it will hamstring your flexibility. A possible trade-off is an independent operation. It is likely to generate greater profits but will require searching for customers independently. And don’t forget to buy an ELD and check the electronic logbook.
Step 3. Receive a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
If you have a regular trucking license, it won’t do. It should be a technical document called CDL. To get one, you should be 21 or older, have a conventional driver’s license, pass a road skills test, and obtain a specific permit with subsequent completion of a CDL training program.
If you are a seasoned CDL driver, make sure your certificate is relevant to the type of cargo you are going to transport (for instance, a hazmat endorsement appended to the CDL to be able to carry hazardous substances).
Step 4. Get Other Licenses
CDL is not the only document you must have to become a truck’s owner-operator. The two basic numbers for any freight driver to have been the one from the US Department of Transportation and a motor carrier one. If your logistic routes are going to cross state borders, an interstate license is also a must. Since many red tapes are involved in obtaining these licenses, you should apply for them well before you actually start to work.
Step 5. Obtain Trucking Insurance
Your paperwork routine isn't over yet. You should have truck insurance to cover possible damage to the cargo, other vehicles, or loading facilities that may suffer in case of an accident. Typically, primary and general liability insurance for legal operations in the trucking industry will do, but you should consult a specialist in the sector to be on the safe side.
Step 6. Acquire Necessary Equipment
Your truck may not be enough to cater to your customers' needs. You will need specialized equipment or a trailer if they want you to carry excessive loads - truck maps, truck navigation, truck GPS, ELD (electronic logging device with electronic logbook and elogs). Any of them can be either purchased (in which case you should find a low-interest loan) or taken on lease. The latter option may come at an additional price of doing some jobs for the equipment owners. A possible alternative is a lease-to-own truck model where you can use the leased machinery until you partially or entirely pay off its cost to become its owner.
Step 7. Peruse Load Boards to Find Orders
These are invaluable information sources for trucking companies with some freight to deliver and looking for drivers to do it. The latter are typically paid by the load percentage or by the distance to carry it. Modern digital trucking technologies offer a broad scope of such boards – from websites to apps. You are to pay to use some of them whereas others are free, so make sure which one you are dealing with.
Step 8. Aim for Cost Reduction
Several life hacks can help you cut down on expenditures:
- Augment fuel efficiency by driving at a consistent speed that is as close to the truck’s speed limit as might be.
- Maintain your equipment in a satisfactory state of operation to save on repairs.
- Becoming an owner-operator choose the shortest and fastest routes that begin a stone’s throw from your destination.
- Keep idling to a minimum by opting for trucking roads with limited traffic: owner-operator must find loads perfectly.
The trucking owner-operator is an attractive job niche that can help you direct a steady flow of revenues into your coffers. By employing specialized software, you can considerably streamline your workflow and facilitate efforts to provide high-end logistic services.
The EZLOGZ team takes care of your logistics security using ELD, dash cams for trucks, and load boards. We invent products that make it much easier to address your truck fleet's profitability, safety, and performance. Our solutions create a synergy between software that uses the advantages of artificial intelligence and the gadgets of the Internet of Things. All this makes it much easier to track the movement of trucks and equipment, manage related finances, vehicle maintenance, and more. EZLOGZ products were downloaded more than 150 thousand times, and more than 10 thousand people in various fields currently use our services: delivery, food and beverage, passenger transit, construction, federal & local government, agriculture, field service, trucking, and logistics, et cetera. Visit ezlogz.com to learn more about our products and buy ELD.