How to Become a Box Truck Owner Operator

Are you interested in becoming a self-employed box truck driver helping customers with their transport needs? If you are, you might want to learn how to go about the process.

Becoming a box truck owner operator is a profitable business idea you can start with the proper guidance.

How to Start a Box Trucking Company Step By Step

This article provides all the essential tips for starting this journey. Your journey into this business area doesn’t need to be filled with trials and error.

Having an intentional mindset and following reliable strategies can significantly increase your chances of success.

Entrepreneurs often ask, “What do I need to start a box truck business?”

Steps to Starting a Box Truck Business

To become a box truck owner-operator, one of the primary things you’ll need to consider is the cost of starting such a business venture.

The cost of such undertaking largely depends on whether you lease or own a box truck.

Whether you lease or buy your box truck, each has advantages and disadvantages.

When leasing your box truck from a leasing company, you can avoid the troubles associated with upfront purchasing costs. In other words, you get to spread out the cost of the vehicle in monthly payments.

Leasing allows for financial flexibility, which helps avoid adding liabilities to your financial books. What more? With box truck leasing, you get to avoid the cost of ongoing maintenance & repairs.

On the downside, there may be annual mileage restrictions regarding leasing. This can be a deal-breaker for some box truck owner-operators.

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Also, a lease is a binding contract that enforces the terms regardless of your financial circumstances.

  • Owning a Box Truck

If you choose the ownership model over leasing, you get the perks of full ownership.

You won’t have to keep up with leasing fees, amongst others. Also, you can use these trucks for as long as they’re in good condition.

There are also disadvantages to owning your box truck fleet.

You’re solely responsible for all repairs and maintenance. This attracts expenses such as installing a maintenance shop in your company and hiring skilled technicians.

Becoming a Box Truck Owner Operator

You’ll need a solid plan to start a successful box truck operator business.

This will also require calculating the amount needed for successful takeoff, getting certified and trained, calculating the rate per mile, and working the truck’s average pace per mile.

You need to know your truck dimensions and capacity limits, search for loads, and hire a dispatcher. With all of these steps carefully followed, you should be in business within a short period.

Let’s discuss what each of these steps entails, shall we?

i. Have a Solid Plan

Your desire to become a box truck owner should begin with a plan to achieve the goal. You might need expert help in designing your program.

Certain sections must be added to the trucking business plan, such as the executive summary, business description, and market analysis & strategy.

More sections include the marketing & sales plan, competitive analysis, description of management & organization, and description of services & products.

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Other key sections include the operating plan, financial projection & needs, and the exhibits & appendices section.

ii. Calculating the Startup Costs Required

Startup costs for a box truck owner-operator business are pretty varied. The amount mainly required depends on whether you own or lease your trucks.

As stated earlier, leasing your trucks is a much cheaper option that tends to be more favorable for persons on a tight budget.

Expenses also vary by location or state. Speaking on startup costs for a box truck business includes obtaining a CDL driver’s license and choosing an appropriate business structure.

This will come at a cost that varies by state.

If you wish to buy your truck, you can choose between buying a new one or a second-hand box truck. Also, applying for a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is necessary.

This might cost a fee of $300 or more. Insurance is another aspect of the cost you’ll need to figure out.

iii. Getting Certified & Trained

Every box truck owner needs to be trained to operate this business successfully. Persons having some truck driving experience have an edge. Obtaining a USDOT number is also essential.

The same applies to an MC number.

Regulations will also include a thorough health assessment. You’ll have to meet all requirements to be certified as a box truck owner operator.

iv. Calculating the Rate per Mile

To fix your pricing structure, you’ll need to calculate the rate per mile or RPM.

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This considers all expenses made on the truck, such as repair, fuel, equipment, and a whole range of other operating costs. These are taken into consideration while setting the price to allow for profitability.

v. Working the Average Rate per Mile

A better profitability assessment comes from calculating the average rate per mile.

With the RPM known, you can determine the loads that don’t meet up to your bottom line earnings. You get to choose how profitable it will be if you run a chain of loads.

vi. Knowing your Truck Dimensions & Capacity Limits

It’s essential to know your truck dimensions and capacity limits. This is part of the requirements for becoming a box truck owner operator.

The rules for commercial driving licenses are pretty different as they have to do with the carrying capacity of your box truck.

vii. Searching for Loads

Without loads, your desire to become a box truck owner operator will be impossible.

Load boards offer an easy way to find loads. There are tons of load boards to search for loads. Examples include 123 LoadBoad, Direct Freight, and a lot of others.

viii. Hiring a Dispatcher

You must forge meaningful partnerships to become a box truck owner-operator.

One of such involves hiring a dispatcher. Dispatchers help with the management of paperwork flow as well as helping you find loads much faster.

Your desire to become a box truck owner-operator can be achieved by following the steps outlined above.