So, is being an owner-operator worth it?
To make this easier to understand, we are discussing the benefits or profitability of transitioning from a company driver to eventually owning your own business.
Is it better to be an owner-operator? While providing an answer, we’ll also be looking at tips and advice that will help.
If you’ve worked (or currently work) as a truck driver, one of the questions that are likely to have crossed your mind is how worthwhile it is to become an owner-operator.
This is very popular and common among drivers as those who drive for a company eventually opt to own or start their businesses through this path.
Is Being An Owner Operator Worth It?
Can owner-operators make good money? Yes.
Becoming an owner-operator, without a doubt, comes with lots of benefits. This includes being profitable. However, not everyone perceives opportunities in the same way.
In other words, it depends on what your needs are.
Let’s paint a picture of what it looks like regarding expenses, profits, and benefits conferred.
Why You Should Become An Owner Operator
Becoming an owner-operator comes with certain expenses.
Such expenses are usually incurred while operating the truck or equipment. These include insurance, maintenance, road use, fuel, personal and corporate taxes, tolls, and more.
The type of expenses you incur depends on your type of operations and the laws governing your kind of business.
Having highlighted the expenses incurred in becoming an owner-operator, it will only be fitting to discuss the profit potential.
So, what is the average earning of an owner-operator? The annual gross earnings fall within the $100,000 to $150,000 range.
However, you have the chance to increase your profits by controlling your trucking expenses, such as fuel costs, among other things.
Doing this helps maximize your profit margin. Most importantly, you should take care of your truck. this forms a significant part of your equipment which, if not taken care of, may deplete your profits.
Having control over your expenses gives you a solid chance to increase your profits significantly. Therefore, profitability depends on how well your operations are structured and managed.
Having Your Truck
You are getting to have your truck and choose which truck gives you greater control. You have the freedom of customizing it to fit your specific needs.
Being your equipment’s owner is priceless and allows for better and enhanced profitability.
Making The Comparison
In many cases, people confuse owner-operators with company drivers.
Although both drive trucks, there are fundamental differences. So, what are these differences like? For owner-operators, there is greater flexibility than what obtains for company drivers.
Owner-operators spend less time on the road because they can choose a lenient driver policy. In other words, you have no fixed mileage to cover as an owner-operator.
You won’t be stressing your equipment or trucks as much as company drivers do.
As an owner-operator, you have a choice choose who to work with. This can also be termed as having control over your schedule. Working on your terms and building your business gives you an advantage over the company driver because they work solely for the company.
You also get to work with the company that offers you the most benefits.
Tips And Advice On Care For Your Most Valuable Asset
For a trucking business, your most important asset is your truck.
To make this business worth your time, you’ll need to ensure your vehicle (s) get adequate maintenance actively. It all begins with choosing one with good resale value.
It’s no secret that some truck brands have better resale value than others. This is due to several reasons. Try discussing with truck owners on the best brands to go for.
Trucks with good resale value can be traded up or sold with good returns when the time is due.
Will restoring the truck be more cost-effective, or do you need to purchase another? You must ask this question, and you should obtain satisfactory answers. Doing this saves you from incurring unnecessary expenses.
Having some experience with repairs will cost you less and increase your profitability. Not all repairs require taking your truck to the garage to fix it.
Some repair experience gives you that extra advantage.
Becoming A Successful Owner Operator
Having decided that this is the best path to invest in, you’ll need guidance on steps to become a successful owner-operator. These are necessary steps that will guarantee success.
Remember we earlier talked about your business needs? Well, it all has to do with what your goals are (both long and short term). Here, the state of your financial readiness is critical.
Also, the right contacts are needed as well as the right strategies to close deals.
Your physical health is also essential. Do you consider yourself fit for driving for long periods? Do you have any experience with road regulations?
All these are ways to evaluate your readiness for embarking on this business. Doing this enables you to determine if you’re ready or not. It also helps to prepare adequately.
Secure Your USDOT And MC Numbers
These are important and basic requirements for all trucking businesses. These are road regulations set by the Depart of Transportation.
Obtaining these numbers and other rules helps you launch your business correctly.
Getting The Right Truck
We can’t stress this point enough. The condition of your truck will determine how profitable you become in the long run. You want to get one with the best state.
Now, financing plays a crucial role. You can either decide to buy your truck outright or rely on alternative financing arrangements such as a bank loan.
Part of the requirements for getting a bank loan include having a good credit rating, a stable job background, and a permanent address. All these enhance your chances of getting considered.
So, is being an owner-operator worth it? Is it profitable? Yes. However, you’ll have to make such a decision based on your needs.