You’ve given it some thought, and now you want to take a giant leap and start your own trucking business and become an independent owner-operator. Starting an owner-operator business means you’ll get to run your business the way you want.

However, starting an owner-operator business is no small task. There are many things you’ll need to keep in mind as you begin to make your dream a reality.

If you’d like to know how to start an owner-operator business in 2022 and 5 essential things you need to keep in mind, then continue reading below.

1. Think of the Goals You Want to Achieve

Before anything else, you’ll need to step back and think hard about your short and long-term goals. You’ll also want to evaluate yourself and make sure you’re prepared to start and run this business.

Some things you want to consider are:

  • Financial state—do you have enough money?
  • How is your network in the industry—do you know people who can help?
  • Do you know how to negotiate business deals?

If you’re already a driver, then you likely know what it takes to survive in the industry. However, you won’t be just driving.

You’ll also be taking care of finding jobs, invoicing, routing, etc.

2. Form a Business and Get Your DOT and MC Numbers

Before you apply for a USDOT and trucking authority number, you’ll need to form a business. Likely, you’ll be starting a sole proprietorship or LLC.

You can get more information about the process of forming your business from the Small Business Association.

Once you form your business, you can apply for your USDOT number through the FMCSA. Next, you’ll need the authority to operate (MC) number, which can also be found on the FMCSA website.

Remember, you can’t start operating legally until you have both the USDOT and MC number. Also, as of 2017, the FMCSA has mandated electronic-logging devices (ELDs) to be installed in all CMVs.

3. Learn How to Maximize Profits

In the trucking business, maximizing profits is all about minimizing expenses. That means you’ll need to come up with a strategy to keep operational costs to a minimum.

The most significant expenses are truck insurance, fuel, compliance with regulations, and vehicle maintenance and repair. Luckily, there are ways to reduce all of these costs.

Usually, it boils down to efficient and safe driving while keeping your truck in top shape. Just remember that you’ll likely need to drastically change your driving style to save on expenses.

4. Find the Right Truck for You

When starting your own trucking business, your biggest expense will, of course, be the truck itself. Your current finances will play a big part in the type of equipment that you can get.

Usually, independent owner-operators can either lease or buy a truck outright. You’ll need to take a lot of time and find the best deal you can on a truck.

Remember that a solid credit score will help you immensely if you decide to lease.

5. Acquire Owner-Operator Jobs

Perhaps the most crucial part of starting as an owner-operator is finding projects, loads, and clients. Remember that the high-paying freights want dependable and consistent drivers.

You can always use online load boards to start out with. However, these relationships are usually short-lived.

To become truly successful, you’ll need a business sense to reach out and land jobs as an independent owner-operator.

Don’t Forget the Golden Equation

When you’re all set up as an independent owner-operator and start moving freight, you’ll want to keep the golden equation firmly in mind.

The equation is:

Revenue per mile – Cost per mile = Gross revenue – Taxes = Net profit

Remember that running your own business is only worth it if your net profit is large enough for you. If it isn’t, then you’ll need to cut down on costs and get better clients.

Don’t forget to consider the golden equation as you continue to run your owner-operator business.

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