When you become an operator of a truck, you are running your own trucking business. Owner-operators either deal with brokers or find their own shipper/customer and haul directly for them.
No matter what lead you to this position of becoming an owner-operator, you are now responsible for all aspects of your trucking business. This is now you handling business as if you are running a small business and not just driving the truck. There can be a lot of information floating around about what you should do. We decided to compile a concise list of what owner-operators can put their efforts into in order to start bringing in more revenue.
As an owner-operator, you are responsible for:
Familiarizing Yourself With the Industry
You must set realistic expectations and be well informed. This means keeping up with fuel prices and the trends of the industry. What causes downturns in the industry? What are other ways you can save money? Are there other parts of your business you are possibly overlooking? These are the types of things that you must be paying attention to.
Fuel plays a big role in your success. Keeping up with fuel prices could tank your bottom line. Should you join the slower drivers who drive about sixty miles per hour or speed up to seventy miles per hour? For example, if the cost of fuel is $3.00 per gallon, then driving for 10,000 miles at seventy miles per hour gets 5.0 miles per gallon. This could cost over $72,000 for the year. Whereas a driver going sixty miles per hour for 10,000 miles at sixty miles per hour gets 5.5 miles per gallon costing $66,000. This is a difference of $7,000 between the two drivers.
Be Financially Prepared
Staying prepared is key. Your revenue per mile minus cost per mile equals your gross revenue. Once you subtract taxes from your gross revenue, then you will have your net profit. Keeping up with your business of accounting and bookkeeping skills is important.
Obtain DOT Compliance Services
Do not tune out when hearing the word compliance. DOT compliance must have your attention if you are looking to have your freight shipped by truck and owners of the trucking companies that will implement the shipping.
Many people think of this compliance as a hoop that can be jumped through. This is a preventative measure for keeping the highways safe for everyone. If a company is not compliant, then that means hefty fines and safety hazards. To avoid such issues, it is best to hire a company that can handle DOT compliance services for you.
The Department of Transportation has a lot of information written on how to stay compliant. Instead of becoming an expert in this field or using your time to look up the tons of information you can simply hire a company to assist. The company you hire will be able to assist with the services listed below.
DOT Compliance Services include:
- maintain truckers are not using alcohol or drugs for on the job
- track of how long drivers are on the road
- physicals for drivers
- HAZMAT regulations, if it applies
- proper inspection and maintenance of the vehicle
- trucks are insured properly
It may seem like a lot to handle. As an owner-operator, there is the help that you can obtain in order to stay afloat. As an independent driver, you may not know where you stand with DOT compliance. Find out by hiring a company to do the work for you. Instead, focus on running your business.
This is a lot to keep up with, and as an owner-operator, you are now solely responsible. Not tending to the items on this list could mean having to dig into your pockets and it might get you off track of your goals. By paying more attention to your bottom line and getting the assistance you need, you can stay ahead of your goals, continue to build your business, and keep trucking.