It takes a determined person to run a successful business as an owner-operator in the trucking industry. The pros and cons can certainly weigh heavily when deciding to become an independent contractor. There are some important factors to consider in the day-to-day operations that can help in becoming an effective owner-operator.
The following questions may help with any doubts that might be holding you back from being your own boss.
Personal Assessment – Is Operating Your Business Right for You?
The best way to answer this question is to stop and look at your personal life and expectations. Evaluate your work ethics, desired time at home, and your long-term career goals.
If you are highly motivated, you may be ready for the responsibility it takes to be a business operator. It is important to cultivate the mental attitude you must handle as well as all the issues you will be facing. You must understand how to take responsibility for everything that happens. You are making the decisions and the outcome of those decisions fall into your lap – good and bad. Be resilient and be prepared.
Build Your Brand
Regardless if you are a seasoned owner-operator, or a brand new driver just starting out with your own truck, you need to build your brand. Building your brand is a fancy word for get yourself known.
The first step to building your brand as a successful owner-operator truck driver, is to find the market you want to focus on, and know it well. Be the expert in your own space. Be the solution to your customers problem. Remember, word of mouth travels faster than a billboard sign. Treat your customers right, and they will talk good things about you.
Building your brand is also about standing out from the crowd. Be different, find one area that you can do better than any other trucking company to become a successful owner-operator.
Ongoing Safety Training
We are never too old to learn. Continuing safety education is the key to longevity and a successful career. Independent owner-operators have many options regarding safety education and training resources when they lease on with Landstar. Landstar helps you become successful in owner-operator trucking.
Successful Owner-Operators Choose the Right Loads
When you sign on with Landstar you are non-forced. However, in order to be a successful owner-operator trucking business, you will need to pick the right loads. Non-forced dispatch does not pick them for you. You have the freedom to drive as little or as much as you want. The more you drive and add up those miles, the more successful you will be with earning potential.
What Does Being an Owner-Operator Require?
Time management and patience are essential while working for a reputed nationwide trucking company, transportation logistics provider, and freight dispatching company such as Landstar. This will include being able to sit in front of a computer, identifying loads, planning trips, and filling out the required paperwork.
As an owner-operator, you should understand the economy and sector of the business and keep revenue and income expectations realistic. A successful owner-operator budget for the slow times of the year and usually have a backup plan.
Confidence in your methods and discipline will help you execute your strategies.
Will You Be Able to Perform Basic Maintenance on Your Vehicle?
Everyday wear and tear can occur on long hauls. As an independent owner-operator, knowing what to do will come in handy when your truck needs maintenance. Also, becoming familiar with your equipment and maintaining it will minimize your expenses which will improve your bottom line.
Be proactive and be ready to change a battery or fuel filter. Have a good toolset and the mind frame to be ready to use them at any given time.
There are many other key characteristics of a successful owner-operator. Do not be afraid to inquire with others who are successful in the trucking industry. Experienced owner-operators can offer valuable advice that can help you attain the level of success that you desire as well as what they have achieved. Build on what you learn, and you will be on the right path to becoming a successful owner-operator.
If you think you have what it takes to be an owner-operator with Landstar, contact our recruiting department today at 330-484-6013 Option #2.