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Though truck owner-operators represent the constituent foundation of freight transportation and logistics industry in America, over half of the attempting newcomers are doomed to fail within the first 18 months of becoming one. So we thought we’d offer our insight on how to become a successful truck owner operator?
Yet before proceeding to detail how to become successful, we would have to clarify the reasons of failure of owner operators in the first place. Of course there are a myriad of reasons why a starting owner operator could fail, beginning with truck selection, load sourcing, and crucially, adaptation to the freedom but also the challenge that an owner operator lifestyle and learning curve imposes. Most likely an owner-operator will start off with a used truck and how well you’ve picked it out of the ‘market for lemons’ will define how often your rig will experience mechanical failures, thus compounding the financial burden of financing it correctly to begin with. Secondly choosing diligently the right kind of sourcing for your loads, a reliable and trustworthy carrier that is, is critical to the success of becoming an owner operator driver. Lastly, being your own boss, though alluring it may be, implies the owner operator masters money management, time management, and crisis management, amongst many other skills, which most likely was not something the former trucker was actively involved in prior to making the shift to independent operation.
To sum it up, you have to be ready for becoming an owner operator, by taking your time to make the most calculated decision on your future rig, its financing, your carrier partners, and mastering the skillsets required to be independent and successful in this endeavour. It is clearly obvious that there is plenty of advice required there, most of which should ideally come from experienced and honest carriers and / or your network of friends and colleagues in the industry, which can guide your career decisions. To this end, we at AGM Trucking are keen to assist and detail the benefits as well as challenges of being an owner operator. The former include the freedom to acquire your preferred vehicles and equipment, increased control over and often higher income, being your own boss, but also greater opportunities to widen your network. Of course, these are also the very reasons why becoming an owner operator is difficult as we’ve detailed above.
Having sorted this out, lets dive into the how to become a successful owner operator then? In a nutshell, we believe there are 3 important pieces of advice defining career success for independent truck drivers:
- Earn and establish yourself as a dependable and responsible truck driver – because in order to secure high-paying freights, you must first and foremost be trustworthy and dependable, by providing excellent customer service. Reliable and responsible drivers will always be favored by clients. Hence it is imperative to ensure loads shipping on schedule and build and maintain favorable partnerships with your clients, fleet managers, and other colleagues. Forging these relationships will guarantee and condition you success, though it might take time first, it is just a matter of consistency and quality of service you provide;
- Make use of load boards – which are online marketplaces that connecting owner-operators, clients, and brokers and intermediating freights for hauling in real-time. Load boards are great places to start off in the business and get cashflows. Getting shippers from load boards usually makes for short-lived, transactional relationships, therefore to bag longer-term clients, you should reach out to companies with frequent loads or build long-term working relationships with your existing clients;
- Find well-paying carrier clients with regular and high quality shipments – this is of course the most important and perhaps only advice you need in order to become a successful owner operator really. Because securing a credible and well-paying carrier is what will keep you in business. Their success will drive yours, it’s that simple. Beyond that a great carrier will offer many more perks and benefits, such as fuel and maintenance discounts which can make all the difference between a failed or successful owner operator.
To recap, low pay, no maintenance, and no fuel discounts are the most likely reasons of failed owner operators, beyond starting off right. At AGM Trucking we understand that. That is why we offer high paying loads with access to all our venders for service and breakdowns. No break downs equals more time driving which in turn generates more money. If you are you looking into becoming an owner operator and need a truck or trailer equipment, guidance, direction, or advice? Check out our inventory by visiting our website or social media pages, at https://agmtransport.com/company-drivers/
We are open Monday-Friday 7-5 and Saturdays 8-12. Call us now at 630-413-1435. Our company has helped countless owner operators to get the equipment they need at the price they want and to become successful in our demanding industry!