According to an industry adage, ‘If you bought it, a trucker brought it.’ The trucking industry serves a large part of America, retail stores, hospitals, gas stations, garbage disposal, construction sites, banks, and a clean water supply depend entirely upon trucks to distribute vital cargo. Even before a product reaches store shelves, the raw materials and other stages of production materials that go into manufacturing any given product are moved by trucks. According to the ATA (American Trucking Association), the trucking industry could need more than 1,60,000 drivers by 2030, so if you are looking to make a career switch, want more freedom and flexibility, or want a lucrative opportunity with unlimited possibilities and opportunities, you can choose to be an owner-operator.
When you get your CDL A, B, or C issued by FMCSA, you can start driving with major carriers, or you have the freedom to drive a truck or become an owner-operator. Being an owner-operator means you can earn more money, make your own schedule and be your own boss.
Yes, it can be a very lucrative and rewarding career choice, but it also comes with many responsibilities and challenges. But if you are motivated and determined, you will succeed.
In this blog, we have highlighted a few points on why one should choose to become an owner-operator.
1. Flexibility, Freedom, and Stability
Unlike a company driver, you are not bound by hours or routes. You can drive a truck that suits your business goal and driving preferences. Now you are in charge of everything from the loads you want to haul to the routes you take.
If you want to spend more time with your family and be available for them if any emergency arises you always have an option. This gives you much flexibility and control over your business, leading to better profits.
The truck driver’s job is not going to end soon. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there’s no end in sight to the continued need. BLS estimates a 6% job growth through the year 2030.
2. You Are Your Own Boss
On top of being a good driver, you will become a successful business owner. There will be challenges- but this is a good thing. You will never be bored or stagnant; you’ll grow and evolve to expand your success. You will own your truck.
3. Choose Your Own Loads and Routes
A company will no longer be deciding what loads you need to haul. You can pick loads per your truck, trailer, and route preferences. If your business ideals don’t align with a provider, no problem- you don’t have to haul for them anymore.
4. Control Your Fuel Cost
In the trucking industry, an adequate profit margin is imperative. One of the major cost outlay is fuel cost. You can control your fuel cost by purchasing in bulk when the fuel cost is low. Another way is to use fuel-efficient practices, such as planning routes before the trip starts to avoid traffic.
There are several other ways that an owner-operator can save fuel:
-Reduce idling time: Idling uses a lot of fuel, so it’s important to turn off the engine when the vehicle is not in use.
-Use cruise control: This helps maintain a consistent speed and save fuel.
-Avoid excessive acceleration and braking: These activities use more fuel than necessary.
-Maintain proper tire pressure: This can improve fuel efficiency by reducing rolling resistance.
-Keep the vehicle in good working order: Regular maintenance can help to improve fuel economy.
5. Earn More Money Per Miles and Loads
As an independent driver, you can charge a fair price per mile and load that remains competitive but also helps pay bills. You have to work hard to ensure your business is running efficiently, but plenty of loads need hauling, so you can always meet your financial goals. The trick is becoming a smart business owner who knows their worth but doesn’t try to overcharge their customers.
6. Join Trucking Community Of Like-Minded Professionals
Owning and operating your own trucking business can be a rewarding experience. Wherever you go, you’ll meet friendly faces at truck stops, motels, distribution centers, and fuel stops, and you can directly connect with the shipper and professionals from the industry. You can look for events hosted by communities and companies. You need to be empathetic to network and build long-lasting business relationships.
7. Save Taxes
As an owner-operator, you can save taxes in the United States. One way is to set up a business entity such as an LLC or S-Corp, which can help to reduce your taxable income. Another way is to take advantage of deductions and credits that are available to businesses, such as the home office deduction. Finally, you can also talk to a tax professional to find out what other strategies may be available.
8. Improve The Quality of Your Life
The trucking industry is one of the most lucrative in the world, and there are plenty of opportunities for success. If you have the drive and determination, owning and operating your own trucking business can be a rewarding experience.
The Alarming Shortage of Truck Drivers
According to ATA, new drivers will be needed in the industry over the next ten years. The industry will need nearly 1.6 million new drivers over the coming decade.
Retirement and industry growth contribute to the bulk of future driver demand. With an aging population of current drivers, retirement accounts for over 54% of future needs. The second largest factor is industry growth at 25%, or more than 270,000 drivers, through 2028. Drivers also leave the industry before retirement.
In some cases, they find that the lifestyle isn’t for them, and they pursue other opportunities that allow them to return home every night, like construction jobs. In other cases, the driver does not choose to leave the industry but is dismissed because of a driving incident or other disqualification. These two groups combined make up 20% of the annual demand for drivers.
In 2022, the US government announced the “Trucking Action Plan to Strengthen America’s Workforce,” encouraging veterans to think about truck driving jobs, saying that veterans’ skills and experience are a good fit. The Department of Defense offers opportunities to gain skills and credentials before leaving the service to fast-track veterans to be ready to work.
Why Become An Owner Operator
The most common reason drivers want to be an owner operator is because they love the idea of having the ability to make their own business decisions.
If you are planning you switch your career as a driver, why not choose to be an owner-operator and be your own boss, you can make a difference.
Join the TruckBook community of more than 10K+ owner-operators and grow your trucking business with AI-powered technology. Find loads from multiple sources, book smart loads, navigate the best truck routes, and manage your dispatch lightning fast.
Are you ready to earn 10x more and increase your productivity 2x?
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