The trucking industry continues to experience fluctuations but its services remain vital for the American economy. Once goods arrive at the ports, anything that doesn’t travel by rail receives transfers onto trucks.
Goods also must make their way locally and across several states by truck. Thus, truckers and their skills make the American economy churn.
If you want to start a trucking business from scratch, you have several ways to approach it. For example, entrepreneurs can manage a fleet of trucks. They can also become owner-operators. No matter what business model you pick, every owner must complete the same basic steps.
The following are seven tips for building a trucking business from scratch.
1. Obtain the Appropriate Licenses and Permits
For a trucking business, it’s important to obtain the proper licenses and permits, especially if you plan to drive one of the trucks. Truck drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license.
In addition, business owners must obtain a business license. Then, apply for your Federal DOT and Motor Carrier Authority numbers. If you plan to hire at least one driver, you’ll also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number.
If you opt to hire several drivers, you’ll need to check their licenses and permits. During the hiring process, ensure that applicants have good driving records and experience and that an insurance company will insure them.
2. Assemble the Fleet
Those who plan to run a fleet, need to assemble it. Seek out the trucks and trailers that the drivers will use to transport goods. You might decide to operate a smaller operation that transports smaller loads locally or across one state.
Some trucking options are:
- Freight haulers
- Dry van haulers
- Refrigerated haulers
In addition, there are different sizes on the market such as:
- 24 feet
- 40 feet
- 48 feet
- 53 feet
The right trucks for your business will depend on the type of goods you plan to haul.
3. Purchase Equipment
Next, purchase the equipment that the drivers will need when hauling loads. For example, if you plan to operate a blanket-wrapped service, each hauler will require several blankets.
Blanket-wrapping merchandise and goods protect them during transport. It’s a typical service for high-end furniture. Other equipment that all trucking companies require is:
- First aid kits
Thereafter, extra equipment will depend on the goods you will transport.
4. Find an Office Location
Trucking companies require office space. More importantly, they require space to park the trucks and haulers. Even if you run a one-man operation, you’ll need a place to park the equipment.
As Amazon has expanded its fleet, the company has started to rent unused parking spaces from other companies. If the leasing fees for a property are too high, you might consider finding unused parking spaces. Then, rent them for your equipment.
5. Purchase Insurance
Insurance coverage is an important component of running a trucking operation. You’ll need to insure the trucks, haulers, and drivers. Then, it’s wise to purchase insurance that covers the goods you’ll haul and general liability insurance.
As a freelancer and owner, obtain self-employed disability insurance too. Some states require it so prepare for the expense.
Costs for insurance depend on the size of the fleet. On average, they run $3,000 to $5,000 annually. Get affordable commercial truck insurance quotes now from Royalty Truck Insurance,
6. Pick a Niche
All new companies benefit from writing a business plan and marketing plan. The work that goes into each ensures that the owner completes research on the market and competition.
During the research stage, it becomes easier to pick a niche. Some options are:
- Full load
- Oversized loads
- Luxury car
The most common business model is full load hauling. However, you might find that a different niche garners more income for your company.
7. Find Customers
Now you’re ready to find customers. If you’re ready to start your company, you might already have a connection. Otherwise, you can hire a sales team to find them for you. For every load your company hauls, the sales team will earn a percentage of the fees.
Working with a sales team makes the marketing process more efficient. You can also try advertising online and offline.
The demand for truck drivers and businesses will remain steady as it provides a great way to transport goods. To start a business in this industry, pick a niche and purchase the right equipment. Then, hire drivers who have experience and credentials.