You can get many benefits from owning a commercial trucking business. You can choose the firms to partner with, the load to haul, and the number of runs to make. Additionally, you may make more money because you are the company’s owner and get more from the profits. Even though the commercial trucking business will provide you with these and more benefits, you need to know several things before starting one to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Here are 10 of them:
The Kind of Freight to Haul
Knowing the kind of freight to haul is essential before purchasing the equipment for your business. You will know whether to buy a flatbed, van, tanker, step deck, or removable gooseneck depending on the kind of freight you decide to carry. Since there are also many tractors to choose from, you’ll want to find one that meets your business’ specifications.
The Right Equipment for Your Business
Some trucks are best to use for long-haul businesses than others. Therefore, you need to decide whether your business will involve long or short-haul operations to guide you into selecting the right kind of equipment. Since hauling trucks and trailers is not cheap, choose some that will serve you when starting the business and after expansion.
Check for trucking equipment advice from online forums and dealerships. You may also visit truck shops in your area and talk to drivers hauling the kind of freight you want to concentrate on. The information you gather will guide you in purchasing the best equipment for your business.
Your Business Structure
You should choose a business structure depending on your preference. Find the legal business structures available and choose the one that best suits your business needs. It would be best to go for a simple one with less paperwork.
Handling Repairs and Maintenance
Repairs can make you spend most of your business money. You may have to spend all your savings on extensive repair. Even though you may need to repair your trailer occasionally, tractors require more money for repairs. When operating a trucking business, it is essential to prioritize equipment maintenance. While you will need money for that, regular maintenance will prevent minor issues from escalating to big ones. You’ll also avoid frequent repairs and breakdowns.
Hire an Accountant
A trucking company is similar to other businesses. Therefore, hiring a good accountant conversant with tax codes, tax laws, and the trucking industry would be best.
Check Whether You Need to Add Some Special Endorsements and Clearances to Your Licenses
You must add a HazMat endorsement and a TWIC to your license to haul specific freight or access military installations and shipping ports. You may also need more approvals to pull some trailer types, such as doubles, triples, and tankers. Set some money aside for any approvals and clearances before starting the business.
Find Out the Kind of Permits, Licenses, Insurance, and Regulatory Documents You Need
You should start registering your business with your state to make it official. You’ll need an MC operating authority number, U.S DOT number, IRP, and IFTA. Also, get your IRP tag and IFTA decal. Additionally, you’ll need commercial trucking insurance for your business to cover liability, cargo, and bobtail, among other things.
Decide Whether to Become an Independent Contractor Working for a Larger Carrier or Provide All Trucking Services Independently
You may decide to lease your vehicles to a large carrier that will handle everything apart from driving, paying your taxes, and repair and maintenance. While starting, it would be best to lease your equipment to a company until you gain experience in the industry. However, the company will take a small percentage of what you get from the load.
Have Enough Startup Expenses
You will need to have enough money for equipment purchase, insurance, licenses, maintenance costs, and paying employees for at least six months after starting the business. If you don’t have enough money for the startup and operating expenses, consider getting financing early enough.
Become a Member of the OOIDA
If you aren’t yet a member of the OOIDA, consider joining. The organization will fight for your rights and enlighten you on the news in the industry. It will also offer you retirement plans, insurance, classes, education, and business tools, among other benefits.
The 10 steps above will enlighten you on what you should know before starting a trucking business. You can use the information from the internet to make the right decisions for your company’s success.