So you want to be your own Boss!
We certainly do want to sell you a Freightliner SelecTruck,
a Volvo, Mack, or Kenworth truck, however, we hope you are
informed and honest enough with yourself to know that this
is definitely what you are ready to do. I have been dealing
with all aspects of Driver Recruiting since 1995. Most driver
failures are due to character defects including immaturity and
lack of self-discipline. We would say that fist step in becoming
an owner operator is simply to be honest with yourself.
Why do you want to go into business? Yes, being an independent
contractor is a business and driving becomes one of the lesser
One of the biggest challenges you will face is making the change
from thinking like an employee to thinking like a boss.
Being your own boss can mean freedom from supervision,
setting your own hours and taking time off whenever you want.
But it also means setting your own financial goals and rules of
conduct. It means earning as much, or as little, as you want to.
Being in business for yourself requires much more energy than you
might imagine. But for the person who is willing to accept the
challenge and assume the responsibility, the rewards can be great.
Qualities of a good owner-operator:
Owning and operating a truck requires more than just driving.
It takes many qualities to be a successful owner-operator:
Motivation. To make money, you have to want to make money.
Its OK to want to own a truck for the freedom, but without
the drive to earn money, freedom wont mean much when creditors
come knocking on your door.
Strong desire to control your operation. As an owner-operator,
you have to decide what company to lease to, develop your own
business systems and set up a regular truck maintenance program.
You have to plan for the hard times when times are good.
You have to set specific goals for where you want your business to go.
An owner-operator who does not take control of his business wont
realize the potential financial rewards of owning a big rig.
The Business Services and Instruction that are included will
help you baseline your break-even point and they will help you
budget and do your taxes for the first year.
Mechanical aptitude. Although you probably wont be doing major
work on your truck, it helps to understand a trucks systems and
components and how they work together. Every dollar you save by
doing simple tasks yourself goes straight to your bottom line.
Willingness to learn. You have to be willing to learn something
new about your business all the time. Seek knowledge.
Let experience be your teacher and learn from the experiences
of other owner-operators. Freightliner's "Destination Success"
Training kit will help you get off to a great start,
if........you follow it! We know that you are a good driver
and can put a truck anywhere, however, being a good driver is
only a part of being a successful business person. And, that
is exactly what you will be, a business person.
Part of being successful is knowing your limits and learning
to overcome them. Before you plunge into trucking, determine
where you lack expertise and work on those areas.
Another important thing to do before you become an owner-operator
is to talk to other people in the industry. Make sure you get a
variety of people those who have just started and those
who have weathered the storms. Talk to other owner-operators.
Most are willing to share their experiences.
When you encounter someone whose experience is negative,
ask what he would do differently if he could start over.
If he complains about his carrier or industry regulations,
take it lightly. Plenty of independents operate legally and
make a good living.