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Trucking Business Start Up Plans Company, Lease On, Owner Operator in Trucking

Trucking Business Start Up Plans To Become A  Company Driver    Lease Operator    Operating Authority

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This page is design to direct you to information which will help you know what you need and what to expect operating at the next level. It will hopefully serve as a kind of guide to direct you and help you take a realistic view of what will be expected of you and what it will cost to make this kind of effort, but more importantly what you should realistically expect to gain out of moving through the trucking ranks.

The trucking business is a specialty trade, there is nothing ordinary or common about it although on the surface it may appear so. The ordinary individual perceives a trucking business as something anyone can successfully accomplished, and to some extent that's true; but in the broadest sense it very much is not true-allow me to explain. Many "want to be" truck drivers have gone to the expense of getting a CDL (commercial drivers license), only to get in trucking and realize they are not a good fit for trucking or trucking is not a good fit for them. Either way they eventually chalk it up to a lesson learned and retreat to the ordinary comforts of a job that doesn't require the kind of commitment and life's sacrifice as does trucking. If you are considering trucking I think the following might serve as sage advice.

The Uniqueness of Trucking

Although from the outside looking in most people would make the mistake of thinking of Trucking as something anybody can do, this is one of the reasons so many get into trucking and fail miserably. And while those that do succeed at it may look ordinary from the outside there are some very unique things going on inside that make the Trucker a real success. I want to talk about this a little here as you may be considering getting a CDL  in Trucking, and branching out further into the Trucking waters, such as becoming an owner operator O/O.
 
Many people look at crucial decision making and split second analysis as being traits only associated with top leaders in large corporate structured business or an all star perennial athlete. The successful trucker has trained himself to make split second analysis about the general outlay of a town city or community and the roads. And while having many traffic signs which the Trucker has trained himself to interpret when they'll apply, and when they won't, as sometimes is the case.Trucking is serious business for the true trucker. The over the road (otr) drivers learn to feed off of the adventure, and variety that comes the job.
 
The trucker also has to train his instinct in the general movement of the traffic, he usually can, (with some degree of accuracy) determine when there may be a problem and how he can avoid either an accidents, delays, and other obstacles that may prevent a smooth and timely delivery. We're talking the "successful" trucker, the one that has learn to survive and master the art of trucking; which doesn't always mean he's making a lot of money, but those that make a lot of money have to master the trucking business, which includes the job and understanding the trucking market. 
 
The trucker has also learn to master the tools of his trade such as his Motor Carriers Map. Many do quite well in their communication skills using the CB, while still others like myself depend on mapping programs, the Motor Carrier Map, directions from the shipper receiver "which may not always be accurate", and still others, to some extent rely on an instinct in their overall trucking operation that can't quite be described adequately here in words. Not to mention the successful Trucker also has become a business minded person and something of an expert planner, which in it's own right is quite an accomplishment.
 
Many of the things I've mentioned here can't be taught as a matter training for a CDL: it takes time, and dedication, and a love for the job. All these things can and should be learned at the company stage; "before" you start considering becoming an driver owner operator, or owning your own truck.
 
I could go on and on about how the Trucker has adapted himself to the business, the equipment, and the overall conduct of the business that make them truly unique people; and while the rest of the world may not think so, if you've been trucking for any length of time, the trucker began to establish a relationship with the overall elements that make each component of the trucking business a success.

Why is the uniqueness of Trucking important to the business and Start Up in particular?

As I've mention in previous chapters on marketing yourself, you must at all times understand your business as it relates to your skill in that business from the very start. A common mistake in trucking is that many truckers that do master all the elements of successful trucking fail to see themselves as truly being in business for themselves from the first day in trucking; consequently they'll miss many opportunities to learn and grow and achieve more and ultimately earn more money in the trucking business.
 
While on the other hand many start into the trucking business (even as myself): start into it plowing through such a shroud of mystery, that it becomes very easy to become mislead and overwhelmed by so much miss information or false information, that is perpetrated on this industry by those willing to make an unjust gain off of your willingness to work harder and be more responsible.even trucker in the business have been guilty of painting one side of the picture. Recently in a trucking forum a lease owner encouraged another driver tho lease with a company only quoting on behalf of a good week: the truth is the commercial trucking business is up and down, good weeks and bad weeks. A good business person should never be satisfied with half the equation and to the extent this occurs the potential for failure can increase.
 
Now don't let what I just said scare you off from the opportunity of fulfilling your rightful place as a successful trucker, willing to go out there and make this thing happen; but let it be an encouragement to you to have a hunger and a thirst for the right information, and the best way to accomplish what you're after which is hopefully to earn more money-since you're doing what you enjoy.
 
I can never underscore timing enough, but I'll simply say this, if the market is dead or weak for what ever it is you want to go in business for, "IT"S NOT THE RIGHT TIME". However, if the market demand is good for what you do, and God gives you and open door of opportunity to do it, GO THROUGH THE DOOR. Don't depend on others that may have had a bad experience. Gather all the information as fast as you can about the details, although my philosophy is that you should always be gathering the right information so when the time is right you already know what to do.
 
Assessing your tolerance for risk is part of the equation, but don't get so freaked out about it that you allow it to paralyze you, starting a trucking business is like any other risk; usually if you've done your homework and you've worked hard at gathering all the information you can about trucking, the market, and all the specifics about how to really make the kind of money that makes it all worth you while: the benefits far outweigh the risk. Remember, there's no substitute for knowing your job, so make sure that part comes first.

Finally; what might constitute an unrealistic approach to starting up a Trucking Business

Very briefly, If you have not really mastered the stage of business you're in, and if you are making compromises to go in business that well, let's just say are rash and do not sit well with your inner voice; (which by the way, you'll need to be in touch with on a higher than usual basis) you're probably rushing in. Be careful, you could be expecting more from this than you've prepared yourself for.That being said you will make mistakes and to a great extent you'll need to prepare yourself to make mistake too. So as you can see there's a lot of self preparation in the process, but all of it contributes to growth in the end. Here's and example of what I mean.
 
I ran Dry Van the whole time before I got my own Operating Authority, but in my planning stage I decided to get a Curtain-side trailer, the way I figured it I could run van and some flat bed loads. I did many country wide searches for Curtain-side trailers which landed me in Georgetown Kentucky, some of you will recall when they had all those old curtain-side trailers sitting over there at the Honda Plant, Well while even their best one may have been a good start for me, my inner voice in prayer of course just couldn't let me do it, and to this day I don't regret that decision. But the next really decent looking Curtain-side I found was clear out in Las Vegas, back when Pan Western was selling off their curtain sides, so my very first run with my brand new Authority turned out to be a Power only move, as I caught one the Utility Tank runs out of Akron, IN all the way to Colorado oil fields.
 
Well long story short I bought the curtain-side, and got myself down to southern California to get my first few runs, but seem like every time I said I had a Curtain-side the Broker said, "Ah No, my shipper won't load that, then as I began to get runs, I found out how much loaders like to carelessly rip your curtains! I was devastated and felt like the whole thing was just a shame. Not long after I got back to Southern California, same problems, only this time the trailer being a 48' was too short and I had to breakdown two pallets of cooking oil and stack them on top of the others, I thought I was going to die and I wanted too.
 
Finally I made it back one more time, this time I had three loads cancel on me in one day, which landed me in Fontana, CA. I remembered getting some trailer work there about a year before, so I knew there were a lot of trailer sales there. I think I prayed about two seconds before I had a peace about getting what I felt I should of gotten in the first place, a Dry Van. So I met the old man at Utility Trailers, "Carl" I never forget. I said I want a use trailer, he said okay, come and see what we got, he took me back there where those brand new DX-4000 were, and said just take a look, so I reluctantly agreed. He open up the back doors, and after letting the new smell and look of that brand new trailer hit me, he said these seven magic words and I was SOLDD with a double D, "That's State Of The Art Equipment There!" I didn't want him to know I was putty in his hands, so I told him I'd think about it and left. As I recall I even forgot to look at any used trailers, which probably told the old man all he needed to know.
 
Well miraculously I scraped up the funds and got it, and you know the rest of the story. If not, in short God bless me to accomplish more in trucking than I ever could have imagined. It reminds me, a guy that said his son in little league hit a ground ball that was over thrown at every base, and his son jumped up and down on home plate yelling Home Run, Home Run, Home Run!!! You see, it may not be pretty how you get around those bases but the end result is the same.

Preparing Your Trucking Business for High Earning   Trucking Stages of Development

It pains me to find people outside of trucking that buy a truck or trucks, put someone in them and expect to run a profitable business. These are the kind of people that you find desperately seeking answers to questions that will only trigger 9,000 other questions. Why? They tried to ignore the Stages of Development in Trucking and jump right into the business and began to realize that trucking is just that, it really is trucking, which means you have been in trucking long enough to form a relationship with the business, the equipment, and all the things it takes to keep it running smooth, and then as a trucker knows it's still not all that smooth all the time.

You also have to be a student of the business for a while and be responsible. Which reminds me of a guy I met one night just this last September/October time frame at the Steel City TruckStop in Indiana, he couldn’t start his truck. I jump out the truck and first thing I said is “are the cables tight? We checked them and they were all corroded. I went to the truck and got out my battery tester; turns out two of his three batteries were dead and the third one was on its last leg. Now get this, the guy said he’d been trucking some 45 years, he said he just hired on with the company a little while ago, I said but yeah, you know by now you can’t trust your maintenance to someone else, you were suppose to check it.

This not only speak to a lack of emphasis on an individuals part, but from what I could see many Truckers PTI consist of checking the gauges upon start up. That’s a shame guys and gals. Anyway sorry I got off on that, the main point is that you have to develop yourself in trucking by actually going through certain stages of development which you can not ignore or just blow through, and to the extent you just casually meander through them it will come back to visit you sooner or later.

I often joking say, I was still learning how to hit the dock when I start making over $4.00 a mile, but don’t let that fool ya’ I spent some serious time learning the ropes, before I ever ventured out into other stages of trucking. So, if you’re reading this book, and if you’ve been praying about whether you should take the next step in trucking and you haven’t completed the stage you’re in; consider this an answer to your prayer.

Trucking Business Start Up Plans To Become A  Company Driver Lease Owner Start Up Operating Authority Start Up