Becoming a successful owner-operator requires dedication, discipline, and a thorough understanding of the industry. Before starting down the road to independence, learn what it will take for you to earn a living through owner-operator trucking.
Whether you are a newly licensed trucker or a seasoned professional considering the switch from company driving to owner-operator trucking, a successful business requires a great deal of preparation. The following step-by-step plan can help you build a strong foundation for your business and find owner-operator trucking jobs in Arkansas if you ultimately choose to take this rewarding career path.
Assess Your Personality and Lifestyle.
Your work ethic, health, and family life all play a role in determining whether you will find success in owner-operator trucking. As with any business, an entrepreneur must know how to routinely set and achieve earnings goals. This requires a great deal of discipline and focus that is not always needed if you work as a company driver. Consider any current health conditions that may get worse over time and affect your ability to work long hours behind the wheel. You must also honestly assess how much time you hope to spend at home with family, friends, and loved ones. Owner-operator trucking requires a work life balance that often leans heavily toward work.
Consider the Financial Obligations.
Becoming an owner-operator requires a thorough business plan that includes all of your expected expenses and how you plan to cover them. If you currently have a health insurance plan that is provided by an employer, you will need to replace it. You will also need to maintain insurance coverage for your truck and equipment. Owner-operators who are under permanent lease often receive primary coverage through their carriers, but if you are working under your own authority, you will likely need to purchase the following coverage:
- Commercial auto liability insurance
- Physical damage insurance
- Motor truck cargo insurance
- Bobtail insurance
- Occupational accident insurance
- Non-owned trailer insurance
Forward-thinking owner-operators also prepare for unexpected expenses. When calculating your fuel budgets, take into account possible increases in gas prices. You should have a substantial amount of money put aside in an emergency fund, which is invaluable in the event of breakdowns, damages, or health issues that can occur at any moment.
Buy the Right Truck.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for picking the right truck as an owner-operator. You will no doubt have preferences based on your personal driving style, ideal load, and usual driving routes. When choosing a rig, remember to balance good looks with practical concerns, such as fuel economy. Older trucks cost less upfront, but they will require a larger budget for repairs that must be factored into your overall expenses. Lastly, if you are planning to cover longer routes, features such as a sleeper cab will be necessary for your comfort on the road.
Find Trucking Jobs.
When it comes to finding employment as an owner-operator, consider your ideal income, schedule, and routes. If you are looking for a steady stream of owner-operator trucking jobs in Arkansas, consider working with a freight logistics company like RCX Solutions. Take into account bonuses that may be available when working with a company, such as fleet rates for insurance, company-provided fuel cards and trailers, and consistent work. Working independently may pay more per mile, but this should be weighed with the time required to secure work and fulfill other crucial business responsibilities.
If you are a truck driver looking for owner-operator trucking jobs in Arkansas, apply for a truck driving position at RCX Solutions today. We need reliable company drivers and owner-operators in the Southeast, and our team will work with you to help you achieve your career goals. Call us at 866-336-9697 if you have questions about joining our fleet.