Starting a Trucking Business? Here’s What You Need to Know
Thinking of starting a trucking business?
It’s never easy getting a business started in any industry. However, a lack of transparency means that many people are sometimes confused in terms of starting a trucking company.
That is to say, you will find many online resources with such information but few websites, pages, or articles that outline a simple list of the basic things you need to know.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Starting a Trucking Business
When first starting out driving truck, it’s wise to have a plan. Too many individuals simply buy a truck and get a DOT Number and off they go, all because they used to drive a truck for someone else, they feel they understand what all it entails. Individuals would tend to benefit greatly if they’d simply see the importance of having a well thought out plan combined with asking the right questions. Experienced owner-operators tend to know that the more you start thinking ahead with strategizing, planning, and organizing, the more you’re ensuring that your future endeavors will be successful.
With this in mind, what do you need to start a trucking business?
Let’s take a look:
- Finances- You will not only need capital finance to cover the costs of the truck/trailer but also the costs associated with registration and licensing. For this reason, you will also need to think about where to secure this line of credit and save money to cover as much of these costs as possible.
- Business Plan – You need a business plan to outline what kind of expenses or revenue you can expect. Without a business plan, any business is vulnerable and far less likely to succeed.
Licensing – As mentioned above, you will need to acquire a commercial driver’s license. Needless to say, this training program will also cost money and licensing is mandatory for anyone that wants to start a trucking business. If you already have your CDL you are ahead of the game.
- Insurance – According to law, you must have $750,000 primary liability coverage and some shippers/brokers require $1 million or more. That being said, you will also need cargo insurance and any physical damage to the actual truck. Insurance is often the most expensive aspect of a start-up a trucking company.
- Lease – You can choose between various types of lease. For instance, a full-service lease will cover taxes, permits, and maintenance. Meanwhile, a lease-purchase plan is for those who might not have a decent credit history.
But what other questions should you be asking yourself about starting a trucking company?
What Questions Should I be Asking Myself About my Trucking Company?
Well, there is really no end to the questions that you should be asking. After all, the more questions you can ask, the more certainty you will have moving forward. That being said, here are some of the most common questions that you might want to consider:
- Where will you park the truck/s?
- Who will you employ to drive the trucks?
- Who will take care of truck maintenance?
- Who will take care of accounting, invoicing and other paperwork?
- Where will you load trucks or even locate these loads?
- What laws and regulations should you know about?
That said, let’s take a look at some of the regulations which apply:
What Regulations Apply to Me?
- Operating Authority – You need authority from the Department of Transport to move goods across state lines.
- Heavy Vehicle Tax – Does your truck weigh more than 55,000lbs? You will need to pay tax.
- BOC-3 – You will need to appoint an agent in each state where you have an office for the business.
- USDOT Number – You must acquire this number from the Department of Transportation. The USDOT is used to monitor company safety etc.
- IFTA Decal – If you intend on driving between multiple states, you must have a decal for the International Fuel Tax Arrangement (IFTA).
While this is not an extensive list of regulations, these are some of the most important to keep in mind.
After you’re able to get the compliance end of things squared away, that’ll be a large part of the headache gone. However, most don’t have the time or patience to want to go and do all the digging and research themselves. That’s where Federal Carrier Compliance Regulations. comes in, we’re trained professionals in DOT & FMCSA compliance requirements, rules, and regs. We’re quickly able to determine what all you’ll require, regardless of state, operating class, cargo, or carrier operation, and will even fill out the application on your behalf. We always go above and beyond for our clients by assigning them with their own personal, dedicated agent that they’ll speak with every time they call and that knows their specific situation.
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