August 14, 2019

Top 4 Tips To Start A New Commercial Trucking Business

The news is full of stories about how commercial trucking is needed across all industries. In fact, over 50,000 more commercial truck drivers are needed to fulfill the delivery needs of Amazon and Walmart alone. That’s huge, and the impact can be felt nationwide.

“The driver shortage is already leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices for goods that Americans buy,” Heather Long of The Washington Post noted. “The ATA predicts that it's likely to get worse in the coming years.”

Top 4 Tips To Start A New Commercial Trucking Business: eAskme
Top 4 Tips To Start A New Commercial Trucking Business: eAskme

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This shortage of drivers is a clear call to action for anyone wishing to fill the need.

It can be a very lucrative business with plenty of contracts easily won.

Someone with knowledge of starting a business, or someone with knowledge of the commercial trucking industry can basically corner the market with endless ability to scale.

If you are ready to start your own commercial trucking business, we have a list of tips to help guide you in the beginning stages. Let’s take a closer look!

1. Get a plan in place for your commercial trucking business

The first step in any new business endeavor is to get a solid plan in place.

You first want to think about what size of business you want.

If you want to crawl before you walk, starting as a small carrier with one or two trucks is good.

If you want to sprint right out of the gate, you may need to think about a large fleet and hiring drivers.

If you are currently a truck driver, starting out as a owner-operator could be the most logical first step.

You could even partner with a few friends who also drive commercially.

But either way you slice it, you need to own your trucks for max profitability.

2. Buying your own commercial trucks

Buying your own trucks is a must if you want to launch a commercial trucking business. A semi-truck can cost in upwards of $200,000.

There are not many new business owners with a quarter million dollars lying around.

And if you want a fleet, the price tag can be overwhelming.

The good news is that there are other options available.

For example, you can get semi-truck leasing with no money down, just like you would a car.

You can also finance to buy a new or used truck to get your commercial trucking business off the ground.

This is important, because you definitely want to be profitable from the get go.

Before purchasing or financing a truck, ensure it is what you want, need, and will last.

Look for damage, check the truck’s maintenance history, get lower mileage, search for rust, and be sure the tires are good to drive right away.

3. Develop a business plan

Simply buying a truck and driving goods from one place to another doesn’t make your business a business.

There are actually quite a few aspects that go into owning a business in any industry.

This is a marker for a business plan.

Business plans help you get off the ground quickly, and give you an idea of projected spend, revenue, profits, and how quickly you may need to scale.

To develop your business plan, consider these questions:

  • What is my market (big chains like Amazon or Walmart)?
  • What does marketing and business development look like?
  • How will I describe my company?
  • What is my sales strategy to land new and future clients?
  • How will my business be structured (managers, accounting, sales team, etc.)?
  • What is the projected revenue per quarter and fiscal year?
And the list goes on. Having a business plan is important, because you may need to get an investor down the road, or find a lender to finance the daily cash flow needs any business has.Additionally, you may need to use a factoring company for trucking so it's good to plan ahead and find a factoring partner before you need it.

4. Ensure you are following all legal requirements and guidelines

The commercial trucking business has a lot of legalities. Your drivers have rules, your trucks need to meet state and federal guidelines, and your business also needs to be on the up-and-up. This is critical for maintaining a legal business that stays profitable long-term.

For instance, every driver needs to have a CDL, and requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must be met.

There are also driver log guidelines with some trucks needing electronic logging devices.

These legalities and more must all be adhered to and in place to ensure your business is protected, legal, and profitable.

Ready to hit the road with your new commercial trucking business?

The above top four tips to starting your very own trucking company are certainly not the be-all, end-all for your industry.

There are plenty of other considerations, but these are among the most important to maintain a working and profitable trucking business.
  • Have you started a trucking business recently?
  • What are some of your top tips to get started?
If you still have any question, do share via comments.

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