If you’ve been an over the road trucker for a while and have advanced as far as you can while working for someone else, the next logical step might be to start your own trucking business. If you’re not sure where to start, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve taken a look at some of the pros and cons of starting your own trucking business and whether or not it’s worth it to make the transition from driver to boss.
Pro: It’s a Growing Industry
The trucking industry is one that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. More than 70 percent of all goods sold in the United States are moved from one side of the country to the other by truck — and the industry is expected to grow at least six percent between now and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of the biggest names — like UPS and LTL — employ a large number of drivers. UPS has over 60,000 drivers and is still growing.
Con: It’s a Business
It may be the business that you’re familiar with, but running your own trucking company is still a business. You have to consider the type of business you’re planning on operating — a sole proprietorship where you’re the big boss or a partnership where you work with another person. Depending on how big your fleet grows, you could eventually create your own corporation — with all the headache that comes with it.
Pro: You Can Buy or Lease Your Equipment
One of the biggest expenses when you’re starting a trucking business is buying your trucks and trailers. If you’re just starting out, leasing your vehicles can be a great way to save money until you land your first delivery contracts. If you have enough startup capital, buying your trucks is a big expense but can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Con: Maintenance Costs
As a driver, if your truck breaks down, you just call your dispatcher and have them take care of it. As a trucking business owner, it’s up to you to set aside the money to take care of your trucks, which can get costly. Buying new trucks can help to keep costs low for a time, but once you start racking up the miles, you’ll need to maintain the trucks to keep them from breaking down.
In addition to maintenance, you need to consider costs of consumables like fuel, oil and even the money you’re paying your drivers. All of these costs are ones you need to think about when starting your business, especially if you’re planning on building a fleet and hiring additional drivers.
Pro: Be Your Own Boss
If you’re tired of working for other people, you’ll find that starting your own trucking company can be a great way to become your own boss. It comes with plenty of additional responsibility, but that isn’t a bad thing — it can be a great way to build your career into something truly magnificent that you couldn’t manage if you were working for someone else.
This benefit is extremely enticing for those of the millennial generation who balk at the idea of working for someone else. Ownership allows you to nurture your business spirit and create a career that will support you from now into retirement.
There are plenty of things to consider before you start your own business — even a trucking business — but if you can handle the additional stress and really want to be your own boss, it can be a great choice. Make sure you do your research before you bite that bullet though — jumping into the deep end without knowing how to swim will just leave you in a world of trouble.