Truck drivers are a crucial part of this nation's economy. If you want in on a slice of this action but don't want to be tied down to a specific company, you can become an independent truck driver.
Before you follow this path, though, there are some important things you need to know that will help you succeed in the long run. To get you started on the right foot, here are a few things you need to know about becoming an independent truck driver.
Once you're out on your own, maintaining your truck will be one of the most important things you do. As with any vehicle, a truck that's well-maintained will run more efficiently and require fewer repairs.
To ensure your maintenance costs don't overwhelm your budget, it's important to factor in the cost of regular maintenance, whether you perform the maintenance yourself or hire someone else to do it.
When you choose your truck for your independent trucking operation, it's important to make your choice carefully. Beyond power, durability, or brand loyalty, the simple fact is that you'll be spending a lot of time in your truck, so it needs to be a place that you don't mind spending hours on end. Choose a trusted dealership, like Arrow Truck Sales or another local business, to help you keep all your criteria under consideration as you make your final choice.
As an independent truck driver, you are totally that: independent. This means you don't have a billing department to ensure that you get paid for the loads you haul. Therefore, it's a good idea to have a decent knowledge of basic accounting and billing to ensure you're able to keep track of who owes what.
Though it's nice to think that everything could be secured with a trusted word and a handshake, that's just not how things work. When you contract with a company to haul their goods, make sure to get their payment agreement in writing.
If you don't, you will have almost no recourse should they decide to pay you a different amount or not pay at all. With a written contract, however, you will have more leverage should you have to take a client to court.
Despite the undeniable challenges, driving for yourself is worth the effort involved. Knowing that you can, to a large extent, haul what you want when you want is a satisfying feeling. With the right preparation and ongoing input, you can have a successful career as an independent truck driver.