Trucking Business Basics #1: Starting Your Truck Driving Business

Driving a semi truck for someone else isn’t exactly a glamorous job. According to the Occupational Handbook, a semi truck driver will typically make just under $40,000 per year. The job has some challenges too. It requires long hours in a vehicle, and often drivers are required to spend several days on the road away from their families. Of course, some people feel a sense of freedom being a big rig truck driver, but there is a better way to achieve success and financial security than simply punching a clock and heading on the road. Many truck drivers are looking beyond their next paycheck at the possibility of turning their job as a semi truck driver into a business.

Big rig trucking is an industry attracts some people who look at the job as temporary, not a career move. Some may choose it as a way to find oneself or see the country. Since training doesn’t take a big investment, they may commit to being a semi truck driver for a couple years before settling into a career that is a bit less mobile. Others thrive on the road and see over the road trucking as an integral part of their lives. For these people, running their own semi truck driving business makes sense.

Getting Started: Structuring Your Trucking Business

Big rig trucking businesses are normally structured in one of two ways: sub-contracted drivers or privately-owned drivers.

Sub-Contracted Drivers

The benefit of using a sub-contracted driver is that the drivers that drive the equipment you own don’t actually work for your company. This means you do not have as much responsibility when it comes to taking care of these drivers, who are considered self- employed. They also aren’t required to be loyal to you. Starting up with this business model is less expensive, but profits are limited as well.

Privately-Owned Drivers

With privately-owned drivers, these drivers are your employees on your payroll. You have to insure them. You are responsible for maintaining the vehicles and making sure you are able to present your employees with the work they were promised. You will also need to put up more money upfront in order to take care of all your operating costs. The upside is that your potential for profit is substantially higher as well.

Regardless of which type of trucking business you choose to run, you’ll need to obtain all the necessary licensing and permits in order to run your business. From there, you will need to obtain your equipment, set up contracts and build your client base.

Purchase Equipment: Financing Your Trucking Business

In most cases, individuals thinking of starting a trucking business don’t have the cash on hand to finance this type of business independently. While there are may places to obtain business loans, not every financial institution has a good grasp on the trucking industry and its unique opportunities and challenges. It takes a certain kind of person to run a trucking business.  Experience with life on the road and strong budgeting and planning are key.

One item that leads many people into the field in the first place is their desire to bypass the nine-to-five corporate scene. Heading into a bank for a loan, finding they have to translate industry terms, normal operating expenses and the like may be off-putting to a passionate trucking business operator. A better option is seek out a lender that regularly deals with the industry, who works with borrowers in a straight-forward way they can understand and appreciate. This is why Engs Commercial Finance exists: to finance the trucking & delivery industry exclusively.

As a commercial finance company, we have dedicated our entire business to the truck and trailer industry since our founding in 1952. Over the many years we have been in business we have financed over $1 billion to upstart and established businesses in the trucking industry for their trucking equipment and related business expenses. Because of our extensive experience and deep understanding of both finance and the trucking industry, we can provide exceptional customer service through communicating what customers need to know, not just what they want to hear.

If you are ready to take the next step with a new or established trucking business, contact us to learn how we can finance your next equipment purchase and help you build your business.