How to Start a Trucking Business

Posted on 13 March 2012

How to Start a Trucking Business

If you love to be on the open road, learning how to start a trucking business just might be for you.  This is a growing sector that can really pay off for anyone willing to work hard and take great care of their clients.

Researching your competition and coming up with something that sets you apart and makes clients want to use your services over anyone else’s can result in a very profitable business opportunity.

What You’ll Need to Succeed in the Trucking Business

As with any business, start by putting together a business plan.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but write down the services you plan on providing through your trucking business, how you plan to market it, and how you will run day to day operations.  The trucking business is all about moving things from one place to another, but there are a lot of different niche markets, so you will need to pick which kind of trucking business you want to start.

You will obviously also need at least one truck to start a trucking business.  Trucks are very expensive, but there are often attractive lease terms, and if you have business lined up right away, you should be able to cover all your expenses with a good amount left over.

When putting together your pricing for your trucking business, your rates will depend on a number of things.  The distance you are traveling with your loads, the weight of the loads, and the type of materials you are transporting all need to be considered.  Fuel will be one of your largest ongoing expenses, and the amount of fuel you use is affected by what you are carrying.

You will of course need a business license to start a trucking business, and you will also need some specific permits and licenses issued by the federal government.  These can include MC Numbers, 2290s, IFTA Decals, IRP Tags, and USDOT Numbers.  You’ll also need to report fuel tax, and you should have an excellent insurance policy in place.

Once your trucking business is off the ground, success will depend a lot on customer service, on time delivery, and your ability to deliver goods in undamaged condition. Damaged goods and late deliveries will damage your reputation and severely hurt your business. Of course delays and mistakes will occasionally happen, but they should be the exception to the rule.

Finding Customers for Your Trucking Business

An important part of learning how to start a trucking business is finding clients that will hire you, either on a recurring or one time basis to haul goods for them.  Attending conferences and trade shows for the trucking industry will help you find the right people to talk to, and you might also consider a direct mail campaign.  Calling on freight brokers is another way to obtain business for your trucking company.

As your success with your trucking business grows, you can consider bringing on more drivers and even staying home and running your business, rather than going on runs.  Some of the biggest trucking firms started with a single truck and driver, and that can be you one day.  Then you’ll be very glad you learned how to start a trucking business.

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