Starting up a trucking company is an exciting time, and the thought of rearing a successful business has the power to fill your heart with glee. As exciting as this time is, there are several factors that you need to consider before you start your new business.
There are more than half a million trucking companies in America, with over fifteen million trucks on the road each day. Those are staggering figures, and they should encourage you to start your trucking company because half a million business owners cannot be wrong.
As with any type of business, there is a certain amount of research that needs to be done before you can start it. This research includes elements like business plans, permits, laws, and competitor analysis. These ten helpful tips below will help you start your new trucking company today.
Compile a Business Plan
A solid business plan is the foundation of every company. It is recommended that your business plan should project three to five years ahead, and it should also detail your plan to grow your business and your revenue.
A typical business plan includes an executive summary, which should include a brief description of your company and your plan to achieve your business goals. It should also include a company description which should include details on what sets your business apart from other trucking companies.
Your business plan also needs to include projected sales and financial figures, a market analysis, and your list of business goals.
Apply for A Commercial Driver’s License
As the owner of a trucking company, you should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). All drivers who are 21 years or older can apply. You will need proof of identity, U.S residency, a valid social security number, and the application fee.
You will also be required to pass vision and knowledge exams. After getting your commercial learner’s permit, you will need to pass a pre-trip inspection, where your road skills will be tested. You will also be required to pass a driving exam, after which you will pay the applicable fees and receive your CDL.
This step only applies if you do not have funding of your own or a set of investors. Most successful trucking companies are highly lucrative businesses, so acquiring funds shouldn’t be a problem. You do need to have a business plan to secure funding from a bank, so make sure that yours is in great shape before you apply.
Shop around for your loan to make sure that you get the best deal possible.
Get Your Trucking Authority
The next step to starting your new trucking business is to apply for your trucking authority. Trucking companies need to have an operating authority to work as a hired carrier that crosses over state lines, with vehicles that weigh over a certain limit.
File your business name with your state and then complete an application for your trucking authority with the FMCSA. Once you’ve done that, you can file for your motor carrier number for transporting commerce across states.
Select an Agent
Once you have completed the above steps, you can proceed to the next. The next step to starting your trucking company is to select your process agent. A process agent is a person who can legally represent you when you need to file court papers to start your business.
Your trucking company will need to have process agents in every state where you work, travel, or operate. That is a legal requirement, so you cannot skip this step.
Buy Your Fleet
That is one of the most important steps when starting a new trucking business. Choosing the best vehicles for your company is vital for ensuring that your business has every chance to succeed. Having the right fleet for the job will ensure that your drivers don’t have any problems when driving long distances, which will lead to efficient and professional service.
If you intend to expand your business, buy international semi-trucks because these are proven to be able to handle the loads. Expanding your business will lead to increased revenues and profits down the line.
Secure Comprehensive Insurance
Truck Insurance for your new trucking business should be one of your priorities. The FMCSA requires a specific type of insurance, including liability insurance, to obtain the relevant permits that you will need to operate.
Your trucks will run on high-mileage and demanding schedules, which means they will face maintenance demands. Your new trucking business cannot afford to have a vehicle out of action, so ensure that your insurance cover is comprehensive so that you can be back on the road in the quickest time possible.
What is a trucking company without truck drivers? A failure, that’s what. Hire the right team of drivers from the start by making sure that they are qualified and experienced. Your truck drivers will have the power to make or break your business, so be discerning when you carry out the hiring process.
Your drivers will require regular training sessions to keep them in the loop with the latest in trucking safety and security, so make sure that they are literate as well.
Get the Right Software
The second to last step for starting a new trucking company is to choose the right transport management software system. There are many different options available, so you will need to research which one will work best for your specific trucking business.
This software will help you to keep track of your jobs, plan your routes, track your cash flow, and stay up-to-date on the maintenance schedules for your fleet.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Last but certainly not least; is a gentle reminder to keep a positive outlook. Positive attitudes are proven to help when managing stressful and demanding work schedules. Always look on the bright side, you may run into problems along the way, but you should never let them consume you.
You can do anything if you put your mind to it!