How to Be Profitable in Trucking
There is a definite appeal to trucking. The marketing always shows the newest trucks, the open road, wide-open landscapes, and oodles of cash. Make no mistake, the pay in trucking is good, but the hours are long. If you can get past spending all your time with yourself and jockeying alongside the other asphalt cowboys, then let’s take a look at being profitable in trucking.
New truck drivers are most likely to come into the field as a company driver, and it’s a great place to start. Depending on the source, the average annual salary for a company driver varies widely but it’s safe to say the medium earning is roughly $47,000. As a company driver, you keep your pay. What you earn is what you get. The pay will range from company to company and benefits will vary, but as a company driver, you will always be in demand making and have job security. Company drivers are generally paid by the mile, though local drivers are paid by the hour in most cases. For those of you on the highway, you get paid when the wheels are turning.
Making More Money
Driving for a company has financial limitations, but also has perks. Perks like not being financially responsible for roadside breakdowns, regular maintenance, fuels costs, insurance, and truck payments.
Making more money in trucking is simple: More risk = More rewards. Becoming profitable in trucking, earning and keeping more money in your pockets requires greater risk. Taking the leap from being a company driver to becoming an owner/operator is a step many want to take.
To become an owner/operator you need to get your own authority to run independently, learn how to use load boards to locate and secure loads, secure insurance, and, of course, get your own truck. When considering a truck, decide on the types of loads you plan to carry, what lanes you want to run, your budget, and general preferences.
Drivers always see ads that promise huge earnings and huge mileage rates. And if you are one of those drivers who strive to make more than a living, becoming an owner/operator will give you more.
The gross income of an owner/operator is roughly at least three times that of a company driver. Owner/operators are mainly paid in one of two ways: Mileage or Percentage of Load. Choosing to get paid by percentage will see the driver earn 25-85% of the load revenue, making high-paying loads quite lucrative, especially if you specialize in your freight. Like company drivers, getting paid based on mileage ensures a fairly stable income and owner/operators earn more per mile, but keep in mind the costs you will incur: truck payments, insurance, fuel, taxes, maintenance, etc. Keeping your truck in good working condition will reduce downtime spent on repairs and keep your wheels turning.
Being an owner/operator gives you a different level of freedom on the roads. You don’t need to stay within your company’s specific region or their lanes, giving you some scenic change if you so desire. Being on the road is already a lifestyle that feels free, but being an owner/operator takes that to the next level. If you are considering becoming an owner/operator and increasing your profits as a truck driver, be sure to talk to visit the FMCSA website to learn more about your specific requirements.