Thinking About Starting My Own Trucking Business

Topic 29458 | Page 1

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Andy J.'s Comment
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Me and my brother have been thinking of starting our own trucking business as owners and not operators. We have some money saved up and want to invest in this and try to build it up. We live right by a big interstate and have been wanting to do this for a while. I was wanting to know the steps in getting setup, what’s the dos and don’t of the industry. What’s the best truck that most drivers would recommend and be wanting to drive. Just in general where do I start with paper work also. Hope to hear something good. Looking for any advice and all advice is welcomed.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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All those questions tell me you have never driven a truck nor have you done any research into this. You would be competing with they big guys, like Swift, XPO and the rest.

Do you have any idea how this industry works?

How much money do you have saved?

Do you have any ideas of the cost of the equipment, land and buildings?

With that said this site is geared towards helping people get successful start as truck drivers. We believe that the best route for that is Paid CDL Training Programs.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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There are far better places to invest your money, it is not as simple as going out buying a truck and making tons of money. If it where more people would be doing it.

One of your biggest hurdles will be insurance and booking freight, neither will be willing to work with a new company with new owners with no experience.

Just out of curiosity how much are you willing to invest?

Old School's Comment
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Andy, the trucking business is fiercely competitive. The margins are in single digits, and the big guys have all the advantages through economies of scale. This is a commodities business. Are you familiar with what that entails? When I started out in trucking I could have easily retired. It was a second career for me. I had been in private business for many years, and got out looking for something else to do. Retirement has never been a goal of mine - I wanted to keep working.

About nine years ago I wanted to start my own trucking company, being an owner/operator. I understood how to make a viable business plan, and how to forecast financial expectations. I never could make it come out on paper so that I was doing any good. I had figured all my costs for start up and my operating expenses. Then I figured out how much freight I needed to move annually at a rate so that I could make a living and a small profit over that. The rate I came up with was over two dollars a mile, and I also calculated a "break even point" being at around 1.75/mile. Keep in mind, that was almost ten years ago. Then I found out the big trucking companies were moving freight sometimes for 1.40 - 1.50/mile! They are still doing stuff like that. Occasionally you will find better rates, and to be honest with you the markets are volatile. They go up and down based on a lot of different factors that are completely void of your control.

It's not a business venture that I recommend unless you can easily afford to lose at times, and are really not averse to risk. That is the biggest problem with it. The risk factor is high, and the rewards are sketchy at best. We are truck drivers here. We love this career. I have friends who are owner/operators who work very hard and earn less than I do as a company driver. We love trucking, but we don't see it as a reasonable investment to make. Obviously some have done well with it. There is some potential, but you really need to have some kind of background with commodities and transportation. To just jump in to the pool because "you have some money saved up" sounds like a real recipe for disaster.

What have you been doing that enabled you to save up all that money. You have obviously been doing something well. Are you just wanting to increase your income? You could find a lot better investment in some sort of franchised business where things like cost controls, quality of product, and profit margins are already established. You could limit your risks that way and quite probably do a lot better with your investment. I think it's great that you guys are making and saving money, but to turn around and lose it in a trucking operation would be most unfortunate. Keep looking around for something to do with your money. There are a lot better places to put it.

PackRat's Comment
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Why not? A great way to make a small fortune in trucking is to start with a large fortune.

Terrible idea to try now because the new administration is going to regulate lots of businesses right OUT of business starting yesterday.



Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Sid V.'s Comment
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Since you have the capital and not the knowledge, why not find someone with the knowledge and not the capital.

Fund their venture in exchange for some kind of dividend.

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