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The independent trucking owner-operator faces a unique and challenging business environment as (s)he conducts business on the open road from a truck that not only serves as an office, but also as a second home. The success of the American economy depends on enterprising men and women like you who make their living in this field. Motivation and hard work alone will not guarantee success. You have to possess business skills, technical knowledge and industry experience to succeed as an trucking-owner-operator.
Trucks transport 94 percent of all consumer, 77 percent of all industrial, and 68 percent of all farm goods in the United States, according to the U.S. DOT. Annually, the value of all goods shipped exceeds $6 trillion. You’re excited about your career decision, but please proceed with caution and prudence. Owning and operating an 18-wheeler requires research and planning. As an owner-operator, you make sacrifices because your business requires you to work nights, on weekends and even holidays, often away from your family.
Planning and Preparation
Good preparation and careful consideration of what makes an owner-operator successful will help you avoid costly mistakes that can set you back or even destroy your dream. Such a major decision affects you, your spouse and your family. Include them in your decision-making process, since your family’s support will contribute to your success.
Work varies from year to year, because the strength of the economy dictates the amount of freight moved by trucks. Companies tend to hire more drivers when the economy is strong and deliveries are in high demand. When the economy slows, employers hire fewer drivers, or even lay off drivers. Independent owner-operators are particularly vulnerable to slowdowns. Industries least likely to be affected by economic fluctuation tend to be the most stable places for employment. The number of truck drivers and Owner Operators with sales responsibilities is expected to increase more slowly than the average for all other occupations because companies are increasingly shifting sales, ordering, and customer service tasks to sales and office staffs, and using regular truck drivers and Owner Operators to make deliveries to customers.
The internet is one of the fastest growing tools for reaching qualified drivers and owner operators, 80% of workers in the transportation industry have internet access at home or work and 40% actively search the web more than once a day for job opportunities driving trucks. It’s fast, informative, and most importantly convenient – the internet can accommodate any busy schedule.