Being an independent trucker comes with pros and cons, such as being able to set your own schedule, work only with those you want to as well, and needing to handle all costs related to your truck and your taxes.
Those who have decided to become an independent trucker can achieve more success by taking advantage of these recommendations. By taking the time to research strategies and productive techniques, you will be able to see an increase in your success as an independent trucker.
Do Preventative Maintenance
It is essential to create a maintenance schedule for your truck and stick to it. The main reason why is that doing so generally costs less in the long run and causes less stress.
Be Prepared for Major Expenses
Regardless of how careful you are with upkeep on your truck, it is always possible that significant damage will occur to it at some point, and it is important to be financially and mentally prepared for that.
Expect Some Customers to Slowly Pay
You also want to be prepared for unexpectedly slow payments, particularly from customers who you have not worked with before although this can even happen with those who you have a lot of experience with. Unfortunately, in some cases, it can take time to get your money. Rarely, it might never happen.
Be Wary of Verbal Agreements
You should be wary of verbal agreements and seek out written contracts. The only exception would be if it is with someone who you have experience with and trust, but, even then, understand the risk that you are taking.
Get CDL Endorsements
One way to help you stand out from other independent truckers is by getting one or more CDL endorsements. A few examples include H (hazmat), T (double/triple trailer), and P (passenger).
Create Positive Relationships
As an independent trucker, creating and keeping positive relationships with others is so important. Those who do this often receive plenty of work through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Pursue Freight Overflow
One type of organization that it often pays to have a positive relationship with is large trucking companies. When you do that, you may be considered for any freight overflow that they have.
Use Load Boards to Find Loads
Utilize load boards to find loads. Going this route is especially pivotal for new independent truckers, but doing so can also provide experienced drivers with needed work during otherwise slower times.
Analyze Your Operating Costs
When considering whether or not to take on a load, make sure to also calculate your estimated operating costs for it. Although the pay that you would receive might seem enticing, in the end, after you have accounted for what completing that load will cost you, it might not end up being all that attractive.
Keep a Good Driving Record
One of the ways to cause prospective and even current customers to avoid working with you is by not possessing a good driving record, so make sure to do everything in your power to have a spotless one.