Be Your own Boss as a Trucker

What is your favorite part about being a trucker? Is it living life on the open road? Is it the freedom to set your own schedule? Maybe it’s something else. There are many people who don’t understand what it’s like to live as a trucker. While there’s a lot of freedom, it can be one of the loneliest, frustrating, and underappreciated careers out there. Sometimes there’s long hours, little pay, or a lack of respect from dispatchers or employers. If you’re frustrated working for your current company, it may be time to start your own trucking company, where you can be your own boss. The best thing is, you don’t have to start your new business alone. Motor Carrier can help. Advantages of Being Your Own Boss If you become your own boss with your own trucking company, you can choose your hours, your haul, and how you want your company to run. Here are just a few of the other advantages of running your own trucking company. Control Your Assets If you work for a company, the truck you use might not be yours to own. In fact, some trucking companies make it almost impossible to come to own your own truck, even when it’s leased to you. However, with your own company you can choose whether to lease or own. You decide what to invest your money in and where that money goes. Choose What You Haul There are a wide variety of goods you can choose to haul as the owner of your own company. Here are just a few of the types of material and...

Your DOT Compliance Checklist

Part of running a trucking company is making sure that all the points in the DOT compliance checklist. If your business conducts state-to-state commerce, then it’s important to remember that the government requires you to comply with both the CDL and drug and alcohol checklists. Here’s a look at the major portions of each. DOT FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Compliance Checklist It’s important to make sure you’re following the DOT compliance checklist. Serious civil and criminal penalties may be applied to you or to any of your drivers who violate these rules. Always make sure you cover the following things. Ensure your drivers have copies of the DOT policies. Keep the results of pre-employment drug tests for all your drivers on file. Check with your driver’s former employers as to whether the driver had any drug or alcohol problems while employed, and keep records of the findings on file in your office. Make sure that drivers aren’t allowed to perform safety-sensitive tasks. Put all your drivers in a random drug/alcohol testing pool. Conduct random drug testing of half your drivers each year. Randomly check at least 10% of your drivers for alcohol abuse each year. Have all supervisors complete the training program required by the DOT. Remove any driver in violation of DOT regulations from safety-sensitive duties. Ensure that all required records relating to drug and alcohol regulations are on file and can be retrieved at any time. Need help? Give us a call today, we’re here to help. Call Now! CDL Checklist You must have a copy of the current FMCSA rules in your office. Also, make sure...

6 Steps to Becoming an Owner Operator

No matter how long you’ve been driving, the thought of working for yourself and becoming an owner-operator has probably crossed your mind at least once. Up until now, it may have seemed like an unachievable goal, but it’s your time. Before you pick out a new truck and kick your current employer out of your life, you need to ensure that everything is in a row and you have set yourself up for success in what is a highly competitive business environment. To really put you on the road to success, there are a number of decisions and self-assessments that need to be made. While failing to take all of these steps doesn’t guarantee that your new venture is destined for the trash heap, following these steps will dramatically increase the chances that you will look back on these times with fond memories. So use this guide as a general framework to help you build a profitable, self-sustaining business.   6 Steps to Becoming an Owner Operator  Personal Assessment. Take a good, hard look at your work ethic, habits, and other factors that can yield solid answers about the likelihood you have of succeeding as an owner operator. Do you like to spend weekends holed up in truck stops talking to other drivers for hours on end or trolling the internet all night? If so, you may not be cut out for the rigors of truck ownership. Some personal factors you will need to examine include driving preferences, home time, insurance, and your over all end career goal. Financial Considerations. From your personal budget to your possible debt, your...

Motor Carrier Insurance Coverage

If you’re an owner-operator, you already know the routine because it happens every year. You sit down with an agent, select a company to insure your truck, settle on a policy that can meet your needs, and sign a check that guarantees coverage. Of course before you sign the check, you should do your homework to make sure you are buying the right insurance or the right price. Unfortunately, the trucking lifestyle doesn’t come with much spare time. So take 10 minutes right now and review the following points on buying truck insurance. You’ll save hours of research and probably a good amount of money as well. The Right Insurance Company Companies that insure motor carriers, trucks and drivers are not all the same. Some sell through independent agents, while others go through their own sales staff. Some specialize in commercial truck insurance, and others sell it as one of a secondary line of coverage. Some companies specialize in specific niches within the motor-carrier industry, such as large fleets, temperature-controlled equipment, or owner-operators. Some cover thousands of small customers, while others only handle a few big ones. The most important part of looking for the right insurance company is to buy from a company that specializes in truck insurance. If you go through a non-specialist, they may overlook certain details in your coverage. For example, a non-specialist might not know that owner-operators may have to upgrade their coverage on a temporary or single-trip basis to qualify for a lucrative back-haul delivering a commodity they don’t normally carry. A specialist would know to ask whether you need this coverage and...

A Special Thanks to Truck Drivers This Holiday Season

No matter what time of year it is, you’re bound to see a semi-truck when you get on a freeway. Because of the holiday season approaching us, this happenstance may occur more and more often. Truck drivers can be men or women, young or old, independent drivers or company drivers, and more. Whomever the driver, they take a lot out of their lives to get you the goods you need, especially right now. Thanks to television and movies, you may think you have an understanding of what the truck driver life entails, however, the only people that really know about it are the people out on the road. Trucking is the backbone of the economy all across the nation and the men and women that drive these vehicles could easily be considered American icons. Truck drivers have a wide range of duties and responsibilities, such as logging hours and destinations in their logbooks, driving for extended periods of time, delivering the right thing to the right place at the right time, and many more obligations. On top of that, they are also faced with an assortment of dangers every day. They often drive long hours during the night to avoid traffic, which means they face falling asleep at the wheel, drunk drivers, deer running into the highway and losing sight of the road on a daily basis. We should all be thankful for these people who spend their lives out on the road this season. They drive and drive to provide us with anything and everything we could need in our stores. They face brutal weather at times, endless...

Becoming a Freight Broker

A great way to maximize the money you can make in the trucking industry is to become a freight broker. It allows trucking companies to negotiate cargo hauling with other freight companies. With the help of truck brokerage software, it makes the process much easier. However, if you’re interested in expanding your business, you should learn a few things to start this profitable addition to your business. Why Become a Broker Once in a while you may get a call for a big load, but you realize that all your trucks are already on the road with other loads. This is where truck brokering comes into play. If you have a brokerage license from the FMCSA, you can sub that load out to another trucking company and take a small commission. Typically, a trucking company can only negotiate their own freight, which gives them a two-part opportunity cost: the lost job itself, and the brokering fee they could have gathered for arranging alternate cargo delivery. So how do you get a brokerage license? Broker Authority Requirements You don’t have to take an exam or have a background check to receive your freight brokerage authority. To start, you’ll need to obtain proof of insurance of $75,000 in the form of either a surety bond (obtained through an insurance company) or a trust fund. When you have this insurance, you can fill out and send the FMCSA’s OP1 Application for Broker Authority. You must also fill out the BOC-3 form, which designates your process agent, or legal representative. After submitting your application, wait for the FMCSA to issue a motor carrier...

Balancing Work Life and Home Life

If you’re new to trucking, you might not have adjusted to balancing your home life with your work life. It’s difficult at first, but the key to creating a good work-life balance is by having a clear understanding of what your work demands of you, what your home demands of you and knowing what makes you happy in life. Being a truck driver has a specific set of demands that may affect your time outside of work. You’ll be on the road for days and even weeks at a time, meaning you won’t get to see your family or friends as often as you’d like. So how can you achieve a balanced lifestyle if you are out on the road? Read below to get a handle on what you need to achieve a healthy work-life balance while living a trucking lifestyle. Take Care of Your Body You’re body is the tool that keeps your truck moving. Sitting in a single position all day takes a toll on the body just as working out all day does. You may not be gaining muscles, but driving a truck puts strain on your neck, lumbar spine and hamstrings. Try to do exercises and stretches when you have down time to avoid the tension. This will prevent a burnout and will keep you fit for the days at home when you’d rather not be sitting on the couch. Eating Well Fueling your body is just as important as stretching. Eating as well as you can while you’re out on the road will not only help your future health, but it can also improve...

5 Health Tips for Truck Drivers

Much like office workers, truck drivers have a very sedentary work life. It requires several hours of sitting on a daily basis and when you are moving, it’s usually to get fuel. When you spend most of your days and nights on the road, healthy living may not seem like a challenge, but with the constant snacking, lack of movement, and added stress, truck drivers face many obstacles on the road. Because it’s important to stay healthy on the road, we’ve got 5 tips that can help you get started. Health Tips for Truck Drivers Get enough sleep. You may think you’re well rested after a few hours, but you don’t take in account for how much caffeine you drink throughout the day to keep you up. Getting enough sleep will not only decrease your unhealthy addiction to caffeine, but it will also repair your body and rejuvenate your mind. If you have troubles sleeping while you’re on the road, try buying a white noise machine or bring your favorite pillow with you. Having a little comfort from your home will ensure a good night’s rest. Eat healthy. Although it may seem obvious, the fact is that most people don’t think about eating healthy. Eating less processed foods and more vegetables and fruits can help you lose weight, boost your immune system and get a better night of sleep. One way to make sure you’re eating healthier is by adding a mini fridge to your cab. Having a handy fridge gives you the option to shop for groceries and choose healthier foods while keeping them fresh. It may seem...