There are two types of professional truck drivers, company drivers and owner-operators. A trucking company employs company drivers while owner-operators run the business themselves.

Both career paths are a great way to earn a living, but there are some key differences. For most truck drivers everyone should want to become an owner-operator or independent contractor. You’ll need to hone your skillset and learn about financial intelligence before deciding which route is best.


1. Evaluate your personal situation

Becoming a truck driver is a lifestyle, not just a career. Becoming an owner-operator is starting your own business. People don't realize the financial and personal gain that owning a business can provide. Are you ready for that commitment though? Must ask yourself some hard questions.


2. Create your business

Before you apply for your USDOT Number, you need to form a legitimate business, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will ask you questions about your business operations. First, go to your state’s secretary of state website and search the database to see if your business name is available. You’ll then need to decide on a business structure. If you’re on your own, you’ll likely be creating a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC). But there are other business structures to consider. You can get more information on forming a business from the Small Business Association.


3. Outline a business plan

Before forming your business, you may need to submit a trucking business plan. Most business plans include the following components:

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Marketing plan
  • Goals and milestones
  • List of staff (if any)
  • Financial plan

An executive summary is a short description of what your business does, where it’s located, and who the business serves.

4. Use a marketing company to get leads

A lot of drivers try to create a marketing plan and strategy themselves. That may work if you are a one-man job that contracts with a few companies. However, if you have your eyes on creating a larger source of income and want to hire other drivers then we suggest using a marketing company. We suggest Inspired Connection Agency. They come from a background of truck drivers. Check them out on our profitable page