Become An Owner Operator – Follow this Official Owner Operator Guide
Are you a driver who is looking to purchase your own truck in the future?
In case you are and need to make more cash while enjoying the flexibility of your job, then it is time you become an owner operator!
To get started, you need to be able to find a company that is first looking to hire owner operators. You do not want to be in a situation where you buy a truck and don’t have a company to work for.
Benefits of Becoming An Owner Operator
There are several pros that are associated with becoming an owner operator compared to working as a driver.
For example, once you become an owner operator, you will be able to have a certain level of control over how many trips you would like to make in a week.
Another benefit is if you need to use the truck for your own personal transportation (moving) you will save on the rental costs.
Before making up your mind to become an owner operator, there are two main factors that you need to understand and be ready to tackle, they include:
Proper truck maintenance
Once you own a straight truck, you will have the obligations of maintaining your truck and always ensuring that safety standards are met. Remember that you are responsible for delivering the goods on time, and the mechanics of your vehicle shouldn’t compromise the delivery.Learn More About Truck Maintenance
Additional “paper” work
After purchasing the truck to get started in the business, you will be your own boss, hence you need to manage and do some accounting for yourself. This is not a partnership business, hence all decisions you make will depend on yourself.
Six tips to help you become an Owner Operator
If you think you are ready to make the jump, follow these six tips to help you start your own venture:
1. Make a decision on the type of truck
The type of truck to get started with may be kind of tricky as this is based on various factors. Firstly you need to decide what is your budget without putting any extreme financial pressure on yourself. Based on your budget, you will need to go for the best truck that will suit your needs/requirements. The different options available are the 3 Tonnes, 5 Tonnes, Dry Van Tractor Trailer, and Reefers. From the options we recommend purchasing a 5 ton straight truck. The reason is your investment will be less compared to purchasing a tractor trailer and a reefer. For more information on this, you just need to get in touch with the experts today and you will find them very useful.
2. Be smart on the your choice of company you chose to work with:
For consistent work you need to look for a reliable company that will assure you of frequent work on a regular basis. When making your decision, you should always know that loyalty is very crucial when dealing with any trucking company. This will enable you to build a better relationship and through this, you will find that the company will always prefer you when it comes to transporting their goods.
Build A Strong Relationship of Trust with your Dispatcher
Apart from this, you will need to communicate to the dispatcher for a strong relationship at work. If you develop a strong relationship of trust with your dispatcher it will be beneficial to you and the company. Logistics requires team-work and the better the team applies each other the more profitable it becomes for all.
3. Local Driver or Long-Distance Driver
Cross Border Loads Pay More
Once you become an owner operator, you can choose to be a local driver or to cross the borders and drive long distances. Crossing the borders is considered more suitable due to the higher pay. In most cases, the cross border will pay in USD dollar, which is an added advantage for Canadians. In order to go beyond the borders, you will need a Canadian passport and PR. On the other hand, local driving will mean that, you will drive for shorter distances and majority of the time return home at the end of your scheduled day. There are pros and cons to both Short-Haul and Long-Haul driving, but as an individual you must choose what is better suited to your preference.
As a driver, you should know that the driving licence is like your work permit. You will require the DZ licence. This is the recommended license for anyone driving a 5 ton straight truck. Once you have attained the Ontario Class DZ licence, you will be permitted to drive different large vehicles such as: cement trucks, garbage trucks, straight trucks, rescue & fire trucks with air brakes.
This means that you will have a lot of freedom to work for different companies with your own straight truck. For those who choose to drive the tractor-trailer truck, you will need the AZ licence. To apply for either the DZ or AZ licence, there are key requirements that you must provide. Some of these include: passing an eye test, being 18 years and above, submitting a medical report, passing a road test, passing a written test based on the operation of tractor-trailers and large trucks. Lastly, you will need to have a valid Ontario licence apart from the G1, G2, M, M1 and the M2. For more information about the application, you can always visit: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/driver/truck-driver-licence.shtml.
5. Pay and Insurance
This is a key tip that will determine how much you will be earning. The initial step will require you to make your business legal by registering it. The amount you will be paid can always be determined by the mileage or a percentage of the total cost of the load. This is the reason why you need to have a clear understanding and arrangement with your company. Most of the trucking companies will pay you on weekly basis or once every two weeks. The rate ranges from about $1.00 -$1.30. Apart from discussing it with your company, you can also inquire more from the fellow drivers.
For the insurance, you can always choose to be insured under the company you are working for or pay on your own. There are several insurance companies in Toronto such as: Able Insurance, Peel Financial, Johnson Insurance, and Intact Insurance.
The key factor in getting the most kilometres/miles out of your truck is to conduct regular maintenance. It is important to establish a relationship with a mechanic who you can trust and provide you with information on upcoming needs/requirements. By having an adequate understanding of your truck it will be easier for you to check on various parts of the truck yourself. The kind of mechanic shop you visit is also very important. This is because when you just walk into any mechanic shop, the inexperienced mechanics are likely to worsen the condition of your truck instead of repairing it. It is advisable that when you are not sure of the capability of the mechanics, then you have the right to look for a better solution for your truck. Before leaving, you should document everything that was done to the truck as this can be corrected in case it was a national company. In case the records are missing, then it will be kind of difficult to know the exact point where the problem started.
Our recommended start up truck – Straight Truck
After familiarizing yourself with the key tips on how to get started, you must now more prepared in purchasing your truck.
By owning a straight truck, you will find it very versatile in the products it can transport. This is because you can use the truck for carrying general freight such as: furniture, auto parts, plastic, food, paper and many more products. They are also suitable for any driver with the taste of a smaller vehicle than a tractor-trailer.
Tips on how to customize your own straight truck
To customize your truck, you can always choose to have the Reefer (refrigerated) body or stick with the original dry freight body.
For the Reefer body, you can always carry frozen goods. In most cases, you will be able to earn an extra 30-40% by carrying the reefers loads compared to the dry van body loads.
You can also add a tailgate/liftgate to the truck as it is also meant for expediting the shipping process. In order to move the heavy freight, the hydraulic liftgates are highly recommended. The tailgates will enable the dock workers to use the pallet jacks, carts, and dollies, when moving such heavy weights. We offer the ultimate aluminum and steel straight truck tailgates that are very powerful. There are different liftgate weight capacities ranging from 1000 – 8000 lbs.
Finding your straight truck will be the first step to your venture into the business. You should also ensure that you have all the requirements like the DZ licence, finding the best company to work with and much more. For the best straight trucks, we are the company that provides excellent truck service in Mississauga, ON. We have the ability to customize the truck to suit your requirements. Give us a call at 1 (888) 313 0122 when you are ready to purchase your vehicle.Share This Post: