Truck Driver and Business Owner: 2 Different Things
There’s thousands of men and women who are professional truck drivers with the ambition of becoming a trucking company business owner. Can having the ability to operate commercial equipment qualify you to become a successful business owner? The Answer: Absolutely Not! In this article we will discuss the common practices of some truckers trying to be a business owner.
Transitioning from Company Driver to Owning Your Own Fleet
A company driver’s day consist of a pre-trip inspection of their company truck, driving and making deliveries while maintaining their ELD’s or paper logs and post trip inspection at the end of the day. Drivers, depending on their experience and the company, get paid by the mile. Most drivers have become conditioned to believe that their pay should be priced by the mile. They will look for the trucking jobs with the most cents per mile/cpm pay and promises of high miles. This is a bad approach when you’re the trucking company business owner.
For example, you’re offered a flatbed load from a freight broker that picks up 90 miles from your base and it’s going 225 miles with 2 stops and the load pays $1,000 and weighs 48K lbs. Sounds good right! That’s $4+ per mile and includes the Fuel Surcharge (FSC). Now the shipper is FCFS (First Come First Served) which means your equipment need to be at the shipper early to avoid long lines and having to wait hours to get loaded. The load must be tarped. The first delivery is scheduled for the next day and the last delivery has an appointment of the following day after the first delivery.
Now let’s look at this as a business owner.
Time is something that you can’t get back and how long your truck is held up on a load will cost you money! Once you dispatch your truck to pick up a load you should be charging. Which means your total miles is no longer 225 it’s now 315.
There’s a practice in the trucking industry among freight brokers that your truck has to be at the shipper/receiver for 2+ hours before you can request detention (Which is based on what they want to give you and not what your company charges!). That’s 4 hours total and your truck should charge for this time. I see so many small fleet owners complaining about wait times and NOT receiving detention pay. Since this is an “industry standard among freight brokers”, this should be calculated in your price automatically.
Now your truck is loaded and it’s time to add the tarps. Tarping a load could take anywhere from 60-90 minutes, depending on the load and driver. This should be considered an accessorial charge.
Now since your truck is loaded, time for your driver to head to the destination city. Since the first delivery is scheduled for the next day, your driver must now babysit the load until the receiver is ready to accept it.
After making the first delivery, your truck driver must babysit the remaining freight until the next scheduled delivery date. In this case as the business owner, you should charge a fee for each stop and for each day that your trucking company is responsible for the load. Can you imagine having someone drop off their 2 kids and expecting you to transport them and be financially responsible for them while keeping them safe? At NV Carriers LLC we call that “babysitting a load” and there’s a fee for that service. I don’t know anybody who will be 100% financially responsible for some random stranger’s kids for free!
If you approach the trucking business or any industry with the mindset of a worker you will fail before you succeed. Once you form your business, you’re then the BOSS and your priorities is to make sure your business profits after expenses. If you start your own trucking company with the mind of employee then you’re nothing more than an employee that purchased their job.
NV Carriers LLC specializes in freight transportation services. We’re based in Raleigh, NC and our operations includes domestic transportation within the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia markets. We offer transportation services utilizing flatbed trailers, box trucks and power only units. We coordinate with shippers and consignees to ensure on-time and damage-free deliveries. If you have general questions please feel free to contact us by email or call 984.269.7163.