Becoming a trucking owner operator with your own operating authority is an exciting step. Having trucking authority gives you the opportunity to maximize the earnings that you can make by hauling freight and being your own boss. It’s much more profitable and fun than working for a large trucking company. As an owner operator you can maximize your earnings by hauling freight through booking your own loads. You can set your own schedule and search many sources for the type of loads you want. You can even decide the routes you want to take. Operating authority gives owner operators more freedom.
Pros And Cons Of Owner Operator Authority
For many owner operators, having their own operating authority helps them to make more profit. While this is one of the potential advantages, there are also disadvantages as well. Before making the decision to seek an operating authority it is essential for owner operators to look closely at the pros and cons such a move has. While it could be helpful, there are a number of ways an operating authority can call for significant changes in the way owner operators do business that you may not be happy about or enjoy. You have to be prepared take on several new responsibilities.
Pros Of Owner Operator Authority
The pros of having an owner operator authority are quite attractive. It includes having a level of independence working for someone else’s trucking company did not allow. You might find being able to make your own decisions to be a good reason to do it. You may also like the flexibility that an operating authority gives you to run your trucking business the way you want. Probably the biggest advantage of being an owner operator is that you get to claim the lion’s share of the profits that you are able to generate from each of the loads that you pick up and deliver. That’s a major reason why many truckers seek owner operator authority.
Cons Of Owner Operator Authority
Many truckers do not realize the amount of responsibility and hard work it takes to run a successful trucking company. You have to first spend 20 days to up to 8 weeks getting registered via the Unified Registration System and having your request processed and reviewed by the FMCSA. You then have to spend countless hours searching load boards to find jobs. Plus, while large trucking companies have the staff and resources to handle all the paperwork, tax issues, fuel, maintenance and hauling the freight, as an owner operator authority, you have to take care of them yourself. That can make for some very long, stress filled work days.
Things To Consider When Getting Loads From Load Boards
There are a number of things owner operators should consider when trying to get loads from load boards when they are just getting started. Some load boards can help the new owner operator. However, the loads they give you may be low paying ones. At load boards the tendency seems to be to favor larger companies or owner operators with experience when they are handing out their most valuable loads. Those companies have proven that they are reliable and dependable enough to get the most valuable loads to the required destination safely, securely and in a timely manner without unnecessary problems.
Going From One Broker To Another
New owner operators trying to get loads from load boards must also understand that if they constantly jump from one broker to another, that will make it more difficult for them to grow their companies. Load boards tend to prefer stability in owner operators. If a new owner operator constantly changes brokers in search of good loads, it can make load boards look at them unfavorably and can end up hurting their ability to get good loads from the load boards consistently. New owner operators should try to find a good broker and gradually grow and develop a relationship with them to get the best loads.
Look For The Type Of Clients You Want
When a new owner operator is trying to get good loads from a load board, they should have a clear idea of the type of client they want. Knowing if the load board has the type of client the new owner operator wants before approaching them looking for loads can save you a lot of time. Knowing what your target client looks like can provide you with a clear perspective on the things you need to look for from a load board. As a new owner operator take the time to develop an outline for what you prefer in a client and consider if the load board you are about to approach has that type of load.
Create A Profile Of The Ideal Client
The ideal client most new owner operators want tend to be large, established shippers, that pay well, always pays on time, regularly give loads and have a good reputation. An ideal client must also be able to provide shipments matching the lanes in which you want to drive. Once you have a clear client profile, then look for load boards that can consistently provide this type of client. This enables you to be successful while not having to constantly move from one broker to another. While you are not always able to find load boards that meet all your desires, considering if the load board can provide most of the things you want before approaching them improves your chances for success.
Other Ways Of Securing Loads
Finding ways to get loads other than from load boards is important for owner operators if they want to succeed. Advancements in technology has made finding loads a lot more accessible for owner operators. Using technology like apps and the internet can give an owner operator access to many other options when it comes to finding freight to haul. One excellent option owner operators can use to get freight is to use a freight broker. A freight broker can do the legwork necessary to connect owner operators to shippers. The freight broker can help determine load rates and pickup times and locations. They generally are paid about 15% to 25% of the profit the owner operator makes per load.
Pay A Dispatching Service
Owner operators can hire two different types of dispatching services to help them to find loads. You can hire a personal dispatcher that works directly for you or you can also try using a trucking dispatching service. Dispatchers help to manage the flow of the freight you receive. They can also connect you to shippers. Sometimes dispatching services help with accounting and paperwork as well. Many dispatching services charge either 5% or 10% of the profit made on each load or a flat fee. Either way they can help new owner operators to get a steady flow of loads and make a good income.
Prospecting For Loads
Cold calling shippers to find out if they have loads that need to be hauled is referred to as prospecting for loads. Owner operators can do some research on the large shippers located in their area to find out if or how often they need help to haul their goods. Many owner operators find this to be a very effective method they can use to establish and build lucrative lasting relationships with local shippers. However, it requires the ability and willingness to invest the time and energy it takes to get the process off to a good start. The owner operators must be undaunted by hearing ‘No’ and continue to call until they make a successful connection.
Trial And Error
Learning how to get loads with trucking authority may require some trial and error for new owner operators. However, persistence, consistent work and determination leads to success.