In the commercial trucking industry, it’s much more common for owner-operators to own and operate only one truck at a time. This is why when multi-truck operators are mentioned, there’s a natural tendency to think of a bigger trucking company that manages a large fleet with a big staff to keep things running behind the scenes. Luckily, it’s also possible for a truck driver working as an owner-operator to transition over to being a multi-truck operator on a smaller, more manageable scale. If you happen to be an owner-operator, take a moment to discover some compelling reasons why you should consider the multi-truck operator option.
It’s important to note the difference between larger-scale commercial trucking companies, ones where there’s a single owner managing multiple trucks. It’s the latter we’re focusing on, a business model that, as mentioned above, isn’t all that common. Fear is actually one of the top reasons why owner-operators have some hesitation about transitioning to multi-truck operations. Fear related to this specific change often stems from concerns about:
• Employees: there’s a big difference between only focusing on me, myself, and I and managing other employees and dealing with things like salaries, time management on a larger scale, shift assignments, and benefits.
• Bills/finances: there’s obviously going to be some initial expense involved when obtaining more trucks and hiring more drivers for those vehicles. This process often involves taking on loans and other financial obligations.
Many owner-operators ultimately turn back when first dipping their toes in the multi-truck operator waters because of the concerns mentioned above. Realistically, it’s easy to get frustrated if you’re not seeing significant growth that makes your expansion efforts seem worthwhile.
The fact is you’re never going to make the big bucks with just one truck. By making the leap and becoming a multi-truck operator, you’re creating opportunities for a steady stream of income not entirely based on how many loads you can handle with one truck. Instead, you’ll be earning income from multiple trucks operating simultaneously. Plus, if your one truck goes down, the financial hit can be a major blow to your ability to earn a living and maintain a decent profit margin.
It will take some time to go from being a truck driver that works as a sole owner-operator to one that runs a trucking company with more than one vehicle. Generally, most successful multi-truck companies reach the point of earning bigger profits once all initial investments – both financially and time-wise – have been made and everything is up and running. Preparing to make the owner-operator to multi-truck operator switch typically involves:
A lot of planning, energy, and effort is ultimately required to successfully make the switch from owner-operator to multi-truck operator. Don’t expect overnight results. It’s more realistic to build gradually and earn a solid reputation with your existing clients and new ones that come along once your operations have expanded.
Quality is definitely worth focusing on as well as you make the switch. Yes, many clients today are just looking for someone to get things where they need to be due to issues with supply and demand. Still, there are plenty of discerning clients out there who appreciate working with a company that keeps quality in mind. You might be surprised at just how much leverage you can get out of positive reviews, referrals from happy clients, and repeat business from those same satisfied clients.
The owner-operator life is, for the most part, a simpler life. There’s no extra insurance, no payroll, no employees, no management challenges, no extra loans, and no extra equipment to worry about. However, if you’re honestly not fully satisfied with how things are going now as an owner-operator, you may appreciate the potential pros associated with the multi-truck approach to operations. These include:
The multi-truck option absolutely is something that can work out well in the long run. That said, it’s not for everyone currently working as an owner-operator. Notable drawbacks associated with making the switch in operations include:
None of the challenges mentioned are impossible, they can all be overcome. As long as you’re careful and thoughtful with how you plan things out and make the transition, it’s something that’s doable for many owner-operators with the determination, patience, and motivation to make the change.
As you just read, there are pros and cons that go along with going from an owner-operator to a multi-truck operator. These are worth considering. It’s also worth taking into consideration how things are going right now with your current operations. If, for instance, you’re doing just fine as an owner-operator and the potential perks associated with multi-truck operations don’t appeal to you, by all means, focus on what works best for you. However, if the benefits associated with multi-truck companies sound promising to you, it never hurts to explore the possibilities.
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