Before you dive into independence as an owner-operator, take time to assess your experience, finances, dedication and skills. Look in the mirror. You’ve been thinking about going into business for yourself as an owner operator, but are you ready? You crave the independence, but do you have what it takes to be successful?
Knowing the documents you need and when to apply for them will save you time and headaches when you’re ready to obtain your operating authority.
For drivers shifting to become an owner-operator with your own authority, the first dilemma is chicken or egg – do you buy your truck and then get set up as an owner-operator or do you complete the paperwork first before acquiring a rig?
(Purchasing Equipment for Your Company: A Business Whitepaper)
ULTIMATELY, IT’S YOUR DECISION
At some point during a company’s equipment acquisition process, the question always seems to come up: “Should I lease or should I finance?” Of course, paying cash is an option too, but not one that many growing and expanding companies have the luxury of doing, especially in today’s economy, and particularly in the trucking industry.
Do you know your destination?
What if you pick up a load and, as you are scanning the bill of lading, you realize that it tells you exactly what’s in the trailer but there is no destination. Would you start driving and hope to reach the destination? Of course not.
Escrow accounts have always been a hot button for owner-operators. Carriers’ negligence in disclosing items escrow money was intended to pay for has led to disputes upon lease termination. Occasional lawsuits challenged carrier practices, sometimes with positive outcomes for the owner-operators.