This is where you’ll be doing the bulk of your research.
Go online, find a few trucking forums, ask questions.
There are many tractor types available, too, so you’ll want to narrow it down to the one that meets the specifications of your operation. Tractors can range from $30,000 for a used model to $250,000 for a custom sleeper truck.
Trailers can range from $10,000 to $120,000, depending on what kind of freight you’ll be hauling.
As with any business, every topic you research will branch off in many directions, with more questions cropping up that need answering. There are many trailer types to choose from — van, refrigerated, flatbed, RGN (removable gooseneck), step-deck, tanker, etc.
— and which one you’ll use will be determined by the type of freight you expect to haul.
And if you’re mechanically inclined, you can save a lot of money by doing your own maintenance and repair work.
Whether you decide to file taxes yourself or hire a professional, it’s important to be familiar with the trucking industry’s unique deductions, including per diem, fuel tax, repairs and equipment depreciation, not to mention the numerous small business deductions available to you. Other endorsements might be needed to pull certain trailer types, such as tankers, doubles and triples.
As owner-operators driving a custom rig, my husband and I are often asked about how to get started in trucking. There’s a lot of research involved and even more questions to ask — of others and of yourself.
For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to assume you already have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).