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How Can Someone Start a Trucking Business?

Almost everything you buy has been moved by a truck at some point, whether it’s food, gasoline, clothing or other items. The trucking industry can be very lucrative, but it is also a highly competitive industry. It’s smart to research the industry thoroughly before starting your own company to be sure you understand everything involved with starting a trucking business.

Decide If You’ll Subcontract

One of the first decisions you need to make when starting your trucking company is deciding whether you will hire employees or use subcontractors to drive your trucks. They are positives and negatives to each method and trucking companies have succeeded both ways. There are generally less start-up costs involved when you have sub-contractors instead of employees, but you also have less control over the schedule of the drivers and you may have to pay a higher percentage of the money you make to subcontractors than you would pay to company drivers.

Trucking companies who hire drivers to work for them as employees have more control over the drivers and can set the rates that they will pay the drivers. The downside is that the company has to pay for insurance and equipment costs that would normally be paid by subcontractors.

Starting The Business

In some ways trucking companies are started the same way that other businesses are started. The company owner must register the business with all applicable state, federal and local agencies. You must get a business license and all necessary permits before your company can legally operate. It is essential that you get a Federal Department of Transportation Number. This number must be displayed on all of your trucks. You also need to apply for and receive Federal Motor Carrier hauling authority.

Tax Forms and Registrations

There are several tax forms that must be completed periodically for your trucking business to be operating legally. One of these is a heavy use tax form. You also need to obtain International Registration Plan tags as well as International Fuel Tax Agreement decals from your state department of transportation. A BOC-3 filing is required to operate a trucking company legally in the United States. It’s best to visit a local licensing office or your state department of transportation’s website for specific information you need to legally operate a trucking company in your state. It’s best to talk to an accountant who has experience with the trucking industry when you are forming your trucking company. They will be able to offer business advice and help you manage the company’s finances correctly right from the start.

Trucking Insurance

There are very strict insurance requirements that anyone who owns a trucking business must meet. You must have insurance on your vehicles as well as the company itself. Some of the companies you haul freight for may have even stricter requirements than the federal regulations, so make sure your insurance policy meets their requirements before hauling loads for those companies.

Equipment

If you decide to hire truck drivers and operate your own fleet of commercial vehicles, you need to purchase the vehicles. Most experts in the trucking industry recommend starting with just one or two vehicles and adding to your fleet as time goes on. This gives you the ability to learn the trucking industry without being overwhelmed by the number of drivers and vehicles in your fleet. Think about the type of freight you will be hauling before purchasing trucks and trailers so that you buy the appropriate vehicles. Refrigerated trailers are likely to be more expensive than dry van trailers, but they are necessary if you will be hauling food or other perishables.

How to Classify Types of Freight Trailers?

Whether you have a load that needs to be hauled or are the carrier who will be delivering the load, it is essential that you choose the right freight trailer for the job. There are several types of freight trailers, including dry vans, refrigerated vans, flatbed trailers, tankers, lowboy trailers and more. Each of these trailer types is best for hauling certain types of cargo from one place to another.

Dry Vans And Refrigerated Trailers

A dry van trailer is the type of trailer you are most likely to see behind a highway tractor when you are travelling on major roadways. These trailers look like large boxes. A dry van is used to transport general freight such as clothing, canned food and auto parts. Van trailers are great for hauling items that can be stacked onto pallets. The trailer is completely enclosed so that the freight is not damaged by the weather. A refrigerated van, or reefer, is a type of dry van that has a cooling unit attached to it so that everything inside the trailer will stay cold during transport. Reefers are commonly used to haul grocery items that are likely to spoil if they get too hot. You don’t need any special endorsements on your CDL to haul freight in a dry van or reefer trailer.

Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers are another type of freight trailer that is used often to haul various goods on the highways and freeways. These trailers consist of a flat deck that is often eight feet wide and 48 feet long. Flatbeds are commonly used to haul freight that is too big to fit into a dry van. They are also used for transporting machinery and building materials. The freight must be secured to the deck with straps or chains so that it is unable to move during transport. Tarps may be secured over a flatbed load if the freight is likely to be damaged by rain or snow.

Types of flatbeds include drop-decks and lowboys. These trailers differ from standard flatbed trailers because they have decks that are lower to the ground, making it easier to load machinery and construction equipment that is very heavy. Hauling freight on a flatbed trailer is generally more labor intensive than hauling in a dry van because the load must be secured properly.

Dump Trailers

A dump trailer is a type of freight trailers that are mostly used in the construction industry. These trailers are commonly used to haul building materials such as gravel, rock and sand that is used to create a road or prepare the ground for a building. They are also used for hauling produce from large farms. Special types include belly-dumps, end-dumps and side-dumps. These trailers are equipped with hydraulic lifts that dump the load from the end, side or bottom of the trailer at the push of a button. You can haul these trailers without special endorsements on your CDL unless you are hauling two dump trailers at the same time, which requires a doubles endorsement on your CDL.

About QuickTSI

QuickTSI is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to run your transportation and freight logistics business. Our website allows you to post load or find trucks, post trucks or find loads, look up carrier profiles, view trucking companies, find truck driving jobs, and DOT medical examniers.

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