Tips for truck owner-drivers looking to make more moolah

Being a truck driver is a skill, one that is often taken for granted. This skill plays a vital role in our economy, with trained and experienced truck drivers ensuring the safe and efficient transport of goods across the country.

Challenges such as long working hours and low salaries for skilled truck drivers in South Africa, mean that the country is unable to recruit the thousands of new professional truck drivers it requires every year.

This is why getting involved in the professional driving industry is an opportunity worthy of consideration. The demand for skilled drivers is at its peak, leaving prime opportunities for economic and entrepreneurial success. We know that the road to riches may be a tricky one, given the high upfront costs and ample risks and hazards, but it can definitely be worth the while for those willing to go the extra mile.

Here are a few tips to help you capitalise on the many opportunities available to you:

Become self-employed and be successful at it!

If you’ve invested in a leased or financed truck, have access to funds and are disciplined enough to stick to a tight budget, you have the potential to create a flourishing business.

Running a successful transport company requires, but is not limited to, the following:

  • intensive preparation for the various expenses necessary to run a transport business.
  • sticking to stringent vehicle maintenance and quality controls.
  • having truck insurance in place.
  • a strong grasp and knowledge of company costs.

Although acquiring new contracts can be daunting, it will be more beneficial to you and your business if you ensure that you’ve tapped into all industry networking opportunities and are registered in all the relevant databases. Banks are more likely to finance your truck if you have secured contracts and vice versa – you are more likely to secure contracts if you have a truck.

Flourish with owner-driver schemes

There are a number of owner-driver schemes – which work for the mutual benefit of both the owner-driver and the corporate partner – available to the would-be entrepreneur on a budget.

These schemes empower the owner-driver by making provision for online banking, offering comprehensive insurance and credit life cover, supplying tyres and tyre management services and providing fuel, trailer equipment and infrastructure systems. An added benefit is that one also has the use of cell phones and tracking devices.

Should you tick all the necessary boxes, the scheme can then arrange finance for you to purchase a truck or tractor, enabling you to realise your entrepreneurial dreams.

What is the rest of the world doing?

Innovation and product developments thrive in the logistics and trucking industry. Companies such as Uber are aiming to reform the trucking industry by establishing themselves as technology partners for the industry and fostering partnerships with independent truckers, starting in the US.

Partner up with disruptors

Disruptive companies are always seeking partnerships with independent owner-drivers, whose truck fleets can help them test their technology. In turn, you will be able to maximise the efficiency of your truck, strengthen your business prospects and remain focused on the road ahead.

Self-driving trucks may be a long way from implementation, but international developments demonstrate that the industry is open to change. Therefore, should you be considering a business as an owner-driver, let successful on-demand taxi services and their well-documented track records in the taxi industry serve as inspiration.

There is significant business potential for start-up owner-drivers due to the shortage of skilled drivers and the start of numerous owner-driver schemes in the trucking industry.

When starting your own business it’s important to bear in mind that truck insurance  is essential. Get online insurance quotes from various insurance companies and compare their prices.

 

 

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