Learn About Entrepreneurial Careers

For those who are interested in entrepreneurial careers in the trucking industry, we encourage you to do as much research as you can to help you decide if becoming a trucking industry entrepreneur is the right choice for you.

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1. Owner-Operator
An Owner-Operator is a truck driver who owns their own truck and in some cases, their own trailer. They may or may not own their own operating authority. If they do, this means that they are considered to be their own trucking company. Owner-Operators are small business owners who can earn approximately 75% or more of the revenue from each delivery they make.

2. Fleet Owner
A Fleet owner is an owner-operator who owns multiple trucks. This is someone who has built their small business up from one truck to many. Fleet owners have the ability to spend less time on the road, if they value hometime.

3. Trucking Company Owner
A Trucking Company Owner is someone who has their own authority and owns the trucking company itself. Some Owner-Operators & Fleet Owners are considered Trucking Company Owners, because they own their own authorities. While the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 made it easy to start a trucking company, it takes significant experience to run a successful trucking company. Again, starting in a truck is a good option to learn the business, and some former drivers, JB Hunt, for example, have built extraordinary organizations, 3rd Party Logistics, Brokerages, and Consulting companies.

1. Do Your Research
Before making the decision to become an owner-operator, there are a few areas of the business that you should research. Here's a few areas to help you get started: What's the difference between leasing and purchasing your equipment, what are the different pay structures, what are the different endorsement types and what are the benefits, do you understand the Cost of Operation, and what do you look for in a trucking company?

2. Make the Decision
It is important that you do your research prior to making the transition to become an owner-operator. While many truckers have had very profitable and successful careers as owner-operators, it's important to understand the pros and the cons before making the final decision.

3. Choose Your Carrier
Once you've made the decision, your next step is to choose a trucking company that fits your needs and wants. In addition, make sure they offer the pay and reimbursement structure you feel most comfortable with.

4. Purchase Your Equipment
After you've decided to become an owner-operator, your next step is purchasing your own equipment. Now since you have done your research by this point, you already know that you have two options here. You can purchase your equipment outright or you can lease it and pay a monthly fee. Again, make sure you understand the pros and cons to both, so you can make the right decision for you.

5. Get Your Insurance
Once you've purchased your equipment, it's time to get your insurance. Just like with car insurance, there are different levels of protection. There's the base level of required insurance, which includes Public Liability Insurance. Then there's the level you should probably consider, which includes Cargo Insurance. And then there's the last level which provides extra protection. It's up to you to decide how much is right for you.

For those who want to become a Trucking Company Owner or an Owner-Operator with their own authority.

6. Apply for Your Authority
After you've purchased your insurance, your next step is to get your authority. Authority gives you the legal right to operate as an independent entity owner.

7. Pass the New Entrant Safety Audit
The last step to becoming a Trucking Company Owner is passing the New Entrant Safety Audit, which is conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is the part of the Department of Transportation that is a assigned to administer and regulate the trucking industry. Within the first 12 months of your operation under your own authority, you will receive a new entrant safety audit. Most of the safety audit is paper and documentation but there are a few critical elements in the audit that require some preparation.

For more information on any one of these steps, we encourage you watch the modules posted below or visit http://www.ooida.com/EducationTools/ to learn more.

FASTPORT would like to thank for providing this valuable content for our military veterans to ensure they are fully prepared to become an Owner-Operator in the trucking industry.


The transition from being a driver to a leased on owner-operator or an owner-operator under your own authority requires research, planning and strategic action to be successful. Nearly 90% of all business failures occur within the first year of operations. This modules takes a stab at understanding the business side of being an owner-operator.

Transition from Professional Driver to Owner-Operator

Making the Business Decisions

Understanding the Costs of Operation

Deciding to become an owner-operator and purchasing your own equipment is a big decision, which is why it's important to do your research first. In this module we take a look at understanding all aspects of your purchase, the costs and benefits of new and used equipment, and whether or not you should purchase your own trailer.

Understanding the Purchase

Is it Better to Purchase New or Used?

Should I Purchase a Trailer?

As an owner-operator there are 3 main types of insurance categories those that you must have, those that you should have and those that you probably don't need. This module takes a look at which types of insurance fall into each category and why you might want to consider some types of insurance.

Understanding Truck Insurance - Part 1

Understanding Truck Insurance - Part 2

The Motor Carrier Act of 2005 eliminated the distinction between common and contract authority but you still must choose which one to declare. Each has its advantages and each has its disadvantages. There are very specific steps that must be taken in order, before your authority becomes active. This module takes a look at the steps required to get your authority.

Steps Needed to Get Your Authority

Explore the Other Types of Authorities

While there are a number of agencies that affect and govern your business, none does so more than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is a part of the Department of Transportation assigned to administer and regulate the trucking industry. This module takes a look at preparing for and passing the new entrant safety audit.

What is a New Entrant Safety Audit?

16 Deadly Sins (1-6)

16 Deadly Sins (7-16)

6 Factors of the Audit

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