A new truck owner operator can be overwhelmed by the many tasks that they need to complete in order to get their company on the road. These tasks include purchasing supplies, sorting paperwork, and getting insurance for both themselves and their vehicle. To help reduce some of this stress, we have compiled a list of common mistakes new truck owner operators make. You need to follow, so you can avoid them.
Not filing an application with your state department before beginning operations. You will need to file an application with your state Department of Motor Vehicles. This step is to be taken before operating commercially out on the roads if you are not already registered as a commercial driver.
Owning your own truck as a truck owner operator is an exciting milestone. It is important to be aware of the common mistakes new owner operators make, so you can avoid them. Here are some tips to help you get started off on the right foot:
Owner Operator doest not research best routes and shipping times
When you first start out as a truck owner operator, it can be difficult to find reliable freight and shipping times. Many new owner operators pick a home terminal that is close to their house or family members. This doesn’t help them get reliable freight from the beginning.
The best thing you can do for yourself as a new truck owner operator is research the best routes and shipping times.
It’s also a good idea to look for load boards and freight matching services. These services can help you find reliable freight and shipping times quickly and easily.
Not budgeting correctly
As a truck owner operator, it is essential to be aware of how much you are spending every month. Many new owner operators overestimate their income while underestimating their expenses, which can cause problems down the road.
It’s very easy to underestimate your expenses when you first start out as owner operator trucking business because everything seems so cheap at first. You can avoid this by budgeting for your truck, truck payments, fuel, food expenses, and other necessities.
Not understanding commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance is required in order to legally operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. It provides protection against accidents that occur while you are operating your commercial vehicle for both bodily injury and property damage for owner operator trucking companies.
Many new truck owner operators do not understand commercial auto insurance and mistakenly believe that their personal auto insurance policy will cover them while they are operating their trucks. This is not the case – personal auto policies do not offer the same protection as commercial auto insurance policies.
It is important to understand what your commercial auto insurance policy covers and how it can benefit you. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your agent.
Not keeping the best maintenance records
Maintenance and repairs are one of the most significant expenses a new truck owner operator faces. Over time, these expenses add up and become difficult to manage, but if you keep good records this will help you keep your expenses in check.
A well-maintained truck not only runs better and more efficiently but also retains a higher resale value. This is why it’s significant to manage maintenance and repairs from the beginning. Keeping good records will help you do this, so be sure to take pictures of all maintenance and repairs that you have done to your truck, keep track of all mileage, and write down the dates you do maintenance.
This will help ensure that you can provide proper documentation to future buyers if you decide to sell your truck in the future.
Owner Operator Doesn’t overlook the importance of taking care of your truck
When you are an owner operator truck driver, you are in business for yourself. You are your own boss. You are responsible for everything that you do or fail to do.
Furthermore, you can’t depend on anyone else to look out for things like maintaining your truck. But this doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your truck’s maintenance. While it’s true that neglecting your truck can cost you money, taking care of it can help improve the resale value when you are ready to sell.
Trucks are a big investment, and it’s important to take care of them if you want to get the most out of that investment. Here are some things to consider when it comes to maintaining your truck.
Check the oil.
This should be done on a daily basis, but at least once a week or every 1,000 miles is best. If you are overdue for an oil change, get it changed as soon as possible. Oil changes are critical for keeping your engine running smoothly and prolonging the life of your engine.
Check your tire pressure.
The correct tire pressure will be found on a sticker inside the driver’s side door jamb. Don’t forget to check it when it is cold, as normal temperatures can cause normal pressure to increase by eight pounds or more within 24 hours. The increased pressure could also be dangerous if you are hauling a heavy load.
Check your brakes.
This should be done on a regular basis, and at least once a month is ideal. If your truck has air brakes, it is especially important to keep them in good repair so that they will work properly when you need them.
These are just a few things to consider when it comes to taking care of your truck. There are many other things that you should do on a regular basis, like checking the belts and hoses, changing the air filters, and so on.
Understand that you are responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your truck
As an owner operator, you are responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your truck. This includes damage to other vehicles, property, and people. You are also responsible for obeying all traffic laws and regulations.
If you are a transportation broker, it is important to ensure that the owner operators you work with understand their responsibilities.
In addition to understanding what your owner operator is responsible for, it is essential to understand the responsibility of the transportation broker. If you are a transportation broker and an accident occurs while a driver is working for you or while a vehicle has been left on your premises, then you may be held accountable.
Have an emergency kit in case there is a breakdown on the road
Those who drive trucks and other large vehicles for a living know it is indispensable to make sure their vehicle is in proper working order and ready to go at all times. It’s also crucial, of course, to avoid driving when one might be tired or overworked.
But what happens when something goes wrong with the car or truck? What if it breaks down on the highway? It’s impossible to prepare for every possible problem out there. Besides, but considering some of the most common issues, trucks can experience and having an emergency kit could make a big difference.
Assuming one is diligent about keeping tires properly inflated, the most common issue that occurs with a truck is a flat tire. This is often more of a hassle than a major catastrophe. But it can be dangerous to one’s health and help lead to complications if somebody gets under the vehicle trying to fix it.
There are many simple things in an emergency kit. They are, such as a torch or flares, that can help in this type of situation. Another important item is a jack and lug wrench, which will allow the driver to change the tire. A spare tire, of course, is also essential.
In addition to a flat tire, another common truck problem is a broken brake line. This can lead to a dangerous situation very quickly if not addressed properly. Typically, the first thing to do is stop driving the vehicle, even if it means slowing it down to a crawl, so one can get off the highway without causing an accident.
Then, drivers should contact their dispatcher immediately or flag down another driver who might have more experience in this area.
Be mindful about loading heavy items in the back of the cab. It can put unnecessary strain on many parts of your vehicle’s suspension system
While it might be tempting to just toss all of your heavy items in the back of the truck and call it a day. By doing so, it can actually create some unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle’s suspension system. Here are a few tips for loading your truck without putting too much strain on your ride.
- First, try to avoid packing the back of your truck too tightly. When items are crammed in together, it creates more pressure on the suspension system as a whole. Instead, try to leave some space between each item for air to flow freely.
- It’s also important to be mindful of the weight of the items you’re loading. Heavier items should be placed towards the front of the truck, while lighter items can be loaded towards the back. This will help to redistribute the weight evenly. It will avoid putting too much stress on any one part of the suspension system.
- Finally, if you’re transporting a particularly heavy item, try to break it down into smaller pieces before loading it into the truck. This will reduce some strain on the vehicle while also making it easier to transport.
Keep these tips in mind whenever you’re loading up your truck. You should have a great experience driving around with your heavy load!
Driving a truck is not easy. It takes skill and experience to be able to navigate the roads, avoid accidents, and stay on schedule. So, you’re making money while you sleep. The best way to do that is by understanding how big trucks work and what it’s like behind the wheel of one. If this sounds daunting or if you just want some help getting started with your new career, we can help! T3L offers free resources for new owner operators including blog posts like today’s–with practical advice. They are about everything from commercial auto insurance to driving techniques–so keep an eye out for future posts.