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AdvisorNet

Hi, I would like to start a transportation business.

Veteran

David Gomez-Leon Arlington, TX

I have driven semi before but don't have a CDL yet. I'm thinking about buying my own truck and be independiente truck driver. Don't have the funds to buy a truck yet. I have been doing research and I know some companies that will hire independent truck drivers.

19 November 2018 5 replies Small Business

Answers

Advisor

Paul Dietrich Staten Island, NY

I suggest starting this step wide, 1st get your CDL, then look for companies that hire drivers and use that to fund buying the truck.

20 November 2018 Helpful answer

Advisor

Steven Mathews Spring, TX

I started a small trucking business with my son several years ago. I could not find any documentation that described all the steps necessary to get into the trucking business. My son had some knowledge of the trucking environment, so we set out.

As time went on, we discovered what we needed to do next, and it typically cost us money, sometimes A LOT of money. We also discovered that there are people who cater to the trucking industry who do not know what they are doing, or who are out to take advantage of you. You can lose a lot of money in those areas.

After a few years, I felt prompted to write down all we had learned to start a trucking business, and then how to make money in the trucking business. I offer that document for free. You also need about $50-100,000 in available cash to get going. DO NOT borrow the money or take out equity in your home to have this working capital. If your business folds, THEN you are in really deep kimchi. Read the document at least twice BEFORE you decide to do anything.

You may decide to drive for a company versus starting your own business. You STILL need to read the document to decide how to gauge which is the better company to drive for - some companies treat their drivers well, others rather poorly.

Ponder this topic for awhile. Do not make any rash decisions or let your emotions push you into an area where you can be devastated financially. slmathews99@gmail.com

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

While my area of expertise is not in the entrepreneur area, I think Paul has the best idea. First priority is the CDL. In retirement we spend a lot of time between MI and DC and MI and Charlotte,NC-there is rarely a truck that is not advertising for drivers. I also many offer the opportunity to buy your way in. I would check with your local Chamber of Commerce and see if they have someone to assist you in creating a business plan. There are special programs available to veterans via the SBA, but this will be via your Chamber. If your area is small and they do not have access to the SBA and mentors, go to a larger city near you. 80-90% of small businesses fail because of a lack of a financial plan, budget and a general understanding of income and expenses. They also can hook you up with a reliable accountant. It is wise as a business grows you have an honest accountant assist in the tax work, as either paying too much or too little can be the difference between a successful business or possibly huge fines. With the IRS you are guilty until you prove your innocence, further lack of knowledge is not a defense.
Transportation is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy and can not meet demand in many areas. Like any business, you will be required to "pay your dues" and invest a lot of time to earn a living. Being your own boss is great, if you work hard-looking for a quick buck in owning your own business ends up in that 80% failure rate. Thanks for your service, Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Advisor

Susan Scotts Pompano Beach, FL

I understand your thoughts Sherri, but many franchises cost less than what a new car costs today, and then you are in control of your future with recurring revenue in a business that no one can ever take away from you. And there is special military funding available that allows you not only to fund the business with the government's money but also to pay yourself a salary as it ramps up. David, I'd be open to having a conversation, I've put 8 Veterans into their own businesses just myself this year alone!

Advisor

Sherry Smith Vienna, VA

That's a great idea!
There are many companies out there that allow you to begin with less cash than the typical franchise fees.
I understand Amazon is seeking independent drivers for routes.
Best of luck to you.

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