Tips for trucking owner-drivers looking to make more moolah

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.

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:

Do your own thing and make it happen for you!

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

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

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. One also has the use of cell phones and tracking devices.

Should you tick all the necessary boxes, companies 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 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, strengthening 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 other successful on-demand taxi services and their well-documented track records in the taxi industry serve as inspiration.

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

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