The United States has a competitive advantage over many countries because people have the ability to haul goods within and outside its borders. America’s Interstate Highway System, established in the 1950s, offers direct paths in most directions. These highways present an outstanding opportunity for you to make money hauling goods -- a task undertaken by more than 2 million people, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. High fuel prices and reduced demand are considerable issues in a challenging economy, but you can still use your skills and hauling equipment to access the American dream.
Acquire a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, with an endorsement or certification that allows you to drive vehicles matching the categories you investigate. To learn how to drive these vehicles, use a special driving school or, perhaps, serve an apprenticeship to a veteran driver. The cost of the school is often free if you agree to work for a length of time for the company paying the expense.
Study the various fields within the truck transportation and warehousing industries. Consider the flexibility of hours, working conditions and job hazards associated with the jobs you consider. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides helpful information on its website.
Write a business plan. Consider your specific industry category and the demand for the service, which can be obtained by contacting truck dispatching services. Consult local chambers of commerce, industry leaders, dispatching services and companies that utilize independent contractors.
Form a limited liability company or another company type to protect your personal assets from liability and financial loss. Separate your finances into personal and business categories for record keeping.
Purchase or lease a vehicle. Consider factors such as the price of insurance, truck flexibility, efficiency, sleeping arrangements inside the vehicle and the service record of the specific vehicle.
Utilizing Specific Vehicles
Drive a diesel as an independent contractor with a local dispatcher. This may involve driving short or long distances and having overnight stays. Verify driving schedules and other expectations before accepting this job type.
Haul vehicles on an auto-transport truck. This can be done through a dispatcher, or you may find jobs hauling vehicles for car lots and wholesalers. You may wish to consult local online classified sites for these jobs, although posted jobs typically involve hauling only one vehicle.
Drive a mobile home truck or a chauffeur’s vehicle in front or behind wide loads like these. These jobs may require specialized hauling skills provided by the home-selling company.
Utilize a box truck as a single-home mover or business-relocation service. Although these services require more employees, they can be quite lucrative.
Haul refuse from sites after tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. This can be a rewarding and profitable service. Familiarize yourself with dealing with insurance firms and government relief agencies; expect delayed but eventual payment.
You must have a clean driving record to obtain a CDL. Consider and understand emissions laws when you plan travel routes. Investigate liability insurance options and keep your policy current.
Know the industry before buying or leasing a vehicle and have employment under contract. Factor fuel price changes into bids and long-term contracts. Large spikes in price can reduce or negate your profit. Perform background and driver’s record checks on any contracted employee. Collect and file records of all income and expenses for tax purposes.