Heavy hauls, also called overweight shipments, require considerably more care than typical load and go transports. Safety to other motorists on the road is a major concern. Loading and unloading the haul often takes specialized equipment most fleets don’t invest in. Because of these specialized needs, this could be a profitable business model to pursue. Start a heavy hauling business.
Enroll in a CDL training program to get your commercial driver’s license. Request a list of reputable training programs from your local department of motor vehicles. Take the CDL test and correctly answer at least 80% of the questions.
Write a business plan for your heavy hauling concept because you may need it for financing, which could be from $100,000 to $250,000. Explain the concept of your business, how you will operate the business on a daily basis, how many drivers you will employ, the types of heavy hauls you will specialize in and the expenses you will incur.
Approach lending institutions and private lenders for financing. Submit your business plan to them.
Apply for a business license and employer identification number. Some states require you to have a fuel tax sticker as well. The Maine Department of Motor Vehicles states, “Maine requires qualified motor vehicles using special fuel such as diesel, propane, or natural gas to be licensed for fuel tax reporting. Some jurisdictions require gasoline-powered vehicles to be licensed.” Licenses are renewable annually in most states and must be prominently displayed.
Interview owner/operators and fleet drivers about their driving experiences. Get their recommendations on the best trucks to drive, with the smoothest rides and fewest maintenance problems.
Purchase your first heavy haul truck. Check MacRae's blue book to get an idea of pricing. MacRae's blue book is for industrial machines and products what Kelly blue book and Edmonds are to consumer vehicles. It provides reviews, price valuations and a marketplace for industrial equipment. Commission a mechanic if you want to buy a used truck. Take him along with you when you visit diesel dealers. Search in magazines like "Overdrive" for dealerships and used semi sales.
Purchase commercial insurance to cover your drivers, the truck and the loads you carry in the event that something goes wrong on the road, such as an accident, theft or some mysterious loss of the cargo.
Purchase additional equipment like dollies, pallets and leather straps to keep cargo in place. Purchase additional loading equipment such as cranes or lifts.
Get the administrative office in order before you start taking loads. Get business cards and stationary. Create a database to keep track of loads, invoices, routes and customer information. Buy a filing cabinet if you still like the analog methods of record keeping.
Buy trip-planning software. Copilot Truck and ProMiles are popular software choices that help plan the fastest routes on hauls.
Find the loads to haul. Sign up with load boards. Wideloadshipping and Loadboardinternational are popular sites for finding heavy hauls. Post your availability for loads.
- Maine: Fuel Tax Licensing and Reporting
- Trucking: Tractor-Trailer Driver Handbook/Workbook; Alice Adams; 2005
Sam Williams has been a marketing specialist and ad writer since 1995. He has been published in magazines such as "Reaching Out" and "Spa Search." He served in various sales and marketing positions with major corporations such as American Express, Home Depot and Wells Fargo. Williams studied English at Morehouse College.