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How To Start a Trucking Business in Seven Simple Steps

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Are you considering starting a trucking business?

If you want to become part of this lucrative market, understanding how to form your trucking business can help get you started on the right track.

The good news is that getting your trucking business off the ground isn’t as complicated as it may sound.

In this article, we reveal steps to simplify setting up and running a successful venture.

By the end of the post, you will know how to start a trucking business.

How Profitable Is Owning a Trucking Business?

It is difficult to predict the overall revenue of a trucking business.

Everything depends on the fleet size, the type of cargo you want to transport, the routes traveled, fuel costs, and competition.

Note that expenses such as fuel, maintenance, insurance, and salaries for drivers can affect profitability.

These expenses can cut into the revenue of the business.

At ZipRecruiter, you will see that trucking business owners earn an average of $242,000 in annual revenue.

Some trucking owners will earn as much as $400,000 per year.

What You’ll Need To Start a Trucking Business [& Associated Costs]

To ensure a seamless transition when launching your trucking business, here are some key elements.

  • Commercial truck(s): You will need to purchase or lease one or more commercial trucks. Prices for a new commercial truck can range from $80,000 to $150,000 or more, depending on the size and type of truck.You can find used trucks to save on cost. They may also require more maintenance and become unreliable.
  • Trailer(s): You will likely want to purchase or lease trailer(s) to haul goods. Prices for a new trailer can range from $15,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the size and type of trailer.
  • Insurance: It’s vital to purchase insurance to protect your business and vehicles. It may include liability insurance, cargo insurance, and physical damage insurance. Insurance costs can vary widely, depending on the type of coverage you need and the size of your business.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Budget for maintenance and repairs for your trucks and trailers. It can include regular oil changes, tire replacements, and unexpected repairs.
  • Fuel: Consider the current state of rising fuel pricing and budget accordingly.
  • Other expenses: You may have additional expenses associated with starting and operating a trucking business. These could include hiring and training drivers, truck seat covers, marketing and advertising, and office expenses.

Do I Need a License or Certificates To Start a Trucking Business?

Obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate your trucking business.

These can vary by state and may include a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a DOT number, and a motor carrier (MC) number.

You will face fees associated with obtaining these licenses and permits.

Why You Should Consider Starting a Trucking Business as a Side Hustle

When you want to know how to start a trucking business, think about these four persuasive benefits that make this endeavor attractive.

  • High demand: The trucking industry is an essential part of the economy. With e-commerce and online shopping becoming more popular, there is a constant need for moving goods.
  • Lucrative: Starting a trucking business as a side hustle can turn lucrative. The demand for trucking services creates the potential to charge premium rates.
  • Independence: Running your own trucking business can provide a sense of control over your work. You can choose your routes and work at your pace.
  • Internet Truckstop: You can use Internet Truckstop, a service that provides access to top-rated delivery jobs and other listings for truckers.

How To Start a Trucking Business in Seven Simple Steps

Our extensive guide can help you build a thriving trucking business from the ground up.

You can empower your customers by offering services they will appreciate.

Step 1: Research the Trucking Industry

Research the industry and identify your target niche.

Look at the types of services available, such as those provided by small-scale startups or large-scale enterprises.

Consider researching the cost of startup fees and operating costs. Look at all the legal regulations.

Step 2: Create Business Goals

Establish clear goals for your trucking business.

Include financial objectives and a timeline for milestones.

It will help inform decisions about marketing plans and customer service processes.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is essential when starting any new venture, including a trucking business.

Your business plan should include information on how you plan to fund your operations, pricing structures and profit margins, hire staff (if necessary), and find customers.

Tailor the plan to meet your specific needs while taking into account market conditions and competition.

You might include these items in your plan.

  • An overview of the trucking industry and your target market
  • A description of the types of trucking services you’ll offer
  • A marketing plan to attract new customers
  • A financial plan, including projected expenses and revenues
  • A strategy for recruiting and training drivers

Step 4: Obtain Licenses and Insurance

You must obtain all necessary licenses and permits to operate legally in the state where you plan to start your business.

You may also need special insurance coverage.

Take care of these needs as soon as possible to avoid launch delays.

Step 5: Acquire Equipment and Vehicles

To provide services for clients, you will want to acquire trucks or other vehicles suited for transporting goods from one place to another.

Consider leasing or purchasing used trucks or trailers if funds are tight.

Look into financing options through local banks or online lenders.

See if you can get an SBA loan during this process.

Your equipment might include the following.

  • Tractors and trailers
  • GPS systems and other trucking-specific technology
  • Safety equipment, like fire extinguishers and reflective triangles

Step 6: Hire and Train Drivers

If you plan to hire drivers to help you operate your trucking business, recruit and train them well.

The process may include advertising for open positions, conducting interviews, and training new hires on the specific policies and procedures of your business.

Step 7: Market Your Services

Develop an effective marketing strategy.

Base it on research into target demographics, competitors in the area, budget constraints, and desired outcomes from promotions campaigns.

Explore options like digital advertising platforms or direct mail campaigns.

These methods can quickly and efficiently spread awareness about the services offered by your trucking company.

Things To Consider When Building a Trucking Business

Before launching your trucking venture, there are a few additional factors to contemplate.

Can You Run a Trucking Business by Yourself?

Consider whether or not you have the right skill set and experience to manage day-to-day operations.

If you don’t have the time or resources to do all of this yourself, then you may need to hire an experienced team to help manage your operations.

What Are the Financial Requirements?

Before launching your trucking business, determine the required financial resources.

Do you have enough money saved up for startup costs like equipment and other resources?

How much cash flow is necessary to break even?

Knowing these answers can ensure your trucking business is well-positioned for success.

Industry Knowledge

You need a thorough understanding of the industry and the specific needs of your customers.

It includes knowledge of regulations, routes, cargo handling, and more.

You may want to consider seeking out relevant training or education to help you get started.


Implement and enforce strict safety protocols and procedures to ensure your business operates safely and responsibly.

Include regular safety training for your drivers.

Implement technology such as onboard cameras or telematics to monitor and improve safety.

Failing to prioritize safety can result in accidents and injuries.

It can also lead to legal and financial consequences for your business.

INSPIRATION: Trucking Business Ideas

Are you eager to make your mark on the trucking industry?

Here are four excellent types of trucking businesses to consider.

  • Traditional trucking: Here is a straightforward trucking business that involves hauling goods over long distances, often between states or even countries. In this business, you can take advantage of economies of scale to make deliveries quickly and more cost-effectively.
  • Private fleet management: A private fleet management company provides a range of services such as maintenance, fuel management, insurance, driver hiring, and safety training. It is ideal for large companies with multiple trucks that need assistance managing their fleets efficiently.
  • Refrigerated transport: Refrigerated transport specializes in transporting temperature-sensitive products. These businesses can also provide cold storage services for clients as part of their service offerings.
  • Food truck business: A food truck business serves delicious meals and snacks prepared in a mobile kitchen. It requires creativity with recipes, as well as an in-depth understanding of local regulations for safe food handling and preparation. Food trucks often cater to special events or festivals, allowing you to showcase your culinary skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about trucking businesses?

Below are answers to two of the most regularly asked inquiries.

What is the most profitable type of trucking?

Freight hauling is one of the most profitable types of trucking.

It involves transporting items that require special handling.

You will haul hazardous materials, oversized loads, and refrigerated goods.

You can charge a premium rate due to the added complexity and risk involved with these shipments.

How do I get a trucking contract?

There are several ways to secure a trucking contract, including networking with industry professionals, bidding on solicitations, approaching companies directly, using online resources, and partnering with other trucking companies.

Similar Businesses To Consider Starting

Before jumping into trucking, assess other industries that may bring you more satisfaction.

  • How To Start a Food Truck Business: In this business, you need a mobile kitchen, recipes that stand out from the competition, and an understanding of how to handle food safely.
  • How To Start a Box Truck Business: Here, you can transport goods and materials of any size. It requires a commercial box truck or van, as well as knowledge of how to load and unload cargo safely.
  • How To Start a Car Rental Business: You will need cars or vans suitable for rental, an understanding of how the industry works, and insurance policies in place.

Wrapping Up

Trucking is a money-making business model, and you now know how to start a trucking business.

With proper planning, this enterprise can potentially generate six figures in revenue.

If you have any ideas for a trucking business, be sure to share them in the comments section.

If you found this article helpful, please help us spread the word and pass it along.

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