5 things to consider as a truck owner operator

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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If you have been in the truck industry as a driver and you are looking into owning and operating your own truck’s then there are few things that you need to consider. The trucking business in Australia, like any other business, is competitive and you want to be fully geared to prevent easily avoidable mishaps that might see you shutting down your business before it even kicks off. Our five tips will help you set up a financial future that you will be able to enjoy like a boss.

1. Know your reasons

The idea of owning your own rig could be appealing. However, if you don’t have proper reasons as to why you want to start it, it can turn into a financial stress ball that swallows you up whole. According to the IBS World industry report released in 2016, the truck industry is a source of employment for 259,508 people in Australia. It is a labour-intensive industry that can take you away from your loved ones for an extensive period. To make your business a success you will have to consider the long hours you will help you set up a financial future that you will be able to enjoy like a boss.

2. Getting your finances in order

The best way to get your business under way is to secure a truck loan that will take care of your expenses. How much you take out all depends on your financial situation and your needs. If you have debt, it is advisable that you sort that aspect out first before taking on a truck loan that will further increase your debt. You will also need to work out how much you will be paying in terms of monthly bills for your businesses expenses. Speaking to a financial advisor can help you wrap your head around this factor realistically. It could be expensive starting the engine of your business, but leaving your equipment and fleet uninsured can send it crashing to the ground.

3. Credit history and payments

In order to keep your business running smoothly like a well-oiled machine, then you need to keep your credit history in check. As an owner operator you stand the chances of losing a lot. This will spring lenders into action to see if there are any holes in your business plan, and credit history. Financing and replacing expensive equipment doesn’t come cheap. Having bad credit or excessive personal debt could raise red flags and turn lenders away faster than finishing the word, “loan”. It’s advisable to check your credit history, even if you have bad credit, and see areas where you can fix it before applying.

4. With freedom comes responsibility

It’s great that you are thinking of starting your own business and seeing the bigger picture of your business. Freedom walks hand in hand with responsibility, which means you must look at the downsides. There will be a greater deal of stress such as taking care of financial pressures, making truck payments, expensive equipment repairs, falling ill or being disabled. Knowing this threats to your business can help you protect yourself. Consider looking into insurance protection plans such as income protection should anything take a turn for the worst.

5. A few handy tips before you hit the road

Always look for a company that is made up of owner operators that has a few years of experience under its belt. When you have finally got your business off the ground always look for companies that give you the flexibility of running your own business by allowing you to pick your own freight rates and load choices. Don’t let work consume you. The perks of being an owner operator are that you get to decide when you take your time off. If you find yourself being wrapped up in long hours with no time off, then it’s best to stay with your current company.

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