The Truckers Place - Owner/Operator

The Class A Truckstop

Do's and Don'ts of being an Owner/Operator

Scroll down for Success, The types of Interstate Owner/Operators, Lease Tips,
Tips on passing or avoiding D.O.T. Inspections, and Loads, Truck Lettering and Painting
Phone Numbers, Truck Driver Leasing Phone Numbers, Glossary

Best viewed at 1024 x 768

animated truck

The Do's
  Find a good accountant that  knows the trucking
     business. He can guide you through so many things. Whether to purchase
     or lease. For how long, and so many other things. start  by controlling
     your finances the right way.
     How do you find a good accountant? Talk to other O/O. If you have
     decided where you are going to lease on  talk to
     some O/O there. It can be a plus to have one already familiar with that
     companies paperwork.
     Open up an account for your trucking company apart from the household
     account. You will pay yourself from this account but PLEASE keep them
Financing is where your accountant is a BIG help. Sometimes a lease is
     better than a purchase and sometimes not. This is an area that is so
     special to each individual situation all that needs to be said is, Consult
     Your Accountant.
     Now to the truck. A lot has to be done before you get to this stage of
     the game. One reason for having the lease already (or at least a letter
     stating that you have been accepted upon purchase of a truck) is that
     financing is more easily obtained. Buy the best  truck you can for the
    money you have. Just remember,
 the BEST truck, not the BEST LOOKING truck, Know the
     specs you need before you go looking.
      Have a spec. sheet made up and give it to the dealer. If
     buying new you can order or buy off the lot. Purchasing used today isn't
     much different. What with all the locator services today you can find a
     used truck to meet just about any specs you are looking for.
          Plan on a lot of long hours and hard work. Not just physical work but
     mental as well.

The Don'ts:
     Don't be fooled by nice looking trucks. The best looking truck is not always the
    best  truck.
     Don't be suckered in by LOW insurance rates. check it out.
     To start with, there
    are a number of legit, long standing associations that provide this service
     along with stand alone insurance companies.
     Don't cross you finances. You and your
     accountant can figure the best way to pay yourself. Some do it by
     percentage and some by the mile.
     What ever works for you is
     best in the long run and you can change it if you need to after all YOU
     Do not  get behind to the I R S. Enough said.
     Don't ever be afraid to ask questions. If you have a problem
     understanding something, just ask.
    Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Just try not to make it a big one. If
     you stay in the trucking business long enough they will come.
     Don't make fast decisions when you don't have to. There will be enough
     of them that come along as a matter of course so don't add any more.


The owner/operator is a business person who drives a truck.

Clean trucks, polished and maintained. This will be
 proof that the shipper's goods will be well treated
and handled with respect.

Properly and neatly filled out paper work, in good condition, not torn, wrinkled
 or spotted. This shows that you are a professional.

Be a rule model to other drivers on the road.

Attitude: Always walk in the shipping dept. smiling and if a
shipper or receiver doesn't talk to you kindly, remember to be nice.  They may have had
the driver before you, give them a hard time and expect the same from you.  Smile, be polite, say
thank you.

 The types of Interstate Owner/Operators:

Independent Contractors
Also known as leased operators, independent contractors are owner/operators who
lease themselves and their vehicles to trucking companies.
*DOT regulated common carriers
*Exempt commodities carriers
*Private carriers

Owner/Operators with Operating Authority.
Contract Carriage: Most owner/operators with DOT authority fall into this
category. This simply means that owner operators are providing dedicated
service under contract to specific shippers.
Owner/Operators with Common Authority: Common authority means that
the owner/operator will haul regulated freight for any shipper without the
necessity of a contract.

Exempt Owner/Operators
Owner/operators who haul non regulated fresh produce are exempt. They fall into
two categories:
*Pure Exempt: Owner/operators who haul exempt commodities exclusively.
*Agricultural Authority: Owner/operators who haul exempt commodities or
transport regulated freight under their own operating authority.

Trip Lease Operators
These are the rarest species of owner/operators. They haul for a different carrier or
broker each trip.

Lease Tips for Owner/Operators

Look before you lease.
Required insurance and premium costs.
Allowable type, and age of tractor?
Mileage pay, loaded and deadhead, and any minimum and maximum rates?
Requirement for mobile communications, and who pays for the on-board equipment?
Layover pay?
Trailer requirements?
Orientation time and money paid for your time and expenses.
Areas and lanes run, and dispatch policies.
Sign on bonus?
Availability of group insurance?
Drop/stop pay?
Percentage of gross pay?
Base plate, fuel taxes, and permits?
Worker's compensation requirements?
Performance bond?

Tips on passing or avoiding D.O.T. Inspections:

Keep the truck neat and clean. Having everything neatly stored away and secured,
and a washed tractor/trailer, can be the difference in getting pulled over
and continuing on your way.
Keep a neat and clean personal appearance, DOT officers will tell you they watch
operators with an unclean physical appearance. Nice haircuts, clean clothes, or a
well groomed appearance will create a positive first impression. If you don't take care of
yourself, you won't take care of the equipment.
Follow annual inspection guidelines.  Making sure tractor and trailer are inspected per
company guidelines is an obvious way to pass inspections. The DOT is looking for the same
 Keeping your logbook current to the last change of duty status,
performing routine maintenance on equipment and projecting a neat appearance
are all things within the operator's control. Pay attention to the things that the DOT will be
looking for.

Truck Lettering and Painting Phone Numbers:

Action Signs, Inc. (Kennesaw GA) 800-590-8393

Graphitek (Bennington VT) 800-423-4371

Precision Art & Pinstriping (Amityville NY) 800-453-7443

S & D Signs (Bloomington CA)  800-510-7446

Smokey's Signs, Inc. (Louisville, KY) 800-549-9508

 Truck Collision Services (Lansing MI) 800-292-6855

 Veteran's Screen Printing (Somerset NJ) 800-628-6161

Truck Driver Leasing Phone Numbers:

Best Driver Resources (Hialeah FL)  888-700-8999

Commercial Driver Leasing (Fairview NC)  800-223-5776

 Container Movement (Miami FL) 888-332-2301

Driving Force (Ft Worth TX)  800-424-3748

 Ernest Williams Trucking (Covington LA)  800-358-0393

 Land Star Ranger Agency (Jackson MS)  800-961-3096

< style="font-family: arial;">Progressive Driver Services (Jacksonville FL) 800-874-1737
Redi Drivers (El Paso TX)

 Ruan Transport (Indianapolis IN) 800-362-9985

Single Source Transportation (Omaha NE)  800-595-7826

So-Cal Truck Management (Encinitas CA) 800-634-7286

Steel Transportation (Loogootee IN) 800-487-8345

 Trans Force, Inc (Charlotte NC)  800-807-4933

Trans Lease Group (Westwood MA)  800-245-2241

 Transpersonnel (Nashville TN) 800-247-9738

Transport Drivers (Morganton NC)  800-982-1712

Click here for the Glossary of Trucking Business and Financial Terms

Click here for other Glossary of Truck Terminology

Looking for loads? Click here.

The Class A Truckstop
( Women in Trucking ) ( Trucker Slang ) ( More Trucker Slang ) ( Pre-Trip Study Guide )
( Banner & Misc. ) ( National 10-Codes ) ( National Highway Conditions ) ( Truck Pic Gallery )
( Trucking on the Radio ) The Truckers Place Chapel )( History Page ) ( Awake at the Wheel )
 ( Links Pages ) ( Drunk Driving Info. ) ( Height,Weight, & Length Reg. ) ( Info on jackknives)
( Web rings) ( HOME ) ( Awards )( Tire Chain Info )( Theft Prevention )
 ( Alphabetical State Trucking Associations) ( U.S. State Speed Limits )
( HAZMAT Placard Chart ) ( Do's & Don'ts of an Owner/Operator ) ( Site Map )
( Trucking Stats and Q&A )( Rail Road Safety ) ( KidsZone )
( Local Info - Milwaukee ) ( FCC Rules ) ( Fuel Tax 4 each State ) ( Weather Tips )