Can you be a freelance trucker?
It’s like being an independent contractor in any other industry. If you have your own truck, a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and an established business, you can be a freelance truck driver, or owner-operator. The trucking industry is full of them as well as trucking companies who are happy to offer jobs to drivers who have good driving records.
There are many different types of jobs you can get with a CDL and being a freelance truck driver is one of them. You’ll need to think about what exactly you’d like to spend your time doing, factoring in realities like managing your own health benefits or owning your own truck instead of leasing one from a trucking company.
Is truck driving a good job for introverts?
The traits of a good truck driver include being able to spend long periods of time alone, which introverts tend to be good at. They’re not the only ones, though.
What is a freelance truck driver?
A freelance truck driver is a driver who works independently from any specific trucking company, manages themselves, and decides between full-time and part-time. Shippers use both company drivers and freelance drivers.
Here are five things to think about before you become a freelance truck driver and your own boss.
Setting your own schedule
It brings you flexibility and independence, but also requires you to hold yourself accountable for your time and activities.
All the management work
You’ll need to take a broader look at your work, such as watching fuel surcharge spending, tracking your revenue, and keeping an eye on the market to understand when to shift your shipping focus or diversify your skills like adding a HAZMAT endorsement to service a growing industry.
Finding your own work
This will be one of the largest and most important challenges to overcome. It’s also one small businesses and startups often struggle with. Dispatchers and shippers will advertise when they need help and it’ll be up to you to respond and deliver. One way to find loads is through load boards, similar to job boards on LinkedIn and Indeed. Understand who your target market is and where they go to find truckers. Then put in the work. Not all contracts are created equal, so get good at selling your services to the shippers you fit best.
Invoicing will be a key part of bringing in money. You may decide to hire an independent contractor to help with this so you can spend more time using your stronger skills.
Think hard about how important predictability is to you. If the thought of not knowing exactly how you’ll pay next month’s bills makes your palms sweat, freelancing may not be for you.
Are truckers considered self-employed?
Not necessarily. There are company drivers who work directly with trucking companies and freelance truck drivers who work independently. The second group are considered self-employed.