Many people in the past saw truck driving as a good alternative to college, but today, the two can readily go hand-in-hand. Owner-operators are truckers who also own their own business.
Rather than work under a trucking company called a carrier, owner-operators are their own carrier – but starting a trucking business requires far more than earning the right license.
You’ll need business smarts and dedication to become a staple in the industry.
Read on to learn more about how a college degree can make you a more successful truck owner-operator:
How Old Do You Have to Be to Become a Truck Driver?
You must be at least 21 to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). You’ll also have to complete entry-level driver training through a college or trucking school.
This training ensures that you know all the rules of the road and trucking industry regulations.
It will help you pass your knowledge and driving tests prior to getting your license on your journey toward becoming an entrepreneur after college.
How College Can Help
You can earn a business administration degree to give your future company the best head start. Knowing how to structure a business model, identify a market audience, brand your business, and scale your company efficiently will all play a huge factor in your success.
College also helps you become a more well-rounded person. Your education draws from a variety of fields that ultimately allow you to be more creative and ambitious in your future career.
The time you spend in college will help you find out what careers best suit you and give you valuable insight to consider.
What Do I Need to Become an Owner-Operator?
There are several things on top of a solid education that can help propel you forward. For starters, learning about truck driving regulations in your state is free.
You can study the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to build a strong foundation. Then, you can begin looking into tools of the trade that will set you up for success.
There are fleet safety programs that will help you manage multiple commercial vehicles while staying compliant with industry regulations.
You can also begin saving up money or looking into how to get a small business loan to buy your first truck.
Research the trucking industry in your area – what niche could you pursue that would bring in the most jobs for the lowest start-up cost?
Choosing the right specialty, like moving trucks, can help you build a strong business without falling victim to the mistakes many entrepreneurs make their first time around.
Should You Become a Truck Driver First?
You’ll need a CDL to be an owner-operator, but you can start taking jobs as a driver for another company before starting your own.
While there’s no requirement to have experience before launching a business, it helps to work through an established carrier first.
By taking some time after school to learn the road firsthand, you’ll gain a wealth of experience that you can apply to your own company down the line.
You don’t need to spend weeks away from home, either. Short-hauling is an easy way for people to gain commercial driving experience while still making it home in time for dinner every night.