Many truck drivers dream of one day becoming an entrepreneur, and making the leap into the land of owner-operators. But similar to any other type of business venture, it’s critical to have a plan and a strategy, and to do the necessary research to make sure the path to success is a realistic one.

Before you become an owner-operator after gaining experience through various trucking jobs, make sure you consider the following components first.

Track Your Trips

While still in your current position, do some tracking to see if it makes sense to become an owner-operator. Track your miles, pickups, loads, drop-offs, and so forth. Track all the costs associated with your truck, such as gas, maintenance, insurance, etc. Then track your time to see how much is put into driving, maintaining the truck, administration, accounting, securing loads, and so on.

After a few months, add up what’s involved in going solo to see if it’s worth making the leap.

Get Your Finances in Check

Your finances play a key role in getting your business off the ground and making sure it’s successful. If you have a lot of debt, you’d be better off paying much of it down first before you tackle an entrepreneur role. There are plenty of things that will cost a large sum of money, including your truck, insurance, licenses, accounting services, and much more. The more debt you have on your shoulders, the harder it will be to get approved for a loan and get your finances in a decent position.

Determine If the Lifestyle Is Right for You

Making the switch to an owner-operator means a lifestyle change. Ask yourself a few different questions to see if this is the right change to make at this stage in your life.

  • Do you want to be home on weekends?
  • Is your health stable enough not to require extensive medical insurance?
  • Do you have the drive to fight for loads that will make you cash?
  • Are you disciplined with your money?

These are all important things to ask yourself when determining if becoming an owner-operator is the right choice for you.