The trucking industry has been described as the backbone of America’s supply chain. Indeed, it is one of the largest parts of the American economy, with about 70% of U.S. freight goods moved by trucks. It makes sense then, that there is a high demand for trucking companies, trucks, and truckers. Maybe that’s why you’re considering starting a trucking business. 

How Large is The Trucking Industry 

The latest statistics report that there are 13.5 million trucks registered in the U.S., including 2.97 million tractor-trailers and 10.5 million single-unit trucks. There are over 1.1 million for-hire trucking companies as of June 2023. 68% of those had one unit, 14% had two units, 15% had 3-10 units, 4% had 11-100 units, and about 1% had more than 100 units. About 16% of all truck drivers are owner-operators.

What to Know Before Starting a Trucking Business 

Here are some things to know before starting and owning a trucking business. First, knowing how much a trucking business will cost is important. It isn’t cheap. Some of these costs include the downpayment on a truck, licensing, insurance, and permit fees, plus the ongoing costs of fuel and maintenance. Second, you’ll need to know how you will be taxed. Third, you’ll need to define what type of operation you will be and who your customers will be. Fourth, you’ll need to know the rules and regulations you must comply with. Fifth, you’ll need to realize that owning a trucking company requires much hard work.

13 Tips for Starting a Trucking Business 

Consider these valuable tips as you prepare to start a trucking business

  1. Define the right market or niche you want to serve; one that you can serve distinctively because of plenty of competition. Focus on markets that large trucking companies don’t serve.  
  2. Choose the right business structure. 
  3. Develop a thorough business plan.  
  4. Know your legal requirements. 
  5. Register your trucking business and get all the required permits and insurance
  6. Plan your back-office support. 
  7. Secure satisfactory financing. 
  8. Hire staff to support your operation. 
  9. Buy or lease the proper equipment to serve the market you have chosen. 
  10. Plan and develop your marketing efforts. 
  11. Subscribe to a load board to keep your truck(s) full and on the road. 
  12. Ensure compliance with all regulations and safety protocols. 
  13. Track your income and expenses.                                                                              

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Trucking Business 

Avoid these mistakes when starting a trucking business

  • Using outdated trucks or safety equipment. 
  • Ignoring compliance. 
  • Not monitoring key performance indicators. 
  • Having poor personnel and back-office management. 
  • Not automating processes
  • Not getting professional help when you need it. 
  • Not getting adequate financing.

Seek Expert Financing Assistance 

Contact Emerald Valley Financial Services, based in Eugene, Oregon, to get the financing your business needs. We provide a wide range of versatile funding solutions, including working capital, lines of credit, and equipment financing and leasing. We provide financial services for businesses of all sizes, including trucking businesses, and businesses that have been turned down by banks. We are here to help you succeed and grow.