On the Marc: How To Start a Successful Trucking Business

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Over the summer, a CNN Money article ran that was titled Tons of trucking jobs…that nobody wants. It basically claimed that during tough economic times with high unemployment,  Americans should be jumping at the chance to work – including trucking, but that with a driver shortage, it seems it’s a job nobody wants.

True, there is a shortage of drivers in the industry. But, a job nobody wants!?  Bullship!

Every week I’ve got many people calling and emailing me wanting to know how to get in on it – they just want the play book on what it takes and how they can make good money hauling stuff for people and businesses.

That’s what I’ll be focused on in this “On the Marc” blog post series I’m doing with uShip. I’ll explain exactly what it takes to get into and succeed as a professional Owner Operator today.

Here’s what I’ll be sharing in this series:

  • Importance of confidence and self-belief
  • How to decide what to haul
  • Promoting yourself
  • The right equipment
  • Lessons learned (many the hard way)
  • What it will cost (in both time and money)
  • The importance of compliance
  • How to find and keep customers
  • And much more…

You might be asking, “How can you speak with authority on this, Marc?”

A few years ago, before I was cast on the A&E real-life series Shipping Wars, I was “that guy.” I was the classic dude in this scenario. I had no idea exactly what it would take to jump into trucking, but I knew it was something I wanted to explore. I knew that driving trucks and hauling people’s property was something I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do it and would enjoy seeing the U.S. and Canada (Here’s a video of me at Mt. Rushmore).

And I realized, “Holy crap, people will pay me to haul their stuff and I can make a great living and be working for myself.”  So, really, this business is part of living the American dream to me.

When I talk to guys (and gals!) who want to get into truck driving, I hear “me” on the other end of the phone or in the tone of the email: Eager. Unsure. Looking for guidance and answers.  I think these people know the answers, but want confirmation that this is doable and can be profitable.

Let’s make no mistake here — you have to be smart to be successful.  It’s very easy to not do well in this business if you are not careful.  With that being said, remember this:  do it right from the start. Shortcuts are not going to get you there.  Keep it legal and safe. Work smarter, not harder.  

When new business owners come to me for advice, I believe what they’re really asking is “Is it lucrative?”, “What’s it going to take to get into this business?” and “Where do I focus my money to get
off the ground?”  I can only tell you how I did it, and like everything in life, there’s usually many ways of doing something that can get you to the same result. So, hopefully, some of my ideas will help you form your own plans.

I’ll be sharing all the steps involved. Consider this your no BS, no-holds-barred guide to getting behind the wheel and being successful.  You’ll be getting knowledge and stuff I wish I knew when I was getting started.

Bottom Line:

You can make some good money being a truck driver today, but it takes knowing where to focus your time, energy and money to get off the ground.

Up Next:

Stepping into trucking takes the right attitude, desire, discipline and faith in yourself.  So how do you know if it’s for you? On the Marc, Step #1:  So you want to become a truck driver? Let’s talk.

uShip is reinventing shipping and logistics through tools, trust and transparency. Through uShip’s transport marketplace, it’s now faster, easier and cheaper for consumers and businesses to connect with thousands of customer-reviewed transporters that often have empty truck space offered at a discounted rate.

Join uShip to find shipments for free, connecting you directly with shippers.

On the Marc: How To Start a Successful Trucking Business was last modified: November 19th, 2014 by Marc Springer
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  • joe

    Im interested in the oppurtunities uship has to offer. I have extended knowledge as a carrier but im just have one concern, do I need to have a broker license to bid on loads as a carrier with a business name? THANK YOU

  • Jim

    I have to put in my two cents worth here. I met Marc a few years ago when he transported a service body for me from Arizona to Red Deer AB Canada. It was right then that I basically made the decision to embark on my own trucking business.
    He came across as a sincere and honest guy, who enjoyed what he does and wasn’t the type who would try a sell you crap about not being able to make it in the transport industry.
    I’ve talked to Marc a couple times over the years and I can actually say I still value his opinion and would recommend his insight to anyone wanting to enter the industry.

  • Haley Steinhauser

    Love this post. Feel like I know so many situations where guys (and gals) just jumped headfirst into this world without a second thought. I especially like your comment that “Shortcuts are not going to get you there.” So true. To get started in the trucking business, you absolutely must research, research, research. This is like building Rome–it doesn’t happen in a day!

  • OkieSteve

    I’d like to talk to anybody who has experience doing local to medium range hauling with a cargo van.