On the Marc, Step #2: Deciding What You Want to Haul (aka “What do uShip?”)

On the Marc SidebarSo you’ve found yourself with a passion and desire to be your own boss, own your own business and haul other people’s stuff. That’s awesome.  Congrats!

Now you need to decide WHAT to ship.

This is a super critical decision because it determines three things you’ll need:

  1. The right equipment
  2. Proper licensing
  3. Confidence

I started hauling motorcycles because I knew the most about motorcycles.

When I first started hauling, I got into transporting motorcycles because it was something I was passionate about. I worked at a Harley shop in the Seattle area, so I knew these bikes inside and out.  When I got to a customer’s place to pick up or drop off a bike, they could tell I knew what I was talking about.  I respected the machines, and customers knew it — they knew I would treat their bikes as my own.  And that earned their trust and more business, and my business grew.  As my experience grew so did the number of cargo categories I served.  Today, I haul the big stuff that pays great money.

So, Marc, what should I haul?

Start with what you are passionate about.  If you dig boats and water craft, there’s a ton of boats that need to be shipped all the time.  If your thing is classic cars, do that. If you love antiques or have a thing for cool furniture, maybe that’s your focus.  Whatever it is, enjoy what you haul.

Why should I start with hauling only what I know?

Your attitude and knowledge toward the goods you’re shipping needs to be positive and thorough because it comes through in how your approach your job — and customers will know it.  And these customers become repeat customers.

But wait, what about my equipment?

The other thing that can decide what you ship is any existing equipment you might have available.  If you already own a motorcycle trailer, consider getting started in motorcycles. Or if you own a flatbed trailer, maybe you start out with cars or equipment, things you have experience with and know how to handle or operate.  Own an enclosed trailer? Maybe furniture or household goods are a place to start.

Is there a place that shows what people are shipping? 

One great place to look for all the potential categories of things to haul is on uShip.  Every day, thousands of listings are available to receive your bids.  There’s everything you can imagine on there — cars, LTL and truckload freight, boats, motorcycles, heavy equipment, household moves, pets, and a lot more.  These are customers’ listings that are looking for help, but at this stage of the game, it can help you determine where to focus your business.

Wanna see what I use to haul?

Check out this sweet video of my rig.  I have 3 trailers — a Landoll, a Transcraft and a Fontaine — each that help me move different things in different ways.


Bottom Line

When deciding what to haul, tying your trucking business to your passion can already give you a leg up on the competition.

Up Next
Getting your Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL

Visit Previous ‘On the Marc’ Posts
Introduction: How to start a successful trucking business
Step 1So you want to become a trucker? 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, Step #2: Deciding What You Want to Haul (aka “What do uShip?”) was last modified: November 19th, 2014 by Marc Springer
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    Thanks Marc! very helpful

  • Jason

    How much home time do you have?

  • Chris Dotson

    With the Horsepower and Torque of the new (2010) and newer Diesel one ton trucks at sea level the U.S. Dot has them rated to tow 72,000 pounds at 60 mph. That is the government rating not the manufacture. But on the other side. At 12,000 feet Elv (mountain pass) the same truck is rated at 25,000 pounds at 60 mph. So it depends on where you want to do your transporting. A newer type Diesel 1 ton can match a full sized tractor//trailer at the lower Elevations. There are trailers to match this. (four 12K axles//electric brakes)(Government rates all Goosenecks at 7,000 pounds on the tongue) so this trailer would be rated at 55,000 pounds GCVW. But remember federal law still states 26,001 or greater trailer gcvw needs air brakes.

  • Dale Berning

    Question: I am in the process of starting Shipping & VERY confused about something. On Section IV/Safety Cert./30. Applic. Subject to FMCSR:
    If you’re over 10,000 lb. GVWR, there are a jillion Regs. U havta follow.
    The truck I have (17′ box truck) has an 11,500 GVWR, but I’ll never be
    that heavy with hauling.
    Question, do I HAVE TO state over 10,000. because 11,500 is written on the
    door of my truck, or can I take the much easier route and register UNDER
    the 10,000 GVWR in applying for an MC number ??

  • alex

    my question is who do i need to talk to to get my dot# and do i need to talk to the same person about the fuel tax exemption if required. I use to be a regional steel hauler and a tri axle driver and heavy equipment hauler all for different small business owners but no longer talk to them so a little help towards the right direction is appreciated