Are you thinking about becoming an owner-operator or looking to improve your own business? Being an owner-operator is a risky business move, with major rewards if you make it. However, a lot of people fail to make it as owner-operators and end up having to go back to being a company driver in order to work themselves out of debt. Luckily we have a few tips about good habits to adopt to make it as a successful owner-operator.
Good Habits For Owner Operators
Owner-operators are planners. Before jumping down the highway they plan every aspect of their trip. They make sure they have drop-offs and pickups nearby so they don’t eat the costs of spending money to get home in a day or two with an empty trailer.
When downtime is available, like when a load is being unloaded they take advantage of it. Instead of catching up on the latest drama on Facebook they plan for their next trip, track their finances, or even do a little maintenance on their trucks. Unfortunately, more-work-and-less-play is a mindset owner-operators have to adopt until they make it big.
They also become master budgeters and give up the expensive lobster dinners for more cost-effective meals. For example, instead of stopping every time they get hungry or thirsty they buy their snacks in bulk in advance and pack them in the cab. Saving a dollar here and there really adds up in the long haul.
Another money-saving trick is to slow down a little. Just by easing up on the gas a little bit you’ll become a more fuel-efficient driver and save tons on gas.
Speaking of saving, owner-operators have self-control with their funds and set aside money in case of emergencies. While it may be all too tempting to splurge on a new Harley or hot rod, but what happens if your rig is involved in an accident? Will you have the funds to have it fixed? Will you be able to cover your bills if your truck is out of commission for a month or two?
The pros take care of their equipment. They see their trucks as tools, not toys, so they take pride in them. They clean out the cab regularly to make sure it doesn’t get smelly or stained. They also keep up with regular maintenance like oil changes and belt changes to make sure that their truck runs as long as possible to get every penny out of it’s worth. Why take on the costs of a new truck when the old one runs just fine? Along with saving gas, slowing down a little can prevent wear and tear on your truck and trailer.
You know what goes along with taking care of your truck? Taking care of yourself. To make is as an owner-operator you need to be physically able because it’s a commitment that takes years. Start off by making sure you get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation takes a toll on your energy, you need to be awake for more hours on the road. It also can cause more stress and irritability. Being tried on the road also is equivalent to driving drunk, so be awake and alert to safely avoid accidents.
In order to be healthy, you gotta buckle down and make a few better food choices. Avoid obesity and diabetes by simply cleaning up your diet. For example, pick the heart smart omelet for breakfast instead of the pancake platter and have a banana instead of a honey bun. Plus, you can cut out soda with green teas or flavored seltzer water. Small changes are easy to make and will go a long way.
They make sure they move a little too. Sitting too much is a silent killer, so they take laps around truck stops to get their blood flowing or take workout straps with them to get a quick workout in right from their cab. Getting blood flow helps to relieve stress, makes the heart stronger, and can reduce high blood pressure.
Owner-operators make time for their families. To avoid getting lonely or putting strain on relationships by being away for longer periods of time they call their loved ones daily and face time with their kids to keep their relationships strong and positive.
Last but not least, they adopt patience. Being an owner-operator involves driving more miles, with more days on the road. The successful ones have to be in the right mindset to put in overtime and entertain themselves on the road with less time to fraternize and catch the latest game on TV.
They also have to realize that becoming an owner-operator doesn’t equal overnight success. You have to work on it for months, and even years before getting to the profit level you want.
You Can Do It
With the right mindset and a few changes to create good habits, you make it as an owner-operator. Just take it slow, have your budget in order, and make sure to carefully plan out your moves. Before you know it you could have the freedom of the open road in your own truck with tons of business success.
Keep checking back with TruckLogics for more trucking tips, and be sure to share your tips about what it takes to be a successful owner-operator in the comment section below.