Although many truckers work for large firms as conventional employees, this kind of employment does not suit people that want to live a life of freedom on the roads. Large logistical companies tend to keep an extremely close eye on their employees, even monitoring them in ways that some people consider to be intrusive. Truckers that want to work on their own terms generally try to work as self-employed individuals. Truckers that choose to work as individual contractors can expect to have a great deal more freedom than their heavily monitored peers. They do, however, need to get their hustle on. Here is a very cursory guide to the things that truckers need to consider before they begin their journey as independent haulage contractors.
How to Get Work
The main benefit of working for a big haulage company, manufacturer, retailer, or distributor is that there is a great deal of job security. It is not the responsibility of the truck driver to find their work when they operate under the umbrella of a larger company. Independent truckers, on the other hand, must be completely self-sufficient. Freedom comes with a great deal of responsibility, and this is important to consider before becoming a self-employed trucker.
One of the most popular ways of finding shipping work is through a load board company, like Shiply. Load boards are digital versions of the job boards truckers would see at rest stops offering one-off jobs. Brokers, shipping companies, retailers, and manufacturers post haulage jobs that need to be completed on the load board. Independent truckers can see whether they can complete the work that has been posted before applying to complete it. Choosing your own work is a major benefit for many people.
Modern HGV trucks are not cheap. Almost every commercial semi-truck tractor costs over 100 thousand dollars. Fully upgraded modern trucks tend to cost somewhere in the region of 160 thousand dollars. While semi-truck tractors are provided by large companies, independent truckers must provide their own vehicles. Many truckers take out commercial loans or lease their trucks instead of buying them outright.
Because truck drivers carry expensive products and work with expensive equipment, they need to be comprehensively insured. Any job that involves riding the roads is relatively fraught with danger, which means that independently acquired insurance tends to be expensive.
All long-distance truckers suffer from a poor work-life balance. They are often forced to spend a great deal of time away from their friends and families during periods of employment. Independent truckers are at the mercy of the haulage contracts that they can sign. The insecurity of the freelance life means that some independently employed truckers find it hard to turn down jobs, even if it means that they spend huge stretches away from the people that they love. It can be tough to establish a good work-life balance as an independently employed truck driver, but good planning and sound financial acumen can make a huge difference.