Wheels of Justice
Rich trucker vs. poor trucker
Why do some truck drivers make money and others fail to make enough to keep trucking? Everyone has heard the story of truck drivers who quit driving and went to flipping burgers or to pounding nails so they could feed their families. Everyone has also heard the story of the driver who started with one truck and now owns a company with 300 trucks, sitting pretty in his three-story mansion with a Cadillac in the driveway.
Why is there such a large difference in what drivers can do to make money and provide for their families? Can the answer be how much schooling a driver has finished? Can it be how much their family helps them get ahead? Or, can the answer be something as simple as a plan?
I believe that anyone can set a reasonable goal and work toward reaching that goal. Want to increase your income by $100,000 next year, then $200,000 the following year? I suggest you set a goal, and then you will know what you have to do to reach your target. Here is the bad news about reaching your goal: you will have to work hard, and you are the only one who can make yourself reach that goal.
Your starting place should be with your credit. Get a credit report and make sure you clean up any errors on your report. Then speak with your banker about how you can improve your credit score (the score banks use to loan money).
Of course living within your paycheck is understood. Spending more than you make will only get you deeper in the hole. Paying off your debts will allow you to sleep well at night and have cash money available for emergencies. Once you have your credit in good shape, talk to your banker about buying your own truck or starting your own company. Everyone who ever started a trucking company had to buy their first truck, and that is when the hard work begins.
I suggest you hire a trucking accounting firm to help you manage your money and give you time to manage the truck, the road and your shippers. I know the folks at Amer-ican Truck Business Services and suggest you call 888-640-4829 and ask them to help you.
And be sure to keep your CDL clean. Too many points, and you will lose your license. If you can’t drive, you can’t make that truck payment and the banker will come and get the truck you spent so much time paying for.
Do you want your own business, do you want to be your own boss, and do you want to make money? You can do it with a little help.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to the nation’s commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.