If the trucking industry is a career field that interests you, becoming an independent truck driver is certainly one way to go. Truck drivers, in a way, have a lot of freedom out on the open road. Independent truck drivers however, have more freedom. They set their own schedule, come and go as they please and they can select the type of work they want to do. Like any other career field, working independently requires self discipline. It’s not for everyone. Becoming an independent truck driver requires a good understanding of the business. Having trucking experience will help new independent drivers tremendously.
Independent truck drivers have more responsibility than regular truck drivers. However, they also have the potential to earn more money. If you are considering becoming an independent truck driver, consider enrolling in a truck driving school. Even if you are already a truck driver, trucking schools have specific classes designed for those entering the independent field. It is important to be well prepared so you can avoid losing money. Truck driving schools teach drivers how to handle documentation, cargo, trip planning, DOT rules and how to pick loads with the most earning potential.
Here are the requirements for becoming an independent truck driver.
- 21 years of age
- Proof of citizenship
- Clear driving history
- 1-2 years of truck driving experience
- Ability to pass a drug test and physical screen
Independent truckers have the potential to make more money than company drivers. However, you need to be smart on choosing your loads. Your salary depends on which loads you choose and what equipment you have. One downside to independent trucking is customers failing to pay on time. This can leave a trucker with little to no cash. It is a good idea to always have extra cash, just in case a customer is late on paying you.
After receiving your CDL, truckers are required to set up their own authority. They are also responsible for finding a trusted company to work with. The last step is finding loads. There are many websites and apps that allow truckers to find the best loads.