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Starting Your Own Short Haul Trucking Company

Ever wondered what it takes to start a short haul trucking company? While many of the requirements are similar to long haul trucking companies, it’s still important to research the differences between two. In fact, what you choose to haul is just as important as the areas you want to service. In this article, we’ll be covering what you need to know about starting your own short haul trucking company.

Pick Your Vehicles

Even before you register with your company, you need to decide which types of vehicles you’ll need for your business. Keep in mind that this will depend on what you’re transporting. Ideally, you want to aim for small trucks since we’re talking about short haul trucking company. When purchasing the vehicles, you also need to make sure they’re up to par. There’s always a small possibility that you’ll be sold a malfunctioning vehicle.

That’s why it’s absolutely critical for you to inspect the vehicles before making the purchase. Check under the hood, assess the exterior, thoroughly inspect the interior, and look under the vehicle. Afterwards, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer questions. How they answer can either net you a deal or convince you to look elsewhere if you’re not comfortable on the reliability. Today, the VIN report should tell you everything you need to know about the history of the vehicle, so you have a solid foundation of what you’re getting into. Here’s a quick list of questions you should always ask a car dealer:

  • What are the vehicle’s safety features?
  • Can I take it for a test drive?
  • What kind of warranties are available?
  • Are there manufacturer rebates?
  • Can we negotiate the price?

Price negotiations are typically up in the air and aren’t always guaranteed. But if the dealer isn’t open to letting you test drive or don’t offer warranties, it’s in your best interest to look for another dealer. It’s important for you to be aware of driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs). These reports are what help companies stay on the ball with potential vehicle issues, malfunctions, and defect. Not only are they required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), you can save yourself from lost revenue and preventing vehicle downtime. After all, your fleet is the heart of the business. There’s a lot to know about DVIRs and how they work by researching the FMCSA’s website.

Choose Your Business Entity

Besides gaining on-the-road experience, and deciding where to market your business, you need to decide what type of business entity you want to have. As a business owner, you need to register your company as a specific type of entity. Most people choose to register as an LLC, so their personal property is protected. Limited liability companies offer a variety of tax benefits as well, so be sure to research which type is best for you. Once you decide, you will need to register your company with the state. You also need to apply for your EIN, which is an employer identification number. An EIN is required by law in every state, so not applying can land you in hot water legally.

Get Licensed

It’s also a good idea to be licensed yourself, even if you don’t plan on driving. As a trucking company owner, you never know when you’ll need to step in and cover for a sick employee. Being licensed may also be required by your state. Be sure to check with your local government to ensure you remain complaint.

Obtain Proper Insurance Coverage

Insurance is probably the most important aspect to your trucking company. It’s what protects you in the event of an issue whether it’s damage, theft, or legal matters. However, you need to know which policies to buy. Trucking companies generally need primary liability, general liability, bobtail insurance and motor truck cargo. For more policies, make sure to research the various types of insurance for trucking companies.

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