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Risky Business

Why you don't get an MC number just because all the cool kids are doing it

By Shelly Benisch, CIC
Posted Nov 16th 2010 9:47AM


Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd write today about the barrage of Owner Operators deciding to establish their own MC numbers.  I know it always seems like the big boys with the MC numbers are making all the money, and taking the leap may be for you...but it may not, and here's why:

Establishing your own MC number, so that you are an approved Motor Carrier for hire with your own authority comes with a lot of strings attached.  After the initial expense of FMCSA, and the increased premium on your insurance that includes Primary Liability, $100,000 Cargo and filings, the challenge becomes where are you going to get your runs? 

If you're planning on driving AND setting up your own loads, I have to tell you that unless you have someone back at the farm working for you, it will be tough.  The load boards on the internet are not the panacea that everyone thinks they are because everyone is on them.  Underbidding loads is also not the way to get ahead...there's a reason that freight shipping costs what it covers the unexpected overhead.

So now we're running into guys who can't book enough loads, can't collect from unscrupulous brokers because they have no collections department and are barely keeping their head above water.

To make matter worse, if someone thinks they want to dip their toe into the waters of their own authority and then pull back out, FMCSA requires by law a 35 day notice of cancellation of insurance once you have an active MC number.  So say you've tried the own MC number route, realized it wasn't for you...FMCSA says you're on the hook for 35 days with the insurance carrier.    So more expense.

There are tons of companies out there looking for hard working Owner Operators who will be happy to set up your loads, collect the payments, and keep you running.  Many allow you to haul for more than one company, which is also an option.   If you need help finding these Motor Carriers, just give us a call or drop us an email here at the CIS's our pleasure to help hook up Owner Operators with Motor CArriers in our Expediting Community!

Shelly Benisch, CIC w/ CIS



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