Dollars & Sense
Expedite: Your Next Career Move
A common theme coming from drivers and other like-minded individuals from this year’s Expedite Expo was the idea of no longer driving for someone else, but rather to follow a dream of becoming an independent contractor and thus one’s own boss. Workshops discussed this idea, roundtables elaborated on it, and individual one-on-one conversations permeated the Expo with thoughts and dreams about working for none other than oneself.
How It Started
Most folks begin their working lives in a low-key job, right? Maybe it’s a job in a sit-down restaurant as a server, or in a fast-food joint taking orders at a drive-up window. Perhaps their first job was working in retail or in an office setting. Whatever it was, it helped set a precedent for what could be expected when partaking of the American workforce.
But as time marches on, people grow weary of taking orders and performing the brunt of a job in the name of someone else’s fortune and glory. The same goes for those who make their livelihood in the profession of driving commercial trucks, they typically start out driving for a company or a fleet owner. But eventually, some folks want to experience what it’s like to call their own shots.
Now, not every person is built this way. There are a lot of fine individuals out there who simply feel more comfortable working for someone else because it eliminates certain stressing factors like dealing with taxes or finding their own health insurance. But for every person who is simply fine with punching a daily timeclock, there is someone who wants the self-imposed freedom of being an independent contractor.
How It’s Going
So, say you’re one of those who wish and dream to someday be your own boss. How do you get there? How do you get from point A to point B? Well, here are some suggestions that might help in transitioning from company driver to independent contractor.
- Learn the ropes first. Go drive for a company or a fleet owner and learn the ins and outs of expediting, there’s no shortage of drivers out there willing to share their knowledge. Seriously, have you ever sat at the coffee counter in a truck stop? You’re bound to pick up little nuggets of advice (good and not-so-good) from the folks nearby.
- Give yourself a year to get educated. Take the time to learn the important ins and outs of driving expedite. Make sure you have a working understanding of what loads are good loads, and what areas are best for freight. Pick the brains of the fleet owner, the dispatchers, and other drivers.
- The internet is also a great place to gather information pertaining to the expedite trucking industry. Search out trucking tax professionals, insurance companies, and legal advice regarding starting your own business. Because as an independent contractor, that’s what you’re going to be: a business owner.
Once you’ve collected all your experience and industry know-how, it’s time to strike out on your own. The key is to prepare for everything and expect anything. The difference in making the jump from company driver to independent contractor is going to be night and day, so you better rest up before you get started.