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3 Helpful Tips for Keeping Competitive as an Independent Trucker

As a self-employed contractor who offers both shipping and delivery trucking services, you have a lot on your plate to deal with. Although your job may seem easier since you call the shots, you essentially have to compete against larger trucking corporations. Fortunately, there are ways to survive as an independent truck driver while maintaining a level of success.

Keep Your Costs Low – Buy Used

Of the estimated 3.5 million truck drivers throughout America, approximately one of every nine of those are independent truckers such as yourself. In other words, independent truckers are the minority. As such, you need to make sure you have a competitive edge without overspending your budget. Truckers typically only make an estimated 30.3 cents a mile, which equates to approximately $32,000 annually.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your costs low without foregoing your competitive edge. For example, by a used semi-truck rather than a new one. Every trucker needs a reliable truck in order to operate. A new semi-truck can cost anywhere from $80,000 to upwards of $200,000. It would take you more than two years to pay back your truck at that rate given the average annual salary of a trucker.

Fortunately, used semi-trucks are far more affordable with refurbished trucks costing anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000. Rather than dumping all of your money into a new semi-truck, purchase a used truck and use any additional funds you have to advertise your services. Learn more about your options by visiting resources like 

Know How to Find Your Clients

As an independent trucker, finding clients may seem impossible. You do not have a business to back up your quality and dependency. Fortunately, finding clients is easier than you think. Start by contacting various shipping organizations. The Internet is a great tool for finding shipping organizations in need of a trucker, even if the position is only a temporary one.

You can use a temporary job to start building a reputation for yourself and your services. Of course, every independent trucker's best chances at finding work rests in the hands of freight brokers. Freight brokers often look to work with independent truckers. However, since they work with so many independent truckers, it may be difficult to get your foot in the door. Make sure you build a good relationship with a freight broker to help build your chances of finding jobs.

Use your on-the-road networking. As a trucker, you are constantly traveling to several different areas across the country. For that reason, you meet new people almost daily. Use that to your advantage. Reach out and build yourself a network of potential clients. Make sure you have business cards to hand out with all of your contact information and you will quickly find that jobs are much easier to find.

Do Business with a National Bank

As a truck driver, you will often find that you have a handful of cash at the end of your delivery. Although it is good to keep a certain amount of cash on you, the last thing you need is to carry around a large wad of money. Large denominations of money can cause you problems. For example, should you accidentally lose your money, you are out of finances. Furthermore, if you are pickpocketed or burglarized, you could end up stranded with no money to fall back on.

Track down a national back that has institutions in several different locations. Start a checking or a savings account so you can store your money securely in the bank whenever you get paid for a job. A national bank is your easiest route as you can access your money just about anywhere you are depending on the number of banking institutions the bank has available nationwide.

By following these three useful tips, you will be on your way to becoming a more successful independent truck driver.