A Well-Rounded Skill Set is Key for Owner Operators
In the first part of the Things to Consider Before Becoming an Owner Operator series, we focused on the financial aspect of starting your own business. Today, we’re going to focus on the skills that you should have in order to be successful.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you a chameleon?
How well do you deal with being alone and in charge? Can you promote yourself and your business when you need to? Are you able to shift from one to the other in the blink of an eye? Owner Operators must be able to adapt to the present situation and see opportunity.
2. How do you feel about planning, preparation, and looking for companies to haul freight for?
Firstly, you need to have a plan in place about how you’re going to run your business. Like a brick and mortar business owner, successful owner operators develop a business plans. Therefore, they have a guide to follow on what their goals are and what they need to do to accomplish those goals. If you’re not all that fond of planning and preparation, you might want to reconsider being an owner operator or seek professional help in building a plan you can stick to.
3. Do you like or dislike doing paperwork?
Owner Operators complete their fair share of office work. For example, there are bills of lading that you need to submit to companies for payment, receipts to keep in order for tax time, and bank accounts to keep track of.
4. Do you have the skills to be a mechanic?
It costs money to maintain your tractor. One way to save on money is to learn how to do things yourself. If you have some decent skills as a mechanic you keep your truck running instead of paying someone else to do it for you.
Here’s a current PTI owner operator’s advice about the skill set you should have:
“Having common mechanical skills will be greatly beneficial as an owner operator … Being prepared with tools and simple parts and having the knowledge to use all of them can save you hundreds and maybe even thousands. Furthermore, fixing small things early yourself could prevent larger expensive repairs down the road.” – Jay Brockway (shown to the left)
And, a take on the skills needed from another current PTI owner operator:
“I don’t think it’s as important to have mechanic skills than it is to have have an understanding of the mechanics itself. If you understand the make-up of the equipment you can explain your problem to someone more mechanically inclined. Therefore, you are more likely to avoid being ripped off.”
– Jeremiah Carson (shown to the right)
Be sure to understand your finances and skill set (and whether or not it’s developed enough) is something to think about before becoming an owner operator. Additionally, PTI’s owner operator program offers access to our maintenance facility at reduced prices, discounts on fuel, and help with trip planning and preparation.
If you’re interested in our program check out our Owner Operator page to learn more.
Check in next week for part three of this blog series! We will focus on doing your research before becoming an owner operator.
Main photo provided by current PTI Owner Operator Bud Weber.