Staying competitive and profitable is always a challenge, especially if you’re an owner operator or smaller trucking company. You have to be able to adapt to changing needs in the market, provide great service to your customers and run a lean operation with as few expenses as possible. Trucker Tools recently spoke with industry vet and host of The Driver Side Wayne Campbell about his different experiences in the trucking industry, including his stint as a lease purchase operator, company driver, oil field driver and team driver. During our conversation, Wayne offered advice on how you, as an owner operator or smaller carrier, can build a strong foundation for a successful trucking business.
1. Be Professional and Know Your Industry
In our interview with Wayne, he stressed that maintaining professionalism, no matter what, is one of the ways that you can create long-term success for yourself as an owner operator. Like most businesses, your owner-operator business is built on the strength of your professional relationships and your reputation, so it’s important to get to know and learn from veterans in your area of trucking.
“If you’re a one-truck fleet, be as professional as possible and reach out to drivers in that area of trucking who are successful and just get to know them and ask them how they got to where they are today,” Wayne said. “It’s all about presentation and using the right tools within this industry and making connections and having relationships in the area of trucking that you’re in.”
2. Take Care of Your Truckers
“If you’re a multi-truck operation, you should already know that it’s all about how you take care of that driver and how they represent your company,” says Wayne.
For small fleet owners, it’s all about treating your drivers right. If you’re professional, give them the tools they need and treat them like true members of your team, you’re setting up your trucking business to succeed. Being good to your drivers also makes it more likely that they will represent you well when they’re out on the road and dealing with customers face-to-face.
3. Be More Than a Driver — Be a Savvy Business Owner
Wayne had one final recommendation for both owner operators and small fleet owners: you have to think like a trucker and an entrepreneur to be successful. In our interview, Wayne observed that new owner operators, in particular, often don’t realize that they have to be competent and knowledgeable in both areas in order to achieve long-term success in trucking.
“Most of all, understand your area of trucking, because you can’t be just a driver,” Wayne advised. “You have to have the mindset of a business owner, have business savvy and everything that comes with that, on top of knowing your commercial regulations, the current issues within trucking and knowing how to drive that piece of equipment safely down the road.”
“You have to have the mindset of a business owner, have business savvy and everything that comes with that, on top of knowing your commercial regulations, the current issues within trucking and knowing how to drive that piece of equipment safely down the road.”
For our complete interview with Wayne, read The Driver’s Side with Wayne Campbell: Real Drivers, Real Talk. To download Trucker Tools’ newly updated free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/.