How To Become An Owner Operator

Are you thinking about how to become an owner operator? An owner operator drives trucks across the country and charges businesses a fee for transporting almost anything that can be moved by truck. Owner operators work for restaurant chains, grocery store chains, health care facilities, trucking companies, franchises, and many other businesses. Simply put, the owner operator is a small business owner that drives commercial trucks for a living. Expect to make up to $100,000 a year or more if you have the cash to operate the business efficiently. Everything in your home probably got there by a truck.

  1. Read and study as many books and transportation publications as you can about how to become an owner operator. Graduate from high school or obtain a GED to help you get started as an owner operator and keep in mind that a GED or a high school diploma may not be required in some states. Check with your state’s motor vehicle department to find out what the requirements are for you to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Arrange to have an eye exam and a medical exam to become an owner operator.
  2. Obtain a CDL to help you become an owner operator. Prepare yourself to take an 18-wheel driver training course in most states to get your CDL. Study your state’s laws for obtaining a CDL by getting the CDL driving test book from your state’s motor vehicle department, or you can check your local bookstore for a book that has all the rules and qualifications for your state. Attend a CDL course that is certified by your state’s motor vehicle department or your state’s transportation highway department and pass the course.
  3. Take the CDL driving test at your state’s department of motor vehicles to get your CDL license and become an owner operator. Think about everything that you have learned about the written part and driving the 18-wheel truck to help you pass the actual driving part of the test. Get ready to make sure all outside safety features are working (i.e., lights, horn, and check tires, windshield washers etc.). Look in the inside of the truck and make sure all the instruments panel gauges are working properly. Make sure you fasten your seat belt before you do anything when you get in the truck with the CDL instructor to perform the driving test because you will fail the test if you do not fasten your seat belt.
  4. Pass the writing and the driving section of the test and you now have a CDL license and can operate as an owner operator. Decide if you want to rent, purchase, or lease a truck to make deliveries for customers. Consider the amount of insurance coverage that you will need to operate the business. Obtain the truck and your local permit, state and federal tax ID numbers, and you are now in business. You’ll be able to get customers by using the internet to search for truck loads in your area to reduce expenses. Businesses all over the internet are waiting for owner operators to pick up their goods.



U.S. Department of Transportation –

U.S. Department of Bureau Statistics –

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