My biggest regret about getting started in this industry was that I didn't get my authority sooner. It was the myths, fears, and the unknown that held me in place as a company driver for years. If you ever meet me at a dock or a truck stop, you might find me talking to another driver about getting their authority and working with brokers.
These are three of the myths that get discussed the most when getting started as a carrier.
Myth # 1 - "You need to know how to work on your truck."
If you are an owner-operator, then you know the answer to this one. As a company driver, this was my biggest fear. I have zero interest in learning how to work on trucks, and I wouldn't want to do it. Looking back at when I got started, I am thankful that I went from company driver to getting my authority without leasing on to another carrier. The excellent money I have earned working with brokers is a lot better than what it would have been if I leased to another carrier, and that made it easier for me to afford mechanical repairs that I was not able to do myself. As a professional driver, I get paid to operate the truck, not to work on it. That's the way I see it.
Myth # 2 - "Getting your authority is a difficult process."
This one has two parts. Some say it's simple to get your authority, and that you should save your money and do it yourself. Other people, including myself, are not sure where to even begin. I used a service provided by DAT to get my authority. It was important to me that it was done right the first time, by people who have done this before. Again, I make my money going down the road not working with government offices.
Myth # 3 - "You need to have your own customers before you start your business."
Yep, that is a myth for sure. A trucking company is the only business I know where customers call you on the day you open your doors. On the day my authority became active, I posted my truck to the DAT load board in a hot market, and I had customers (brokers) calling for my service. For more than seven years, I have gotten all my loads from the spot market, working with brokers. I currently have no plans of changing.
I will be speaking more in detail about these myths and much more, in the DAT booth #64196 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky March 22 to 24. I'll speak at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM every day, so please come see me at MATS.