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How to Become an Owner Operator

If you would like to become independent in your line of business and to start your own owner operator truck driver journey, this is the place to be. We are going to present all the important things you should do and bear in mind when you decide to take this course of action, but you need to remember first that self-employment asks for some investment, sacrifice, full dedication to work and a great level of responsibility.

Here is the list of five steps to becoming an owner operator, a successful one:

Step 1: Make a decision

First and foremost, you need to make this decision and stick to it. And that includes previously thinking it through carefully. You should be aware of the fact that truck drivers have a very specific lifestyle – they are away from home for days, sometimes even weeks, and they don’t see their family and friends that often. Now, if you are a truck driver who’s his own boss, that may only increase already demanding working hours and the level of commitment that’s asked of you.

Step 2: Get all the permits and licenses

At Extra Mile International INC, every owner operator trucker needs to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which can be achieved after a person passes his physical exam, knowledge test, gets his CDL permits and takes a CDL skills test. Then, the next step includes getting the USDOT and MC numbers that will allow you to operate legally. And finally, every owner operator will have to make sure he is covered with a truck and health insurance.

Step 3: Purchase or lease a truck

This is a step most new owner operators are on their edges about because this one is a huge decision. In case you want to buy your own truck, you need to consider all the details of your future businesses in order to get what you really need from a truck. This is generally a better option, but we are aware that it’s a serious blow to your budget. Leasing a vehicle is maybe a better idea if you are new to this type of business.

Step 4: Decide what type of owner operator you want to be

It is quite essential that you know from the very beginning if you want to supervise and arrange shipments for your truck or if you would prefer to lease it to another vehicle company. You may be surprised, but most new owner operators go with option number two because they are afraid they won’t find enough work or that they won’t be able to cover all the expenses. However, if you go with the first option it’s for sure you could earn a lot more money.

Step 5: Create a system and a business plan

What most experienced owner operators agree about is that you cannot leave anything to chance. You need to have a serious and detailed business plan that will include your goals and milestones for a certain time frame, your financial plan, and a marketing plan. But also, you should immediately develop a system for keeping your finances under control. That will allow you to always have a clear picture of your business – whether it is running smoothly or not, and about where you are with your taxes.


Nobody said it would be easy, but it sure is possible to become a successful owner operator. It would be good for you to previously have some experience in this field because it could help you to know where the potential traps and problems might be, but it’s not rare for beginners to be good at this. As long as you covered all the important aspects and developed a plan, you should be good. We hope these steps will provide you with guidance on where to start.