Creating a fleet is no small task. With careful pre-planning and inside knowledge, drivers can successfully grow a fleet and build a successful business.  In order to do so they need to prepare their personal and business finances, arrange loads, prepare for maintenance costs, find the right talent, plan a business structure, and get the right truck(s). By taking the proper steps, you too can start to build your own fleet. Here are some of the first steps to take:

Know your credit score.

It is important that every business owner understands what their credit score is, especially if they are looking to get a loan to grow their business. Some things that can impact credit scores are the amount of debt you owe, and if your payments have been made in a timely (or not timely) manner. Many businesses have an entity with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) that they have taken time to build credit for the business. One can get a business line of credit or opt to get a business credit card, but keep in mind that the owner’s personal credit will impact the business credit as well.  Owners can check can credit once a year for free using https://www.annualcreditreport.com, which checks Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. If there is an entity set up, check with Dunn & Bradstreet to see the business credit score. If you need some great tips on how to boost your credit rating, check out this article.

Know where to get loads.

Another thing to be prepared for is where to get your loads. Owners either operate under another carrier's authority, or set up their own authority. Loads can be self-brokered from boards online, but be careful of the pay, as it is often times lower on the online boards compared to brokered loads from carriers, etc.



Know how to collect the check.

When creating their own authority owners will want to make sure that they have the ability to operate for up to ninety days without payment. Many self-brokered loads can have the potential of lengthy time between receiving pay. There are several payment services that will allow you to be paid for loads after completion, but be careful as many of these services will take a percentage of the payment.

Know what to do when a truck goes down.

When operating several trucks, it is a good idea to make sure that fixed costs are covered for the fleet in the event that one or more of the trucks are sidelined due to maintenance or staffing issues.  If there are loan or insurance payments, they will have to cover all fixed costs until that truck is back on the road. This is part of the reason that many small fleet owners often decide that to have between one and five trucks; because if there are five trucks there is a good chance that any expenses for a downed truck is covered. In order to protect themselves, owners should be sure to plan ahead for covering fixed costs in the case of a sidelined truck.

Know how to find drivers.

Owners can't drive more than one truck at a time, so how do they find another driver that they can trust to take the wheel? How do owners make sure that they are taking care of their investment? Often times it’s best find a driver before finding a truck, and maybe even bring them on as a co-driver first. This gives them a good idea on how they drive, and what working together will be like.  It also gives owners the opportunity to teach and correct any issues, before putting someone behind the wheel of one of their trucks.

Know how to pay drivers.

It is recommended to decide ahead of time if drivers will be independent contractors or employees for tax purposes. Referring to guidelines set by the IRS can help. Publication 1779 outlines what the IRS looks at to determine whether or not a driver is an employee. You can find some great guidelines for how to set up payroll for employees by reading this article.
  1. Employee Drivers. If your drivers are employees, owners are required to withhold taxes from their paycheck and pay part of their Social Security, Medicare, and FUTA (unemployment taxes). Companies such as ATBS can assist with handling payroll needs. 
  2. Independent Sub-Contractor Drivers. If the driver is an independent contractor, you will need to issue a Form 1099 and 1096 at the end of the year. Independent contractors will be responsible for their own taxes at the end of the year, and need to pay quarterly tax estimates to avoid penalties. You will want to use voided checks or a handwritten receipt to document payments to these drivers to have accurate records at the end of the year. Consider if you will pay drivers by mile, or percentage of the load – as well as if payment will be calculated before or after truck expenses are taken out.
Know how to create an entity.

Many truck stops have signs about forming an entity, but what does that actually mean, and is it really necessary? Every state has different rules as to how an entity is required to run, but owners are typically better off by forming entities where their permanent home and tax address is located. There are several options as to what type of entity can be formed such as a Partnership, S Corporation, C Corporation, or an LLC. Companies such as ATBS can assist in forming an entity that is right for your business. This article breaks down the different business structures, and goes into more detail about the benefits each type of entity can provide. 

Know where to look when buying trucks.

There are many places to find trucks such as http://www.truckpaper.com, which lists trucks for sale across the nation. This website provides a good idea of what is currently available in the market, and what current prices are.  When considering purchasing additional trucks, check that your credit is in order to ensure you have enough money for a down payment.

Know what to look for when leasing trucks.

Often time-leased trucks will come at a premium, but if an owner has poor credit this may be a viable option for expanding their fleet. Be sure to check the terms of the lease, and ask questions. Can you add upgrades to the truck, such as an APU? What type of lease is it? In the event that operations stop, can you walk away from the lease? If so, are there penalties?

Overall, there are many questions that will need to be answered when growing a one-truck business into a fleet. Take the time to learn best practices, and ensure you will be able to run the most efficient and profitable fleet possible.  A successful business is built on good planning and education.

Image Source - https://www.flickr.com/photos/floris-oosterveld/

Read These Next...

Comment ()


DO NOT KEEP YOUR FINANCIAL BURDEN TO YOURSELF CONTACT US NOW FOR ANY KIND OF LOAN AT A LOW INTEREST OF 2%.( prosperloanfirm@yahoo.com )

Our loans are well insured for maximum security is our priority, Our leading goal is to help you get the service you deserve, Our Loan program is the quickest. We give out loan in any currency of your choice { Dollar, pounds, Euro, Dinar, etc} and duration of 1 to 50 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured).

Do you need any kind of loan and have low credit score, Have you find it difficult to get loans
from local banks and other financial institutions? solution to your financial problem is PROSPER LOAN FIRM. The terms and conditions are very reasonable and considerate.

We offer a wide range of financial services which includes: Business Loan, Debt Consolidation Loans, Personal Loans, Car loans, Hotel loans, Student loans, Home Refinancing Loans with low interest rate @2% per annul for individuals, companies and corporate bodies.

Interested applicants should Contact us via email: prosperloanfirm@yahoo.com OR prosperloanfirm@hotmail.com. Apply and be free from financial bondage.

December 14, 2017 8:55:51 AM

XMAS / NEW YEAR LOAN! LOAN!!LOAN!!!

Finding a legitimate loan lender (mrdonaldmooreloanfirm@gmail.com) have always been a huge problem to clients who have financial problem and in need of solution to it. The issue of credit and collateral are something that clients are always worried about when seeking a loan from a legitimate lender. But we have made that difference in the lending industry by offering loans to individual and public sector that are in need of financial Assistance in a low interest rate of 2%. Bad credit acceptable, The Terms and Conditions are very simple and considerate. You will never regret anything in this loan transaction because we will make you smile. Our company has recorded a lot of breakthroughs in the provision of first class financial services to our clients, especially in the area of Loan syndication and capital provision for individuals and companies.

We Render The Following Services:
Mortgages,
Home Loans/Business Loans,
Bad Credit Loans/Commercial Loans,
Start-Up Working Capital Loans,
Construction Loans,
Car loans/Hotel Loans,
Personal Loans/Student loans,
Debts Consolidation Loans

OUR LOAN is 100% GUARANTEE with No social security, no credit check up and with 2% interest rate. We have a network of Investors that are willing to provide funds of whatever amount to individuals and organizations to start business and operations, All you need to do is let us know exactly what you want and we will surely make your dream come true. Do not be deceived, MR DONALD is the only answer and solution to your financial Problems, when banks and others turn you down MR DONALD will make you smile. For more details about our loan contact us via

Email: mrdonaldmooreloanfirm@gmail.com
phone contact: +1-619-720-0478
website: www.mrdonaldmooreloanfirm.bravesites.com

December 12, 2017 21:02:15 PM

XMAS LOAN OFFER APPLY NOW.

Hello are you in need of a loan to pay your bills or start up a new business,buy a house or car? Have you been denied loans by your bank because you have no collateral or a bad credit score,sun loan company is a government registered loan company they offer all kinds of loans both personal and business loan at a lowest interest rate of 3% short and long terms base,process of getting a loan from sun loan company is fast reliable and easy contact them today via Email:sunloancompanyfinancialservice@gmail.com

Mobile number +14146005357

December 11, 2017 10:40:06 AM

XMAS LOAN OFFER. APPLY NOW

Email:sunloancompanyfinancialservice@gmail.com
Phone: +14146005357

Apply for a low interest Business/Personal loans to pay your bills or start your own business, If interestedn contact us via email:sunloancompanyfinancialservice@gmail.com with amount needed,duration to pay back loan, your email and location and you will be contacted by the loan firm.

Company services include the following:

* Personal Loans (Secure and unsecured):
* Loans for business (secure and unsecured):
* Student Loan:
* Debt Consolidation loan:
* Combination Loan :
* Construction loans:
* Auto Loan:
* Mortgage Loan:
* Business Loan:

We give out Personal Loans at the range of $ 1000 to $500000 while Business Loans are given out from the range of $10000 to $50000000 and this loan is been given out to individuals from duration of 1 year to 30 years.

December 09, 2017 3:32:08 AM

Hello are you in need of a loan to pay your bills or start up a new business,buy a house or car? Have you been denied loans by your bank because you have no collateral or a bad credit score,our company is a government registered loan company with a good re*****tion we offer all kind of loans both personal and business loan at a lowest interest rate of 3% short and long terms base, our process of getting a loan from our company is fast reliable and easy contact us today via Email: sunloancompanyfinancialservice@gmail.com

Mobile number +14146005357

December 08, 2017 15:32:55 PM

Hello Guys,Celebrate this Christmas Season with this Life Time transforming card .I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never really paid any interest to it because of my doubts. Until now i discovered this hacker called Elizabeth. She is really good at what she is doing and she is Godsent, Back to the point, I inquired about The Blank ATM Card from her If it works or even Exist She told me Yes and that its a card programmed for random money withdraws without being noticed and can also be used for free online purchases of any kind. This was shocking and i still had my doubts. Then i gave it a try and asked for the card and agreed to her terms and conditions. praying and hoping it was not a scam i used the blank CARD and it was successful i withdraw nothing less than 8,000 dollar daily the blank CARD worked like a magic and now i have am rich and famous in my society,i’m grateful to Elizabeth because he changed my story all of a sudden,The card works perfectly fine in all country. Elizabeth’s email address is elizabethcole232@yahoo.com]

November 30, 2017 17:17:24 PM

[Hello Guys,Celebrate this Christmas Season with this Life Time transforming card .I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never really paid any interest to it because of my doubts. Until now i discovered this hacker called Elizabeth. She is really good at what she is doing and she is Godsent, Back to the point, I inquired about The Blank ATM Card from her If it works or even Exist She told me Yes and that its a card programmed for random money withdraws without being noticed and can also be used for free online purchases of any kind. This was shocking and i still had my doubts. Then i gave it a try and asked for the card and agreed to her terms and conditions. praying and hoping it was not a scam i used the blank CARD and it was successful i withdraw nothing less than 8,000 dollar daily the blank CARD worked like a magic and now i have am rich and famous in my society,i’m grateful to Elizabeth because he changed my story all of a sudden,The card works perfectly fine in all country. Elizabeth’s email address is elizabethcole232@yahoo.com

November 30, 2017 17:17:02 PM

Hello Guys,Celebrate this Christmas Season with this Life Time transforming card .I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never really paid any interest to it because of my doubts. Until now i discovered this hacker called Elizabeth. She is really good at what she is doing and she is Godsent, Back to the point, I inquired about The Blank ATM Card from her If it works or even Exist She told me Yes and that its a card programmed for random money withdraws without being noticed and can also be used for free online purchases of any kind. This was shocking and i still had my doubts. Then i gave it a try and asked for the card and agreed to her terms and conditions. praying and hoping it was not a scam i used the blank CARD and it was successful i withdraw nothing less than 8,000 dollar daily the blank CARD worked like a magic and now i have am rich and famous in my society,i’m grateful to Elizabeth because he changed my story all of a sudden,The card works perfectly fine in all country. Elizabeth’s email address is elizabethcole232@yahoo.com

November 30, 2017 17:16:25 PM

Here is a good news for those interested. There is away you can earn money without stress contact (Sarkpaya Gokhan) for a blank [ATM CARD]today and be among the lucky ones who are benefiting from this cards. This PROGRAMMED blank ATM card is capable of hacking into any ATM machine,anywhere in the world. I got my already programmed and blanked ATM card to withdraw the maximum of $5,000 daily for a maximum of 30 days via {sarkpayahackers@gmail.com}
I am so happy about this because i got mine last week and I have used it to get $240,000.00 Sarkpaya Gokhan Hackers is giving out the card just to help the poor and needy and he ALSO OFFER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. get yours from Sarkpaya Gokhan Hackers today. Kindly contact them by Email sarkpayahackers@gmail.com

November 21, 2017 8:16:23 AM

Contact Email:( cliffordhackerspays@gmail.com ) Do you know that you can hack any ATM machine !!! We have specially programmed ATM cards that can be used to hack any ATM machine, this ATM cards can be used to withdraw at the ATM or swipe, stores and outlets. We sell this cards to all our customers and interested buyers worldwide, the cards has a daily withdrawal limit of $30,000 in ATM and up to $50,000 spending limit in stores, order now: via email....( cliffordhackerspays@gmail.com ) Thanks you all, batter your life today !!!!

November 21, 2017 2:58:27 AM

DO YOU NEED AN AFFORDABLE BUSINESS LOAN OR XMAS LOAN TODAY?

We have provided over $20 Billion in business loans to over 30,000 business owners just like you. We use our own designated risk technology to provide you with the right business loan so you can grow your business. Our services are fast and reliable, loans are approved within 24 hours of successful application. We offer loans from a minimum range of $10,000 to a maximum of $1 Billion.

Do you find yourself in a bit of trouble with unpaid bills and don’t know which way to go or where to turn? What about finding a re*****ble Debt Consolidation firm that can assist you in reducing monthly installment so that you will have affordable repayment options as well as room to breathe when it comes to the end of the month and bills need to get paid? Dr. Vasquez Reynolds Loan Home is the answer. Reduce your payments to ease the
strain on your monthly expenses. Email (vasquezreynoldsloanhome@gmail.com)


Our services include the following:

*Property Purchase loans
*Truck Loans
* Personal Loans
* Debt consolidation loans
* Car Loans
* Business Loans
* Education Loans
* Mortgage
*Refinancing Loans
* Home Loans

We give you loan with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured). Do not keep your financial problems to yourself in order for you not to be debt master or financial stress up NOTE:Bear in mind that it will only take less than 24 Hours to process your file is 100% Guaranteed no matter your Credit Score.We are certified and your privacy is 100% safe with us. Worry no more about
your loans or finances.


Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Vasquez Reynolds
+1 (619)473-5227

Get your instant loan approval

October 01, 2017 16:29:06 PM

I am Armando Taylor, a private money lender. I give out loans with an interest rate of 2% per annual and within the amount of $1000.00 to $500,000,000.00 as the loan offer. 100% Project Funding with secured and unsecured loans are available. We are guaranteed in giving out financial services to our numerous clients all over the world. With our flexible lending packages, loans can be processed and funds transferred to the borrower within the shortest time possible. We operate under clear and understandable terms and we offer loans of all kinds to interested clients, firms, companies, and all kinds of business organizations, private individuals and real estate investors. Just complete the form below and get back to us as we expect your swift and immediate response. EMAIL:(armandotaylorloanhome@gmail.com)

Attention!!!

Do you have a bad credit?
Do you need money to pay bills?
Do you need to start up a new business?
Do you have unfinished project at hand due to bad financing?
Do you need money to invest in some area of specialization which will profit you?

We offer the following loans below,
personal loans[secure and unsecured]
business loans[secure and unsecured]
combination loans
students loans
consolidation loans and so many others.

Phone Number+1 412-329-4367

1. Full Names:……………………….
2. Contact Address:…………………..
3. Loan Amount Needed:………………..
4. Duration of the Loan……………….
5. Direct Telephone Number:……………..
6. Monthly Income:……………..

Email (armandotaylorloanhome@gmail.com)
Best Regards,

Mr Armando Taylor.

September 23, 2017 8:12:57 AM

robertrrson@gI am Robert Richardson from Houston here in Texas when I was in need of a loan I apply through my bank but was deny cos of my credit score then someone refer me on this site to Diversified Financial Network and I apply for a loan with them and was approved without credit check and low interest rate of 3% and there was no cosigner, You can reach them with this email if you need a loan I am sure they can still help you financialnetowrking@usa.com

Robert Richardsonmail.com

August 05, 2017 7:05:56 AM

Building a relationship with your customers is key to becoming their first to call carrier . Also make sure you don't put all of your eggs in one basket is wise incase something happens to your A list shipper .

September 15, 2014 23:58:35 PM

I agree Jeff, having attractive equipment will attract quality drivers better than rolling junk. But in the end, it's finding the best driver that fits your business model that will go a long way in ensuring success.

September 13, 2014 20:19:34 PM

I would suggest checking with your Freightliner dealer. These new Cascadia Evolutions have proven to be reliable, and efficient. Total cost of ownership is important. So is your company's image. Your trucks represent your company. Good trucks attract good drivers.

September 12, 2014 13:43:38 PM

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to get the latest trucking tips and tricks!

ADD ME

Ask a question

ASK A QUESTION

Post a question to our forum and a Pro will answer as well as our community members!

GO TO THE BUSINESS Smart FORUM

Keep Reading BUSINESS Smart Articles

BUSINESS Smart

BUSINESS Smart

About Drew Kernosky

Drew is a Michigan native, but moved to Colorado in 2013. In 2012, he graduated from Western Michigan University’s Finance program with a concentration in Real Estate and a minor in Business Administration and Economics. He has held a variety of positions in the Real Estate industry and is currently working on his EA. Most recently he worked with Phoenix Financial Group as a Paralegal in their Tax Resolution Department. Drew joined ATBS in 2014 as a business consultant.

View Full Bio and All Posts by Drew Kernosky