CAREER Smart

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I am writing this blog on the day after the Fourth of July which is the day we celebrate our country's independence here in the United States of America. Freedom is something that is easy to take for granted especially if you were born in a society where you are free. 

People use freedom in many different ways. Freedom means you can reach for the stars or stop right where you are. Freedom takes away limits as to how successful a person can be. Freedom allows a person to educate themselves. Freedom offers limitless opportunity which is only limited to your own ambition and imagination. 

This brings me to the subject of being an independent owner-operator in the trucking industry. There are not many industries that come to mind which have as many opportunities to let your entrepreneurial spirits loose. 

If you want to call your own shots in every way the barriers to entry are low as all that is needed is a truck, insurance, and operating authority as the basic foundation to build your business. From that point forward you can choose what kind of freight to transport i.e. flatbed, dry van, refrigerated van, oversized, power only, straight truck, and the list goes on and on from here. 

You can pursue having your own customers direct or you can use the services of a freight broker to find your sources of revenue-generating freight. It's pretty simple! If you do not like freight brokers and their practices you have the freedom to procure your own customers. 

You can choose what area or areas your business will serve or not serve. If you only want to serve the Mid Western states that is your choice. If you do not want to go to the Northeast, New York City, or California it’s your prerogative! 

Let’s go into many more of the decisions you can make as your own boss under your own operating authority.

  • You have the right to park your truck until a rate you demand is met. 
  • You can speak your mind freely and tell a shipper or receiver a piece of your mind if they make you mad. You can feel free to cuss them out if you feel like it. 
  • You can choose whatever truck and trailer you want. You can have as an efficient or inefficient a drive-train as you choose.
  • You can adorn your truck or trailer with whatever message you desire.

I think you are getting the point so lets close with what happens when you exercise your freedoms to go about it freely without regard for others.       

1 - If you want to call your own shots in every way the barriers to entry are low as all that is needed is a truck, insurance, and operating authority as the basic foundation to build your business. From that point forward you can choose what kind of freight to transport i.e. flatbed, dry van, refrigerated van, oversized, power only, straight truck, and the list goes on and on from here. 

EFFECT - If you choose the wrong freight to transport profitably you can be stuck with equipment that is worthless in the market place and not enough revenue-generating business to keep you afloat. 

2 - You can pursue having your own customers direct or you can use the services of a freight broker to find your sources of revenue-generating freight. Its pretty simple! If you do not like freight brokers and their practices you have the freedom to procure your own customers.

EFFECT - Finding your own customers is hard work with the potential of being very rewarding. Using brokers or the many load boards frees up time that can be used for actually transporting shipments. 

3 - You can choose what area or areas your business will serve or not serve. If you only want to serve the Mid Western states that is your choice. If you do not want to go to the Northeast, New York City, or California it’s your prerogative! 

EFFECT - You can stay out of areas you are not comfortable serving or you can also limit your self by being to narrow in the area you decide to serve.

4 - You have the right to park your truck till a rate you demand is met.  

EFFECT - You can go broke sitting there as fixed cost eat you alive. 

5 - You can speak your mind freely and tell a shipper or receiver a piece of your mind if they make you mad. You can feel free to cuss them out if you feel like it. 

EFFECT - You can alienate all of your customers till it gets to the point where you do not have any customers.

6 - You can choose whatever truck and trailer you want. You can have as an efficient or inefficient a drive-train as you choose. 

EFFECT - Your business can be competitive or uncompetitive in the market place.

7 - You can adorn your truck or trailer with whatever message you desire.

EFFECT - The message can set the tone for whether you leave a positive or negative thought with the customers served.

The point here is it is completely up to you and how your business is set up and run that dictates your chances for success. Freedom sure is a beautiful thing.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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