Did you know that there are over 350,000 owner-operators in the United States? If you have been a truck driver who has always driven for other companies, but are thinking about stepping out on your own, there are some expense you'll need to be aware of. Here are three major expenses for owner-operators.
The first piece of equipment you'll need to become an owner-operator is your own semi truck. In order to find a semi you can afford, you'll need to be aware that the cost can vary widely depending on certain factors. Some of the factors that determine how much a semi truck costs include:
- Make and model
A brand new semi truck can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000. That's a lot of money for someone who is just starting out as an owner-operator. Since you'll want to minimize your expenses, it might be a more affordable option to look at used semi trucks for sale. You might be able to find a used semi for as little as $15,000.
Considered the largest operating expense for owner-operators, diesel fuel makes up about 39% of the total operating costs. It's not uncommon for a semi truck to consume more than $70,000 worth of diesel fuel in just one year. Of course this number is going to vary, depending on the retail price of diesel fuel. This can be hard to predict as this number is largely driven by the following factors:
- Cost of crude oil
- Refining costs
- Distribution and marketing costs of oil
Another reason fuel is such a huge expense for owner-operators, is because a heavy duty semi truck only gets between 4 to 8 miles per gallon. The price of diesel fuel depends on where you live and can range from $2.34 to 2.84 per gallon.
Maintenance and Repairs
While it's great to have your own big rig, another major expense is maintaining it. The cost of repairs and maintenance can total up to $15,000 in any given year. Some of the most common parts on a truck that need routine maintenance and repair include:
Besides these three major expenses, owner-operators will also have to pay for truck insurance, tires, permits, and licenses. For most truck drivers, coffee is also an added expense. While it seems to be an expensive business, owner-operators enjoy independence, flexibility, and the opportunity to travel the country. For more information, contact companies like Arrow Truck Sales.