As an owner operator you are now also an independent business owner. As simple and impressive as this sounds, you now have a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many different areas of responsibility that come with being in business for yourself. I will discuss two of the responsibilities that I think are most important to your success from a more hands on perspective than a general business view point.
One thing we know for sure is that trucks break down. What we don’t know is when, where, or to what extent. There are some things we can control and some we cannot. With proper procedures and policies we can, to some extent, minimize the number and severity of these break downs. There is no doubt that along with good sound management, we need some “luck”.
One of the most important procedures in the owner operator scenario is the pre-trip inspection. If you don’t open the hood, check fluid levels, look for leaks, check belts and hoses, check tires, brakes, suspension parts, steering parts, drain your air tanks, check gauges and generally inspect your truck, you are missing one of the most important steps in being an owner operator. If you do not take the time to look over your truck you could very easily end up with repairs that are far more costly than they should be. Being proactive, in respect to the condition of your truck, is a must if you truly want to succeed. This inspection is also about safety, you need to make sure your truck is always in compliance with DOT regulations.
Just as important as preventative maintenance is scheduled maintenance. Changing filters and fluids at, or before, the manufactures recommended mileage or time frame may be your single best deterrent to expensive repairs. Along with the manufactures recommendations, you need to consider the driving conditions you are experiencing. If you are in extreme heat, dust, lugging, or climbing you may want to change oil, filters, etc. more frequently.
These are just two areas of importance in the life of an owner operator. Hopefully if you address the preventative and scheduled maintenance issues, you can not only minimize the number and cost of repairs, but stay running. Many times the downtime for repairs can cost you more than the repairs. I hope this will reinforce what you already know, and help you to run longer and safer.
Lone Mountain Truck Leasing