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Q: What are my chances of being successful in a new trucking business?

A: We can comment on small businesses in general. Most small businesses are a success.  According to the Small Business Administration, 80% of businesses started in 2014 were still in business over one year later, which was the highest success rate since 2005.  About half of all new businesses are in business five years later.  A third of all new businesses will still be up and running 10 years later.  The smaller ones, i.e. one to five employees often have a higher success rate.

Your small business can help you replace the good paying job lost in the recession and is a path toward an independent middle class life style. With the current unemployment rate low, many of the newer jobs added have come with a low salary. The higher paying jobs now available usually require certain levels of technical knowledge. With the outlook for continued improvement in the economy, now may be an opportune time for those familiar with the trucking industry such as company drivers to start their own small trucking business.    

Q: I’m a self- employed owner-operator who is married with three children. I can’t sleep at night because I worry about what will happen to my family if something happens to me?

A: You are the sole support of your family, and therefore have a huge responsibility to protect them.  .

 Q: What can I do?

A: Become aware of your potential health risks. The higher risks to truckers are as follows:

  • Sleep Deprivation – The more you drive, the more money you make. It’s a simple temptation;        sleep less and make more money. Don’t. It’s not worth it.  Lack of sleep can lead to memory loss    and higher blood pressure. Thus, you’re more tired, which can lead to accidents, endangering        yourself and others. You are putting your career at risk.
  • Obesity – You sit in the truck for long periods of time. You eat a quick lunch, which probably means a stop for unhealthy fast food. You’re dead tired after a grueling day, so you’re in no mood to exercise. Consequently, you put on more weight. Becoming overweight can add to increased health risks. Create some kind of nutritional plan to eat healthier and incorporate an exercise program to keep the pounds off. If you don’t, it could lead to higher health risks.
  • Heart Attacks – Learn the signs of a heart attacks and call 911 if you think you are experiencing one.
  • Strokes – Be aware of the signs of a stroke. Remember the acronym for “FAST “. F for a droopy face. A for arms. If you raise them, does one drift downward? S for speech. Is yours impaired? T for time. If any systems occur, time is of the essence.  Call 911.

Q: How can I protect my family?

A: Our suggestion is to find an insurance agent to help guide you through insurance products that are available. You will need disability insurance, enough to replace the annual income you earn as a self-employed owner-operator. If you become disabled, your family’s living expenses will continue.  Make sure your health insurance will cover potential major medical bills. A term life insurance policy may make sense.