Starting a trucking business, as we pointed out in the first part of this series, can be profitable, but like any business, it is not without potential pitfalls. There are always certain risks, and in logistics, there are the additional risks of accidents etc. If however, you set up, complying with all the necessary procedures and choosing the right vehicles, the risks can be greatly minimised.
The 4 cornerstones of starting a trucking business articles should assist you and get you steering a clear path to success. This is primarily about starting a trucking business in South Africa, but many of the principles are applicable anywhere.
The 4 cornerstones.
The essential 4 cornerstones to ensure you lay a solid foundation are:
- 1. Set up – Having a great business plan and covering all the bases
- Funding – Ways to raise start-up and on-going capital
- Compliance – Having the right licenses and permits to operate legally
- The vehicles – Hire or buy? – and what to buy
In this second part, we will cover the last 2 cornerstones.
Firstly it is necessary to register the business. You can get a step by step guide on how you register your business at www.cipc.co.za
Then there are 2 other primary compliance requirements:
Obtaining the right business licences and permits
It would be an excellent idea if, as a Manager or Owner of the business, that you try to get a National Certificate in Professional Driving. This qualification gives you not only driving skills but offers an extensive range of skills appertaining to running the business including Customer relations; financial planning; freight loading; occupational health and safety and many more.
It is advisable to do background checks and hire only qualified professional Drivers. They must have a heavy-duty licence – code 10 to 14. Drivers of the following vehicles must hold a license card, endorsed with an appropriate PrDP:
- Heavy goods vehicle, loaded or empty – (codes C1, C, EC1 and EC)
- Taxi or other vehicle carrying paying passengers (e.g. an ambulance)
- Bus above 3 500 kg GVM – (codes C1, C, EC1 and EC)
- Bus or minibus with seating for more than 12 including the driver
Finally, the driver must be responsible, of sober habits and at least 25yrs old. You also need permits for the type of load he is carrying. Check this with CIPC too.
Choosing the right vehicle is critical. Ask a few important questions:
Does the vehicle accommodate the needs of your cargo? If you are transporting perishable items, for example, you would need to consider a refrigerated compartment.
Is buying or leasing equipment a better option for your new business? We believe that continual leasing means you never build the assets for your own business. Instead, if you can be financed, consider purchasing the vehicle. You can then, in your downtime, lease that vehicle out yourself.
If buying, should you buy new or ‘pre-owned’? Remember that you have this option and you can get good deals on affordable quality demo and low mileage used vehicles from manufacturers like FAW that will serve you and your business well.
Get the right trucks for the job
Remember that FAW trucks offer any trucking business the best possible option if they choose to purchase new or used vehicles.
Contact us or go to our website to find a dealership near you and find out about our incredible range of tried and tested top quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which come standard with competitive warranties, 24hr roadside assistance and are built in South Africa for Africa.
We certainly hope this series on The 4 corner stones of starting a trucking business will give your business a solid foundation and remember as you build it to partner with FAW, who will be with you to help you grow – in this new decade – and beyond!