If you’re looking to make a living as an independent operator in the transportation industry, there are a few things about the business you just need to know. One of them, perhaps the most important one, is how to find work. There’s no one right answer for that, but that’s not a problem if you are decisive about the niche you want to work in. The key is locating the right load finder for the niche. There are typically a couple choices in each specialization, but they don’t always offer comparable opportunities. Because it can be hard to predict which will be the busiest, many owner operators subscribe to as many as they can find at the start and then winnow down their focus to the ones that give them the most work.

Finding Steadily Busy Industries

Not all independent operators can afford to stick to just one industry, but most of them at least pick a couple of related niches to keep things simple in terms of equipment and cargo handling knowledge. If you want to keep things simple, the key is finding an industry with constant demand. Grain and related niches in agriculture wind up being just the choice for many drivers who want to work year-round because when the season is wrong for transporting bulk grain from harvest to storage, it’s right for transporting loads from storage to the customers using it as raw materials for food manufacturing as well as feed for livestock.

Building a Circuit

There are a lot of grain routes in the country, not one huge market. That means with a little planning and a focus on building up a relationship with repeat customers, you can easily plot a route that leaves you with short hops from job to job, allowing you to work your way out from home and back without losing a lot of money to extra fuel expenses. This efficiency is another key factor in getting your career launched, because it increases your earnings while lowering empty travel time and the related fuel expenses that go with it.