How Much Does it Cost to Start a Trucking Company?

trucking business

Are you trying to figure out how to start a trucking company? Of the almost two million large trucks on the road in the US, there is a lot of competition.

Trucks carry goods nationwide, meaning your potential customer base is extremely wide. Getting your business off the ground ensures you have the funding to start.

But how much does it cost to start a trucking company? Well, that depends on what you want to achieve. Here is everything you need to know.

Breaking Down the Costs

To start a business, it might cost between $6,000 and $15,000. This covers the registration and formation paperwork, typically between $900 and $1,500. Your costs for IRP (International Registration Plan) plates per truck could range from $500 to $3,000.

A permit and the heavy vehicle use tax may cost each truck between $100 and $600. Additionally, you could need to pay a state-specific tax that would cost, on average, $500 per truck.

Factors to Consider

Starting a trucking company can be an exciting and potentially lucrative venture, but it’s essential to carefully consider the costs involved to ensure a successful launch. Here are some of the factors:

Type and Size of the Trucks Needed

The cost of purchasing or leasing trucks can vary greatly depending on the type and size required. For example, a small company might only need a few straight trucks, costing around $50,000 each.

However, a larger company may need semi-trailers, ranging from $80,000 to $175,000 each. In addition to the initial costs, ongoing expenses include maintenance, insurance, and fuel. It’s essential to carefully plan and budget for these costs to successfully launch and sustain a trucking company.


Insurance is a crucial aspect of the operation of a trucking company as it protects against potential liabilities and damages. The insurance cost for a trucking company can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands per year.

It is essential for trucking companies to carefully consider their insurance needs and budget when starting their operations.

Truck Insurance

Permits and Licenses

One of the major expenses involved in the process is obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. The exact cost of acquiring permits and licenses may vary depending on factors such as:

  • type of freight being hauled
  • size and weight of the vehicles
  • the state in which the company

Generally, the cost can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Researching and understanding the specific requirements and fees for each permit and license is essential. This is to budget for these expenses properly and ensure compliance with regulations.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

These expenses can vary greatly depending on the trucks’ type and condition and the shipments’ volume and distance. A well-maintained truck with a lower mileage may require less frequent and less costly repairs than a heavily used truck.

Budgeting for routine maintenance such as oil changes, tire replacements, and inspections is crucial. This is to ensure the safety and efficiency of the vehicles. Unexpected breakdowns and repairs can be costly.

It should also be considered when calculating the overall cost of starting a trucking company.

Employee Wages

The cost of employee wages for a trucking company can vary depending on the:

  • type of driver hired
  • their experience level
  • any benefits offered

On average, a trucking company can expect to spend anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 per driver per year in wages, including benefits. This can be a significant expense, but it is crucial to invest in skilled and reliable drivers to ensure the success and safety of the company.

Additionally, the cost of employee wages should not be the sole focus. It is crucial also to provide fair and competitive compensation to attract and retain top talent in the industry.

Correctly calculating and budgeting employee wages is essential to a trucking company’s overall financial planning and success.

Administrative Costs

Administrative costs can include expenses such as office space, computers, software, and employee salaries. These costs are essential for running a successful trucking business. They help with tasks such as managing schedules, routing, and payroll.

Administrative costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. It is important to budget and plan these expenses carefully. This is to ensure the efficient operation of the company.

Running the Business

A trucking company must pay expenses to keep the operation running smoothly. These costs can be categorized as either fixed or variable.

Fixed Costs

Expenses like biweekly wages, monthly insurance premiums, and monthly vehicle payments are examples of fixed costs. Renewal fees for licenses or permits are due every year. Budgeting for these expenses is typically easy because these payments are the same every pay period.

Variable Costs

They are outlays that change while your transportation business operates. It covers the price of food, accommodation, maintenance, and repairs. After all, earning money in the trucking business also requires spending money!

Compared to fixed expenses, variable costs are more difficult to predict. You ought to be able to predict your variable costs after a few months in business.

Requirements for Non-CDL

For those starting without a CDL, additional requirements must be met, such as hiring a CDL driver or obtaining a USDOT number. These requirements can add to the cost of starting a trucking company.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that non-CDL drivers can operate commercial vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds and do not require hazardous materials placards.

Hot shot trucking has become more well-liked recently because of its adaptability, speedy turnaround times, and capacity to move smaller items. It’s an excellent option for those without a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and who want to establish their own trucking business. Check out these services for the requirements of non cdl hot shot loads.

Understanding How Much Does It Cost to Start a Trucking Company

In conclusion, it is essential to know how much does it cost to start a trucking company. This can be a costly venture, but with proper planning and budgeting, it is possible to achieve success in this industry. It is essential to consider all expenses, from truck purchasing to licensing and insurance, to ensure financial stability.

With determination and smart decision-making, the profit potential is significant. So why wait? Start your own trucking company today and pave your way to success!

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