Record Your Travels as a Trucker

Value of money

Independent Trucker or Owner-Operator

Being an owner-operator has its perks and hurts. One of the perks is independence; not having to answer to fleet management about every decision. It’s also a hurt because I must do all the paperwork on my own. That used to be a real burden. Do you know how many different state laws there are that could make your truck overweight without the proper permit?

There’s also the required International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), which is a cooperation of 48 of the United States and ten Canadian provinces that demands a carrier (which is what you are as an owner-operator) who participates in interstate commerce, either passenger or cargo transport to report the amount of gas used in their state or province.

As an independent operator, there is lots of paperwork, besides your electronic log, that needs to get done. One way to save time is to outsource some of those requirements. Many owner-operators find it convenient to have help with trucking authority to ensure they have the permits they need for every state they will pass through, especially when additional weight is required.

Not having the right paperwork at a roadside inspection can delay your movement and, in many cases, earn you a ticket and Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) severity points. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses CSA severity points as a prediction indicator to measure the risk of future accidents based on the driver’s safety record.

Those CSA points can get multiplied by a time weight standard of three when a driver or carrier has similar points in that category during the last six months, by two from six months to a one year, and face value up to two years for the carrier and three for the driver to figure a percentile. Those points get dropped from the record after two or three years.

When a carrier or driver has a percentile of 75, it can lead to interventions by the FMCSA, which could be an inspection at fleet headquarters or more frequent roadside inspection for the vehicles with the DOT number of the carrier.

Personal Time on the Road

Recording your blog about travel and some of the places you eat or stay on a voice-activated recorder can help you when you get the personal time to write your blog. Reviewing restaurants and hotel/motels is an excellent way to get people to read your blog.

When they search online for an eatery or lodging, your review might pop up with a link to your blog. A link is your URL; an URL is like your address on the World Wide Web. You could also write about places you visit along the trip, like the Grand Canyon, Vegas, Bodie (a gold miner’s ghost town in Mono County, CA), and many others.

My Travel Blog

Many do not realize how profitable blogging as a business can be. The reason most don’t is that they don’t have the patience for it. It is not easy to get started. Well, it might be easy to start, but not easy to be profitable. Blogs require an audience to become financially beneficial. The best method to get people to your site is through search engine optimization (SEO).

Optimizing your site is not easy, but you can find many articles online that will give you the basic idea. One of the most important aspects of SEO is optimizing your site with keywords or keyword phrases. A good place to start is with the Google Keyword Planner. Although it is written to get customers to use pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you can use the same scheme by using low competition keyword phrases within your text to get traffic to your blog.

Many bloggers start with a free content management system (CMS) like blogger.com or WordPress.com. Although the platform is free, you will need to buy your domain name and pay for hosting. Many hosting services will give you the domain name free for the first year, and then you will have to pay for subsequent years.

Once you decide on an area that your blog will be about, it is usually easy to pick a name unless someone already owns the name you want to use. Keep the name simple so that people will remember it. When you add special characters or numbers, it makes it more difficult to remember. If someone already owns the name you want, you must choose another or try to get a different extension, like .info or .biz, but a .com address is easier to remember.

You can discover other ways to make money as a blogger online. Affiliate marketing is one method. You add a banner ad for a company who agrees to give you a commission for everyone who signs up for their product or service from your link. Another is e-commerce. Many drivers advertise products on their blog that assist drivers like dash cams, driving gloves, hats, insulated travel mugs for coffee, etc. Using Amazon dropshipping is a convenient method of selling products without having to buy inventory or worry about shipping. You advertise the product on your blog when someone clicks on the product ad they get taken to Amazon. If they order the product and any other things they buy while there, you get a commission.

Some drivers are making a little extra money with their travel blog, while others that have been at it awhile are making a lot. It’s easy to do if you have a knack for sharing your thoughts with others.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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