Know Your Niche: A Guide for New Drivers


One of the biggest challenges you’re going to have as a newly independent truck driver is staying busy. It’s not that it’s hard to find jobs. On the contrary, the need for overland transportation is strong across almost every industry, but it’s not always consistent year-round. Some business gets busier periodically, and some industries are busiest in certain regions. That means you need to know where to go for your next gig and how to set yourself up for success. The key to that is finding a niche and outfitting your truck and trailer to work well within it. If your niche is seasonal, you can expand your range by finding other industries that use the same equipment you’ve already got, or you can save and invest in alternative trailers and other options that give you the chance to take new work.

Scheduling Your Jobs

If you do set yourself up with multiple trailer types so you can cover a wide range of customer needs, you’ve got to remember that going home to pick up a new trailer when you have to change your gear can be expensive. There are a couple of options to get around that. If the opportunity is really good, you might be able to find someone to rent you a trailer for the job, saving you an expensive trip home. The other alternative is to fire up the load finder you use whenever you need work and your regulars aren’t sending you any calls, so you can find something that will pay you to drive back toward home. That way, you’ll be able to make the swap and get set up for your next client. If you plan it right, you can probably even take a load from somewhere near home to somewhere near the job that sent you back for a trailer swap.

More Tools of the Trade

There are a lot of road tools that are a good idea to have under all circumstances, but there’s probably also a special kit with extras you need that you’ll wind up developing for individual trailers and cargo types. It’s a good idea to carry as much of your road kit as possible if there’s a solid chance you’ll be renting a trailer to shift gears into a new niche. On the other hand, if you plan well and make a return trip for your own trailer, you can afford to travel with a leaner set of gear. The choice is yours, and there are advantages to both modes for drivers with wide-ranging experience.

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