FreightWaves Ratings cuts through the noise of freight technology product reviews to make you a smarter buyer

How to start a trucking company with no money

Are you struggling with how to start a trucking company with no money? It may seem like a tall order, but with the right strategies and resources, it’s not impossible. This guide will delve into various methods for launching your trucking business on a shoestring budget.

From exploring government grants and loans, to considering truck leasing and partnerships, here are strategies for building a successful trucking business from the ground up — even when the coffers are empty.

Challenges in starting a new trucking company with no money

Aspiring entrepreneurs face significant challenges when investing in trucking businesses without money. There are pathways to establishing a company without a substantial initial investment. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that the trucking industry can be capital-intensive.

One of the primary expenses is the cost of a truck. Drivers considering no money down semi trucks should be aware that a significant portion of the business’s revenue will go toward lease payments. A semi truck loan can mitigate this challenge to some extent, but it still necessitates regular repayments, often with interest.

Fuel costs are another substantial expense that can’t be avoided. Prices fluctuate regularly and can significantly impact the profitability of the company. While this isn’t unique to starting a trucking company with no experience or capital, it can add financial pressure.

Maintenance of the trucks is yet another challenge. Trucks are prone to wear and tear due to heavy use, and repairing them can be expensive. This issue can be more severe if you’re dealing with used equipment.

Insurance is another considerable expense. Accidents happen, and without appropriate coverage, the costs can be financially devastating. Furthermore, operating without insurance isn’t an option as it’s typically a legal requirement.

Lastly, getting a trucking business off the ground involves dealing with various trucking issues, such as obtaining necessary permits and adhering to regulations, finding reliable drivers, and securing consistent contracts. These trucking industry problems can be intimidating, especially when operating on a shoestring budget.

Benefits and opportunities in the trucking industry

Despite these challenges, many are drawn to start a trucking business because of the numerous benefits of truck driving and operating a trucking company. Firstly, the trucking industry is a pillar of the economy; the demand for freight services is consistent and isn’t going away any time soon.

Many find the life of a truck driver to be fulfilling. The open road, different daily routines, and the ability to explore various regions can be quite appealing. As a business owner, you also have the freedom and flexibility to set your own schedules and routes.

The trucking industry also offers opportunities for significant financial growth. Once your business is established and you have consistent contracts, the revenue can be substantial. The opportunity to expand, hiring more drivers and acquiring more trucks, can lead to even greater profits.

Moreover, there are many advantages from an employment perspective. Providing jobs in the community can be personally rewarding, and drivers often enjoy competitive salaries, flexible schedules, and the opportunity to travel as part of their work.

Overall, while starting a trucking company with no money presents its unique set of challenges, it also offers significant benefits and opportunities that make the effort worthwhile.

Key strategies for starting a trucking company with no money

Starting a trucking company from scratch with limited capital might seem impossible, but with the right strategies, it can be achieved. Here are some key strategies:

Truck leasing

One viable option is truck leasing, especially from zero down lease purchase trucking companies. The basic idea is to lease a truck from a company without having to make a down payment. These box truck leasing for start up business options often come with maintenance packages, and can allow you to start your operations without the heavy initial cost of buying a truck.

However, while leasing a truck requires less capital upfront, it may not be the most cost-effective choice in the long run as you won’t own the vehicle at the end of the lease. Also, some leases come with restrictions on mileage and wear and tear, so be sure to read the terms carefully.

Government grants

Applying for grants to start a trucking company is another key strategy. Numerous government grants for trucking businesses exist, which can provide the necessary funds to launch your business. These grants are beneficial because unlike loans, they don’t need to be paid back.

Start by researching your local, state, and federal government websites for available grants. Be prepared to meet certain criteria and submit a detailed business plan. The process can be competitive and time-consuming but can provide crucial support for your new venture.


Partnerships can play a critical role in the early stages of your trucking company. Look for companies or individuals that complement your business and can provide resources that you lack. This could involve finding a business partner with capital to invest. It may also entail building relationships with businesses that need shipping services but don’t have an in-house logistics division.

Remember, successful partnerships are built on mutual benefit and trust. It’s crucial to find a partner that shares your business vision and ethics.

Private investors or venture capital

Attracting private investors or venture capital can be a game-changer. To convince them to invest in your business, you’ll need a compelling business plan that showcases the potential profitability of your trucking company. These investors will often want equity in your company, meaning they will own a percentage of your business.

This can provide the necessary funds to start your company, but also means that you will share your profits with them. Also, investors may want a say in how the business is run, so consider this carefully before taking on investment.


Subcontracting in the trucking industry involves working under a primary contractor. This method allows you to operate without needing to secure your own contracts, as the primary contractor will provide you with work.

While this can simplify operations and ensure a steady flow of work, it often comes with lower profits. The primary contractor will take a cut. Additionally, you may have less control over your operations, as decisions like pricing and scheduling may be determined by contractors.


Securing loans for trucking companies is another way to finance your business. Many financial institutions offer startup trucking business loans with no credit or bad credit, providing an option even for those with less-than-perfect credit histories.

The process typically involves providing a business plan, undergoing a credit check, and potentially providing collateral. While this can provide the necessary funds to start, remember that loans need to be paid back with interest, and failing to do so can have serious financial consequences.

Each of these strategies can open doors to your dream of owning a trucking company. Each option has its advantages and drawbacks. It’s important to do thorough research and consider all factors before deciding the best route for your business.

How much does the owner of a small trucking company make?

The income of the owner of a small trucking company can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as:

  1. Size of the fleet: A larger fleet generally means more revenue potential, but also higher operating costs.
  2. Type of operations: The revenue and profitability can differ based on whether the company focuses on long-haul, regional, or local deliveries, as well as the types of goods being transported.
  3. Operational efficiency: Factors like fuel costs, maintenance expenses, driver retention, and route optimization can greatly affect profitability.
  4. Market conditions: Supply and demand, freight rates, and competition in the operating region can impact earnings.

That said, here are some general estimates for the potential income of a small trucking company owner:

  • For an owner-operator running a single truck, the average annual revenue can range from $40,000 to $80,000, with profits typically between $15,000 and $30,000 after expenses.
  • For a small fleet of 5-10 trucks, the owner’s income can range from $50,000 to $150,000 or more per year, depending on the factors mentioned above.
  • For a slightly larger fleet of 10-20 trucks, successful owners can potentially earn $100,000 to $300,000 or more annually.

It’s important to note that these are rough estimates, and the income can fluctuate substantially based on the specific circumstances and management practices of the trucking company.

Now you know how to start a trucking company with no money…

So now you know all the steps for starting a trucking company. The burden of securing start up trucking loans doesn’t need to be an obstacle to owning a trucking business. In fact, a new truck driving business is well within the realm of possibility if you follow the tips outlined above.


Can I get a PPP loan to start a trucking business?

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to provide relief for existing small businesses impacted by the pandemic, so it’s generally not available for starting new businesses, including a trucking company.

How hard is it to own a trucking company?

Owning a trucking company can be challenging due to costs associated with equipment, maintenance, fuel, insurance, and compliance with various regulations, as well as the need to secure consistent contracts and manage staff.

Is it possible to start a trucking company with no money?

Yes, it is possible to start a trucking company with no money, although it is challenging. You’d need to leverage options such as zero-down truck leases, government grants, partnerships, investor funding, or specific loans targeted to those starting with minimal capital.

We are excited to announce the launch of, a revolutionary resource designed to transform how consumers choose auto-shipping companies. Check it out today!

TAFS is More than Freight Factoring

As one of the industry leaders, TAFS assists trucking companies to increase cash flow with some of the lowest factoring rates in the industry and a 1-hour advance option.