So, you’ve decided you want to become a truck driver. Whether you’re going to be driving for your own business or someone else’s, the steps to getting your heavy vehicle license are the same. It can seem confusing, but when you break it down it’s not as overwhelming.
Here’s our basic guide to getting licensed to drive heavy vehicles. For specifics, please check with your relevant state or territory’s transport and main roads department.
You need to have, at minimum, your car license for two years before you can get a HR (Heavy Rigid) license. A truck falls into another class of vehicle and hence has a higher class of licence. If you need a HC (Heavy Combination) or MC (Multi Combination) license, you need to hold your HR license for a year at minimum to successfully complete.
Find a registered driving school
There are many accredited heavy vehicle training courses around the country, so you don’t need to join the first one you find. Be sure to register with a school you’re comfortable with, as you need to be confident behind the wheel of such a large vehicle. Your school will also provide driving instructors and materials for the theory test you’ll have to take before going on your practical test when you apply for your truck license. Study these, as they are very important for both tests.
Apply for your new truck license
Once you’re signed off from your driving school, you need to visit one of the roads and transport departments in your state to apply for your license. You’ll prove your identity, then have your eyesight tested. You’ll also undergo a theoretical knowledge test – so be sure that you’ve studied.There’s no way to get around this next part; it’s expensive to have the required truck and instructor you need for your practical assessment. In every state and territory bar NSW, your driving school instructor, if accredited to do so, can take you for your practical assessment and assess you.
Once you’ve passed your practical test, you have to go back to the transport authority. You’ll pay the fee and have your picture taken for your new license, like when you got your car license. You’ll usually get a piece of paper certifying you’re licensed, to use as proof until your printed license is posted out to you.
Get insured and get driving
Now that you’ve passed and received your new truck license, you need to consider what’s next. Once you’ve gotten your insurance sorted, it’s time to start applying with trucking and transport companies, or start your own! For any financial advice you might need when it comes to purchasing your new truck, we’re here to help. Our brokers here at Asset Finance Shop are specialists in truck finance, and we’ll help get you into the truck you’ve been wanting. Talk to us today to find out more.
Trucking can be a very lucrative occupation, but don’t let the lure of money fool you into thinking it will be easy to start your own business. There are many things to consider and steps to take before you begin your new trucking operation.
Here’s a basic guide to starting your own trucking business.
Each state has its own rules on the licensing and permits you need to start driving commercial trucks for a living. Your local department of transport can help you apply for the correct qualifications so that you start on the right foot.
Register for an ABN or ACN
All businesses in Australia need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN). You need to decide if you’ll be registering as a sole trader or a company so that you apply for the correct registration.
Decide on the right truck for your business
You need to ensure your truck is the right size and has the correct capabilities for the type of trucking business you’re starting. Then you need to decide whether you’re purchasing outright or if you’re going to talk to a finance broker about truck finance. There are different ways you can go about it, such as asset finance or low doc loans. Leasing, hiring and buying options can get confusing, and a broker will get you the best deal for your needs.
Get the correct insurance
It’s crucial that you keep your business protected in case things go wrong. Covering yourself, your truck, your business, your cargo, any other drivers, and the general public needs to be done before you start driving. An insurance broker will advise you on the types of insurance you’ll need for your circumstances so that you’re adequately covered.
It’s time to hit the road
Once you’ve done these steps, you’re ready to start trucking. Having your logo on your truck is great advertising, but you should also develop a marketing strategy to get your name out there. Then, as your business grows, you can start to recruit other drivers to help you manage the workload. To ensure you get your trucking business off to the best start, get expert advice when necessary so that you’ve got everything covered. The team here at (insert business) will guide you through applying for truck finance once you’ve found your new heavy vehicle, so be sure to call us! Good luck with your new trucking business!
There is a range of options when looking at truck and heavy vehicle finance, and navigating the different loan terms and conditions can be challenging for even the most financially-savvy individuals. That’s why it’s advisable to use a truck finance broker when making such a large purchase.
Want to know more about why you should use a truck finance broker? Here are three reasons why.
What does a truck finance broker do?
First off, you should understand what a finance broker does. A broker searches for finance and applies for it on your behalf. They take into account your financial situation, including your cash flow, to find the best finance option for your business. A good broker will guide you through the whole process, including after the finance has been approved.
They deal with the complicated side of financing
It’s not as simple as finding a loan, applying for it, and being approved. A finance broker understands how to navigate and negotiate with different financial institutions and lenders, which most people haven’t done before. They know what information lenders want to see in finance applications, and how to negotiate better loan conditions that are more suitable for you. You could apply for a loan yourself and be denied, but engaging a broker significantly improves your chances of being approved for that same loan.
They specialise in truck finance
Like you have mortgage (or home loan) brokers, there are brokers that specifically deal in financing for trucks and other heavy vehicles. Part of their job is to stay up-to-date on changes in the truck finance area so that they can always offer the best deal and negotiate certain terms and conditions. They’ve often got industry contacts as well, which opens up more financing options for you. They know all the specific industry tips and information, which you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
They’re often available after hours
Unlike with a bank manager, you’re likely to have a lot more access to your finance broker. They’ll often give you both their office and mobile number, and answer your calls outside of normal business hours. This means you don’t have to wait until Monday morning if you want financing advice, which is useful when you’re looking at trucks on a Saturday.
Finding the right truck finance broker will make things simpler
When you build a long term relationship with a broker, they’ll get to know and understand your business in a much more comprehensive way. The more they know, the better they can customise finance to suit your needs at any given time. If you’re looking for advice on truck and heavy vehicle finance, get in touch with our team today. One of our expert brokers will help you and your business with any of your truck finance requirements, providing personalised advice and giving you the best chance of approval. We work with a large network of lenders, allowing us to get special deals and interest rates you won’t get elsewhere.
When you’re looking for a new truck for your business, you might not have the cash required to purchase a vehicle outright. This is understandable since trucks can cost tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars. Not many business owners (large or small) can afford that sort of upfront expense, which is why truck finance is a viable option for securing a new vehicle.
As with other types of business loans, the lender will have criteria and requirements to check against before they approve your application for financing. Here are the main factors that lenders will consider before financing commercial trucks.
How long you’ve been in business
While this isn’t as important to every lender as it used to be, they will all look to ensure you have an active ABN at the very least. The longer your business has been operating the better, as this will help your application appeal to more lenders.
Your credit rating and history
Your credit history affects your credit score, which in turn has a hand in the interest rates and monthly repayments you’ll be offered for your finance. Of course, a good credit score will help your approval chances, as will your credit history if it shows regular monthly payments with none missed. Bad credit doesn’t immediately disqualify you from finance, either. It just means you will have less choice of lenders and may need a larger deposit or to pay a higher interest rate.
Your business’s cash flow, finances and assets
Lenders look at your business’s cash reserves, cash flow, assets and other financials to determine whether your business is too risky to lend to. As one example, you’ll be asked to produce profit and loss statements to prove your income. There are some types of loans, however, such as low doc loans, that you can apply for if you don’t have this sort of documentation. There are financing options available for almost every situation.
The age of the truck you want financing for
Unlike when applying for a car loan, the age of the car matters in truck finance. Almost every lender will decline an application for commercial truck financing for a vehicle that is more than 5 years old. The truck is the asset used as collateral against the loan, so it needs to be worth enough of the loan’s value. The type of truck also affects the chance of obtaining finance, such as whether you’re applying for a semi-truck, a flatbed truck or another type.
If you’re an owner-operator
Owner-operators are sometimes viewed as risky to lend to because if they can’t work for any reason, it means they’re much less likely to meet their payment obligations for the loan. It’s not impossible to find a lender to approve your financing if you’re an owner-operator, but it can take time.
We know what commercial truck loan lenders are looking for
Here at Asset Finance Shop, our expert brokers specialise in truck finance. We’ll liaise with the variety of lenders in our network to find the right loan or lease solution for you, and help you prepare your commercial truck finance application for the best chance of success. The friendly broker assisting you through the financing process will discuss loan terms and other important details so that you fully understand your new truck finance agreement. Get in touch with us today for your commercial truck financing needs. We also handle equipment financing for added convenience.