There are two types of professional truck drivers out on the road: company drivers and owner operator truck drivers.
Company drivers are employees of a trucking company and usually have set schedules and routes. Owner operators are self-employed and may have more flexibility in their schedules. Both types of drivers need to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and both types haul freight using tractor trailers.
Independent truck drivers, or owner operators, are self-employed. They contract with a motor carrier to haul freight but use their own truck. Because they’re self-employed, they can choose their own routes and set their own schedules (within the limits of federal hours of service regulations).
What are the benefits of being an owner-operator?
The main benefit of being an owner-operator is the ability to be your own and choose your own routes and loads. This comes handy especially once more of the experience comes into play. .
Thinking to become an owner-operator?
It’s an important step in any career and needs to be researched throughly.
Being your own boss has a lot of perks, but it also comes with its challenges. It’s not for everyone. But if you’ve done your research and decided that being an owner operator is the right move for you, then the following tips will help get you started on the right path.
1) Decide which type of business structure you will operate under
2) Get your DOT number and authority or find company like Maven Logistics with respectable authority to lease to
3) Find a good truck
4) Purchase truck insurance
5) Obtain Bob-Tail Insurance
Operating your own truck can be a rewarding experience, both personally and financially. But it’s not without its challenges. You need to be prepared for the ups and downs that come with being your own boss. If you do your research and plan ahead, you can be successful as an owner operator.
Main difference between running under your own authority & leasing onto the carrier?
1. Getting Your Own Authority
Operating under your own authority, you are considered an independent contractor. You are responsible for obtaining your own DOT number and authority from the FMCSA. Once you have your DOT and MC number, you can begin hauling loads as an owner-operator.
After you obtain new DOT & MC, first 3-6 months are the toughest to obtain decent paying loads, due to major brokers working only with established carriers.
2. Leasing Onto the Carrier
Leasing onto a carrier’s authority means that you are working as an employee of that carrier. The carrier will provide you with the necessary DOT and MC numbers. You will use their insurance and will be paid a percentage of the load rate.
Sometimes carriers also offer other perks of being a larger carrier such as:
- Fuel Card Discounts
- Discounted IRP & 2290 Plate service
- IFTA Tax accounted and paid by carrier
- All permits and ELD provided
- Trailer Rentals
- And many other things that ease complication of being an owner operator
Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research to see which one is right for you.