There are definitely some perks and benefits to being an owner operator. But you won’t enjoy them unless you know what you are getting into and how to play the game. Are you going to get your own authority or lease on to a carrier? If you don’t know the answer, that’s cool. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are definitely not ready! lol. (But you’re at the right place to learn.)
As you read on, you will discover the difference, plus other terminology and various scenarios to consider for becoming an owner operator, lease operator, independent contractor or for buying a truck. The term Owner Operator is used loosely. You will see what I mean below.
Being an Owner operator is not a job, it’s a business. So it requires certain skills and a certain mindset. I recommend driving company for a year before becoming an owner operator, you will learn why below.
What is Required to Be an O/O
[embedded content] Right mindset – About the equipment and operating the business A plan – Goals and steps to achieve them Discipline – You need to do what is required when it’s required Proper Equipment – Based on what you plan on hauling and goals Capital – A business term that means money to operate
I explain these things in more detail later. If they mean nothing to you read this entire page.
Owner Operators Benefits Paid more in less time More control over the loads you accept* Can work when you want to* Can write off more expenses Can take who you want on the truck with you *
The asterisks means there are a lot of variances depending on how you choose to operate. If you are leasing on to a company some let you choose from a load board. Some offer you 3 loads and you choose 1. Some companies you actually are expected to take the load they give you.
As far as working when you want to again it depends on that companies policy or how hard you need to run to handle fixed expenses like the truck payment and insurance. Some have to run 2 weeks to cover those costs some can run 1.
Who can ride on the truck again depends on which route you take to become an owner operator and what outfit you partner with.
Owner Operators Need a Driver ?
Becoming an owner operator is not all glory. There are things that you should consider before becoming an independent contractor. It takes a higher level of responsibility, attention to detail and good business aptitude.
Many people that fail as an O/O, do so either because they are leased on to or do business with poor quality companies, lack vision, or don’t see their operation as a legitimate business. Trucking as an Owner Operator is a real business.
Also, becoming an owner operator doesn’t mean all of a sudden it’s your world, you call all the shots and no one else matters. You still need to have a positive attitude and realize that everyone is part of a team to get the job done if you want to make money.
If customers can’t get their freight on time and experience good services, they will choose another carrier. Some drivers contribute to the carriers poor reputation then complain