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Company Driver vs. Owner Operator: Pros and Cons

Choosing between a career as a company driver or an owner operator is an important decision that every truck driver has to make. Although their daily tasks are relatively the same, there are major differences behind the scenes that you need to be aware of. Such as, do you need more time at home? How’s your current financial situation?

Therefore, you wouldn’t want to make this huge decision without evaluating the pros and cons first. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the true meaning of a company driver and an owner operator. Let’s begin.

Company Driver: Pros and Cons

The following are the pros and cons of becoming a company driver.

Pros

  • No Startup Costs

When you’re a company driver you have no startup costs since it isn’t your trucking business. Therefore, once the job is over you’re able to head home and relax.

  • No Maintenance Costs

Company drivers don’t need to worry about purchasing new tires or oil changes. In fact, they don’t have to worry about paying for any maintenance costs at all!

Also, you know how everyone dreads shopping around for insurance? You won’t have to. Your trucking company will be responsible for purchasing all the necessary commercial auto coverages.

  • In-Demand Profession

The trucking industry is growing rapidly and there’s an increasing demand for drivers! All you need to do is get your required licensing and training done.

Cons

  • Less Money

Most company drivers get paid less than they would if they were an owner operator. However, this does depend on the company you work for and your experience.

However, you should know that you only get a set mileage rate, which means if you aren’t moving you aren’t getting paid. Such as, if you’re taking a break, stuck in traffic, or waiting at the loading dock you aren’t making any money.

  • Longer Hours

The majority of trucking companies are wanting to keep their drivers on the road as long as possible. This is because more time equals more money in their pocket.

So, you may be spending less time at home and more time on the road.

  • You Drive What You’re Given

Unfortunately, company drivers can’t choose their vehicle and have to use what’s given to them. Most companies purchase trucks based on their durability rather than comfort.

Owner Operator: Pros and Cons

The following are the pros and cons of becoming an owner operator.

Pros

  • More Money 

Being an owner operator means you’ll probably earn more than a company driver. This is because you get lower rates and tax advantages!

  • You Pick Your Truck

With this role, you have the freedom to choose your equipment and vehicle! Therefore, if you want to splurge on a nice truck with comfortable seating you can. This can make your ride easier and more enjoyable.

  • More Time at Home

You can get as much time off as you want as an owner operator. Since you’re your own boss, you make your own decisions about how much you work.

Cons

  • Higher Financial Risk

Becoming an owner operator means spending a lot more money. You’re responsible for purchasing the truck, equipment, insurance, and fuel. Also, usually a large chunk of money is required for a down payment on a truck.

  • Maintenance Costs Are on You

As an owner operator, you have the freedom to take off when you want; however, you’ll likely be spending a lot of that time keeping your business running. Such as, maintaining your truck and managing your business records.

  • More Pressure and Stress

Becoming an owner operator means you’ll most likely deal with more stress and pressure. In this role, you have a lot more responsibility and the success of your business is dependent on you.

As they say, it’s not always easy being your own boss.

Bottom Line

Becoming a company driver or an owner operator is a difficult decision and not one to be taken lightly. Evaluate each to decide the best route for you.

 

 

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Sources

https://truckstop.com/blog/owner-operator-vs-company-driver/

https://lonestar-llc.com/owner-operator-vs-company-driver-best-option/

https://schneiderowneroperators.com/owner-operator-tips/what-is-an-owner-operator

https://www.america1logistics.com/blog/2016/company-truck-driver-vs-owner-operator-the-pros-and-cons