The Pros and Cons of Being a Company Truck Driver or Owner Operator


If you’re a  truck driver, the time may come when you are faced with a question: should I drive for a trucking company or should I be an owner operator? Although the skill set is the same for both, there are several differences that truck drivers should be aware of. What is your current financial situation and what are your future financial goals? Do you have family obligations that require time off? Are you particular about the truck you drive? Let’s explore some of the biggest differences between driving for a company or becoming an owner operator; a perfect starting point for new drivers considering the best route to go in their career.

Company Driver Pros

  1. There are no startup costs to begin work and you don’t have to worry about maintaining the truck. Once your job is done, you go home and that free time is all yours.
  2. Your paycheck won’t have to be spent on oil changes, fixes or truck insurance.
  3. Trucking jobs are in high demand in North America. Not only do jobs abound, but if you start with a company and find it just isn’t a good match, you can easily walk away and find something elsewhere- no strings attached.

Company Driver Cons

  1. When driving for a company, more often than none, the pay can be less than that of an owner operator. Of course, this depends on the driver’s financial situation and goals, as well as the company you drive for. But, know that company drivers get a set mileage rate, but won’t be paid for waiting time, which can easily add up to over 20 hours a week between circle checks, mandatory breaks and loading dock stops .
  2. Trucking companies want to get the most time and money out of their drivers, so they will keep you on the road for longer periods than if they were to hire an owner operator. This means not as much time at home with the family.
  3. You must drive the truck you are given. This means that comfort might have to be sacrificed, since most companies provide trucks that are designed for wear and tear.

Owner Operator Pros

  1. If you’re an owner operator, there is greater potential to make more money with tax advantages and lower rates.
  2. You don’t have to worry about comfort with the truck you drive or the equipment, because it’s all your own!
  3. An owner operator organizes his/her own business, so taking time off is a personal decision with no confirmation needed from a company.

Owner Operator Cons

  1. The financial risk is greater as an owner operator. You are responsible for the maintenance and fueling of your truck. To start off, a good chunk of savings is needed to make a down payment on a truck and cover equipment costs month to month.
  2. True, you can take time off when you want, but know that a lot of free time will be spent on maintaining your truck and keeping business records.
  3. The pressure and stress faced by an owner operator can be greater than that of an employed driver. You need to research and network with trucking companies to find who will pay the best and be consistent. It’s not easy to leave one job for another due to contracts and a hold back on money.

Are you searching for trucking jobs in the Jacksonville area? Do you want to be part of one of the most exciting, up-and-coming companies in Jacksonville? America 1 is Northeast Florida's leading provider of transportation and logistics services and we're looking for experienced drivers, owner-operators to join our sterling company.

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