To begin, there are two classifications of owner operators; those who are leased to a company and those who operate under their own authority. This post will discuss the differences between the two in an effort to help those of you just starting out determine what will work best for your lifestyle and financial situation.
Leasing onto a Motor Carrier.
It’s safe to say that a majority of owner operators are leased onto a trucking company. The biggest benefit is that the company will be responsible for finding you loads, and often has an abundance. A leasing company may also cover certain trucking expenses such as fuel, truck repairs/maintenance, insurance, and more.
Leasing onto a motor carrier is also a good idea for those just starting out in the trucking industry. It is important to learn the ins-and-outs of the industry before trying to tackle the road on your own. For a list of companies that will lease to beginner drivers, click here.
Operating Under Your Own Authority.
While having your own authority means complete independence, it takes a certain type of trucker to make this lifestyle work; you need to be business savvy. While being an owner operator working under your own authority allows you the flexibility to pick-and-choose loads, you first have to find the loads.
Deciding to run independent means you are also deciding to fund your own business. This means you are now responsible for the required licenses, permits and tax documents needed to keep your business up to code.
However, those who do decide to go independent oftentimes are rewarded monetarily. Owner operators running under their own authority have reported making $2 to $3 per mile on average.