With a driver shortage continuing to plague the trucking industry, now is best time to become an owner operator. However, whether you’re an individual considering a career that allows you to travel across the country, or you’ve been driving a motor carrier’s rig your whole life, there are many things to consider and tasks to accomplish before even considering tackling the road on your own.
Our Becoming an Owner Operator series aims to help those interested in becoming an owner operator navigate the ins and outs of the trucking industry. We’ll begin by assessing four personal considerations: personality, family, health and career goals.
- Personality: If you’re an extrovert who enjoys being around people and prefers to spend your weekends out with friends, then committing to a life on the road may not be in your best interest. While there is a sense of comradery among truckers, the requirements of the job interrupt time that is often spent with friends outside of the job. On the other hand, if you’re more introverted and looking for a career that promotes your independence, then becoming an owner operator may be that career you’ve been searching for.
- Family: As an owner operator, you need to be on the road in order to remain profitable. Therefore, if family considerations require you to be at home the majority of the time, then being an owner operator isn’t going to work. If you’re single and have nothing holding you back from hitting the open road, or if your spouse chooses to travel with you, then becoming an owner operator is the right choice. BONUS: If you want to form a drive team with your spouse, enabling the two of you to legally drive for 24 hours a day, then careers as owner operators can be very financially rewarding.
- Health: Are you in generally good health? Are you able to sit for long periods of time? While traveling across the country for a living sounds appealing, people often forget the length of the journey. If you take care of yourself well enough to handle the idleness truck drivers face when confined to their cab for hours on end, then becoming an owner operator may be the right career choice for you. However, if you have health conditions that could progressively worsen with time, then we would suggest finding a company to drive for that offers health benefits and a payroll to help you when you’re sick and unable to drive.
- Career Goals: Are you relatively young and simply looking for something to do for the next 1-5 years, or are you looking to drive all the way into retirement? If the former is true, then becoming an owner operator may not be your best investment since it can take years to establish a strong network of clients and obtain a steady income. However, if the latter is the case and you plan on driving until someone instructs you to stop, then your career plans could include becoming an owner operator.
By considering these four personal factors, we hope you are better able to gauge if becoming an owner operator is something that will mesh with your lifestyle. If you decide that operating your own truck is the right choice, please continue to follow our Becoming an Owner Operator series. The next post will be available March 9th.
If you would like more information on becoming an owner operator, please contact us today.