Thinking about becoming a truck driver

What's the Difference Between an Owner Operator & Company Truck Driver?

When it comes to working in intermodal drayage as a truck driver, there are two routes you can take with your career: work for a company or be an owner operator. Don’t know which path is right for you? Start by asking yourself these vital questions:

  • 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?

The skill set required for both is virtually the same, but your job expectations can help determine the right fit. Take a look at some of the biggest differences between driving for a company or becoming an owner operator to get a better understanding of each job profile.

Company Driver Pros:

The truck belongs to the company, and once a job is finished, company drivers don’t have to spend out of pocket on oil changes, fixes or truck insurance. Driving for a company means you get to enjoy your leisure time with friends and family. Also, trucking jobs are in high demand in North America, so if you start with a company and find it isn’t a good match, just walk away and find something elsewhere without any strings attached.

Owner Operator Pros:

It’s YOUR truck and YOUR equipment, so you can personalize as you please! Owner operators may have more responsibility running their own business, balancing finances and maintaining their rig, but the potential to make more money with tax advantages and lower rates is greater than that of a company driver. Being your own boss also means time off is a personal decision, with no confirmation needed from a company.

Company Driver Cons:

You don’t own the truck, so you have to drive whatever rig you’re given and comfort might be sacrificed. When it comes to salary and maintenance, you won’t have to juggle those responsibilities as much as an owner operator, but that could potentially mean less pay (depending on your situation of course, as well as the company you drive for). Sure, you’ll get time off, but be aware that trucking companies want to get the most out of their drivers, meaning long hours on the road and less time off.

Owner Operator Cons:

Since owner operators are responsible for the maintenance and fueling of their trucks, the financial pressure can be greater. Ideally, you would need to put a down payment on a truck and have extra funds for equipment costs month to month. 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 financial business in order. Be adamant in your research on prospective companies to work with for adequate pay and consistency. It’s not easy to leave one driver job for another when you’re bound to a contract with a hold back on money!

What's the Difference Between an Owner Operator & Company Truck Driver?
Courtney L.
January 30, 2017

At US 1 Network, we're always looking for talented, motivated logistics agents to join our nationwide team. If you're a skilled, experienced agent with a self-starting mentality, apply today and find out how US 1 Network can advance your career. This is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. What are you waiting for?

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Owner Operators

If you're looking for a career with solid benefits, excellent growth potential, and the freedom to work how and when you want, look no further. US 1 Network is looking for experienced owner operators to join our team of shipping experts. The logistics industry is growing rapidly, so apply today and join a winning team!

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