Owner Operator Jobs-What They Are, The Benefits and the Drawbacks
Here at OwnerAndOperator.com our goal is to provide you with all the information necessary in order to become a successful owner operator. There is alot of money to be made in the trucking industry assuming you make sound business decisions; and with common sense and a little luck, you can easily become one of the thousands of owner operator truck drivers living your life's dream as a profitable owner operator.
Many people are attracted to the idea of self-employment; in this country it tends to be connected to the idea of personal freedom, and ultimately more fulfilling than most jobs working for someone else. While this may be true, becoming an owner operator is a big decision, and as with everything else so far, considerations need to be made about the earning potential that exists, the ability to get work without a large company that has a multi-million dollar marketing budget, the risks, and ultimately the rewards.
Owner operators generally have two options within the industry, as far as the structure of their business is concerned. The first option is to do a freelance driving model of sorts. Essentially, an owner of the proper equipment may take on individual projects and assignments without formally committing their equipment and services to one particular company long term. This option can make finding work slightly more difficult for some, especially depending the area you're operating out of (job markets are still subjective by location).
The other option owner operators have available to them for their business is leasing their service and equipment to a single company or client. Essentially, these drivers are still 1099, and completely independent, but they are committed (at least partially) to a single entity.
One thing you should consider is that insurance costs are generally higher for smaller companies, and that includes independent owner operators. Obviously, all maintenance is the owner's responsibility and the resources one may have available to them when employed with a larger corporation simply don't exist for the business owner; freedom of course has to coincide with a heightened level of independence.
As an owner operator seeking to enter into a lease agreement, it's important to keep a few things in mind to ensure that the owner operator business doesn't get started off on the wrong foot. For those seeking a lease situation, it will become incredibly important to choose a company or client who has a history and reputation for consistent work; the last thing a small business needs is to be restricted by a lack of clientele, by no fault of their own. One should strongly consider the types of benefits larger corporations can provide to their owner operators, as these can vary greatly. Some companies can let their owner operators take advantage of discounted rates for tires, fuel, insurance, and maintenance. It may also be possible to help streamline the inspection process of the leased tractor to not only avoid violations with the Department of Transportation, but to continually keep all equipment checked and in perfect working order.
Other benefits may vary from company to company. For example, Schneider offers help with financing trucks of all kinds, and also offer business management services that include consulting, bookkeeping, tax assistance, etc. One would do well to inquire about the individual offerings of each company they are considering entering into a lease agreement with.