If you love driving but wish you had a little more control over where and when you do it, you may want to consider becoming an owner operator. Owner operators are essentially freelance drivers, driving for whomever they want and when they want. They own their own trucks and are not tied down to one company. If your entrepreneurial spirit is screaming, “yes!” there are some things you need to consider before you take the plunge.
First, take a long honest look at your work ethic. Are you disciplined? Willing to work whenever you might be needed, even if it means running on weekends and taking away from home time? Remember, often being an owner operator means you have to go looking for loads to carry. This means if you want to make money, you can’t be too choosy. If you absolutely insist on weekends off, need home time to be a priority, or have limited availability for any reason, you may be better off as a company driver.
You should also take into consideration your financial and health situations. If a steady paycheck is a must, or you cannot afford health insurance on your own, being an owner operator may not be for you. But if you are flexible, well-prepared, and willing to hustle when needed, and are willing to put in the effort that is sometimes needed to find owner operator jobs, it could be a perfect fit. In return you get the freedom that comes with being your own boss.
While you can certainly be an independent owner operator, consider leasing to a company instead. You won’t have to worry about getting operating authority, will have access to company funded fuel cards and advances, and a more steady workflow. Get all the facts and review your options carefully before making a decision.