Company Driver vs. Owner Operator: Which Is Right for You? - Jan 11, 2021

Whether you’re working toward a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or recently became a truck driver, you’ll need to decide between being a company driver and an owner operator. Each option has its own advantages and perks. This guide will help you determine which is best for you.

Company Driver

As a company driver, you’ll operate a truck owned by the employer. In most cases, you’ll be paid by the mile and receive benefits, such as medical and dental insurance. However, if you operate a vehicle locally, the pay will usually be by the hour. This is because you won’t drive enough miles for the pay-per-mile model to be worthwhile.

When working for an employer, you won’t be solely responsible for maintenance. They’ll cover the costs and ensure that you don’t spend off-time repairing the engine or changing the oil. Instead, you’ll be able to relax, focus on hobbies, and spend time with friends and family.

Additionally, being a company driver comes with job security. There’s a truck driver shortage, which means you won’t have to worry about finding or keeping a job.

Finally, you won’t have the start-up costs associated with owning a truck. This means you won’t have to worry about paying off any debts, providing more freedom.

Owner Operator

Being an owner operator means you own the truck, and it’s essentially like running your own business. You’ll need to manage the payments and expenses and take care of maintenance and repairs. Rather than simply being told what you’re hauling, you’ll have to contract loads from trucking companies, making sure the rates are high enough to cover costs. 

While there’s more risk to being an owner operator, there are also benefits. For example, you can earn more money, as a percentage of the profits won’t go to an employer. Also, you get to choose a vehicle and equipment, and you won’t have to worry about another truck driver changing the settings on the seat or radio.

Being your own boss may be the most significant benefit. You get to choose which types of loads to take, and there will be more flexibility with vacation and the working hours.

If you’re looking to enter the trucking industry, contact Hamrick School. Our CDL program will prepare you for a lucrative career in a growing field. Call (330) 239-2229 to speak to an admissions officer.

  • OH Reg. #2057
  • ODPS License #1439-2369

A Guide to COVID-19 & the Trucking Industry - Dec 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every industry, including trucking. Truckers have put themselves on the front lines, helping America get through a crisis. If you’re thinking about joining the industry, it’s important to understand how the pandemic and other crises can affect truck drivers. Here’s what you should know.

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Trucking

From the start of the pandemic, truckers have been a core element of America’s response to COVID-19. For example, transportation companies have been responsible for shipping water, food, PPE equipment, and medical supplies to areas with a lot of cases, including New York, South Dakota, and Florida. They’ve also transported ventilators to hospitals and face masks to police stations and fire departments.

The pandemic has also impacted which types of products truckers are hauling. For example, panic buying has increased the demand for medical supplies and home items, like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, and groceries. Certain industries, such as the automotive sector, have seen decreases in production, and they’ve shifted to manufacturing health care supplies.

Challenges for Truck Drivers During the Pandemic  

According to the American Trucking Associations, the industry was already short by over 60,000 drivers in 2018, with the shortage predicted to rise to 160,000 by 2028. This trend was spurred further by the pandemic, as some older drivers retired early to avoid the risks of COVID-19. Fewer truckers available to work has meant more pressure on current drivers and transportation companies to keep up with demand.

Shutdowns and new regulations have impacted new drivers, as they’ve had a hard time completing their commercial driver’s license requirements (CDL). Plus, the government agencies that issue CDLs have been slowed down by the pandemic, requiring drivers to do more preparation and wait longer for paperwork. Fortunately, truck driving schools help their students meet their requirements and deal with government bureaucracy. 

The Importance of the Trucking Industry

The pandemic has shown that truckers are unsung heroes. They’re there for other Americans when store shelves are empty and hospitals desperately need medical equipment. They put in long hours on the road so that people can stay home, and the economy can continue to function.

Truck drivers are also putting their health at risk during the pandemic, traveling long distances and interacting with others along the way. Finally, they work hard to drive safely and take extra steps to protect against COVID-19, including social distancing and disinfecting their vehicles.

Our CDL program will allow you to join a lucrative and growing industry—even during a difficult time. We’ll help you weather the pandemic, ensuring that you stay safe and earn more. Call (330) 239-2229 to speak to an admissions officer.  

  • OH Reg. #2057
  • ODPS License #1439-2369

Understanding Per Diem Pay in the Trucking Industry - Oct 28, 2020

As a truck driver or student looking to get a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, understanding per diem pay is crucial. It’ll help you maximize your tax benefits, save money, and improve your finances long-term. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Per Diem Pay?  

Per diem is Latin for per day, and it refers to a daily allowance for expenses you can be reimbursed for. There are regulations around what can be included, but some common costs include meals and incidental expenses. When reading about per diem pay, keep in mind that many of the regulations were changed in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For example, the laws outline a new revenue procedure that allows taxpayers to substantiate actual allowable expenses as long as they have records to prove the deductions.

How Does Per Diem Pay Work?

If a trucking company has a per diem allowance, you’ll generally pay for meals or lodging, and they’ll reimburse you in the next paycheck. Since you covered these costs originally, the money given to you by your employer for these specific expenses is considered non-taxable income. As a result, your adjusted gross income will appear lower for tax purposes, allowing you to collect a larger refund.

How Can You Qualify?

Truck drivers need to meet certain conditions to avoid undue taxes on per diem pay. For example, there is a maximum allowance that you can’t exceed. If you spend more than $63 in a day, the amount that surpasses the allowance will be taxed.

Additionally, you need a residential address, and you have to be away from the home for longer periods than a regular workday. For example, if you drive all day but sleep at your house every night, you won’t qualify for per diem pay. Finally, keep track and submit pay receipts for relevant expenses, like meals. Credit card bills will also work.   

If you’re looking to become a truck driver, contact Hamrick School. Serving Akron and Clevaland, OH, our CDL programs will help you begin a lucrative career and improve your financial future. Call (330) 239-2229 to learn about our class schedule.

  • OH Reg. #2057
  • ODPS License #1439-2369

How to Be Successful in Truck Driving School - Oct 20, 2020

Becoming a truck driver offers a variety of benefits, from job security, medical insurance, and lucrative pay to getting to explore the country while getting paid. However, you’ll need to succeed in truck driving school before you can join the industry. Here are some tips for thriving as you work to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

3 Tips for Flourishing in Truck Driving School

1. Talk to Instructors Regularly

The instructors in truck driving school are there to help you succeed. Ask them questions when you’re struggling to grasp the material and find out about their experiences in the industry. This is good practice for learning to network, and they can connect you with career opportunities and give you invaluable advice. They’ve helped countless individuals ace the CDL test, so ask them about what to expect and how to prepare. 

2. Have the Right Attitude

Truck driving school requires hard work, and you need a positive attitude to succeed. Avoid self-doubt and negative thought patterns by making a conscious effort to focus on what you enjoy, avoiding the morning news, and thinking about the person you want to be. Also, keep your eye on what you want to accomplish. You’re working to get a CDL, which will allow you to grow in a lucrative career. Before beginning the program, write down your goals and where you see yourself in a few years.

3. Manage Your Time Effectively

This skill will help you during the CDL program and throughout your career. If you work to manage your time properly, you’ll be able to get everything done, including attending classes, finishing homework, and taking part in hands-on training. Keep a detailed calendar that includes test dates, study sessions, and class times.

Additionally, stay distraction-free by putting your smartphone away during sessions and while studying. Finally, start assignments early so you have plenty of time to work on them and get feedback from instructors.

If you’re looking to get a CDL and become a truck driver, we’re here to help. We provide small class sizes, hands-on training, and career placement services. To speak to an admissions officer about our programs, call (330) 239-2229.

OH Reg. #2057

ODPS License #1439-2369

4 Reasons to Thank a Truck Driver - Sep 14, 2020

With trucker appreciation this week (September 13-19, 2020), it’s the perfect time to thank drivers across the country. These seven days are dedicated to showing gratitude to the people who are responsible for transporting essential items, from toilet paper and medical equipment to food and beverages. Here are a few more reasons why truck drivers deserve recognition.

Why Appreciate Truck Drivers?

1. COVID-19

The pandemic has made the work truck drivers do more important than ever. They help individuals, hospitals, and businesses get the items they need to stay safe, from masks and medical equipment to hand sanitizer and soap. And they risk their lives doing it. While many Americans were sheltering in place, truckers were on the road, making stops in public areas and doing what needs to get done to keep the country running.

2. Disaster Situations

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, truckers are there when a disaster happens. Whether it’s an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane, they’re some of the first people to arrive, bringing essential items like medical aid, food, generators, and clothing. In some situations, truck drivers have been asked to evacuate people from dangerous areas, putting their life on the line for others.

3. Weeks Away From Family

While trucking is essential to the economy and the everyday lives of Americans, it isn’t always easy for drivers. They spend days, weeks, and sometimes even months away from loved ones, including family members and friends. To ensure that the economy and life in America continue to run smoothly, they often have to miss out on special occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, and graduations. They’re devoted to their work, and for this, it’s crucial to thank them.

4. Always at Work

Truck drivers keep the economy running and transport items, even under challenging circumstances. Heavy rain, snowfall, or the heat of the summer doesn’t stop truckers from doing their jobs. Once they’re on the road, they rarely take breaks and work hard until they’ve reached their destination.

If you’re looking to get your commercial driver’s license and begin a career in trucking, we’ll help you get there. With small class sizes, on-hands training, and expert teachers, you’ll gain the skills you need to succeed. Call (330) 239-2229 to speak to an admissions officer.

  • OH Reg. #2057
  • ODPS License #1439-2369