Company Driver vs. Owner Operator: Which Is Right for You?

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.

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