What Do They Do?
Owner operator truck drivers are individuals that run their own freight transportation service with their own vehicles. Owner operator truck drivers take a more administrative position in the truck driving industry. They act more as a boss of a small business than actually as a trucker. Being an owner operator truck driver is a job that comes with a number of tasks that wouldn’t come with being a normal truck driver. The biggest thing they need to worry about is actually finding work.
When it comes to finding work as an owner operator truck driver, the number one thing to remember is to keep trying and stay consistent. If business is slow at first, then be an extremely reliable service for your limited clients. You need to show that you care, even if you only have one or two companies using you as their hauling service. With that mindset, you can begin searching high and low for clients.
A good place to start would be load boards. A load board is an online service that allows owner operators to find work by getting into contact with shippers and brokers that are in need of hauling services. The only real issue with using a load board is that these jobs are usually one and done. You won’t really find a long-term business partnership through a load board, but it will be a good way to get some income and get your name out into the hauling world.
Knock on Doors
The real ticket to finding long term partners is to find companies that are in constant need of people to haul for them. You should look to your local area to find companies that are in high delivery frequency industries. Getting into contact with one of these companies shouldn’t be too hard, and once you do, setting up a meeting and forming a partnership will depend entirely on your negotiation skills. Being an owner operator truck driver comes with benefits, but there are also some downsides that come with it that don’t necessarily come with being a normal truck driver.
Go to a Freight Broker
One place to find the best of both worlds above is call up a freight brokerage. The freight brokerage will have you fill out some forms and other paperwork so they can verify you and your business. The best part about signing on with a local freight brokerage is that they watch the load boards for you AND do the door knocking. You just take care of getting from point A to point B safely and the broker handles a lot of the back office pieces and parts that allow you to run your business efficiently.
Differences Between Owner Operator and Driver
The essential difference between being an owner operator and a truck driver is that a truck driver is employed by a company and assigned a vehicle that they use for transportation jobs,while the owner operator is the boss of a small hauling business. Like I mentioned earlier, they deal with more administrative tasks and have to act asa boss to their truck driving employees. Owner operators need to supply the trucks and the jobs to their truck driving staff. They also need to pay for all of the expenses related to the business, whether that be gas, insurance on the vehicles or some other random expense that may come up. Truck driving is fairly straightforward in what the job entails. Pick up any freight with your assigned company vehicle, haul it to where it needs to go, return, then wait for your next job. They don’t need to concern themselves with anything except driving the truck from point A to point B. Despite the fact that being an owner operator comes with a many chores and expenses, you are still the boss of your own business. You make the rules, you take any job you want to take, and deny the ones you don’t want. You make your own hours, hire who you want, and dictate how many tasks will fall on you. Being a truck driver affords a lot of freedom but being the boss of your own company affords as much freedom as you could want. The differences between being an owner operator truck driver, and a regular truck driver are numerous. These two jobs are very different from one another. An owner operator truck driver can honestly be compared more to a small business owner, than to a truck driver.
Being an owner operator truck driver is a difficult job. Despite being your own boss, you have people relying on you to keep food on the table, and that means shelling out large sums of cash and time to ensure that the business stays afloat. If that sounds like a life you think you can handle, then you will reap the benefits of being your own boss,but there is also nothing wrong with being a normal truck driver. Both jobs offer one thing that many don’t, freedom. As the boss it’s to make your own hours and work how you want, as the driver it’s to spend your days getting paid to travel the country. If you’re on the fence about trying to become an owner operator truck driver, just keep these things in mind.