Driving a truck for a living can be a very rewarding yet demanding job. The hours are long but traveling around the country in a truck lets you see things that you might not otherwise have seen. While many drivers choose to work for large freight companies for a few years, becoming an owner/operator allows you more control and lets you build a business that you can grow to whatever size you want it to be over time.
You're In Control
As an owner/operator, you have the freedom to haul the types of freight you choose and to the locations you choose. It opens up the possibilities and gives you more freedom in your business because you can haul longer or shorter loads, you can avoid places you don't want to go, and you can decide what companies you want to work with. Often, owner/operators will pick up a load, run it to the destination, then find a load leaving there to take to a new destination. With good planning, you can run from place to place with very little downtime.
Choosing Your Equipment
Working for a large freight company often means driving one of their trucks. While this can have its advantages, you might also get stuck with something that is high mileage and not well maintained. Breakdowns may be common and downtime can hurt you financially. If you own your truck, you keep the maintenance done and always know what condition it is in. Sure, you have to pay for that to happen but if the truck is on the road more, you will be making money and the cost of maintaining the truck will balance out in the long run.
Financial Freedom and Income Potential
When you choose to work for a large freight company, you get paid at a rate determined by them and you only take the loads they assign you. Yes, driving more might help but if they limited your loads, you will not be able to get ahead. As an owner/operator, your time on the road is limited only by the Department of Transportation, or DOT, and your ability to find jobs. If you can pick up loads at every stop, you can keep your truck rolling and the earnings potential is much higher. Keep in mind, the more the truck is running, the more you will spend in maintenance but again, the offset might make it worth the cost. All in all, being an owner/operator costs you more out of pocket but it can also open up the possibilities that you will never have as a company driver. Is it the right fit for you? Only you can decide that.
If you're considering branching out on your own, there are a lot of owner operator jobs out there.