The Best GPS For Truck DriversNovember 8, 2022
Top 5 Trucking YouTube ChannelsDecember 1, 2022
There are pros and cons to being either an owner-operator or a company driver. For company drivers, the pros include regular paychecks, benefits, and job security. The cons can include long hours and lower pay. Owner-operators have more control over their own schedules and make more money, but also have more responsibility and risk.
So, which is better? It really depends on what you are looking for in a trucking job. If you value stability and regular paychecks, then working for a company may be the best option. If you are willing to take on more responsibility and risk for the chance to make more money, then becoming an owner-operator could be the right choice for you.
Look below at a breakdown of some of the biggest pros and cons when it comes to deciding whether or not you want to work as a company driver or take the leap and become an owner-operator.
The following are a few of the benefits for both owner-operators and company drivers. Keep in mind that while each of these can be seen as a positive, they may be outweighed by detractors that are unique to your own situation.
Many people are happy to work in one capacity or the other, so it really comes down to what you are looking for in a trucking job.
Some of the biggest benefits of working as an owner-operator are as follows:
- Owner-operators make more money than company drivers.
- Owner-operators are responsible for their own safety and equipment, which can lead to a higher level of job satisfaction.
- Owner-operators have the opportunity to be their own boss and run their business however they see fit.
- Owner-operators can design their schedules around their personal lives, leaving room for things like childcare, home projects, and more.
Keep in mind that these benefits may not be appealing to everyone, and there are plenty of cons that we have listed down below.
Company drivers often have more job security than owner-operators, with less to worry about once they turn their semi-truck off for the night and head home.
Some of the most obvious benefits of working as a company driver include:
- Company drivers usually have regular paychecks and benefits, such as health insurance.
- Company drivers typically have less responsibility than owner-operators and may find the work less stressful. They don’t need to worry about paying taxes, managing insurance, or handling other complex administrative tasks that an owner-operator can’t avoid.
- Company drivers may have more opportunities for advancement than owner-operators, as the time they spend working for a particular company may lead to promotions, more input into routes and schedules, and more.
- Company drivers are not required to maintain their own client lists and handle outreach for new client acquisitions. When one contract ends, the company is responsible for finding new clients, managing the accounts, and keeping their drivers on the road earning a paycheck.
- Company drivers may not need to pay for their own vehicle, fuel, insurance, and other unavoidable business costs.
As you can see, there are several benefits to acting as either an owner-operator or as a company driver, but the weight and importance of each benefit are up to your personal preferences.
Consider what is most important to you in a trucking job before making your decision.
If you do not have the money to buy your own truck, then working as a company driver may be the best option for you.
Remember that preventative maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle on the road and avoiding costly repairs. LubeZone offers a wide variety of semi-truck maintenance services that will help keep your vehicle on the road and making money, not in the shop, or sitting on the side of the highway with a broken-down engine.
It can’t all be good, right? The following are a few cons that come with acting as an owner-operator or a company driver. Again, remember that these come down to personal preference, and even a detractor may be outweighed by the benefits of either role.
When it comes to being an owner-operator, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the job. Many people enjoy the additional control, but many others can’t be bothered with the hassle.
Here are some of the most obvious cons:
- Owner-operators have much more responsibility than company drivers, and the workweek never truly ends when you don’t have set hours and clear boundaries for your responsibilities.
- If something goes wrong, the owner-operator is the one that pays for it — in both time and money.
- Owner-operators must come up with the money to purchase their semi-truck, whether through financing, leasing, buying used, or any number of other options. The capital investment of being an owner-operator can be a limiting factor for many drivers, as the cost of a semi-truck and the necessary maintenance can be prohibitively expensive.
- Owner-operators are responsible for maintaining their own equipment and ensuring that it is properly insured — as well as the costs associated with keeping a semi-truck on the road.
- Owner-operators are in charge of customer acquisition and account management. When a contract ends, it’s up to the owner-operator to find new work to maintain revenue.
Company drivers may not need to worry about some of the things that owner-operators do, but there are still some potential drawbacks to the job, including:
- A company driver’s paycheck is only as good as the company they work for — if the company is struggling, or doesn’t pay a competitive wage, the driver may suffer the financial consequences unless they find a new position with a more attractive company.
- Company drivers may have less opportunity to negotiate their contract and may have less say in the overall direction of their work.
- If a company driver is let go, they may have a hard time finding new work quickly, as they will need to start the process of interviewing and onboarding with a new company from scratch.
- Company drivers usually have set schedules and routes, which can be inflexible and may not allow for much personalization or freedom.
These are just a few of the pros and cons of being an owner-operator vs a company driver — there are many more to consider before making your decision.
What’s Right For You?
Only you can decide whether being an owner-operator or a company driver is the right choice for your personal circumstances. Consider your goals, your financial situation, and your preferred work environment before making a decision. Many drivers find that the biggest barrier to entering the owner-operator world is the cost of a semi-truck — if you can’t afford to purchase your own vehicle, then working as a company driver may be the best option for you.
In the same vein, if you find that the idea of being solely responsible for the operating costs of a semi-truck — fuel, maintenance, wear and tear, loan payments, etc. — then you may find comfort in submitting a maintenance issue to the manager, climbing into your personal vehicle at the end of the workday, and heading home without worrying about paying for an unexpected repair and losing income while you’re truck is in the shop.
No matter what you decide, remember that there are always pros and cons to any decision — the key is to find the right balance for you. If you’re not sure where to start, try talking to other drivers, owner-operators, and trucking company recruiters to get their perspectives on what it’s like to work in each role. With enough information, you should be able to make a decision that’s right for you.
Do you have any other factors that helped you decide whether to work as a company driver or as an owner-operator? Let us know in the comments below!
Always Remember that LubeZone Is Here For Your Maintenance and Service Needs
With a number of convenient locations across the United States, LubeZone is here to serve you — no matter if you are an owner-operator or a company driver. From full-service oil changes and preventative maintenance, to complete truck repairs, our team of certified technicians is ready to help keep you on the road.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you, or stop by your nearest location for all your trucking needs!
LubeZone is the fastest growing dedicated semi-truck service in the United States with locations in Texas, California, Oklahoma and Georgia. Our preventative maintenance solutions are designed to get the professional driver back on the road FAST.