Truck driving is one of those rewarding careers that require long hours of hard work. And by hard work, we meant holistic exertion from the physical, mental, and emotional levels. A truck driver’s job description defined in the simplest terms is transporting different types of items to specific destinations. He usually works for a company and is often paid by the miles travelled. There is, however, another type of driver who earns more and has the freedom to choose or decline a company’s delivery request based on his preferences and free time. Being an owner operator truck driver may indeed have its perks, but becoming one is not all that simple.
This type of driver is viewed as an independent contractor. He takes contract jobs from companies based on his availability and the type of loads he feel most comfortable transporting. He may work for more than one company and earns approximately $65,000 a year or higher. But while he does enjoy more sense of freedom than the company truck driver, he also has some added responsibilities as both owner and operator of his own truck.
For one thing, owner operator truck driver would have to seek out companies that hire independent contractors to transport their loads. This can become really challenging, especially when you are just starting out. It is for this reason that professional truck drivers advice those who are just about to enter into this field to gain some years of experience driving trucks for reputable companies first, before purchasing their own trucks. This way, they would’ve made a name for themselves as a dependable name in load transport, and have made acquaintances in a number of companies who could give them contract jobs once they venture into owning and operating their own trucks.
But becoming an owner operator truck driver is more than just the technical aspects of driving and transporting goods. More than anything, it has to be something that you choose because you really want to do it, and not just for its promised monetary benefits. Driving trucks is hard in itself without having to consider the highly-competitive business side of it. And if you’re doing it on your own, there are the added factor of having to do things mostly on your own—problem solving, critical decision making, managing your schedules, etc. You also need to have a healthy amount of self-discipline, and consistently productive work ethic, habits and attitudes.
So, if you are planning on becoming an owner operator truck driver in the future, start preparing yourself for the responsibilities you will have to face as early as now. Take care of your reputation at work, as well as your health. Set your goals and know your preferences so that you are better able to make the decisions regarding the amount of time you wish to spend on the road. Getting your own truck is a big achievement alone, but it is important to have something even bigger to work for so you do not fall into periods of slump along the way. Owning and operating your own truck is a decision you can make wisely only after knowing what you need and want for a long and productive life on the road.