The Essential Differences Between Owner Operators and Company Drivers
When you go out every day that passes, you will surely see trucks with supplies and goods being transported to different destinations. Essentially, these trucks fall into two categories: driver-owned trucks (the driver owns the truck) and company-owned trucks. Owner operators are truck drivers who own their own trucks and only transport company truck loads. On the other hand, we have our own trucks, where the company owns the truck and the driver is hired as a company truck driver. In fact, there are many things that make these two categories of truckers different from each other and this article will expose those differences, while specifying the role that each of them plays.
It is always better for people who just got their CDI to become truck drivers for the company. To begin with, this would allow you to make the decision whether or not to become a truck or semi-trailer owner. This start should also be a stepping stone to becoming a seasoned trucker with a great reputation in the industry before joining the ranks of owner operators.
To begin with, a company driver is one who receives a truck from the employer. Regarding pay, they are paid by the hour or by the mile depending on whether they drive locally or interstate. The company takes care of everything related to the truck: insurance, truck payment, repairs, etc. The company pays all fuel costs. In fact, most of the company’s truckers can drive the latest trucks, as the company periodically changes its fleet of trucks to satisfy the customer.
On the other hand, owner operators own their own trucks and, in fact, tend to amass more income than the company driver. Although they generate more money, they also have quite high overheads. They are responsible for covering repairs, payments, maintenance and insurance. However, they are free to use a broker to transport whatever they choose to transport. They could transport the truckloads or lease their trucks to a company that needed them. Unlike the company driver who has little or no say in the loads he hauls, the truck owner has a say in the loads he hauls.
While on the road, the company truck driver will have use of phone calls, showers, and food instead of the truck owner himself. Certain employers provide drivers with a daily expense allowance to cover such needs. That subsidy, a per diem, is usually included in a driver’s pay package. As such, the driver would still have to pay out of pocket and then when he receives the check from him, he will be reimbursed. Considering that the driver cannot use what is scheduled for his daily expenses, it is possible that he can accumulate some additional income unlike owner operators who would have to take care of them personally without being financed.
As a company truck driver, one has the option of purchasing health insurance and must be granted paid vacation leave. This is always the case when the driver has been with the company for some time. Generally, these extras always depend on the regulations and specificities of the company in question. This does not apply to truck owners, as they take care of all your needs.
Unlike company truckers, owner operators are in charge of their own fuel, meals, showers, etc. The truck owner needs to make sure there is enough money to cover the taxes, as they have to take care of this and they will not be reimbursed with their payment package. Also, money for repairs should be set aside in case any nasty problems come up while they’re on the road. In addition, owner operators must take care of their personal health insurance, and if they take time off, they will not be paid for that time.