Google+ Followers

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Differences between Owner Operators and Company Drivers




There are thousands of trucks out there on the road each day, hauling goods and supplies to various locations. Some of these drivers are owner operators and others are company drivers. The jobs they do may be the same but there are plenty of differences that separate the two. If you are interested in driving a truck you want to take a look at what each one has to offer.





For those who have just received their CDL, becoming a company driver is generally the best option. At least in the beginning as it will allow you to decide if operating a semi truck is really where your interests lie. It will also help you gain work experience and built a reputation for being a quality truck driver.





Company drivers are provided a truck by their employer. They are generally paid by the hour if they drive locally and by the mile if they drive over the road. The company is responsible for the truck payment, the insurance, and all the repairs. They also pay for the fuel expenses. Many company drivers find they get to be in late model trucks because they replace the older ones in the fleet on a regular basis.





Some expenses that a company driver will have while on the road are food, showers, and phone calls. Some employers offer a per diem which is an amount per day they allow for such expenses. This per diem is added to their paycheck so the driver still needs to pay for it out of their pocket and then be reimbursed. If the driver doesn’t spend the amount offered per day then they can generate some additional income as well.





Most company drivers have the option of buying health insurance and they may be eligible for paid vacation time after they have been with the company for awhile. The specifics of these offers depend on the specifications of the company.





Owner operators are able to generate more income than company drivers, but they also have a high overhead. They are responsible for their truck payment, truck repairs, insurance, and maintenance expenses. Still, they have the freedom to haul what they want to through a broker or by leasing their truck to a company. They have more say in the loads they haul than a company driver.





They also have to pay for their own meals, showers, and fuel. An owner operator needs to make sure they put enough money away to cover their taxes as none will be taken out of their paychecks. They also need to have money ready for repairs should the need arise. Owner operators have to secure their own health insurance and if they take any time off, they won’t be paid for that period of time.





There are many legitimate expenses that an owner operator can take on their tax return. It is important to keep all receipts and to categorize them into the different areas of deductions. Being prepared for the end of the year filing is important so this paperwork should be carefully maintained.





There are many exciting jobs out there for truck drivers, but the decision to be an owner operator or a company driver is an important one. The decision is going to affect the amount of money you can earn, your expenses, and the responsibilities you will have in the trucking industry.