As a truck driver, you have, no doubt, been hit with the temptation of owning your own truck. Those big shiny Kenworths and Peterbilts you see at the truck stop definitely have their allure, and your plain-jane Freightliner may seem to shrink next to them. However, you should consider several things about your company truck driving job before you make the leap to owning or leasing a truck.
With the drawbacks of a company position comes a major plus mark of job security. Drivers who work for Schneider National will always have freight to pull simply because the company is so large. If you decide to become an independent trucker, and run under your own authority, then you take the risk of being left out in the cold. A truck driving job as a company driver may not be the most attractive position in terms of the truck provided, but it definitely comes with some perks that make it worthwhile.
As an owner operator, you will be required to provide your own insurance. Health insurance, life insurance, and if you’re completely independent, truck insurance will also be needed. These can tally up to quite a large sum of money each month, as insurance for independent and self employed people can be expensive. As a company driver, these will usually be offered to you in a benefits package. Your truck will be covered under the company’s insurance, and your health and life insurance will be much more affordable because you can buy into a group plan.
Steady Pay Rates
As a company driver, you have the benefit of maintaining a steady pay rate, usually based on your performance. Owner and lease operators are simply offered a per mile rate for each load they haul. Independents usually won’t qualify for fuel bonuses because they are simply hired as a contractor for the load. Company drivers who are paid mileage pay can easily track their earnings and keep a pretty good idea of what they will make each week.
One other benefit of being a company driver is that most companies offer a retirement program. If you own or lease a truck, then you will have to save money out of your earnings for your retirement. While a company driver will usually have an adviser to help select the best investments based on his goals, owner operators have to make those decisions on their own, or hire someone to manage their funds.
What’s Best For You?
This article has barely scratched the surface of what a truck driving job at a company can offer, and there may be many drivers who prefer to run their own trucks. However, before you make that decision, it’s wise to look at all angles of being a business owner first. While a truck driving job may be the perfect opportunity for you, owning or leasing a rig could be very detrimental to your career. On the flip side, for some people, owning a rig opens doors to a whole new way of life that is very rewarding. You will have to choose for yourself whether or not you want a company truck driving job, or wish to take the plunge and own your own business.