What Is an Owner Operator?

An owner-operator is an independent truck driver who runs their own transportation business. This allows the driver the freedom to make more money, control their day-to-day responsibilities, and scale their business the way they want to. Becoming an owner comes with a lot of responsibility, sacrifice, and dedication. All of which can become an extremely rewarding career path.

5 Benefits of Becoming an Owner Operator

  • Be Your Boss: Make your own decisions about how you run your business.
  • More Freedom: Control your day-to-day responsibilities and scale your business the way you want.
  • Earn More Money: Although it comes down to how you run your business, owner-operators have a higher earning potential than company drivers.
  • Become Stable Leased to a Carrier: Experienced owner-operators may take the risk of the Spot Market. If you choose to lease with a carrier, then you can receive regular pay periods and consistent loads.
  • Drive Your Truck: Rather than a company-owned vehicle, drive a truck you own with the ability to customize the truck to your liking.

Are You Ready to Become an Owner Operator?

We interviewed Paper Transport owner-operators for tips and advice for truck drivers interested in making the change to own their own business. Here’s what they had to say:

Stay Disciplined and Be Patient

You could be an excellent driver, but that doesn’t always mean you would make a successful owner-operator. There is so much more involved than a lot of drivers don’t see or realize. The thing I cannot stress enough is patience. The first year or two is always the longest and hardest. Stay disciplined and patient. Never assume you’re done learning and you know it all. That is when mistakes can happen and major things can be missed or downplayed, all of which can hurt you financially.

Jay Brockway, Intermodal

Remember It’s a Business After All

The change from company driver to owner op is fairly drastic. The owner op is responsible not only for the expenses and upkeep of his equipment but also for the business side of things such as taxes, health insurance, etc.

Jeremiah Carson, Dedicated Regional

Balance Expenses With Proper Maintenance

The difference between a company driver and an owner-operator is massive! First, there is the responsibility of the tractor. Then there’s the monthly payment, insurance, licensing, and tolls. A company driver doesn’t have these burdens. The second is the maintenance and breakdowns! The expense of maintenance and breakdowns can severely affect your bottom line … The trade-off is that a good Owner Operator can earn 4 to 5 times the earnings of a company driver. When I say a good Owner Operator, I mean one who maintains their equipment and is available to take loads every day. A driver that is responsible, safe, and reliable.

Bud Weber, Intermodal

Work Smart, Not Hard

Tips for new owner-operators are: work smart not hard, control your expenses, and have a financial plan where you can save money.

Jesse Singh, Intermodal

Start Your Career as an Owner Operator

Enjoy more access to loads with less leg work and added stability of being leased to Paper Transport. Learn more about Paper Transport’s Owner Operator positions and leasing with us here.