When it comes to being a truck driver, there are two options, company driver or owner operator, each having their own pros and cons. So which is right for you?

A company driver is a traditional employee. You’ll use your company’s equipment to haul designated loads on specified routes and be paid either by the kilometer or by the hour. Many (though not all) carriers also offer benefits to their company drivers, like health insurance and vacation time.

Every employer is different, however in general, short haul drivers are paid by the hour and long haul drivers are paid by the kilometer.

So exactly how much can you make as a company driver? Typically $75,000-$90,000 per year. Drivers with more experience and specialty endorsements such as HAZMAT and Tanker endorsements typically earn closer to the top end of the range, while newer drivers earn closer to the lower end.

The benefits of being a company driver are you don’t have to worry about:

• Unexpected expenses
• Being responsible for paying for the trucks financing, maintenance or fuel.
• Volatility of fuel prices
• Downtime due to truck repairs (you get breakdown pay)
• long layovers (you get layover pay)
• lack of profits if you have to deadhead to acquire a load (you are paid by the km or hour)
• Company driver jobs are for those who don’t like challenges and prefer predictability and reliable work.

So what is an owner operator? They are independent owners that work with trucking companies to haul loads. For many drivers, the biggest advantage to being an owner-operator is freedom and money!  As an owner operator you have more control of your potential earning. Annual revenue for an owner operator could range from $240,000 to $350,000 or more if you are a team driving or a super single.

However, there are things that need to be taken into consideration. You’ll also be responsible for your own taxes. Since you’re not a company employee, no taxes are withheld from your paychecks.

You also won’t receive company benefits, like vacation time or health insurance. When the truck isn’t rolling, you’re not making money.
Being an owner operator  you are responsible for handling all the expenses associated with your business:

• Truck payments
• Maintenance
• Repairs
• Insurance
• Fuel costs
• Company tax reporting and GST

So which is best for you….of course everyone is different. You need to consider your own needs when deciding. Some things to consider:

Driving experience – if you are a new truck driver, you may want to get the experience as a company driver first. You can learn the industry.
Entrepreneurship – being an owner operator requires a lot of time and effort to run your company, while being a company driver, you focus solely on driving.
Finances –  owner operators need to have a bit of a financial cushion, your expenses start right away and may take some time to develop a consistent income stream.

If you decide the owner-operator path is what is right for you, PowerLease is here with more information about how to get into your first truck!

Interested in Becoming an Owner-operator?


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