Company Driver Income vs Owner Operator Pay | Status Trucks

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Company Driver Income vs Owner Operator Pay

There are many pros and cons of being an owner operator vs a company driver, but one of the main differences has to do with how much money each one can make. Being a company driver has its benefits like no start up costs. Soon after you get your CDL you can sign up with a company and start earning a paycheck. Also, there are no truck payments, maintenance bills, or repairs to take care of during your downtime, which means the money is yours to keep. On the other hand, owner operators pay for multiple other expenses before they can start their own business. So how come so many company drivers are constantly thinking about becoming owner operators? There are many factors to consider, but the owner operator’s potential to make more money is one of the aspects that draws company drivers so much.

Your current financial situation, budgeting habits, personal downtime needs, social skills, and the company you work for are some of the variables that will determine your success as an owner operator.

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Financial preparedness

They say failing to plan is planning to fail. Being an owner operator requires you to be financially prepared to take care of extra expenses you didn’t have before as a company driver. Depending on your lease, you may have to go on for the first two or three weeks without a paycheck when starting as an owner operator. Therefore, it is crucial to leave behind an employee mentality and adopt an entrepreneur’s mentality. An owner operator may hire another drive and has to be prepared to cover regular expenses like fuel, wages, and truck payments. Unforeseen expenses include truck breakdowns, that is why it is good practice to set money aside on a weekly basis for truck maintenance and repairs. At Status, we can help you to be better prepared for those situations by setting you up with a mechanic’s account.  A mechanic’s account serves as a savings account that you can use at any time.  Status owner operators receive special pricing at Status Truck & Trailer Repair located in Atlanta, GA.

Reasonable expectations

Having reasonable expectations can help you to make the right decisions on how to run your business as an owner operator. An owner operator pay scale is higher because it’s directly related to a percentage, and not a long-term fixed rate contract. This gives you more freedom to set goals like choosing your own truck, just remember to know your costs and live within your means. At Status Trucks, owner operators have the option to run OTR, regional, and also to decide what loads to accept. Your income as an owner operator may vary depending on the region of operation and market trends, but as long as you keep running there will be paycheck waiting for you.

Social skills

Your social skills can also be a determining factor on your bottom line. Your dispatcher, safety department staff and accountants at are only some of the people at Status Trucks working as a team towards ensuring your success as an owner operator. On the long run, drivers who trust and develop a friendly relationship with their dispatchers end up making more money. If you are on a non-forced dispatch program try to develop a friendly relationship with your dispatcher. Some loads pay more than others, but when you trust dispatcher, you know it is his best interest to take good care of you.

Finally, the company you are leasing to is also a determining factor in your success as an owner operator. At Status, we have different pay programs designed with the owner operator in mind. We strive towards developing long-term strategic partnerships that will help you to run a successful owner operator business.

Erik C.
Status Trucks