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The information below provides insight into how working as an Owner Operator (also referred to as an Independent Contractor) may meet your expected lifestyle, work into your long-term career plans, and provide the working environment you seek.
What is an Owner Operator?
At its most basic level, an owner-operator (OO) is exactly as it sounds — a driver who owns the truck he or she operates as an independent business. For many truck drivers, becoming an OO means you have reached the pinnacle of the truck driving industry. You own, or have financed, the costs of your own truck in your own name. You decide who you will contract with, when you will contract, where you will drive, and the cargo you are willing to carry.
An OO is a "free and clear" small business owner. Likewise, those searching for freight shipment often prefer to deal with OOs and will pay more when the opportunity is exists. The fact that an OO, by definition, means the truck's owner and driver are one in the same removes the financial burden of a carrier or company hiring, training and maintaining extra drivers when demand sinks to normal or below normal levels.
What personal characteristics best serve Owner Operators?
Aside from the personal characteristics needed to be a good truck driver, an OO needs to have the knowledge and ability to operate within the industry and maintain mutually-beneficial relationships with clients. These client relationships must be developed to a level beyond that of any other type of driver. As an OO, you have reached the top of the heap when it comes to truck driving. There are no shortcuts, and through experience, you need to know how to react in virtually all situations ranging from personal interactions to truck repairs to working with your accountant if you are subject to an audit.
For additional information about Owner Operators, including what is a Owner Operator, pathways to securing a driving job, financial investment requirements, personal characteristics, average salaries and compensation structures of Owner Operators, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Different types of materials require different types of trailers, and each type of trailer offers drivers its own challenges. Therefore, it is important to understand what is required to not only drive your truck and your freight, but the trailer you are pulling as well.
What is Dry Van hauling?
Dry vans are likely the most basic type of trailer in the industry and the type beginning drivers are likely haul upon gaining their first jobs. A dry van is normally a 53-foot box-like trailers loaded with non-perishable good (think of the historical term of “dry goods store,” and the type of products they sold).
What are requirements necessary to haul dry van equipment?
Typically, dry vans can be hauled by anyone holding the appropriate classification of CDL.
What endorsements are need for dry van hauling?
If the cargo is considered hazardous or includes hazardous materials, an (H), Hazardous Materials, or (X), Hazardous Materials/Tanker endorsement is needed.
For more information about Dry Van Hauling, including what type of companies hire, job requirements, compensation structures, what endorsements are needed, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Truck driving route type vary within the industry and are dependent on several factors including interstate trucking requirements, route planning, type of cargo hauled, frequency, hazardous materials restrictions, driver experience, etc.
Regional Routes are routes within a specified geographic region. The region may be as small as a few counties in a state, a state itself, or a number of states. Regions are often divided geographically in typical ways including the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest Northwest, etc.