The Challenges of Being an Owner Operator

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All drivers in the trucking industry will contemplate owning their own truck at some point. The potential to make more money with truck driving jobs as an independent owner is a big draw for drivers. Deciding whether or not to be an owner operator driver is a complex decision that should be thoroughly thought out. Six key points should be considered before purchasing a truck.

Credit:
Drivers will need solid credit to get the best financing deal on a truck. If personal credit is not good; a driver should get their credit cleaned up before considering purchasing their own rig. Drivers may qualify for financing even with poor credit but finance charges will be significantly higher. Trucking companies that provide a truck is usually a better option for drivers who have credit issues.

Accounting:
Before becoming an owner operator; check with an accountant who is skilled working within the industry. These professionals will be able to help a potential owner operator work out all the tax and financial aspects of owning a rig.

Used Or New:
Determine if buying a used truck is a viable option. The trucking industry has a tremendous amount of turnover which allows for a person to easily find a used truck. If the decision is made to purchase used; have it thoroughly checked by a mechanic and obtain a warranty if possible. Used trucks are able to save a driver an enormous amount of money if they are in good repair.

Figure out how much can be comfortably afforded for a payment. Fuel economy is a major consideration when purchasing a rig. Check with people who own the exact truck what they average for gas mileage. Gas mileage directly affects a driver's income so finding the most economic rig will allow for more income.

Money:
Owner operators should be able to put down as large of a payment as possible. The more money offered as a down payment allows a driver to lower the total cost. Potential owner operators should have a large cash reserve for money to pay for insurance and maintenance work. A large sum of money will help the new owner operator pay for unexpected repairs and meals while out on the road.

Independent or Carrier Leased:
Most new owner operators start out with being leased to trucking companies. Carrier leasing has some distinct advantages. A carrier will help secure insurance and permits. Leased carriers will provide their drivers with trailers and the freight. Leased carriers may provide a fuel card which will allow for savings on gas.

Independent owner operator drivers will have to find their own work and insurance. Owner operators will be required to work directly with customers to secure payment. Payment is often slow within the industry so an owner operator needs to diligently pursue payment. Independent drivers will need to secure their own trailer.

Medical:
Truck driving jobs are often hard on a persons health. Medical insurance is a mandatory item that all driver's must have when on the road. Most companies or leased carriers will offer their drivers medical insurance. Owner operators will be required to find health insurance on their own and pay for it out of their own pocket. Determine if health insurance and truck payments are feasible within a driver's budget.



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