OWNER-OPERATOR VS. COMPANY DRIVER: WHERE CAN I FIND THE MOST FREEDOM AND PROFITABILITY?
Are you trying to decide whether you want to drive for a trucking company or invest in your own truck? Many truck drivers struggle with this decision. We help you navigate the different questions you might have and explain why we think driving for a company like J&M can offer more freedom than driving your own truck.
OWNER-OPERATOR OR COMPANY DRIVER: WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
As an owner-operator, you get to pick your own rig, who your clients will be, and you are the one who decides how much of your profits go into maintaining your business and how much will go into your salary and investments. It seems like you have a lot more freedom and a lot more money in your pocket driving for yourself compared to being a company driver, but this might not be the case for most truckers.
There are a lot of upfront expenses and operation costs that come with owning and operating your own truck. You can expect to spend $6,000 to $15,000 upfront in addition to the cost of your truck and equipment. After that, the costs for operating your truck include insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, permits, registration, and transportation claims. Many owner-operators have a very slim profit margin, and they are afforded very little time at home in order to maintain that margin.
As an owner-operator, you will also spend a lot of your time off the road focusing on the business side of things: managing your books, getting clients, and answering phone calls and emails. You are also responsible for keeping up with your own maintenance schedule and repairs.
When you calculate all of the costs of maintaining your truck and the time-consuming headache of running your own business, you may end up having a lot less freedom and profitability than if you drove a company truck.
THE PERKS OF BEING A COMPANY DRIVER
We can’t speak for all trucking companies, but when you drive for a trucking company like J&M Tank Lines, you have the benefit of company oversight. You don’t have to worry about the business side of things or keeping up with maintenance on your truck. Our drivers are also covered if something goes wrong out on the road.
Driving for a trucking company removes the headache of complying with repair and maintenance requirements on your own. At J&M, for example, you have the benefit of maintenance crews that help you keep up with your maintenance schedule, and you’re able to get back on the road in another company truck.
J&M allows drivers to focus solely on driving, and they provide the consistency that is not always easy for owner-operators to find on their own. As a company driver, you always have a client, and J&M has a minimum guarantee to make sure drivers are still able to earn a paycheck if something happens to cause a slow-down. Not all trucking companies offer benefits like this minimum guarantee, but J&M does – it’s just another way we make driving for a company more beneficial for the truck driver. We also offer health insurance, 401(k), paid vacations, and performance bonuses.
When you own and operate a truck, it is challenging to find quality time for yourself and for spending time with your family because your time off is spent maintaining your business. When you drive for J&M, your time off is spent more with family and less on if you will have another load after your reset. Once you climb out of your cab, you can leave the job behind and enjoy your life without having to worry about all of the extra work and expense that comes with owning and operating your own truck.
J&M Tank Lines takes pride in their elite tanker drivers, and they make sure their drivers thrive by offering consistency, benefits, and competitive pay. Driving for some other trucking companies may not be better than owning and operating your own truck, but you can definitely count on J&M to handle the logistics and maintenance so you can get on the road!
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO BECOME PART OF THE J&M TANKLINES FAMILY
J&M Tank Lines has been a leader in transportation for 70 years in the Southeast with terminals in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Texas. We provide high-caliber truck driving solutions locally and nationally and partner with SmartWay, American Trucking Association (ATA) and many more! Contact us or call us at 205-798-9988 to learn more today.