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What’s the Difference Between an Owner Operator and Independent Contractor?

It can be easy, when entering into the field of trucking, to be confused by the terms Owner Operator and independent contractor. They often get used on similar occasions. However, they function in slightly different ways. At Real Truckers, we serve owner operators and help them get ahead in their field.

What Is An Owner Operator?

An Owner Operator is someone who not only owns their own equipment but also runs their own business. Owner Operators are capable of operating under their own authority as freelance truck drivers or they can enter into a contract with a company as an independent contractor. Owner Operators take on all the responsibility and liability of running their own company. This means that while they keep all the profit that they make, they must also pay for their maintenance out of their own pocket. They also are the ones who keep all their own financial records, and they must pay for their own insurance. 

The benefit of an Owner Operator is complete freedom. That is, you can be an independent contractor as an Owner Operator without the need to sacrifice your pay or lose money on leased equipment. As an Owner Operator, you can decide what you haul and when you haul it. The only limitations you may have are if you sign a contract with a company. This is because some companies do not allow truck drivers to haul freight for other companies when they have entered into a contract with them.

What Is An Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is someone who is not quite an employee, but they are also not quite an Owner Operator. This person can lease a truck under a company or an owner operator and perform the functions of a driver without having to own their own company. They will typically sign an agreement or contract with an operating authority and have to pay them a percentage of their earnings as a part of their contract.

One important aspect of being an independent contractor is that they typically do not own their own truck. This means that they have to lease the truck that they use from the company that they are contracted to. While this can be cost-effective for many, it also means that, if the driver decides to leave that particular company, the truck will normally stay with them and the driver will be out the money they spent on leasing the equipment. A small benefit of not owning your own truck, however, is that you do not have to pay for repairs if the truck needs them. This can be a good thing because repairs for trucks can be quite pricy.

Contact Us Today

Being an Owner Operator opens many doors for truck drivers with experience. It allows them to be their own boss and set their own schedule. There is much to learn about being an owner operator but with the right help, you can set yourself up for success. At Real Truckers, that is our field of expertise. We help truckers set their own schedules and have access to the resources they need. Are you interested in learning more about us? Contact us today.