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The Pros and Cons of Being a Self-Employed Truck Driver

The Pros and Cons of Being a Self-Employed Truck Driver

Many people become a truck driver because they love the notion of being free from the traditional work environment. While the open road and the non-traditional labor arrangement can be very liberating, it is not entirely free from corporate pressures. Working for a private or for-hire trucking company can cause a trucker to be pressured by demanding dispatchers and receivers who are stuck in a bottom-line mentality. Sometimes a truck driver wants to work with even fewer strings attached and go into business for themselves. But is this type of decision worth it?

Studies show that many more truckers are making the decision to become an “owner-operator,” as it is called in the industry. While this doesn’t completely relieve one from pressures and responsibilities as receivers still want great service at a reasonable rate, it does allow a truck driver to achieve a greater work-life balance and have greater control over their own finances. Here are the pros and cons of being a self-employed trucker.

The Pros: More Freedom and Less Hierarchy

Truckers are a vital component of the economy. Businesses can’t operate unless they’re well stocked on products that their customers want. Truck drivers make this possible and help keep commerce going. By becoming an owner-operator, drivers give themselves the freedom to choose their own jobs without fear of falling on bad graces with their employer. This allows drivers to build relationships with businesses that offer them good pay and scheduling options.

In large trucking companies, decisions are sometimes made by executives who aren’t in regular contact with (and don’t understand the struggles of) truck drivers. When you become a truck driver who operates on your own, you free yourself from being as affected by the corporate structure. This can mean more time with loved ones, less difficult trips, and a more reliable way to build up a financially-stable future.

The Cons: Start Up Costs and Personalized Expenses

While companies can be demanding when it comes to what they ask of their drivers, this is usually because they cover the licensing costs and other expenses truck drivers incur. Going into business for yourself may mean more freedom, but it also means covering your own costs. This includes the licensing exam if you haven’t already taken it, as well as gas and maintenance on your rig. These can add up quickly, so many drivers hire an accountant or assistant to help them manage their expenses.

While this can be helpful, it also comes with its own cost. Drivers must also look for work actively if they work for themselves. This can include advertising your service, opting for trademarks on a business name, and other similar tasks.

Is it worth it?

No one can decide what is best for a driver but them. Everyone is different, and while some may be willing to take on a little extra work in order to escape corporate pressure others may be more content having their expenses managed by a well-established company. No option is perfect, but considering alternative options can sometimes help one improve their work life by a large margin. – See more at:

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