Becoming your own boss is the American dream. As a truck driver in the trucking industry, there are multiple ways you can drive a truck and make money. You can start as a company driver, transition to leasing a truck through a carrier, become a leased or purchased owner-operator, or become a fleet owner.
Suppose you’re interested in transitioning from a company driver to an owner-operator. In that case, you’ll need to understand the different options available to you and what it takes to get your truck. Before you leap into becoming a business owner, you’ll need to decide if you want to lease onto a company or run under your own authority and find your own loads. There are three options:
- Carrier Lease
- Leased or Purchased Owner-Operator
- Fleet Owner
What is a Carrier Lease?
A Carrier Lease is when you lease a truck through a carrier and run for that carrier.
- The goal of a carrier lease is to run for a specific carrier, pay the weekly (or monthly) payments, and own the truck at the end.
- You can walk away from this lease with zero financial responsibility or consequences.
What is a Leased or Purchased Owner-Operator?
A Leased or Purchased Owner-Operator is when you sign a lease-purchase agreement to get a truck through a third-party leasing company or when you buy your equipment (outright or through a loan). You can sign on with a carrier and run under their authority or find your own loads and run under your own authority.
- You have control over the equipment and who you lease to, but you can’t walk away from the equipment free and clear. You’ll face severe financial consequences if you default on the loan.
What is a Fleet Owner?
Simply put, a Fleet Owner is someone that owns a certain number of trucks and has a certain number of drivers that drive for them.
- You source your own loads and have complete control of your equipment.
Are You Ready to Become an Owner-Operator?
Running your trucking business as an owner-operator is not always going to be easy. Your success is a reward of a well-written and well-executed business plan. Keep in mind, not all lease program agreements are written in the same way. Make sure you read and understand everything in the contract. If necessary, hire an attorney and have them explain the contract terms to make sure you have the freedom you deserve. It would be best if you began thinking like a business owner.
The great thing about OTR Leasing is we have solutions for every type of truck driver. We can lease you a semi-truck and refer you to one of our carrier partners, or you can run under your own authority and source your own loads. Do you want to add to your fleet? We also provide lease options for fleet owners. Our goal is to provide you with the best opportunity to succeed. When you succeed, we succeed.