You really raise two different questions:
1) Should I remain an owner operator or become a company driver?
Owning your own truck, if things go well over the long term, isn't going to produce much in the way of worthwhile profits (if any) over being a company driver. So it's our official position here at TruckingTruth to recommend that people avoid buying or leasing a truck, especially when they're new to the industry. And if you've never owned and operated any sort of business before then that goes double. It's not that you can't get by owning or leasing a truck, but the question is whether or not it's worth the extra work and risk involved. If you're not 100% hardcore committed to being in the trucking industry for a number of years to come while focusing on keeping that business running strong then I would say become a company driver instead.
2) Should I run OTR or get a local job instead?
This is a totally personal thing. Obviously if you keep the truck you're going to have to find somewhere to lease it on or a broker with some local freight that's going to pay your bills. If you're going to sell the truck and become a company driver then it's really just a lifestyle choice. Personally I loved travelling and thought local work was painfully boring. But I was never married and I don't have any children so I was free to travel all I wanted to. Most people don't have that luxury so their choices are more difficult and they have more to take into consideration.
I'll say one thing about most local work. You will often times put in so many hours that the social life you thought you were going to have doesn't exist. You basically work, eat, shower, and sleep most of the time anyhow. I found that if you're looking for a combination of solid pay and yet some home time for your social life then getting home on weekends is an excellent compromise. You get plenty of miles and you get to live the travelling lifestyle five days a week but then you're home on the weekend to do your thing. It's certainly something to consider.
OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.
An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.
I'll 2nd the home weekends lifestyle. I usually go out anywhere from 2400 sun night to 2300 Monday and am always home by 1900 Friday. I average 1700-2400 miles per wk and make $650-$900 take home. It's not great, but as Brett said, I'm home every weekend and got to spend Easter with my family and was able to celebrate my daughters pregnancy with her.
New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features
I hope everyone on this forum is doing great and having safe trips. I have been in construction since I have been 18, I'm currently 27. About two years ago I wanted a change of careers especially since the construction industry is very eratic at times. So I saved for around a year and a half and bought my own truck. 2001 peterbilt 379, it needed work but hey it was mine lol. I didn't know how to drive a truck what so ever lol. I taught my self how to shift, make turns, and somewhat back up and of course I'm still learning every day. I was taking loads that I knew didn't pay enough but I finally had my foot in the door. First trip I ever made was to Newark nj lol, it seemed like something out of a truckers nightmare. Terrible traffic, tight streets, one way roads and after all that it took me 30 mins to back into this tiny dock while I was blocking traffic. Needless to say i only got flipped off about twice lol so that was a positive lol. I try to stay away from the northeast as much as possible I mainly drive west now and i love the scenery. I'm thinking about selling my truck and just getting a local job where I'm home every day. Would it be worth it? Sorry for rambling on and on for such a simple question but I was bored lol. Thanks in advance for any advice
Transportation Worker Identification Credential
Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.
Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.