Owner-Operator Team Driving Advice Needed

Topic 29977 | Page 1

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Michelle E.'s Comment
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My trainer has invited me to stay teaming with him. He is a lease operator and I am a company driver. What is a fair rate that I should expect? He gets paid 73% of the load revenue and averages anywhere between $7200-11,400 in gross revenue to the truck per week before his expenses are deducted.

I just want to be sure I'm paid fairly. I'm considered a co-driver since I have upgraded not a trainee. I handle my own shifts without any assistance from him.

Banks's Comment
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What is the compensation package the company is offering you? Pay, detention, bonuses, breakdown, per diem , 401k match, health/dental/vision, std, ltd etc.

Then compare it and decide what's the best fit. Personally, I'm all about working for a big company. I know the checks clear, I'll be taken care of and I'm free of liability.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

PackRat's Comment
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Is your end goal to be a solo driver, or a team driver?

Turtle's Comment
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As to what a fair rate would be, I don't have an answer for that. But if you'll indulge me, I have a couple other things for you to consider:

It's common for some lease operators to attempt to lure trainees into staying on the truck. He'll benefit in many ways.

First, he'll get a full time experienced driver at the lowered rate of a fresh newbie.

Second, he gets to make all the decisions. Where to go, when to go, which loads to take, which loads to refuse, etc.

Third, he gets to practically double his income well you can only hope to make about the same amount as a good solo company driver.

Fourth, when the truck breaks down you make zilch. You have no company standing behind you with breakdown pay, or a new truck.

Remember, as a company driver you are motivated by and compensated for miles driven. He as a L/O is motivated by load revenue, and will in fact make every effort to reduce the miles driven in an effort to lower his operating costs. He wins, you lose.

Personally, I don't see any benefit to a lease/company team unless we're talking about a married couple, where all the money goes into the same pot.

Think long and hard about this from all angles before making the decision.

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