Being an owner operator grain hauling offers advantages over being a driver hired by a truck owner, but there are also disadvantages. Drivers generally know how much money they will make on a trip, and they don’t have to worry about expenses that can accumulate unexpectedly in a hurry. Costs that can vary widely trip by trip – fuel, tires, regular maintenance and repairs – are passed on to the truck owner, along with the cost of fees, permits and taxes.
Of course, unlike the hired driver, the truck owner also receives the profits. Shrewd owner-operators who spend their money wisely can minimize expenses and thus maximize those profits, increasing their income accordingly.
Trucking has a Driver Shortage
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. has a massive truck driver shortage. With the economic trends still pointing up, it seems apparent that the shortage will not be satisfied anytime soon, The American Trucking Association claimed in 2018 that an additional 900,000 drivers are needed to address the increase in demand. Amazon’s recent announcement making one-day shipping standard for Prime customers only increases demand across the board. As companies attempt to meet the growing demand, the trend of having to pay higher rates to secure trucks to ship their commodities will likely continue.
Experience and Financial Savvy Matter
Owning their own rig might seem to be a logical next move for experienced truck drivers. For one thing, these drivers already know how life on the road can affect their health and family relations and whether or not it fits their lifestyle. But they must also decide if they have the financial ability to purchase their own rig and how much operating money they will need to run their own trucking business.
Hauling grain as an owner-operator offers the chance to be part of the increasing need for freight haulers in a trucking industry that’s currently on a fast track.