Introduction of Owner-Operator
When experienced truck drivers want to expand their earning potential and operate their own firm, they become Owner-Operators, purchasing or leasing delivery vehicles and using smart business practices that make the company thrive and customers happy.
Similar Job Titles
- Owner-Operator Truck Driver
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Owner-Operators do?
An Owner-Operator would typically need to:
- Own or lease one or more delivery vehicles, locate goods to haul competently, and manage the day-to-day tasks of running their own trucking company.
- Commercial delivery vehicles such as rigid trucks, articulated lorries, tankers, transporters, and trailer waggons must be driven, owned, or leased.
- Find potential domestic and international clients online or in person and solicit profitable business.
- As per client specifications, undertake or arrange for the safe transportation and timely delivery of cargo to preset locations.
- Assist in transporting everything from food to gasoline, from depots, distribution centres and warehouses to shops, factories and companies.
- Schedule and route deliveries; examine delivery trucks and equipment to ensure optimal operability, efficiency, and safety.
- Inspect all trucks before and after a trip, document any faults discovered, and perform emergency repairs as needed.
- Arrange for the repair of major mechanical faults and the routine maintenance of delivery vehicles and equipment.
- Ensure that all trucks owned or leased and accompanying equipment are clean and in good functioning order.
- Supervise or assist in loading and unloading products; ensure that ropes, blocks, chains, or covers are utilised to secure the cargo for shipment safely.
- Driving large distances while conforming to local traffic and safety standards; changing routes as needed based on traffic reports
- Keep an official logbook of working hours in accordance with local government standards, as well as records of deliveries and maintenance.
- Maintain an accurate record of all expenses and receipts; ensuring that accounts are in order and up to date.
- Create invoices with exact payment data; monitor payments and, if necessary, chase late payments.
- Any unusual situations on the road should be reported to an authorised dispatcher.
- Maintain current business and generate more in the future by communicating effectively with clients.
- Prevent miscommunication by providing timely notification of delays, damages, or unplanned events.
Standard Work Environment
An Owner-Operator may spend most of their time in their office or alone in their vehicle. Travelling great distances and crossing borders is an essential element of the job, which requires many days away from home.
Most countries require commercial vehicle drivers to work no more than 14 hours straight, including up to 11 hours of driving and the rest of the time doing other tasks such as loading and unloading freight. This work schedule frequently averages 42 hours a week, with regular overtime.
Owner-operators must take care of additional responsibilities and include them in their work routine. You must take at least 10 hours off between working sessions.
Some places additionally need no more than 60 hours of driving in seven days or 70 hours in eight days, as well as a 34-hour break before commencing another such stint. You must keep a diary of your working hours and keep in mind that Owner-Operators must work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Owner-Operators can improve their job hunt by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies. Owner-Operators may work as a subcontractor for a major haulage firm, float between hauliers, employ a goods exchange, or work directly with clients.
Owner-Operators are generally employed by:
- Haulage Companies
- Logistics Providers
- Freight Forwarders
- Transport Companies
- Private Customers
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional groups and organisations, such as The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, are essential for Owner-Operators who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their sector or trade. Membership in one or more of these organisations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Significant time spent alone driving the delivery vehicle, away from home and family
- The physically demanding nature of the job requires being able to drive for hours at a stretch and to load/unload, as required
- The mentally demanding nature of the job requires attention to detail and unwavering focus while driving
- Health issues due to the sedentary nature of the job, including obesity, high blood pressure, and fatigue
- Political and economic issues that affect the state of the transportation industry
Suggested Work Experience
Private truck-driving schools or community colleges will teach you how to manoeuvre heavy vehicles on highways or in congested areas.
Furthermore, new hires receive several weeks of on-the-job training in which they drive a truck while an experienced mentor driver sits in the passenger seat. You will get more at ease operating a specific vehicle and transporting specific commodities.
Some businesses may prefer candidates with past experience driving large delivery vans as well as strong skills in Microsoft Office and GPS systems.
When your tasks outside of the classroom precisely align with your learning, you will benefit from them. When more experienced workers manage to turn seemingly ordinary occurrences into unique learning experiences, you may be able to hear endless stories from them and gain significant hands-on experience.
Read up on the industry and interview or job shadow specialists who work as Owner-Operators.
Owner-Operators typically do not need a college education and can be successful with a high school diploma or its equivalent. A considerable percentage, however, holds a bachelor’s degree, with a smaller number pursuing an associate degree in business, accounting, general studies, or psychology.
You’ll need to learn about the government laws and regulations that govern interstate and international truck driving by attending either a private truck-driving school or a three- to six-month programme at a community college.
In high school, concentrate on business courses, arithmetic, accounting, geography, foreign languages, and psychology. English and speech lessons will assist you in improving your research, writing, and oral communication abilities.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
Prospective Owner-Operators value professional certificates in areas such as road safety, accounting management, and sales.
An additional certification from an objective and reputable organisation in customer service, payroll, Agile & Scrum for product owners, supply chain management, operations management, and human resources (HR) as a business partner can help you stand out in a competitive job market and increase your chances of advancement.
Certification normally requires a mix of education, experience, and examination, though criteria vary by location. By including a Code of Ethics, successful certification programmes defend the public welfare.
Owner-Operators must generally pass an LGV (large goods vehicle) licence test. The sort of test will be determined by the tonnage of the vehicle you wish to drive.
A category C1 licence may allow you to drive vehicles weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, however, a category C licence may be required to operate rigid vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes. To drive vehicles with trailers, you must have a category C+E licence, and to operate articulated lorries, you must have an A+C+E licence.
Owner-operators must hold a commercial driver’s licence (CDL) in order to drive long-haul vehicles. Applicants must have 20/40 vision and be able to distinguish the colours on traffic lights. Individuals with a suspended CDL or a medical condition such as epilepsy may be ineligible.
You can add endorsements to your CDL to demonstrate your ability to operate a certain vehicle. After passing a necessary knowledge test and a background check, you will be granted a hazardous material endorsement (H), allowing you to operate a vehicle transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT).
Licencing often necessitates a specified age, an application, processing costs, a knowledge test, and a driving test, however, specific criteria may vary by location. In addition, you must have strong eyesight and pass a medical exam.
Furthermore, possessing a full driving licence and completing a short course qualifies Owner-Operators for a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), which may be required in some locations.
You can apply for an O (Operator) Licence once you have the required operational money in the bank to operate one vehicle and have decided on a safe and secure operation base (where your truck will be parked when you are not driving it). The process could be lengthy and take several months.
You may also be required to go through an employment background check, which includes, but is not limited to, a person’s work history, education, credit history, motor vehicle records (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, usage of social media, and drug testing.
Projected Career Map
Performance, experience, and the acquisition of further professional certifications drive the career advancement of capable Owner-Operators who consistently improve their client base and earnings.
Candidates that can drive long distances alone, stay focused, follow traffic and safety standards, and have a strong work ethic will have the best career possibilities.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Owner-Operator in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, professional activity, and other means.
Whether traditional schooling or self-directed learning is used.
CPD, a clean driving record, and a genuine medical declaration or medical report allow for the renewal of desirable certifications and licences on a regular basis. You will also be subjected to random testing. If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or of a felony involving the operation of a motor vehicle, your CDL may be suspended.
Hard effort, dedication, and providing exceptional customer service can assist aspiring Owner-Operators in reaching and maintaining their professional goals. Improve your business skills to operate it more efficiently.
Keep an eye on the elements that cause the industry to rise or fall. Plan and plan for any relevant financial contingencies, such as altering costs and revenues, as well as workload cutbacks.
Conclusion of Owner-Operator
The road to Rome was not built overnight. Neither is a career as an Owner-Operator; you will be able to continue to drive while establishing your value as a business owner with the ability to choose appealing and potentially lucrative employment.
Advice from the Wise
You are your own business. To develop a strong reputation, be pleasant, professional, and adaptable.
Explore Also: How to Become a Merchant Mariner