The average owner operator trucking salary is just under half of their gross income. Owner-operators also have to cover expenses for their trucks, including oil changes, new tires, and brakes. The truck payments themselves can easily consume half of their income, especially if they are a newer model. And on top of that, they also have to worry about all the necessary paperwork.
The main difference between an owner operator and a company driver lies in the amount of responsibility the owner-operator has to shoulder. As an owner-operator, you must pay for fuel, maintenance, and taxes, as well as fees and other costs. However, the upside of this arrangement is that you can be more independent and have more control over your schedule and cargo.
In addition to the salary, an owner-operator can also negotiate with carriers to get better rates. Most owner-operators earn between $50,000-$60,000 per year, which is considerably higher than the average OTR truck driver. However, before choosing a trucking company, you should carefully evaluate the salary of the company you’re considering. Most trucking companies take a 30% cut from the net income of the owner-operator. In addition, you’ll need to be aware of how much time your time is worth, and negotiate rates with carriers to ensure you get the best rates.
Owner-operators typically structure compensation based on a percentage of the revenue generated per load or on mileage. These rates vary widely and are usually set by the company. Some owners charge up to 85% of their revenue on a per-mile basis. However, this method is unpredictable and can fail to break even on some loads.