Here at Paramount Freight Systems, we love helping professional truck drivers take charge of their careers and become owner operators.
Last week we wrote about Six Roadblocks to Becoming An Owner Operator in our blog. If you’re considering making the leap from company driver to owner operator, you’ll want to read this series of blogs. This week, we’re telling you how to overcome those obstacles and what you need to do to be successful in owner operator jobs. Read on and comment below with any other tips you have.
Lease or Buy Your Own Truck
If you’re considering owner operator jobs, you have to have your own truck. There’s just no getting around that. Here at PFS, we require our owner operators to have a tandem axle or single axle day cab or sleeper tractor that is less than 10 years old. Our partners at Wholesale Truck and Finance or Cure Leasing and Maintenance can help get you in a truck of your own.
Be A Safe Driver
We put safety first at PFS. That’s why we expect our owner operators to have clean driving records. We require no preventable accidents within the last three years. If your record is messy with infractions and tickets, now’s the time to start a new clean record. Be a safe driver and watch your speeding for the next few years. A clean driving record is going to make your more hirable for PFS and other owner operator jobs.
Get The Required Experience
You may be ready to make the leap to owner operator jobs, but if you don’t have at least one year of verifiable experience as a truck driver within the last three years, we won’t be able to hire you at this time. Continue to work where you’re at and apply again after you’ve reached the one-year mark. We also require our drivers to have a Class A commercial driver’s license with HazMat and Doubles endorsements. Work on getting those if you don’t have them already.
Calculate the Costs
We regularly receive calls from drivers and drivers’ spouses asking about the specifics of owner operator jobs. We lay out the costs involved and explain to them what it’s like to work in this role. It’s different than being a company driver. Successful owner operators have found that partnering with a dedicated carrier like PFS lessens the burden of finding brokers and freight. We also offer discounts on fuel and truck parts as well as truck and health insurance.
It’s Your Truck, Your Business
When you become an owner operator, it’s like you are running your own business. Yes, you’ll get a paycheck from PFS for the miles you’ve driven, but you have to balance that with how much your truck loan or lease is costing you and other associated costs like insurance and maintenance. To be successful and make a living as an owner operator, you can’t just break even. You have to go beyond that. Here at PFS, we are happy to help you get started on the right foot.
Stay On Top of Your Taxes
As a self-employed commercial truck driver, you will be responsible for keeping track of your tax payments and how much you owe. Don’t make the mistake of putting this off. You have to keep track of your quarterly tax payments and keep good business records. And there is also the International Fuel Tax reporting that truck drivers must do. Read more about this fuel tax in our previous blog.
Now that you’ve learned how to overcome these common stumbling blocks, are you ready for owner operator jobs? Contact us today.