Graduating from truck driving school and earning your Class A CDL can open up a world of career opportunities, including the ability to be your own boss. Although there are a lot more responsibilities and costs that come with being an owner/operator, owning and driving your own rig can be much more lucrative and rewarding than driving for a motor carrier. A lot of students that enroll in truck driving school come to class with some misinformation regarding the owner/operator status. This post should help clear the air so you can separate fact from fiction and decide if this is the career for you.
Myth: All owner/operators are 100% independent drivers
Although there are a large number of truly independent owner/operators, a majority of them “lease” to a company. Similar to contractors in other industries, lease drivers are given jobs by motor carriers and can choose whether or not to accept. This is usually the cheaper and easier way to get started as an owner/operator.
Myth: Owner/operators can deduct out-of-route miles
There are a lot of tax benefits that come with being an owner/operator, but one of the common misconceptions is that owner/operators can deduct all miles driven inside their trucks (in terms of added fuel costs, meals and hotels along the way, et cetera). For any deductions you make as an owner/operator, in the event you are audited you will need to be able to show proof that the miles and the associated operating expenses claimed on your taxes were strictly business related.
Myth: Owner/operators are away from home most of the time
Although there are certainly owner/operators who choose to be on the road most of the time, the key word there is choose. Owner/operators are their own bosses, which means they set their own schedules and decide how long they will be away from home. Unlike OTR drivers who work for a company, no one forces an owner/operator to be gone longer than he or his family would like.
If you want to be your own boss and make a great living doing what you love, Phoenix Truck Driving Institute can help you take the first step towards a career as an owner/operator. Call us toll-free at (877) 205-5372 to learn more about our CDL A training programs and lifetime job assistance for all graduates.