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Owner Operator – Want Your Kid to Become One? Part I
Several months ago, I featured a young, 23-year old Owner Operator who seemed to be having the time of his life on the road. He recorded videos of his drive time and rest time. Some videos were very interesting – some were – well – not so interesting.
One thing for sure, he visually brought the life of an Owner Operator to the world and he attracted quite a following – sort of like these “reality” shows that have become so popular.
When I featured this young millennial driver in one of my weekly messages, I portrayed his life on the road as an option for younger people. After all, we hear so much about the “driver shortage” and so why not provide some information about the driving profession?
By the way, some ex drivers get irritated when they hear the words “driver shortage”. These drivers say there ain’t no shortage – drivers are out there – they’re just not getting into the game due to all the negatives.
There may be some truth to this.
One viewer even replied to me with some stern advice. He recalled all the negative factors that Owner Operators experience. There’s low pay, there’s monotony, there’s being away from home and family, there’s being cramped into a small box for hours on end, there’s rising operating costs – and he continued on and on.
I Replied – “One man’s poison is another man’s pudding”
For sure, what’s good for one may or may not be good for another. When I featured this young driver, my objective was not necessarily to encourage younger individuals to pursue a career in over-the-road driving; my objective was to provide a glimpse into the life of one person on the road.
Viewers are then free to disregard the opportunity – or they just may decide to jump in and give it a try. More than several trucking companies are catering to younger drivers, especially by placing some high tech gadgets inside the cab and by providing a more meaningful experience about the many positive aspects in the logistics industry.
So, driving as an Owner Operator is a matter of personal preference. Each individual may want to do some deep thinking regarding their interests, motivations, aspirations and resources. Let’s look at some of these realities.
How Some Get Started
Many Owner Operators come from a family history of running trucks. It’s in their blood. They thrive on the open road despite all its challenges. That’s the only life they know and you couldn’t pull them away from this lifestyle.
Then, of course, there’s the other side. The other side includes drivers who are getting fed up with all the requirements and expenses, etc. Eating warmed over spaghetti and climbing in and out of the cab just doesn’t hack it nowadays.
So, a younger driver may want to get some good advice before jumping in. Younger ones may want to speak with veteran drivers – get some perspective from those who have been there, done that.
In Part II, we’ll look at the idea of leasing on to a motor carrier which is a way many beginners get their start.
Bear in mind that many owner operators get their broker authority and go directly to shippers for loads. This is a smart way to go.
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