How to Become a Truck Owner-Operator

An owner-operator is an independent truck driver who owns and operates a carrier vehicle for freight movement. 

Rather than work as a company driver, the individual becomes an independent contractor. An owner-operator can get hired to move goods for companies. 

Hiring contractors saves companies the overhead cost of truck maintenance. 

As an independent trucking contractor, you are responsible for the pickup and movement of shipments. You will decide the routes to run, load, and unload your vehicle and ensure that you deliver the cargo as stated in your contract. 

In addition, you are responsible for the maintenance of your truck and the insurance costs. If you are an owner-operator, you will decide which jobs to take and create your schedule.

You must have similar qualifications to a company’s truck driver and own a vehicle to become an owner-operator. 

The carrier vehicle must satisfy the specifications required for the freight type you prefer to transport. You will also have the correct CDL for your vehicle type.

You will need the knowledge of spreadsheets to trail your finances.

In addition, a clean truck driving record is vital to landing the type of trucking jobs you desire. Some employers may even run background checks on you and request you to undergo a drug test. 

Owner-operators are free to choose the duration of their contracts and the range of hauls they undertake. They may also specialize in a specific aspect of the trucking industry, like refrigerated shipping or the movement of hazardous substances.

owner-operator blog graphic with woman standing in front of a semi truck

Manage Your Owner-Operator Finances

You need to be smart with your money and manage it well to cover your expenses.

Freight factoring can help you if you own a trucking company. You can receive a payment within 24 hours instead of 30 to 90 days if you join a freight factoring company. 

The partnership will prevent you from running into debt. You will increase your trucking salary if you can efficiently control your finances.

Your designated routes can affect your income if you own and operate a truck. Search for locations where you can find high-paying loads. 

Then, plan your routes to allow you to haul the freight. You will have productive trips if you have a good relationship with the trucking industry’s direct shippers.


Many owner-operators started their trucking career with entry-level jobs in companies. 

They learned the crucial skills for operating commercial vehicles and gained experience in the industry. Whether you are a company’s truck driver or an independent contractor, you can earn a decent income driving a truck.

Get started by earning your commercial driver’s license with help from CDL University. 

CDL University is Oklahoma’s best trucking school according to its graduation rate. Learn more about our process by scheduling an appointment or coming to see us at 2120 S. Prospect Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73129.