Working in a broad industry like auto transport means various fields are available to choose from. Within the auto transport business, there are the shipper, the broker, and the vehicle hauler. Each has a function in the industry and an impact on the way auto transporting procedures work.
However, this article is meant to offer a clear account of auto transport owner-operators’ jobs and their significance in the auto transport industry.
Who are auto transport owner-operators?
Simple words can define auto transport owner-operators as licensed drivers who own or rent trucks to haul vehicles at their comfort and convenience.
On a large scale, owner-operators used to be company employees who managed to gain experience, learn about the best carrier driving practices, and save a good amount of money sufficient to buy their own vehicles and other requirements for starting their vehicle transport businesses. That is how most owner-operators begin to be independent contractors with carriers.
As with all different kinds of jobs, the owner-operator’s job has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the independent nature of the owner-operator’s job allows for ultimate freedom regarding several factors, from the privilege to determine break times and accepting or refusing to move particular loads to determine the routes where they want to drive. It is an entirely independent business that offers several work options for carrier drivers.
On the other hand, independent work means owner-operators are responsible for different aspects like finance arrangements, finding freight, and keeping regular maintenance. Another point worth mentioning is that owner-operators must hold the CDL commercial driver’s license and be registered in the USDOT for legislation purposes.
Where do auto transport owner-operators work?
We have already mentioned that auto transport owner-operators are independent truck drivers who own or lease their equipment, but what are the possible ways that owner-operators can work or source freight? There is more than one option for owner-operators: either working as independent contractors or starting their own businesses.
Working with large companies
Large companies that own their fleets seek to contract with owner-operators for several reasons. First, owner-operators are expected to be more experienced in the auto transport industry, more organized as they work independently, handle job requirements professionally, and have more knowledge about routes, equipment, and safety techniques.
That is why owner-operators are often regarded as better than company drivers, who need to undergo training programs to meet the job’s requirements. Second, these companies tend to work with owner-operators to cut dowregular employees’ costs and benefits, like health insurance, work compensations, etc.
Sometimes, fleet companies contract with independent owner-operators to cover the place of the drivers who are temporarily on leave or the work needs during market fluctuations.
On the other hand, owner-operators work at for-hire trucking companies as independent contractors to ensure stable and constant freights. They could be leasing equipment from that company and at the same time hauling loads for them, but without being committed to fixed working hours or accepting any offer, the company has.
Establishing a private business
Another way owner-operators can work and find loads is by establishing their own businesses. In this case, they can contact shippers through digital load boards or deal with third-party brokers who specialize in connecting them with carriers. Establishing a private business is not an easy task, and it requires a strong knowledge of all the ins and outs of the industry.
What makes a successful owner-operator?
Whether contracting with a trucking firm or working as private service providers, owner-operators should do their best to maintain a quality service. Successful owner-operators know all about the trucking industry and the trends shaping it, comply with all the legal regulations stated by the USDOT and FMCSA, stay updated about the latest industry regulations, invest great efforts in networking and building a reliable reputation, are organized, and provide excellent customer service.
Why are owner-operators critical to the auto transport industry?
Auto transport owner-operators constitute an integral part of the auto hauling business and are essential for the industry. Owner-operators’ benefit is highlighted when fleets ask for a high price to move freights or refuse to drive along unpopular routes. In such circumstances, owner-operators are more flexible and would be ready to carry loads at lower prices along routes, and areas fleets don’t take. So, auto transport owner-operators significant contribution to the stability of the auto transport business and the hauling prices.
When it comes to finding the most reputable owner-operators, Tempus Logix is the first company that comes to mind. Tempus Logix has a large network of carriers working with more than 25,000 shippers that offer every kind of vehicle shipment, including classic cars, boats, and heavy equipment transportation. The company works with licensed drivers with around $ 1,000,000 in freight insurance.
Finally, auto transport owner-operators are the cornerstone of the auto shipping industry, as they move freight to any area regardless of its popularity and help keep the shipping prices more reasonable.