The Ins and Outs of Becoming an Owner Operator

Editors note: This is the first of a three-part series about the Crete Carrier Corporation’s owner operator program. 

Here at Crete Carrier, you can become a successful small business owner. You can be your own boss without the stress of finding freight. Crete Carrier provides a support system ensuring you get the miles you are looking for. Here is everything you need to know if you are considering becoming an owner operator.

Things to consider before making the decision to become an owner operator

Being an owner operator is similar to being a small business owner. There are many things to consider before jumping into this career. First, consider your qualifications. Crete Carrier and Shaffer Trucking require you have a valid Class A CDL and Hunt Transportation requires a TWIC card in addition to a valid Class A CDL. In addition, you must be a minimum of 22 years old, have one year of verifiable tractor trailer experience, an acceptable driving record, and pass a DOT required drug test and physical.

Consider your financial situation. Purchasing a truck requires big bucks and good credit. As an owner operator, you bring in more money, but your costs are higher as well. Making the financial decision to become an owner operator is one of the most important choices you will make in your career. It may be worthwhile to get professional advice from a business banking contact or accountant to help you address your personal financial situation, business structure, record keeping and tax implications.

Our owner operators are also required to purchase insurance, plates and permits. Costs for the mobile communications unit vary depending on your pay package. Take into consideration that you are responsible for keeping all aspects of your business in order. To ease you into the owner operator business, Crete Carrier provides help in most of these areas. Read more about the fees and requirements.

Becoming an owner operator

Crete Carrier makes it easy to become an owner operator. We do most of the paperwork at both state and federal levels, taking a load off your shoulders. We provide you with stable contracted freight, load select options, and discounts. As an owner operator you have access to three dedicated asset managers while still having the freedom of being your own boss.

Once you make the decision to become an owner operator, you will attend orientation at one of our five locations. Orientation introduces you to the company’s mobile technology, safety guidelines, and our equipment and maintenance program. You will also perform a road test and complete a required DOT drug test. Orientation is meant to help get you acclimated to the company and ensure your success as a new owner operator.

Our owner operators enjoy higher base pay and flexible payment options. You choose between sliding scale pay and flat rate pay based on your preferences. Flatbed drivers also have two pay options. To read more about how owner operators’ are paid, click here.

Benefits for Owner Operators

Once you are on board, you have access to great health care benefits, including dental and vision plans. Crete Carrier will also make an annual incentive payment into your IRA.  Basic life insurance and short-term disability coverage are automatically provided by Crete Carrier. For more information, click here.

As a driver you also have access to significant discounts on parts and labor for maintenance and repair work in our shops. All Crete Carrier Corporation drivers enjoy fuel discounts at select companies, which keeps your fuel cost at or below $1.00 per gallon.

The beauty of being an owner operator is that it’s your truck and your time, but purchasing a reliable yet reasonable truck can be difficult. Crete Carrier offers trucks near wholesale value, with a two-year/ 200,000 mile extended engine warranty. If you already own a truck, Crete Carrier has some minimum requirements it must meet.  

In review, becoming an owner operator is a difficult decision with many challenges but Crete Carrier makes it a smooth transition and supports you the entire way. On average our owner operators are successful and tend to enjoy the switch; so much so that our turnover rate is roughly 24%, one of the lowest in the industry.