My career as a truck driver started 18 years ago and I have learned a lot about the industry. Mostly from a close friend that has been there the whole 18 years. I started out as a company driver for a grocery warehouse. For two years, I drove to nearby grocery stores and unloaded groceries, produce, and frozen foods, sometimes by hand. I thought I had had enough of that and started pulling containers, 40′ trailers that come off ships at the pier. I pulled these trailers as far away as Kentucky and back and in the general area for 8 years. It paid pretty good but going in and out of the pier in Norfolk got to be too time consuming and I did not get paid for it.
I became an owner operator about 2 years into my career. I my mentor that helped me learn all I could to be an owner operator. He and I are still friends to this day! I hung on every word and every piece of information he could give me. In all those years as an owner operator, I have owned about 6 trucks, not all at once.
The difference between a company driver and an owner operator is as a company driver you have no responsibility of the truck, maintenance or repairs, fuel, truck payment or insurance. As an owner operator, you have to take care all of this. In some cases, being a company driver is a good thing, but if you want to be in control of what loads you get and where you are going, then being an owner operator is the way to go. I’ve enjoyed being an owner operator but now I work for one. My truck is paid for and I pretty much work when I want. I have someone in the family that works on it to keep it going.
Life as a truck driver has been good! I don’t run the road like I used to and every now and then I get the urge to run to California. Then I look at the truck and decide, I can’t do that! I guess I have about 5 more good years left before I will call it quits. Who knows!
Whoop, whoop, trukkin’ up!