Xan Systems, Ontario, Canada

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Being a Company Driver vs Owner Operator in Ontario

Whether you’re considering work as a company driver or as an owner-operator, you are on the right track. Both types of employment offer good opportunities and high pay down the road.

We at Xan Systems have a fleet of drivers employed directly by the company as well as independent owner-operators whom we are also happy to employ.

There are many criteria why you might prefer one over the other, from financial to personal and beyond. To be able to make a decision as to which option suits you best, we can offer a break-down of the perks and downsides of each choice.

If you’re ready, let’s jump to it and go over them now.

Company Driver Job Perks

The perks of a company driver mainly translate to convenience.

  • You’re off as soon as your key is out of the ignition. When you go home, you’re done for the day until the next time you clock in for a workday. This can be important for people with families as you take no real worries home with you.
  • Free time as a direct result of the first perk. You don’t have to fix the truck, worry about equipment and so on – everything is supplied by the company.
  • You keep the pay you get, all of it. You have no repair expenses, no truck insurance, no oil changes and so on.
  • Freedom to change jobs. Nothing is keeping you on the job and you can leave trucking as a line of work at any moment.
  • No investments and startup costs. You don’t need anything but a driver’s license and some experience for this, whereas an operator has to invest in an expensive vehicle and a place to store it just to name a few things.

Bottom line is you get a far less stressful job.

There are downsides of course. Let’s go over them as well.

  • Lower pay. Most companies pay for mileage, not for waiting times. This leaves you in a slightly unstable situation where your several hours waiting time at a warehouse loading dock are not paid. This is the main reason why many drivers at some point decide to move up to owner-operators.
  • This last downside will usually mean you’ll want to keep the wheels spinning and often work longer hours to get more pay.
  • Sharing your vehicle with other drivers. When the truck just sits there, the company makes no profit, so when you turn the switch and go home, another driver will often be assigned the vehicle in order to keep it running. And then you’re stuck cleaning their mess from eating on the go, their soda cans and what not.

The benefit of being owner-operator

  • They work longer hours and have a lot of hassle to deal with: car payments, repairs, insurance and so on.
  • At the same time, they enjoy higher pay and more respect.
  • Their vehicle can be a source of worry and expenses, but they share it with no one else.
  • Also, they often work longer hours and take a lot of worry home, but they can choose to take a vacation at any moment not having to explain anything to management and/or scheduling.
  • The average yearly income of an owner-operator in Canada is just below $140,000 a year. Naturally, it varies with experience and other factors, but that’s the norm.

Hope this article helps you decide which is your preference! If you are interested in a trucking career, we always have a place for you, whether as an in-house driver or operator.