The Advantages of Leased Contracts as an Owner Operator

At Canal Cartage, we offer a family oriented and team environment for our owner-operator truck drivers.  We believe that the income potential as a private owner-operator provides a rewarding and lucrative opportunity for drivers, while balancing the lifestyle and scheduling flexibility that truck value and appreciate.

There is a big difference between being an hourly employee for a trucking company, versus operating your own vehicle as a business, and many advantages.  We will explain why our team of lease contact owner-operators gain an advantage over standard hourly drivers.

Higher Income Potential

Owner-operators who lease with Canal Cartage, enjoy many perks and benefits that hourly drivers do not receive.  For instance, we provide fuel surcharges, extra pay for heavy loads and certified hazardous materials cartage, and a fleet of chassis and trailers that can be utilized by our owner-operators, if their equipment is off-road for repair.

Owner-operators also enjoy significant income tax deductions for business, including fuel expenses, food and meal deductions, as well as equipment maintenance costs.

Improved Safety

When a cartage company has to maintain a large fleet of trucks for their drivers, the costs can be very prohibitive for the organization. Unfortunately, this can result in an attempt to reduce costs by taking short-cuts when it comes to equipment and maintenance, which presents both an increased liability for the company, and safety risk for the truck driver and other drivers on the road.

Some companies can try to cut costs in a variety of ways that substantially reduce safety.  For instance, our highways are littered with re-tread rubber, when trucking companies try to extend the life of expensive tires by refurbishing it.  Department of Transportation regulations require that tires on the steer axle (the front two tires on a truck) must be new, and not furbished for safety requirements.

The problem is cutting corners, that impact safety.  We wish we could say that our team and our drivers have never seen violations or ‘bad tires’ on heavily loaded trucks, but the truth is that we see examples every week.  And the majority of examples are not owner-operator vehicles.  When a large tire tread unfurls, it can create significant damage to the truck and chassis, and to other vehicles on the road.

Owner operators are always in control of the maintenance and safety of their vehicle.  Operating their equipment as a business (and with their own safety in mind), our experience is that owner-operators do not cut corners when it comes to equipment maintenance. And that keeps our roads and drivers safer.

Another factor in safety is impacted by scheduling.  We know that CDL drivers are in high-demand and short supply.  This factor can result in over-scheduling of drivers.  New Federal Safety Laws “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015” enforce the 34-hour restart rule of operation, and new “Summary of Hours of Service Regulations” provides for mandatory rest breaks for drivers.

Some trucking companies may try to circumvent the law, by subtly pressuring drivers to extend their hours of operation.  We understand why they are motivated to do so, but drivers who are employed by the company on an hourly basis, can find it difficult to object to illegal scheduling.  Owner-operators can set their own schedule, in adherence with DOT requirements without conflict or fears for their safety.

Vacation Time Flexibility

Truck drivers have a hard job, and vacation time and rest breaks are very important to maintaining health and alertness.  Periodically, drivers will also be required to engage in retraining or refresher courses for safety, or to acquire a new license certification (i.e., hazardous materials shipping).  If you are working as an hourly employee, your vacation time is subject to the approval of your employer, and considering the high-demand of shipping schedules, it can be hard to book time off.

Being an owner-operator, means that you the driver, are in control of your schedule and availability.  Our drivers enjoy that flexibility (particularly those who have a family and children), because it gives them the freedom to schedule accordingly, around their needs.  At Canal Cartage, we know how important it is to our drivers, and to protecting public safety, while providing reliable cartage service to our clients without disruption.  It’s good business, to have rested and healthy drivers on the road.


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