Company drivers, owner-operators have different motivators: ATRI

by Today's Trucking

New research from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found company drivers and independent contractors/owner-operators are motivated and satisfied by different factors.

More than 2,000 truck drivers were interviewed, two-thirds of whom were independent contractors/owner-operators.

Company drivers listed as their main motivators to work as an employee: job security/stability; income; and healthcare/retirement savings. However, independent contractors/owner-operators listed: independence/ability to set hours; schedule/flexibility’ and choice of routes/length of haul.

U.S. highway
(Photo: istock)

Both listed income as an important motivator in terms of their satisfaction. Of company drivers, 68.9% said they were “very satisfied/satisfied” with their come, while 80.1% of owner-operators reported feeling the same.

More than half of owner-operators reported net incomes greater than US$75,000 in the previous year while nearly 70% of company drivers reported earning between $50,000 to $100,000, ATRI reports.

“ATRI’s analysis validates what we know to be true with our professional truck drivers – those who choose to be owner-operators are often motivated by the desire to be in charge of their schedule and work environment,” said Eric Fuller, president and CEO of U.S. Xpress Enterprises. “Understanding what motivates our company drivers and owner/operators allows us to better tailor offerings as we continue to focus on recruitment and retention.”

The report, available here, also examines what motivates female drivers compared to males.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • Theses results are for USA . What about Canada ? There is no comparison. No respect for truckers and also owner operators will disappear from the board within few years because now all the companies have calculated truck payments and the drivers pay so no company wants to pay more than this . Owners operators are working on the bottom line . There are not enough loads on load board like USA . All fleets have Captured everything

  • I always like to know where they survey/poll these individuals because I never get asked my opinion.
    Its also interesting these transportation gurus are just realizing/finding this out that theres many differences/motivators between company drivers and owner operators. C’mon people wake up.