Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator: Choosing the Right Carrier

Truck News

TORONTO, Ont. — Comparing pay packages is a “Rubik’s Cube” that requires a lot of reading between the lines, Ray Haight explains in Part 6 of Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator: Choosing the Right Carrier.

The 10-part series, sponsored by Michelin and available free of charge on, walks prospective and current owner/operators through the steps towards achieving success.

In Part 6, Haight, CEO of ATBS Canada, discusses how owner/operators should compare pay packages offered by various carriers.

“One carrier may offer an extra 10 cents a mile, which at 120,000 miles a year looks huge. But what it doesn’t say, you may find out it doesn’t pay for base plates, insurance, IFTA decals. When you go through all the numbers, you may find the carrier that pays a dime less may end up putting more in your pocket,” Haight said. “Don’t get enamoured with that top line. What you’re really looking for is what’s at the bottom of the page and what’s going to be left for you.”

Haight also discusses how O/Os should make the interview process a two-way discussion and touches on the key questions owner/ops should ask of a prospective new carrier.

And he warns against jumping ship from carrier to carrier too frequently.

“We would not hire anyone who had more than two jobs in 12 months because we knew they were financially weak,” he noted, providing an example of an O/O who switches carriers for an extra two cents a mile but is left $1,600 in the hole when the transition is complete.

To watch Part 6, go to the home page or click here.

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  • Hi, I’m currently a company driver looking to be come a O/O . I would really like to read the whole series of how to be a successful O/O. I really don’t know where to start. Is there a way the series can be sent to my home. Thank

  • The other day I was talking to an owner operator (I am a company driver) and was comparing my fuel economy to his. My MPG was 7.2 and his was 4.5. We were both hauling the same load to the same place along the same route. The owner operator was so proud of his performance….. I could not convince him that the higher number was better.