Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
If you buy a truck and lease to a carrier you are responsible for all expenses for that truck. Some carriers help owners find drivers, but the owner of the truck or contractor is responsible for paying the driver, paying workers comp, etc., Your driver and your payroll. If you pay on a W2, then you are responsible for paying part of the driver's social security taxes and filing a report with the IRS along with your check for the taxes collected. If you decide to pay on a 1099, then the driver is responsible for filing and paying his own taxes to the IRS. As far as the truck insurance is concerned, it is the responsibility of the carrier to pay the liability and cargo insurance. However, there are some carriers who may pay a higher percentage to the contractor (owner operator) but charge them with their share of the liability and cargo insurance.

As the owner of the truck, you pay for your own fuel (although the carrier may offer a fuel card program), tires, tow bills, road service, etc., Most of the larger carriers offer tires on their national account, but you could pay about as much on their program as you could do on your own. The larger carriers usually offer fuel discounts if you use their fuel card. That can be a significant savings. Some carriers pay for the base plate and permits. Some will advance the money and take a flat rate from your weekly settlements. Personally, I would prefer having my own base plate. Some carriers also pay your fuel taxes, while others charge those taxes back to the owner operator.

Also, when you lease to a carrier you will be required to furnish your own bobtail or unladen liability insurance. Some offer that through their insurance carrier, but charge the cost back to the owner operator. You will also need to have either an occupational accident policy or workers comp on yourself or whomever is driving the truck. If you want collision insurance, you will need to pay for that, as well. Some carriers offer collision, but you may find it less expensive through your own sources. If you find a carrier to whom you are interested in leasing your equipment, ask them to send a list of what you will be required to pay and what they need for you to qualify. All carriers require that the driver take a drug and alcohol test prior to orientation. That may also be charged back to the owner operator. One other cost is housing for the driver during orientation. You should expect to either have the driver sleep in your truck or pay for a motel. You may also want to consider paying the driver for attending orientation. Some pay their drivers and others do not. Most drivers seem to stay broke, regardless of how much you pay them. It is not uncommon for drivers to need to get money from the owner or company during orientation and even when the drive for you. I would try to keep those advances to a minimum. Good drivers are difficult to find and keep. One piece of advice I would offer anyone considering hiring drivers is to keep a close eye on your expenses and make sure to inspect your equipment regularly. I have had drivers who kept the truck clean enough that you could eat off the floors. I have also had drivers who would trash the truck. Good luck.
Thank you very much for your response!