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Running Under Your Own Authority


If you run under your own authority - as opposed to under lease to a trucking company - you usually need to secure liability and cargo coverage as well. 1st Guard Corporation does not sell these lines of insurance.

Many owner operators believe they can increase their earnings by running with their own authority rather than under lease to a trucking company. A quick look at the numbers may lead you to a different conclusion.

The percentages obviously vary, but in general when you run for a trucking company, the trucking company pays you 75% of the revenue from each load you haul. They keep 25% for themselves, but in return for this share a reputable trucking company will provide you with a number of important services. First and foremost the trucking company will find you loads to haul. This benefit enables you to spend more time behind the wheel earning money and less time chasing down freight.

The second most important service a trucking company provides is liability and cargo insurance. Specifically when you sign on with a trucking company you should fall under their liability and cargo coverage. This advantage saves you the time and expense of finding your own liability and cargo insurance, which tends to costs thousands of dollars per year. You will still have to purchase your own physical damage (collision) and nontrucking liability (bobtail) insurance. It is much more difficult for an owner operator to secure liability and cargo insurance on their own.

Trucking companies also provide an array of other services for their owner operators including:

  • Fuel Surcharges
  • Quick Settlements
  • Fuel Tax Assistance
  • Collection Service
  • Regulatory and Compliance Assistance
  • Permitting
  • License Plate Financing
  • Breakdown Assistance
  • Terminal and Agent Networks

And that only touches the surface. Conversely, when you run under your own authority you have to take care of everything yourself.

How much does that take from each load? In round numbers:

  • Insurance 8%
  • Factoring 2%
  • Broker Fees 10%
  • Finding your own freight 3%
  • Compliance and Taxes 2%
  • Value of Fuel Surcharges and Other Services 2%

Guess what? The overhead costs for any given load you haul under your own authority appears to exceed the 25% a typical trucking company takes; except now you’re doing all the work and bearing all the risk. Bottom line: If you run for a reputable trucking company you will generally earn more money.

If you have a question about any particular trucking company,
please give us a call at 800-995-4827