How Much Do Flatbed Owner Operators Make?

As a flatbed owner operator, you have more control over the jobs you take on, your career, and how much you can possibly earn. While it will require some sort of investment upfront to get started, you soon will likely be on your way to earning a better salary than if you were to work for an employer as a flatbed truck driver. Here we’ll answer the question how much do flatbed owner operators make and some tips for how you can succeed in your role and potentially earn even more. 

What is A Flatbed Owner Operator? 

A truck owner operator or OTC trucker is someone who owns their own truck or leases it. In this position, you’ll be in charge of all aspects of your business and keeping your trucks running properly.  Some of the items that may be on your load include: 

  • Produce or frozen foods 

  • Home goods 

  • Steel or lumber 

  • Construction equipment 

  • Vehicles 

If you want to become a flatbed owner operator then you’ll need to have a CDL Class A Commercial Driver’s license and a clean driving record. You’ll need to pass a special driver’s test and will need to meet the minimum age requirement of 21, and in some cases, 25 years old. It’s also important that if you want to secure clients you have some experience as a flatbed truck driver. 

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Responsibilities of A Flatbed Owner Operator 

Some of the responsibilities you’ll take on as a flatbed owner operator are: 

  • Arranging your financing 

  • Finding and securing your own loads 

  • Owning and maintaining your trucks or truck 

  • Safe transport of products

  • Making on-time deliveries 

Keep in mind that you may end up working longer hours and days than if you were a company driver because you are going to have more workloads to cover. However, you can also set your own hours and be picky about what types of jobs you accept. 

How Much Do Flatbed Owner Operators Make? 

Your main duty as a flatbed owner-operator is to ensure safe transport and timely delivery of a variety of items or products. You are working on the road as a truck driver but are, in most instances, the owner of the truck you are driving. You will be able to make a good living and bring in a steady income if you are successful at working in this position. You’ll earn about $132 an hour in this role. Top earners in the US can make over $389,000.  

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Average Flatbed Owner Operator Salary 

How much you can make as a flatbed owner operator depends on if you are working seasonally, full-time, or part-time, and the types of businesses you work for and the loads you secure. For example, you can likely earn more by driving hazardous materials or potentially harmful chemicals.  

As for the average flatbed owner operator salary, you’re going to be able to bring in roughly $245,000 working as a flatbed owner operator in the US. Some who fall into the 25th percentile of earnings will make about $149,000 annually. Generally speaking, you can make more working as an owner operator than if you work as a company driver.  

Reasons to Become A Flatbed Owner Operator?

While you’ll have a lot more responsibilities as a flatbed owner operator, you will also be able to bring in a higher salary than if you are working as a truck driver for a company or an employer. The good news is that most owner operators are happy with their jobs and salaries.   So, what are some reasons why you might want to become a flatbed truck owner operator in the first place? 

  • You can get up and running fairly quickly 

  • Good pay and benefits 

  • You’ll be your own boss 

  • Can see many new and exciting places while on the road 

  • Job stability as these types of jobs are in demand 

Some of the benefits that come with this job are that you don’t have to sit at a desk all day. As the owner-operator, you’re going to have greater flexibility and freedom in your schedule and with the types of loads you take on. Best of all, your earning potential depends on how much you want to work.  

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How to Earn More as A Flatbed Owner Operator?

There are some factors that can and will influence how much you can earn as a flatbed owner operator. For example, the types of certifications you hold and what kinds of freights you can carry will make a difference in your pay overall.  Earn more by:  

  • Responding first to loads that you want 

  • Learning how to negotiate the best rates 

  • Working with the right brokers 

  • Finding ways to cut fuel costs 

  • Planning your routes well in advance 

  • Minimizing risk by securing insurance policies 

Some of the other factors regarding your salary will also depend on the region or location you’re working in and your skills and experience in the industry. Get the right types of certifications and loads and you’ll be well on your way to earning a higher salary. 

How to Secure the Right Insurance Policies?

Now that you know how much flatbed owner operators make, you can appropriately begin to budget for costs such as insurance. Secure the right insurance policies online and ensure that you can effectively reduce your financial risk. It’s going to help you sleep better at night, run a more reputable and successful business, and ensure you don’t have to cover large unexpected expenses on a whim. 

Gather more details, review resources, and start shopping for affordable insurance quotes today. With the right insurance policies in place, you can let clients know that you’re licensed and insured and hopefully get more of the top-earning and highest-paying jobs. While there’s a lot of overhead involved, there is also a lot of potential to earn a steady and good-paying salary over the years.  


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