Employee Drivers/Owner-Operators Have Different Motivations

     Thank you to ICSA members who participated in the recent survey examining the differing motivating factors between employee drivers and owner/operators. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released its analysis of the survey results. ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee prioritized this analysis to better understand the role of OO/Independent Contractors in the trucking industry, and how legislative attempts to reclassify OO/IC as Company Drivers would impact those individuals and supply chains in general.

     Over 2,000 professional truck drivers responded to the survey, of whom more than two-thirds are OO/IC.  When survey participants were presented with identical factors that motivated their decision to be a Company Driver or OO/IC, Company Drivers indicated their top three motivators were Job Security/Stability, Income, and Healthcare/Retirement Savings.  Among OO/IC, the top three motivating factors were Independence/Ability to Set Hours, Schedule/Flexibility, and Choice of Routes/Length of Haul. 

   The analysis also examined the various compensation models used with Company Drivers and OO/IC, as well as driver satisfaction levels with each.  Both Company Drivers and OO/IC ranked Income as an important motivator and in terms of satisfaction, 68.9 percent of Company Drivers and 80.1 percent of OO/IC indicated being Very Satisfied/Satisfied with their income.  Over 50 percent of OO/IC in ATRI’s dataset reported net incomes of over $75,000 in the previous year, while nearly 70 percent of Company Drivers indicated their annual wages fell in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.  A large percentage of OO/IC expected they would experience significant decreases in their job satisfaction (73.0%) and annual income (68.3%) if they were reclassified as a Company Driver. 

     In addition to examining the differences between Company Drivers and OO/IC, ATRI’s analysis also offers insight into the different motivating factors for female truck drivers versus their male counterparts.

For a copy of the report, click on the link below:



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