Best Owner Operator Companies to Work For

Best Owner Operator Companies to Work For

Being an owner operator truck driver means you are given more freedom regarding the miles you drive, are eligible for higher pay, and get the ownership of a key asset, your truck. There are many things that are important to owner operators before they decide to lease their truck to a transport company. To help our fellow owner operators make a vital career and business decision, we have organized a list of the best owner operator companies to work for in Canada:

Here are the factors to consider when choosing the best owner operator companies to work for in Canada:

Pay-per-mile or percentage of revenue?

Pay-per-mile or percentage of revenue are the two most common type of compensation methods used by motor carriers. Pay-per mile and percentage of revenue can sometimes appear to be in one or the others favor but it is important to do the calculation before deciding.

For example:

$0.70 per mile


80% of revenue

$0.70 per mile for 1400 miles is $980 gross pay

80% of revenue for $1100 is $880 gross pay

At first, it appears that 80% of revenue will earn you more money but the pay-per mile will net you a higher gross.

If you are being paid per mile, it is important to know how many miles you can expect from dispatch each month.

If you are being paid by percent of revenue, it is important to know the average freight rate for the type of loads and lanes you’ll be hauling for.

Pickup and Delivery

Is the trucking operation pin-to-pin meaning the process of picking up and delivering loaded trailers is only a matter of drop & hook? It is important to understand this because it will usually consume much of the driver’s on-duty hours to make one or multiple deliveries that require live loading or unloading of freight. If there is a combination of drop & hook and live load/unload, be sure you are getting compensated for the deliveries

Discounted Repairs/Maintenance

Many companies have a truck/trailer repair shop at their terminals. This gives the owner operator the opportunity to have access to a mechanic quickly and usually at the carrier’s discounted rate. Saving several dollars per hour on service labor can help your bottom line.

Discounted Insurance Premiums

Trucking companies have multiple trucks in their fleet which gives them a discount on their insurance premiums. This is often a savings of hundreds of dollars per month depending on your insurance policy. Ask if you can join the company’s insurance program and you’ll find out the savings on different insurance policies you can get including motor truck cargo and non-owned trailer coverage.

Escrow Accounts

Many owner operators are not familiar with escrow accounts. An escrow account is in an account where money deducted from the owner operator’s pay is stored for possible expenses that the company may incur in the future. For example, if an insurance freight claim is the fault of the owner operator, a carrier can protect itself with an escrow account that covers the deductible. In general, $2000 is the amount of money held in an escrow account. An escrow account may be established by requiring the owner operator to pay the amount at the time of hiring or more commonly by deducting money from each pay-cheque. It’s also important to ask the carrier if they pay interest on the money in the escrow fund.

Electronic Logging Devices

The ELD mandate effective December 18, 2017 will require all U.S.A motor carriers to utilize electronic logbooks to track their driver’s hours of service records. If the carrier you plan to lease onto operates in the U.S., there is a good chance they use electronic logging devices. Understand the implications of e-logs and know if you are comfortable with using them to track your HOS.

Work Culture

The company’s work culture must be a respectful one. If you feel that working at a trucking company means not being treated as a dependent contractor in a dignified manner, then consider a company that does.

Now that you know what to look for when becoming an owner operator in Canada, here is a list of the:

Best Owner Operator Companies to Work For:

Challenger Motor Freight

Challenger Motor Freight is a motor carrier that has been established since 1975. They have an owner operator program with 2300 miles per week on average for single drivers. They offer a variety of different freight delivery services to their carriers so the type of freight an owner operator may haul can vary. They prefer power units that are no older than 3 years. However, if your truck is in good working condition, it may be approved after review from their maintenance department. Satellite unit, sensor trackers, and electronic logbooks may be required. You can purchase pre-approved trucks from their partner re-seller Next Truck Sales which is apart of the fleet leasing and sales program for Challenger Motor Freight. Furthermore, Challenger has a driver referral program which gives owner operators the opportunity to earn incentives to refer new drivers to the company.


CN Rail’s subsidiary CNTL has one of the best owner operator programs. CNTL covers five ports in Canada and has mainly intermodal work for its O/O’s. They offer waiting time pay after 15 minutes for local operators and after 1 hour for highway operators. Due to the size of CN Rail’s operations, they have access to a heavily discounted fuel rate. Because the company’s operations extend to the U.S. owner operators may be subject to a pre-employment drug test. CNTL accepts aerodynamic trucks that are equipped with roof and side fairings

Quik X

Quik X became a part of Transforce International in 2011. They operate across Canada and the continental United States. Their truck specification requirements are straightforward with the primary requirement being a working Jake brake and 400+HP.  They are ideal for owner operators who wish to drive as a team.

11 Replies to “Best Owner Operator Companies to Work For”

  1. First of all, your math is a bit off. 0.70$ per mile of 1000 mile is $700 not $1000. Secondly, per miles only out weigh percentage if one is receiving over $1.50 or so per mile. In my opinion!! Js.

    1. Thanks for the comment. You are more than welcome to state your opinion here.

    2. i believe the example above was $0.70/mile for a 1400 mile trip, js.

      1. Thanks Gunsmoke. I was a bit confused with the redoing of the math. SO 1400 miles at 70 cents per mile is $980. However, they had changed that second one to $1300 at 80% it would be $960. This could be as few as 1000 miles at this rate verses the 1400 miles. So 1400 miles or 100 or less miles for the same money and less wear and tear.

    3. His math is not wrong. He said 1400 miles not 1000

  2. The issue though, lies when you are able to get freight at $2.51/mi, and if the carrier takes 20%, then you are netting $2.008/mi . Why would I, as an O/O, take freight at .70c/mi, when there are MUCH higher paying loads? Whoever is taking .70c/mi is hauling cheap freight, and has no choice.

    1. I agree. When I add the fuel component to this I see that 1400 miles at 5 miles to the gallon is about 280 gallons. We will need 280 gallons of fuel at $3.00 that’s $840 from the $980.00 the load is paying. So we looking at $140.. Not good at all as a O/O.

  3. Ok , I came on here to see what was the best o/o company to work for. I know how to do math to miles. I’m looking for the best LOCAL COMPANY that I can put my truck on to and get out of it every day.

  4. NOTICE: LANDSTAR SUCKS!! They have gotten too big for their own good and do NOT care about their drivers.

  5. I’m choosing small, family-owned companies. They treat me better and the pay is even, if not better. Currently hauling with Freightech Inc.

  6. First of all wow! The rate on that load is crazy low! 1400 miles for $1100? Am I correct to what they were inferring? They are using different numbers to confuse you so you’d think thank as an O/O 70 CPM is good… which tells me that they are dishonest and should not be trusted. Look at the DAT load boards, they are free to look and you can see the rate and mileage on most freight. Then do the math on $/miles to get full CPM. Here is a load as of today 10/26/2021 from Laredo, TX to Auburn, WA- total length is 2407 miles at $6000, (and you can probably get $6500 or at least $6250 to move it), so $6000/2407=$2.49 CPM! And they want to pay you $0.70 CPM? Total operating costs, if you work 6 days a week will be about $0.76 CPM depending on dead head and total monthly insurance rates, repairs, and fuel/DEF. $2.46 CPM – $0.74 CPM = $1.75 CPM. Pay yourself the $1.00/mile and save the other for taxes and growing your business. Total GROSS TAKE HOME PAY= $2407 for one load which is about 3.5 days of driving. Catch a load going back roughly the same difference: $2407 x 2= $4807/week! AND YOU GET TO GROW YOUR OWN BUSINESS!! And that load isn’t even THAT good. But it’s better than $0.70 CPM and still have to pay for fuel/DEF and repairs. Cheers!

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