What Is a Flatbed Owner Operator and How to Become One
What Is the Job of Flatbed Owner-Operator?
A flatbed owner operator has their own commercial vehicle and works on the road as a truck driver hauling various goods throughout the country. As a flatbed owner operator, your primary duties include the safe transport and on-time delivery of products, undamaged. You can haul anything from raw materials like steel and lumber, to construction equipment, vehicles, home goods, frozen foods, and fresh produce. You can be an independent contractor, or work with a larger company that provides truck drivers to their client base. There are part-time, full-time, and seasonal opportunities available. Some employers offer benefits, retirement plans, paid time off, and steady work.
How to Become a Flatbed Owner-Operator
To become a flatbed owner operator, you must obtain a CDL Class A commercial driver’s license by passing a special driving test. This license allows you to cross state lines and operate a vehicle with a GVWR of over 26,000 pounds when the vehicle is towing a load of over 10,000 pounds. Some companies require a minimum age of 25 to drive, as well as some experience with OTR and flatbed, while other companies hire entry-level drivers. Your responsibilities include owning and maintaining your own commercial vehicle, with its specific haul capabilities dependent on what your specialty is. Employers prefer to see recent truck driving experience with a clean record, including no failed drug or alcohol tests and no recent DUIs, and you must pass a background check.