Relative advantages and disadvantages of independent contractor status : a survey of owner-operators' opinions and rationale.

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    NTL-FREIGHT-Trucking Industry ; NTL-PLANNING AND POLICY-Surveys ;
  • Abstract:
    Commercial truck drivers range from company drivers that are employees of a carrier to independent owner-operators that operate under their own authority. From the driver’s perspective, there are both benefits and drawbacks of being an independent contract driver. The objective of this effort was to develop, administer and analyze a comprehensive survey to provide reliable, valid and useful information as to why drivers choose or do not choose to be an independent contractor. In addition to the advantages and disadvantages, the survey investigated the methods that independent contractors use to capitalize on the benefits and accomplish the responsibilities associated with being independent. A combination of face-to-face interviews (at 19 truck stops from California to Connecticut) and a web-based survey were used to obtain and validate the opinions. Thirteen organizations (including trucking companies and trade organizations) provided telephone and email contact information for participants. The results and conclusions of the study provide valuable information related to the driver’s opinions as to the advantages and challenges of being an independent contractor, as well as the rationale behind those opinions. The information can be used to both understand and improve the experience of both independent contract drivers and the carriers for whom they drive.
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