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Since 1998, we have helped truck drivers become more successful through various stages of their careers. From those experiences, we defined what we call the "Driver Career Journey."


The terms we use for each stage of the journey were developed using an "old west" theme. We chose this theme because of the natural toughness, grit, and independent nature that is shared by many of our truck driving clients. The Driver Career Journey is not a linear path, and many drivers will travel back and forth between different stops on the Journey over the course of their careers. We define the different stops along the Journey as follows:

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This is the stage where the majority of drivers in the trucking industry are. It's typically the first step in the Driver Career Journey, and most drivers will spend their entire career here because they enjoy the low risk and high rewards of this stage. 

  • Represents the majority of drivers

  • An employee of the carrier

  • Drives the carrier's truck

  • Dependent on the carrier for income

  • Low risk with more consistent earnings

  • Typically much lower earnings than an owner-operator doing similar work


The Pioneer stage of the Journey is often the lowest-risk way for a driver to become an entrepreneur, running their own business as an independent contractor/owner-operator. They tend to earn more money and experience lower turnover than company drivers. 

  • First-time owner-operator 

  • Truck is typically sourced through carrier

  • Operate under the carrier’s operating authority

  • Manage their own revenue and expenses

  • Haul carrier’s freight

  • Take advantage of carrier's buying networks



Hired Guns are experienced owner-operators who, like Pioneers, choose to drive under a carrier’s operating authority. However, Hired Guns source their truck in the open market to find exactly what they want. 

  • Experienced owner-operator

  • Source their own truck

  • Operate under the carrier’s operating authority

  • Manage their own revenue and expenses

  • Haul carrier’s freight

  • Take advantage of carrier's buying networks


Lone Rangers are the most experienced owner-operators who are accomplished entrepreneurs. They're responsible for selling and managing their customers, negotiating rates, collecting revenue, and paying all their vendors. 

  • Experienced owner-operator 

  • Source their own truck

  • Operate on their own operating authority

  • Source their own freight, often rely on load boards and factoring companies

  • Often gravitate towards specialty niches

  • Income fluctuates based on industry freight cycles

  • Often join associations that provide buying discounts



Trail Blazers are the next generation of small, but growing trucking fleets. They’ve been successful as a Lone Ranger and have proven their ability to make it on their own in good times and bad. 

  • Small fleet owner (typically 2-20 trucks)

  • Typically still drive one of the trucks themselves

  • Operate either under a carrier's authority (similar to a Hired Gun) or under their own authority (similar to a Lone Ranger)

  • Complex back-office

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