What Does It Take To Become a Landstar Owner Operator?

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Landstar owner operator

The trucking giant Landstar runs the most successful owner-operator program in the United States – but what does it take to get accepted?

If you’ve got your own truck or trailer and the will to succeed, then Landstar’s owner-operator program could just be the next step in your logistics career.

In this article, we’ll break down:

  • How the Landstar owner-operator program functions
  • The skills and experience you’ll need to apply
  • Landstar’s owner-operator eligibility criteria
  • How you can fast-track your owner-operator career

Let’s dive right in!

How does the Landstar owner-operator program work?

Landstar relies on independent owner-operators leased to the company to complete the loads booked by its agents. 

At Landstar, an owner-operator is called a ‘business capacity owner’ or BCO. Landstar BCOs function as small businesses, are offered the full support of the Fortune 500 company, and have 24/7 access to Landstar’s load board. 

Landstar offers thousands of loads to choose from, so you can opt for those that match your business needs. With non-forced dispatch, Landstar owner-operators accept the loads they want to take – and leave the ones they don’t.

Weekly settlements, percentage pay, and access to the Landstar Contractors Advantage Purchasing Program (LCAPP) are just a few of the monetary advantages of enrolling as an owner-operator with Landstar. 

With all the Landstar owner-operator model offers, you’re likely wondering what it takes to sign up. 

In the next section, we’ll detail the exact experience, skills, assets, and criteria you’ll need to be able to fulfill to join the Landstar owner-operator program

What skills and experience do I need to become a Landstar owner-operator?

“I just wish I made the move to Landstar sooner. We move every customer’s freight while providing the very best in transportation services because Landstar is the best.” – Bill Martin, leased in 2012.

Eligibility criteria

Landstar requires owner-operators to meet a list of eligibility criteria, which you can read in full on their owner-operator application form

Some of the basic requirements include that you need to:

  • Be at least 23 years of age
  • Be able to read and speak proficient English – you should be able to read traffic signs, keep records, and communicate with relevant personnel
  • Hold a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) 
  • Have relevant and recent commercial driving experience
  • Have a largely clean driving record (small exceptions apply)
  • Be willing to meet all insurance requirements

In addition, to fill out the application form, you’ll need to make sure you have access to your:

  • Social security number
  • Address history (for the past three years)
  • Driver’s license information (for the past three years)
  • Employment history (for the past ten years)
  • Driving conviction history (for the past five years, where applicable)
  • Military history (where applicable)

Experience and skills

In addition to meeting the essential eligibility criteria, Landstar also looks for prospective owner-operators to demonstrate a certain level of experience and the skills needed to succeed in this career. 

When it comes to experience, you’ll need to have a minimum of one year of commercial over-the-road (OTR) experience within the last three years. 

Alternatively, you can demonstrate a minimum of three years of OTR experience within the last ten years, provided that six months of that experience were within the last four years. 

In addition to your driving experience, Landstar owner-operators will benefit from having as many as possible of the following skills:

  • Excellent driving skills and experience driving commercial vehicles
  • Sound knowledge of road regulations
  • The ability to navigate, read maps, and utilize GPS devices
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Solid verbal communication skills
  • The ability to concentrate for extended periods
  • Knowledge of the logistics industry, including weight restrictions, packaging requirements, and loading and unloading practices
  • The physical ability to load and unload shipments from a vehicle

The Landstar owner-operator application process will ask you to provide information about your owner-operator work history and details of any other forms of employment you have held over the last ten years – providing plenty of opportunities for you to showcase your skills. 

Trailer, truck, and tractor requirements 

To successfully qualify as a Landstar owner-operator, your vehicle must pass a Level 1 DOT inspection carried out at an approved Landstar inspection facility. 

If you intend to lease a tractor, you’ll also need to ensure that it can be fitted with an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) – a requirement for all Landstar vehicles.  

Landstar is looking for prospective owner-operators with vans, step-decks, flatbeds, straight trucks, temperature-controlled vehicles, and heavy-haul and specialized vehicles.

To learn more about Landstar’s specific requirements for owner-operators, you can check out their Frequently Asked Questions page here.  

Ready to become an official Landstar owner operator?

Landstar Owner Operator
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With a 30-year record of providing top-level logistics services across North America and beyond, Landstar is a true American success story in action. 

Landstar’s owner-operator program comes with a range of benefits – but not everybody will meet their eligibility criteria fully or have the necessary expertise to sign up directly. 

If you’re not sure you meet Landstar’s criteria, don’t worry! 

As an independent agent of Landstar, Jansson offers an accessible point of entry into the Landstar owner-operator scheme, helping to provide the tools and training applicants need to succeed. 

Unlike larger firms, Jansson can provide customized support in everything from booking loads to optimizing your route, helping you to navigate your way into a successful owner-operator career. 

To kick off your Landstar owner-operator career with Jansson or to learn more about the other logistics careers we can offer, reach out to the team at Jansson today!

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