Hi and welcome,
You raise an important issue which has serious ramifications for you as well as your drivers in many areas such as taxes and liability. The law looks carefully at these cases. It's not just a question of what you want to LABEL the relationship....it is WHAT THE RELATIONSHIP REALLY IS.
If you continue to treat the trucks as yours and treat your drivers as employees by virtue of fuel, insurance and labor....then you remain an employer with responsibilities for certain bookkeeping, taxes, social security, etc.......all leading up to a W-2. And if he is negligent, you are also responsible for injuries he causes along with him.
Alternative: A clear written INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT. He leases your truck for a fee, but pays all expenses himself. You pay him $X ....give him a 1099 at the end of the year and have no responsibility for his negligence. There would be a clause that he will indemnify you from any suit against you brought by an injured person who doesn't know the kind of legal relationship you have with the driver and names you in a lawsuit.
If he has his own truck, you pay him $Y and everything else is the same as just explained.
REMEMBER THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE
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Absolutely in accordance with my answer.
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