At lease completion...

Discussion in 'Anderson Trucking Service' started by Sinister, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter I finished my lease with ATS at the end of May, 2010. I got my 3200.00 from Competitive leasing as soon as I turned the truck in, but had to wait 45 days for other monies to be issued pending maintenance bills, and claims.

    Today is July 24, 2010, and my 45 days was up on July 12.

    No check in the mail.

    After copious phone calls, and unanswered messages left at payroll, I finally decided to call Ryan in leasing to try to help me find out what's up.

    Ryan got back to me yesterday, and told me checks would be in the mail for the remaining amounts of money either Friday, or Monday, and I should see them next week.

    I know I got zapped for a few things such as brakes (which the contract states must be at 50%) and shocks, which were the original ones on the truck. It rode like it was on sleds when I returned it. I'm sure there were a few other things also, but until I get the statement, I won't know for sure.

    Still, my total monies walking away from one year at ATS total just under $9500.

    The ATS lease program does provide a means for a driver to run a truck as a business, and eventually have it paid for. There's lots of guys doing it. Lots of guys have done it. But you will earn every single dime, and work harder for it than anywhere else. You will spend more time gone than necessary, because that's just the way it works. @terrylamar is the ONLY person I talked to the entire time at ATS that claims as much home time as he does. Even veteran drivers at ATS agreed with me that the company goes out of it's way to keep you gone.

    Trucking does not have to be that way. A driver who lives close the ATS freight should be able to run through home and still profit, and try as I might, I could never do that. I'm not sure if my FM was the problem or not, but as many people that told me that's how the place works, I think it's probably an informal policy ATS has.

    Again, if you have a work ethic, are fairly intelligent, and can spend time in a truck like nowhere else you can make it at ATS. But if you have young children that like to see you, stay away.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  2. boone315

    boone315 SPACE TRUCKING

    I heard nothing but good things about their lease purchase when Harold was alive, not so much with Rollie at the helm,, still think an outright purchase a truck will beat any lease purchase hands down, just my opinion, and my bank account's opinion.
  3. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter

    I agree wholeheartedly. But the thing is, a guy can walk into ATS with no money down, and no credit check, and end up running a paid for truck. You're not going to walk onto a truck lot with no money, and still get one.

    That's one of the few positive angles.

    ATS being a huge company with freight all over is another.

    But overall, yeah, any lease purchase is little more than what I consider to be exploitation of labor. I think they should be illegal. Even at orientation they told us the failure rate is 60% something percent.
  4. boone315

    boone315 SPACE TRUCKING

    well any way job well done(if you are interested in getting your own truck, I know of a finance company that has a lot of trucks for sale, some repossessed trucks, well priced little down if you have decent credit score 620 or higher)
  5. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter


    I'm going to wait a while though, and see if the economic boom is real or just a product of companies trying to produce and sell as much as they can before the tax hikes scheduled to happen at the end of the year.
  6. TruckerTrash

    TruckerTrash Guest

    good job sinister. take a break dude, you deserve it. and yes, when the massive tax hike takes place my boss has already told me he will have to trim the work force a little more. he told me to keep quiet about that. dont know if thats a good thing for me or not. time will tell.
  7. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter

    Thanks Trash. I'm already at my new/old job again since June 1. I'm much happier here, even when I get help up waiting on MD permits for almost a week. There ain't a THING I miss about ATS. Not one thing.
  8. doogiesdad

    doogiesdad Member

    Thats good to hear there Sinister. What is the lease program like there at ATS? Ive been looking for a good company where I can lease. i am thinking about getting into a leased truck.
  9. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter

    Don't. Unless you plan on staying at that company forever. That's bascially how the ATS system works. You stay there forever, and it really works out, anything else is met with mediocre results. Find a good company to drive for, and do what you can to save your bucks.

    Depending on your niche in trucking, you can get into a decent tractor for 5-6000 right now, and get with a decent company as an o/o.

    I don't recommend a lease program at all.
  10. GAnthony

    GAnthony Well-Known Member

    very often in the classroom my students ask about being an o/o. i usually sway them from it. they hear about lease/purchase plans, mostly from the trucking magazines we have which have copious amounts of such job openings. i usually tell them to be drivers for at a minimum of 5 years. in this way, if with-in 5 years they wish not to drive anymore, they can walk away. but as a lessee, this may not be so easy. boy, they whacked you for brakes and shocks. i hope they don't whack you for wear on the drivers seat they have to re-upholster as well. this is reminiscent of renters giving a security know the landlord is going to find things wrong with the apartment, so you never get back all your deposit.

    your experience helps me in the future as it gives me some "additional" insight into the lease deals. i hope to hear more from you soon on the final outcome.
  11. terrylamar

    terrylamar Well-Known Member

    As Sinister has alluded, I have had a completely different experience with the ATS lease. I have been driving for about three years now. I drove for TMC for 20 months. For those of you that are aware of TMC, you know they have high standards. I learn and practiced some very good habits while I was there.

    Out of the blue I had a former Martial Arts Teacher offer me his school. He was old and wanted to get out of the business. I left trucking to take him up on it. Well, it didn't work out so well for me and I closed down the school and returned to trucking.

    I wanted to return to TMC, but they had moved their hiring boundaries and I was 200 miles outside of them. I have only done flatbedding and that was what I wanted to do and was interested in learning Heavy Haul. I couldn't find anyone hiring from Austin, TX. Because of the location and my limited experience. I found the ATS' Lease Program. I had heard all the horror stories about lease programs and was very reluctant to sign a lease. Because I needed a job, now, not six months from now I decided to sign a lease with ATS.

    It started off both good and bad. I got the exact truck I wanted and within the first two weeks after sitting a day I was dispatched on a load Friday afternoon and was notified it was cancelled Friday evening. They didn't have a backup plan and night dispatch told me she wished drivers would quit calling. I was about ready to quit at that point. I guess my greatest peeve is people wasting my time.

    Then I had problems right at 30 days with road repair getting me in the shop to fix a water leak. When I got it done, Tom, in the lease program wouldn't pay for it under warranty. I raised a stink and threatened to take it to arbritration. My FM back me up, telling Tom I had been talking about it and describing the problem. We finally got that worked out with Tom covering it under warranty.

    During this time freight was slow at ATS, but I was making money. My weekly average was over $1,700.00. Drivers kept telling me how bad they were doing. I heard over and over from my FM how I was the only driver on her board that was making any money. This is when I was complaining I wasn't making enough. I can't explain how I was making money and other weren't. I do work hard and tried to be proactive, maybe the little things add up.

    Anyway as I completed my first year. I was doing well, but having problems with my FM. I wasn't sure if I would sign another lease or quit. About that time the ecomomy was improving. TMC called me up and offered me a position on their Boat Fleet out of Pharr, TX. I thought I might take them up on it, but got to thinking about the differences between a company driver and a lease driver and decided there is no way I will every go back to a company driver. I love the freedom I have to make decisions on my needs and not the company's.

    I renew my lease, but on the Capitol Lease Program. This is a lease where all my payments go to the purchase of my truck. It had over 600K miles so they were reluctant to continue the lease, but we finally worked out a mutually acceptable deal. I had to put $5K down, 50 weekly payments of $298. and a $1K buyout. I was paying $20,900.00 for my truck. I had a goal of getting it paid off in six months. I am heading to St. Cloud with a check to pay off the balance, beating my six month goal by two months.

    ATS is not a perfect company, far from it. Road Repair sucks. Night Dispatch is worthless and won't even respond to real problems. I fired one dispatcher and got another. I hate the bait and switches, load screens that give you radically different information on a load than what is on the load screen. The shops are hit or miss. The quality of their work can be good or bad.

    On the positive side, I am making money. I get home whenever I want, which is frequently. I am single and have no kids so hometime to me is not real important. Nevertheless, I get home more than most drivers I talk to. I shold be testing for my Class 2 while in St. Cloud, if not then soon after.

    I am interested in Landstar, but I think I will stick with ATS to move up in classes and get experience with some of the bigger stuff. It seems that will be the fastest way to get experience.

    Overall, I think the ATS lease is a good deal. Everyone seems to treat you fairly, even after the initial problems I had with Tom we have a good working relationship now. One big flag, as to a lease program to avoid is when they will not let you take a copy of their lease to your lawyer. ATS will not let you. It seems to have worked out though.
  12. boone315

    boone315 SPACE TRUCKING

    I helped a neighbor kid get his CDL, he drove for three months for a local farmer hauling grain, silage and cow crap, he got laid off after spring planting so he started calling these over the road companies, most would not hire him as a company driver due to lack of experience but not surprisingly a lot of those who refused him as a company driver would hire him for their lease purchase program,,, he asked my advice and I told him don't even think about it, now he wants to buy his own truck(my old one) and I told him no on that to,
  13. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter

    Actually they did whack me for some additional stuff, like cabinet doors there were nothing wrong with, and a teeny tiny hole in the fabric of the drivers seat. I won't know in full what they got me for until (if) I see a statement mailed to my house.

    The contract states the brakes have to be at 50%, and yes I knew the shocks on the truck were the originals, but I didn't want to spend the money on them. Guess I spent it anyway.

    So actually, I'm fine with the brakes and shocks, but I'm sure the other stuff is just them making a buck. However, the amount of money I'm coming away with is about average for a one year stint from what I've heard from other drivers who have survived a year.

    So I guess it was a successful year.
  14. boone315

    boone315 SPACE TRUCKING

    As if Andy did not make enough money off your hard work.
  15. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter

    I know...I know....

    Heavy haul is even worse. I heard a heavy haul driver bragging about a 10,000 load he had for a nacelle from Freeport, TX to Ft. Bridger, WY.

    That's a $35000 trip for us.

    It always amazed me at ATS when guys said they were pulling "good loads" 1.20 a mile. I dont think I ever even saw a load at 2.00 mile the entire time, and that's counting all the smaller OD stuff I did.

    Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.
  16. Robert929

    Robert929 Platinum 929

    I know my reply is old or late or whatever, but I just couldn't sit and take this no longer. First of all ATS is one of the MAIN reasons the Heavy Haul business is so SCREWED up as it is. I know this isn't a forum on that but I'll tie it all up. A driver bragging about a $10,000.00 Nacelle out of Freeport, Tx. to anywhere is an idiot!!!!!! I live about twenty miles from the port of Freeport, Tx and I do True Heavy Haul. Not that wind energy B.S. I have done it and instead of being part of the problem I decided to get away from that stuff. First of all, most of the Nacelles coming out of Freeport, Tx are Suzlon and are about 169,000lbs. ATS doesn't have a 13 axle light enough to legal that kind of weight!!!!! I don't know how far Ft. Bridger, Wy is from there, but as the crow flies, call it 1,400 miles and that just ain't no money. I wonder how their Heavy Haul lease purchase guys would feel to know I trip lease through Sureway all the time with my 13 axle, and I've never pulled anything less than $30,000.00 gross for them. I just dropped a load from Sureway in Anniston, Al. from Long Beach, direct discharge from the ship and it paid $ 45,000.00. I had to cover the permits and one escort, as my wife escorts and steers our trailer, all that to say, that they prey/bank on guys that don't know what the hell they are getting into. They as well as the Prime's of the world etc. tell you your making good money and have the documentation to prove it. How did you do after taxes? What did that breakdown to per week? When you figure that, I'll bet their top company driver did the same or better. Something to think about, work your ass off, save your money, stay focused on your objective and get your down payment and buy your own truck. Lease it to them, if you like what they have to offer, and make your money. You still work for them, in a lease purchase. They seemed to benefit the most when Trism went out of business, and I'm still bitter about that, I guess... Good luck to you guys and gals, I ain't sayin' they are bad or it can't be done, but why not truly work for yourself????
  17. Racer X 69

    Racer X 69 Member

    It's nice to see someone step up and say what they are actually getting paid for loads.

    Thank you.
  18. terrylamar

    terrylamar Well-Known Member

    I would be interested in seeing your true numbers rather than "gross." If your wife wasn't your escort, how much would you have to pay for an escort. What about insurance, permits, maintenance on the trailer, etc. In other words, what was your net? I am interested in going it on my own and I am interested in seeing how it is done.
  19. Sinister

    Sinister Smartass Emeritus Supporter

    I tend to think wind is also "true" heavy haul. We have several 13 axle setups, tri-drive tractors schnables, and regularly have loads grossiing over 200,000. We have perimeter trailers, and all kinds of stuff. A large part of the problem in wind is the same problem in every other area of trucking. Everyone now has their hands in it, and rates are lower than they should be.

    What exactly is "true" heavy haul?

    I think it's funny when ATS bids other companies out of a wind project, then realizes that they don't have enough equipment, and start calling all the companies they snagged the job from. That's happened several times since I've worked in wind. We worked closely alot with them this year, especially in Goldendale, WA. We had tri-drive tractors, and theirs couldn't pull the peices on the mountains, so our tri-drive guys had to come ot the rescue.

    I'd heard they had an accident during a site move of a section in Minnesota and killed a few people when the section rolled off the trailer and over a pickup truck.

    Funny thing I noticed when I was at ATS, was that the people who like working there, are somehow magically able to totally overlook the fact that they are being fleeced and nickel and dimed to death, and that they only see loads and load offers ATS wants them to see! They know it happens, but they shrug it off as if that's normal...
  20. terrylamar

    terrylamar Well-Known Member

    I am doing well at ATS. Could I be doing better, maybe, probably. My problem is my relative inexperience. I have been driving a truck for a little over three years, total! I have been a company driver with TMC, a lease driver with ATS and for a few month, an owner operator leased on to ATS.

    I have to get my experience somewhere. ATS seems a good company where I can get it. As I grow in experience, perhaps I will look elsewhere, maybe not.

    What I am trying to do is understand why there are comments about ATS screwing their drivers. Using Robert's example above I am trying to get deeper into the numbers. An ATS driver making $10,000.00 for the same load Robert gets $30,000.00 from ATS Sureway. The difference is the ATS has no expenses and additionally will get FSC, OD pay, trailer relocation pay, tarp pay and whatever additional accessorial pay is offered. Robert has to pay all that out of his higher gross and for the escort as well. He uses his wife so he can keep more of that $30,000.00 in is pocket, but it is an unfair comparison. Not everyone has a wife to act as escort. Once we do all the additional math are the net earnings much closer than we initially thought?
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