Lease Purchase Is anybody here in what they would consider at good lease or lease purchase deal?

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I know we hear tons and tons of people talk about bad lease programs in the trucking industry, but I just wondered if anybody here has spent some time in a program that they might actually recommend to others.

Myself, I am very skeptical of trucking company's lease purchase programs because the only reason I can figure a trucking company would offer such a program is if they gained from it.
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
I know we here tons and tons of people talk about bad lease programs in the trucking industry, but I just wondered if anybody here has spent some time in a program that they might actually recommend to others.

Myself, I am very skeptical of trucking company's lease purchase programs because the only reason I can figure a trucking company would offer such a program is if they gained from it.
a buddy bought one through Schnieder finance though that wasn't really a l/p since he got to pick who he leased on with after a year.
 

Keendriver

Hates all of you
Of course it's because they gained from it.They pass all the expense/risk/responsibility to a driver. Two members here did the L/P thing;one seemed to tread water for a year and the other made out ok.I personally think he is that exception to every rule guy.

Full disclosure:I never participated in one, and that was because of the research I did on them. I couldn't see near enough reward for all the risk/sacrifice.

I talked to Prime years ago when they were the only ones doing it.Didn't make sense to me then....nothing's changed.(to me)

I think they are simply an attempt at a shortcut to being a business owner.No down payment,no kind of vested interest,nothing to make you want to stick it out when it gets tough and we all know it will get tough.
Look at the difference in the owner ops of yesteryear and the L/O of today.Two totally different groups of people and two totally different approaches to running a biz.
 

Simplicity

Active Member
I know a guy that did one with Trans Am. The reason he leased was TA claimed they did not have any company trucks. They said he was doing well when he only pocketing $500 a week at first. He then started bringing in $200 a week. TA said he was doing well. He then quit then for May to work as a company driver.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
Had I stayed at ATS a second...or even third year, I'm thoroughly convinced I would have done better. Truck payments would have decreased slightly, and I'd have had better knowledge of freight lanes. Whether or not I got a paycheck, there was always money being set aside from settlements going into escrow accounts. We paid our bills when I worked there.

The ATS program does seem to get better the longer you stay at the company, but JESUS what an excercise in starvation MOST of the time. Run starve run. Run starve run.

You're a "Business owner" in that you pay your own taxes, and pick loads out of what they show you.

But how do you know they're showing you all that's available?

You don't.

THEY still control all the parts of the machine except the taxes for the most part. They want you to see loads that will advance you, and move you up in the "ATS Class System"...you will see them. If they don't want you to advance, you won't see them, and you'll be hauling pipe and containers until you're 150 years old.

I've actually considered going back...for about 3 seconds. That one guy in leasing is such a prick there's just no way I'd deal with him and his weirdly shaped head again. I don't care how good he was at college baseball. Now he's leasing trucks for a living, so he wasn't that damn good.

A decent, smart driver, whose got a work ethic, and doesn't need to be home much at all will survive the ATS lease program. But that's what you'll do. Survive.

That ad about DANGEROUSLY LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH...should be banned from life.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I see now that the terminology has moved to "tractor purchase program" by some companies, including Schneider. I wonder if these programs are better than programs we have seen in the past?

As for Trans Am, we had a member here to was in the program, and initially he insisted that it was a good program and the money was great. Then he finally had a breakdown, then another breakdown, and ended up in a hole that seemed impossible to get out of.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
Thats a risk of ANY of them I think. I met countless guys at ATS that were in the hole, and had been running six weeks...mysteriously enough...with just enough frieght to cover the truck. The engines and powertrains are warrantied to 500k, and ATS stands by that, but there's tons of other stuff on a truck that breaks, and that's all you, and your maintenance account. You'll start with 30 days bumper to bumper, and pick EVERYTHING YOU CAN...and get it fixed ASAP. After that, it's all you. Except tires. You "rent" tires.

To be fair, the economy was very slow then (which is why I went to a big company in the first place) and those guys were mostly on percentage. You really had to be an idiot (and probably doomed to failure to begin with) to screw up on mileage.

I think it's ballpark either way. Guys would stand around and argue for days which was better. I figured ATS wasn't going to let one group of guys (percentage vs. mileage) get too far out of league with another. Duh.
 

johnl1959

Member
According to OOIDA, Dart has the best L/P plan out there. Talk to ALMOST ANY of their drivers! They'll tell you that! They'll also tell you that they don't have a payment to Dart... They're buying their truck from a dealer. If you quit before 1 yr, you only get back 1/2 of your escrow, you MUST get any & all work needed to "YOUR TRUCK" through their shop (PRO STOP), including oil changes. You supposedly get a HUGE Discount on parts and labor, but I can actually get the truck serviced for a lot less at a truck stop at home. But wait. You have to be able to get home first. As for the "No Money Down" part.. not true! They ADD (CHARGE) $10 a day, for 100 days to cover that. After my 1st 2 trips, I was -$600 on the settlement... No paycheck that week! Or the next! Lease Purchase is just a way for a company to get their trucks paid for by someone else... over and over again, all the while telling you where to run, when to run, where to get work done on the truck, and forgetting where you live. AND forget about building up your credit! That's why I signed up for their program... I didn't have the credit rating to buy a truck. As long as you're making a lease payment, nothing gets reported to the credit bureaus, so no build up of credit. They actually encourage you to Trade up to another truck as soon as possible (after 6 months), to keep you signed up on the lease plan. Overall, my advise would be to RUN from any L/P, and try to find financing somewhere else, or stay a company driver. You will make way more money, and not have the headaches:bonk: involved with L/P.
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
Had I stayed at ATS a second...or even third year, I'm thoroughly convinced I would have done better. Truck payments would have decreased slightly, and I'd have had better knowledge of freight lanes. Whether or not I got a paycheck, there was always money being set aside from settlements going into escrow accounts. We paid our bills when I worked there.

The ATS program does seem to get better the longer you stay at the company, but JESUS what an excercise in starvation MOST of the time. Run starve run. Run starve run.

You're a "Business owner" in that you pay your own taxes, and pick loads out of what they show you.

But how do you know they're showing you all that's available?

You don't.

THEY still control all the parts of the machine except the taxes for the most part. They want you to see loads that will advance you, and move you up in the "ATS Class System"...you will see them. If they don't want you to advance, you won't see them, and you'll be hauling pipe and containers until you're 150 years old.

I've actually considered going back...for about 3 seconds. That one guy in leasing is such a prick there's just no way I'd deal with him and his weirdly shaped head again. I don't care how good he was at college baseball. Now he's leasing trucks for a living, so he wasn't that damn good.

A decent, smart driver, whose got a work ethic, and doesn't need to be home much at all will survive the ATS lease program. But that's what you'll do. Survive.

That ad about DANGEROUSLY LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH...should be banned from life.
I never understood how somebody could get talked into working for $1 a mile when the guy loading right beside him (me) is getting $3 a mile for the same stuff. Maybe my stuff aint as new as ATS or the other guys but I only have to run 2000 miles a week to take two to three days off at home every week and have a life. Like this morning, picking up a load in Massena NY going over by toronto for $3.86 a mile plus .58 fuel then dead head over to cleveland pick up a $1,200 load going to Rome NY, Friday afternoon I'll be sitting at home getting drunk after clearing $1000 on a few hours work(if I don't break down)
 

patriciajnsn

Steering Wheel Holder
I have never even considered leasing.I've talk to drivers over the yrs and some were thousands in debt.I think the nitemares about leasing outweighs the good stories.Seems there's as many bad stories about leasing as there is about driving for a company.Are you thinking about leasing Mike?????????
 

Racer X 69

Member
According to OOIDA, Dart has the best L/P plan out there.
Have you ever taken a good look at a Dart truck? You couldn't pay me enough to sit behind the wheel of one of those clapped out slag heaps.

I talked to a Dart driver a couple years ago after he backed the rusty pile of s h i t trailer into the side of mt tractor and then tried to drive away. This guy told me he had been driving for 27 years.

27 years and he hasn't developed enough skill to back into a parking spot without hitting another truck. 27 years and he was just starting a lease to own deal through Dart.

I think the guy wasn't paying attention for 27 years.

I never understood how somebody could get talked into working for $1 a mile when the guy loading right beside him (me) is getting $3 a mile for the same stuff. Maybe my stuff aint as new as ATS or the other guys but I only have to run 2000 miles a week to take two to three days off at home every week and have a life. Like this morning, picking up a load in Massena NY going over by toronto for $3.86 a mile plus .58 fuel then dead head over to cleveland pick up a $1,200 load going to Rome NY, Friday afternoon I'll be sitting at home getting drunk after clearing $1000 on a few hours work(if I don't break down)
What a stud! Next time I get a run through your neck of the woods we'll have to empty a few 12 ouncers together.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
I never understood how somebody could get talked into working for $1 a mile when the guy loading right beside him (me) is getting $3 a mile for the same stuff.
What were you doing TWO YEARS ago?

Because two years ago I pulled my first load for ATS...Memorial Day Weekend. The reason I went there (or 'et myself get talked into working for a dollar a mile') was that NOBODY anywhere else had any freight. Smaller companies didn't slow down...they STOPPED.

Remember that?

ATS wasn't hiring company guys at the time, but they did have that lease crap, and they did have freight.

THAT is how I 'let myself' be talked into a lease program.

Not because I'm a dim-witted moron as your post infers.

So could you have found your $4 a mile load two years ago?

I kinda doubt it.

What's it like on that big old high horse you got there? Careful not to fall off.
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
What were you doing TWO YEARS ago?

Because two years ago I pulled my first load for ATS...Memorial Day Weekend. The reason I went there (or 'et myself get talked into working for a dollar a mile') was that NOBODY anywhere else had any freight. Smaller companies didn't slow down...they STOPPED.

Remember that?

ATS wasn't hiring company guys at the time, but they did have that lease crap, and they did have freight.

THAT is how I 'let myself' be talked into a lease program.

Not because I'm a dim-witted moron as your post infers.

So could you have found your $4 a mile load two years ago?

I kinda doubt it.

What's it like on that big old high horse you got there? Careful not to fall off.
need to change your translator to English or grow thicker skin, and two years ago I was hauling zinc (107,000#) from Balmat NY to Dorian PQ for $175 a trip. 10 trips a week(company driver) Stone Transport was making $4+ a mile, after taxes and medical I was still bringing home $1,200 a week, maybe you should get a high horse too, you can see the crap your about to step in a little better.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
Looks like I should move to Balmat! I used to pull talc out of Governuer a hundred years ago. I'd have to make really decent coin to live there!

My options were limited if I wanted to stay in specialzed hauling, and given that I'd pull a bajllion blades at that point, I figured they'd let me move in pretty quick. First thing they did was tell me I wasn't qualified to pull blades.

Thing is, even with the garbage rates they pay in the lease program, if they'd give a guy a square deal, and just quit playing games with the freight, and drop the run starve run idea, it really would be a lot better.

One of the famous tactics was that you'd be a a place you knew was a good freight hub, and you's see ONE load offer of crane parts. Crane move. That's what THEY want you to do. Then, you haven't seen an ATS truck in a week, but somehow you're 75th in line at the crane move...

The more I think back on that, the more I wonder about the legality of it.

Companies are really falling in love with this "Independent Contractor" idea. Everything from trucking to executive staffing is going that way. The rep for the evil petroleum company we build wind farms for is actually an IC through a firm that does executive staffing.

However in trucking, these lease programs are just sinister (sorry...) and abusive IMO.
 

Racer X 69

Member
Companies are really falling in love with this "Independent Contractor" idea. Everything from trucking to executive staffing is going that way. The rep for the evil petroleum company we build wind farms for is actually an IC through a firm that does executive staffing.
When I worked at PACCAR Tech Center I was one of about 15 contract employees. No benefits. No vacation pay. No holiday pay. No pension.

I have also noticed that a lot of states contract out the rest area maintenance.

So many people are willing to work that way, and not get anything but a wage. And when the contract is up for renewal, well, then they might just be looking for a job when the low bidder comes in with their own group of contractors.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
We're getting a bit off topic, but the good thing about this type of stuff is that people can see for themselves exactly how tedious and expensive it is to employ people, and possibly end up with a greater respect for business freedom and lower taxes.

The down side is one of the things I'm struggling with right now almost 20 years in the industry. Like you said, no pension, benefits...nothing.

I do have some minor investments set aside...I'm not completely stupid, but the idea of a state pension is very attractive to me right now.
 

Mr. Q

Silent Observer
a buddy bought one through Schnieder finance though that wasn't really a l/p since he got to pick who he leased on with after a year.
Even though many Lease Purchase programs that some of these companies offer seem very restrictive and questionably unfair as far as (1) following the particular rules to the one company that you're leased on to, and (2) not being able to take the truck somewhere else and haul goods elsewhere, the Schneider lease program seems very interesting....even at the risk of being "fleeced" out of much of your income.

The reason why I wouldn't sign a lease right now? You're basically a company driver that pays the bills. That's not really what one would call an independent business owner like most of these true owner operators that deal with brokers and negotiate their own prices. Lastly, I will never understand why many Lease drivers think that they can turn a decent profit pulling for $.90-something cents per-mile plus that $.30 ~ $.40 cent-per-mile fuel surcharge with the cost of diesel fuel being $3.80 to $4.50-something dollars per gallon.

Everyone should be required to take a Business Economics 101 class before signing anything!
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
Oh, one other thing, my first three months at ATS were decent, even with the garbage rates they were paying then.

Then, out of nowhere they decided to cut the pay "as a result of the economy"...

Which would be another reason not to lease a truck from a company. They also get to decide what to pay you, and may in fact change that rate midstream, and you're still signed into the contract and totally powerless.
 
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