lease or company driver

pja1965

Life is a race
I,ve had my CDL for 10 years as a company driver. But thinking about leasing/purchase. Need some help in deciding? I like the thought of having my own truck but want to get ahead money wise. Is the money there?
 

shompey

Member
W/ Central it is. They have one of the better programs. They also have a contracted staff member or two that specialize in working w/ o/o to max. the money you make. The company is called American Truck Business Services. You can also take over a lease w/ 1 or 2 years on it at some terminals by people no longer wanting to drive. They post them at the terminals so ask about that. It's not all roses and happiness but one of the better I have seen.
 

GAnthony

Methuselah
Supporter
I,ve had my CDL for 10 years as a company driver. But thinking about leasing/purchase. Need some help in deciding? I like the thought of having my own truck but want to get ahead money wise. Is the money there?
well here's the conundrum (an intricate and difficult problem, as defined by Webster's Dictionary).

many of us can simply sit here and say "don't do it".........or, "stay as a company driver", or whatever else.

fact is, if every trucker decided NOT to become an owner-operator, then the larger companies win, and then that could/will lead to sky high freight prices.

my take on it is this, if you have a savings account set up, and you have (say) about 6 months worth of your salary in there, growing interest, then go for it..............IF:

you have a pre-contract agreement with a company

you have excellent credit

you have business sense, or an education in business

you have many years driving experience (which you do have)

you can handle the cost of doing business on a daily basis WITHOUT tapping into your savings account

you get the right truck, spec'd out for the job

you buy a very good used truck, to build up your reputation/credit with the bank(s)

you do SOME of the PM services the truck needs, and STAY ON TOP OF THIS....

you watch the pennies.......these will cost you more than the dollars.....

you don't limit yourself to one carrier. you have "back-up" carriers in slow times, to get you through.
 

rooster

Bass ackwards driver
Whoever you think about leasing from,get a copy of the contract and read EVERYTHING!!! If you don't understand anything they are saying,ask them. Find out everything that they take out,that they charge back to the truck,and what they offer at the end of the lease- Buy out,walk away,or a completion bonus. Find out if any form of communication they use is paid for or on you. Ask about how they do tolls-if you pay then they refund.Find out if fuel surcharge is set or adjustable.Get an insurance quote from them if can,some leases do let you find your own at a lower rate,not that most people can over a big company.And definately check to see if it's forced or non forced dispatch, They can make hometime a pain if it is,they like cutting it short with the excuse,"We'll put you a the bottom of the list and you have payments to make." And every week check and recheck your settlements.Keep track of every piece of paperwork-logs,bills,fuel tickets,etc.. Make copies of everything,they always find a way to make it your fault if you lose something and as a O/O,they come to you to foot the bill for it. I don't know how much of this will help,but I find these a few common problems among those I've met that failed.
 

oa_smallfry

ronandfezfans.com
I,ve had my CDL for 10 years as a company driver. But thinking about leasing/purchase. Need some help in deciding? I like the thought of having my own truck but want to get ahead money wise. Is the money there?
There are probably honest companies out there, but overall companies have gotten a real bad rap because some really put the screws to drivers near the end of the leases. If they can make you bail out of the lease, the truck goes back to them, and they can make that same money from another driver. I'm not discouraging you, just encouraging your to be very careful of the fine print.
 

rooster

Bass ackwards driver
I talked to a few friends and they told me that the only ones that they know are somewhat honest with leasing is SLX and Arnold. They say that both have great maintanence programs and Arnold has a last payment buyout and SLX's is only the $10 they advertise. But they did mention that the guy who manages the lease program is also the one who worked at Ledar. If I'm correct,Ledar got in trouble a few years back for letting drivers get all the way through their leases and then back charge them for things they didn't know they ha dto pay for. A lot of guys let their trucks go back after all that money. Just be selective on what you decide,there's some good leases out there,you just have to find the one for you,just like a company that suits your liking.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Whatever Arnold is doing right now, remember they are owned now by US Xpress and all will be changing soon. My mom is currently an Arnold driver (local), and the Southwest division is about to be completely absorbed by US Xpress management.

As for leases in general, I have honestly not seen a good one yet after looking into a few of them.

These companies make money off of you in multiple ways when they lease you a truck. They make money off of you by leasing you the truck to begin with, they design their lease to where the driver can make a slightly larger amount of money on a weekly basis while he is out on the road (only to lose that profit margin as soon as he/she takes time off), and when you give up on the lease, they take the escrow money to completely restore the truck and lease it to someone else.

If you are a driver that drives 52 weeks out of the year, and if you are lucky enough to not have to deal with breakdowns during your lease, then it is a good deal for you. Otherwise, buy a truck. If you can't afford to buy a truck, drive a company truck until you can buy your own truck.
 

rooster

Bass ackwards driver
I never leased from a company so I can't say from experience how they work,so if I miss inform or have my details off,then that's my bad.I do know though from personal experience,buying is better.You may not have a big company backing you,so to speak,but you're not stuck if you don't like 'em!!!
 
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