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Lease purchase – is it a good thing

Unless company’s have changed their way’s in the last few month’s then I say the “lease purchase” deal that company’s try to throw out to drivers is still a shady deal. Especially, the ones that mention in their ads “no credit checks” or “no money down”.

I was once lured into this scheme from a company in Minnesota. I won’t mention their name here, but you probably can guess who it is. Prime Inc. used to be the worst according to listening to drivers talk about it and who else would you want to listen too? They have pretty much cleaned up their act though, as they actually seem to care about their leasing program. Again I do not know this to be fact, just what I have heard about them. They offer classes on managing business’s to help drivers who want to succeed.

When i fell for the scheme, the only difference between a lease operator and a company driver was the lease operator got to pick his load, and go him whenever he/she wanted too. I called it a “glorified company driver”.

The lease I was in, I lasted at it for three weeks total. One of the weeks being in orientation. When I got my truck, I picked a used truck because the payments were cheaper. Still was going to run around $750ᇸ per week, with all the charges insurances, plates, etc..That was on a used truck!

Well, one good thing was this company allowed it’s lease operator’s to run the first week payment free. So I figured I would try to get the longest and the highest paying loads I could to rack up the pay. I ran from Minnesota to DC for my first load, it paid something like $1.83 per mile with fuel surcharge added. I hauled specialized in the critical handling of non-carton-ed, non-crated shipments in the pad wrap division.

Loads were suppose to be light no more than 20,000 lbs. no sitting around, because we were a dedicated service. Well first load like I mentioned above weighed 8,000 lbs. When I got empty in DC, they deadheaded me back up towards Hagerstown, MD. to load another “special” load going out around Kingdom city, MO.

When I arrived at the shipper, it looked like a ghost town. I came to find out they were relocating the company to Missouri, and I had the pleasure of hauling 12 or 14 tow motors that ended up weighing almost 47,000 lbs. WTF, happened to the no more than 20,000 lb. loads? I asked my dispatcher, his reply was this is the only load I have in the area, and that I would get a good load out from Kingdom City. It paid something like .80 cpm with fuel surcharge added. Well that killed my going good attitude, also the fact that I was stuck in the east coast MTs. with a 47,000 lb load.

When I delivered in Missouri, they got me the “only” load availability going to CAT in Peoria, IL another disappointing paying load. It was a load of pallets from a VERY small pallet shop down in and around Stony Hill, MO. I got directions, I ended up traveling about 40 miles of curvy one lane graveled road to get to this place, I arrived I had to lock the differentials in in order to get into the lot to get loaded. The crazy guy on the tow motor asked me to help him load them, as his co-worker had not shown up.

I politely replied NO WAY IN HELL after about three hours, he finally had me loaded. This load paid around 500.00 gross, but I was guaranteed a high dollar load from CAT. I delivered in Peoria that evening, when empty my dispatcher calls me and said there was nothing in Peoria until Monday morning. I was heart broken..I told him I was heading to Toledo, OH, I drove to Toledo, and the clutch went out of the truck. I called breakdown and they towed the truck. I have not seen it since,. I quit just as soon as my “check” was deposited.

I had over 2800 miles, the truck made somewhere around 4000.00, by the time they took my fuel, advances out I had $1100.00 to the good left. You think that sounds OK? Well remember when I said the first week they didn’t take a truck payment out, Thank God I would have probably owed them money.

Company’s like to shove these lease purchase deals onto drivers, because it does not cost them a whole lot of money to hire a lease driver as it would for a company driver, after you figure in the truck and all.

On a last note, if you do a lease through a company remember this. Even though you have the option to go home whenever you want too, remember you will be starting that next week in the hole. Because 9 out of 10 times you will be going home empty, and returning empty equals little or no pay after fuel.

© 2009, Truck Drivers News. All rights reserved.

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