December 9, 2018No Comments

Buy vs Lease a Truck?

Buy vs Lease Truck is one of the first decisions future owner-operators must face. Both options offer benefits as well as drawbacks. There are many different situations that apply to different people. Always keep in mind that a truck is a tool for work first, and a vehicle second. Potential business owners should consider the job at hand to make the best choice.

 

Lease a Truck

Leasing a truck makes sense when you are starting your career or you lack good credit. It does not require a significant down payment, and the monthly or weekly amount is generally smaller than that of a loan. The driver will own the truck, as the lease agreement ends. There is a type of lease where downpayment is required. Monthly payments are generally low because the balloon payment at the end of the contract matches the value of the truck at the time. For example a 10 percent down payment on a $130,000 vehicle with $2000 per month for 60 months and a balloon payment of $24,000 at the end. This is a sweet deal for a new truck if you plan to keep and use it longer than five years.

The most common lease is directly through a trucking company. Weekly payments will be deducted from the driver's check. A required down payment of around $5000 will be needed. It shows good money management skills and establishes good faith. It also allows for lower weekly payments.

A lease is a form of rent. Drivers must take care of the truck, and when the contract expires, the truck should be in good condition.

 

Maintenance under lease

Drivers are responsible for the maintenance of the trucks unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske. These two companies charge between $0.12 and $0.20 per mile for regular maintenance. This, however, does not include accidents and or incidentals. If you hit a deer or a rock cracks the windshield, repairs come out of your pocket.  

Buy a Truck

When a future owner operator purchases a truck and finances it, the bank takes the title as collateral for the loan. The driver owns the vehicle, and like in the lease (unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske) all responsibility for the ownership falls on him.

Advantages

Financing a loan is a cheaper option. Also since the driver is the owner, he can build some equity in the truck. If the market is strong, an owner-operator can make extra principal payments towards the loan, thus paying it off early and saving on interest.

Disadvantages

Drivers need a credit score over 630-650. That puts those with less than perfect credit at a disadvantage. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rate on the loan will be.

Many banks require down payments when credit history is an issue. Ten percent is standard, but some will only ask for five. Almost any lender will agree to finance a truck driver with 20 percent cash in pocket. Putting down a substantial down payment secures lower monthly payments that won't put a toll on the driver when the market is slow.

A major factor improving the odds of financing a truck is previous owner-operator experience. Many banks will deny even 20 percent down payments if the future truck owner cannot provide past truck payment history. That is probably the main reason why many drivers start off with a lease. Experienced truck drivers are not necessarily experienced business owners, and banks know that. Previous owner operator experience shows knowledge of how to manage a business and offers banks more security.

 

Let us know if you want to receive our lease information!!!

December 8, 2018No Comments

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

A calm sea does not make good sailors, and driving in Florida only does not make good truck drivers eater. For the best winter driving advice, you should ask a driver from all the states North of I70. However, if that is not possible, you can read our blog. We will outline the most common issues our company had in the winter and how we have solved them.

Do not freeze up the fuel Filters

With the low winter temperatures, it is very important to put anti-gel in the fuel tanks of the truck. Unlike gasoline which does not gel up unless it is -120 F, the diesel fuel gels up at around 10-15 F. The fuel does not run through the fuel filters which kills the engine. The popular belief that, if you idle the engine, the fuel won't freeze is not true. Yes, the water separator has heaters, but the fuel gels up the primary filters. The solution for the situation is to change them and prime the engine.

 

Do not forget your chains

Different states have different chain laws. Colorado chain law requires every passing truck to have chains between September 1st and May 31st. Not all states require you to have chains in the truck, but they may give you a fine when you are stuck in the snow.

 

Do not leave your fuel tanks empty

When you go home in Minneapolis or stop for 10-hour break in Laramie, WY make sure that your fuel tanks are full.  Because warm diesel circulates between the tanks while the truck is moving, water condenses on the inside of the empty fuel tanks. Winter driving with extra water in the fuel tanks can make fuel filters freeze faster.

 

Do not forget the airlines

New trucks have sophisticated aid dryers. As the name suggests they make the air in the air system dry. That is important because moisture can build a lot of ice inside the lines which will malfunction the air brakes.

 

Do not try to be a hero

All loads can wait. If the weather is dangerous, just pull over. If your dispatcher or customer complain about it, you work for the wrong company. Your paycheck maybe shorter this week, but you will live longer.

 

Do not think of Winter Driving as a joke

Ice on the road makes trucks unstable. Cold weather will weaken the metal and the truck will feel different.

December 7, 2018No Comments

When Do I Get Paid?

One of the first questions asked during orientation. Our payroll workweeks begin each Saturday and end on Friday's. Each Friday you will receive an email statement with a copy of your pay stub. These emails are highly important! They are confirming the loads and mileage you will be paid. Furthermore, check your bank account the following Monday as your check will be there.

 

 

5 Ways to read your paycheck:

  1. Load - This will be the Trip number.
  2. Date -  Date of the load.
  3. Trip Information - City delivered, miles that were driven, empty miles, etc.
  4. Rate per mile- Pay per mile.
  5. Total Pay -  Pay breakdown of each trip.

 

 

When in doubt...

Call your dispatcher right away!

 

 

 

 

November 19, 2018No Comments

Hours of Service Update Regarding Personal Conveyance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released new guidance earlier this month

regarding the use of Personal Conveyance time associated with hours of service regulations. The introduction of PC time back in May afforded drivers the much-needed flexibility to perform their duties. We covered the use of personal conveyance in a previous blog post, but after the recent clarification issued by the FMCSA, we feel it is important to revisit the subject.

The updated hours of service interpretation released on the FMCSA website now states that

Drivers can log Personal Conveyance even when under a load as long as the driver is off work.

The exact text, which can be found here, is as follows:

Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record personal conveyance as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor carrier.

To help avoid confusion, the FMCSA offers a number of examples as follows:

Proper use of PC time

  1. Time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodgings such as a motel or truck stop.
  2. Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
  3. Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
  4. Moving a CMV at the request of a safety officer during the driver’s off-duty time
  5. Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.

Not qualified for PC time

  1. The movement of a CMV in order to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, bypassing available resting locations in order to get closer to the next loading.
  2. Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce for a business purpose, including bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer in order to retrieve another load.
  3. Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed.
  4. After being placed out of service for exceeding the maximum periods permitted under part 395, time spent driving to a location to obtain the required rest, unless so directed by an enforcement officer at the scene.
  5. Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.

 

Most of these examples are common sense but some have been issues of heated debate between logistics professionals. Pay special attention to item number 3 above. It is a common misconception, especially among owner-operators, that taking their equipment in for service or repairs affords them the ability to log this time as off duty. This is not the case. According to hours of service regulations, a driver should log the transit time to a repair facility as on duty.

November 2, 2018No Comments

Watch Out for Deer!

November has arrived, and this means deer season has as well.

How to prevent a deer accident?

One of the most widely known recommendations

is mounting deer whistles on your truck to alert deer of your truck’s presence. These devices are easy to install and a great way to prevent accidents. Ultrasonic sounds created by the air passing through the whistles as you drive warn the deer.

Whistles are great tools but are not always enough to stop a crash.

Please remember to pay close attention to the warning signs displayed on the road as November is mating season for deer.

Some accidents are simply unavoidable!

Wearing your seatbelt at all times is crucial. It can prevent serious harm in the event of an accident. Never swerve your truck to avoid a deer. This can turn a small incident into a tragedy as trucks have been known to flip over or veer off the road.
In the event you do hit a deer, it is important to follow a few simple steps to ensure your own safety and the safety of others. Don't panic, remain calm and pull over to the side of the road. Put your flashers on and contact police and make a report.  Remember to always document and report to your dispatcher to make them aware.

October 15, 20181 Comment

Purchase Trucking: Key Factors to Consider When Becoming a Truck Owner Operator

Anyone who’s ever worked for someone else has dreamt about becoming their own boss – setting their own schedule, being in control of their own income and not answering to anyone but themselves. It’s an alluring concept but one that requires careful consideration, significant investment and being comfortable with less stability. Read more

October 8, 2018No Comments

6 Ways Fleet Managers Can Reduce Turnover in Truck Drivers

While retaining employees is something every manager or business owner worries about, there are very few industries that compare with the difficulty of retaining high-quality truck drivers. Read more

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog.

Buy vs Lease a Truck?

Buy vs Lease Truck is one of the first decisions future owner-operators must face. Both options offer benefits as well as drawbacks. There are...

→ Read More

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

A calm sea does not make good sailors, and driving in Florida only does not make good truck drivers eater. For the best winter...

→ Read More

When Do I Get Paid?

One of the first questions asked during orientation. Our payroll workweeks begin each Saturday and end on Friday's. Each Friday you will receive an...

→ Read More

Hours of Service Update Regarding Personal Conveyance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released new guidance earlier this month regarding the use of Personal Conveyance time associated with hours of service...

→ Read More

Watch Out for Deer!

November has arrived, and this means deer season has as well. How to prevent a deer accident? One of the most widely known recommendations...

→ Read More

Purchase Trucking: Key Factors to Consider When Becoming a Truck Owner Operator

Anyone who’s ever worked for someone else has dreamt about becoming their own boss – setting their own schedule, being in control of their...

→ Read More

6 Ways Fleet Managers Can Reduce Turnover in Truck Drivers

While retaining employees is something every manager or business owner worries about, there are very few industries that compare with the difficulty of retaining...

→ Read More