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!!!

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

July 6, 2018No Comments

Why People Become Truck Drivers

 

People don’t always think of glamor and glory when they think about trucking. It’s a job that requires hard work, long hours, and the ability to drive long distances. In many cases, truck drivers are underappreciated members of the US workforce. They perform their job every day and often don’t receive the respect that they deserve. Truck driving may seem like a grueling profession, and many may wonder what exactly motivates somebody to commit their life to the road. While there are indeed some challenges that come along with being a truck driver, there are many great reasons that people decide to take up the occupation.

 

They Enjoy Traveling

 

Travel is an important part of many people’s lives, and truck drivers are no different. For the free spirits that enjoy seeing everything that the country has to offer, driving a truck can be the perfect vocation. Not only do they get to experience the different cities and to change scenery across America, but they also get to be paid for doing it! Anybody who is interested in seeing different cultures and trying new, unique regional cuisines could greatly benefit from getting behind the wheel of a truck and embarking on their cross-country journey.

 

With the traveling comes a job that must be done, but drivers can often choose the shipments they want to take them to the places they’ve always dreamt of seeing. During long stretches of highway, drivers can enjoy the views and the sense of adventure that comes with hauling a big rig to new, exciting places. When a load is delivered, drivers can decide to stay in the area or pick up a new shipment and head somewhere new.

 

They Prefer the Open Road to an Office

 

Most people don’t enjoy coming into the same office every single day and performing the same routine tasks over and over again. Drivers benefit from the luxury of never having to worry about sitting at a desk for hours on end while staring at a computer screen. Instead, they can fire up their truck and head to a new location every single day. There’s always something new to be found on the road, and truckers are ready and willing to accept that adventure.

 

For those who don’t want to fill out spreadsheets or send emails all day long, the open road provides a different kind of job. Drivers may have to battle against thunderstorms, blizzards, or low visibility, but these are challenges that they genuinely enjoy. There is a certain sense of victory that comes with completing a shipment despite the literal and figurative roadblocks that may make things more difficult.

 

People that make good drivers are the top that is always looking for a challenge, and the road is ready to provide them with plenty of these. They can put their problem-solving skills to the test in an exciting environment rather than sitting in an office all day. In this sense, drivers can sometimes be thrill-seekers who have a strong desire to succeed.

 

They are Looking for Success

 

In many regards, drivers are ultimately responsible for how successful they can become in this profession. They can make the decisions that will determine how profitable they will be on their runs. It is up to the driver alone to work as hard and as often as he or she sees fit to fit with their financial needs or lifestyle desires.

 

There is no single way to be successful when it comes to driving a truck, but the freedom afforded by making your own decisions is a significant selling point for truckers. They can seek out the shipments that they believe will help them advance both financially and personally. In a sense, a driver is running his own business while moving that truck across the country, and he must make sound decisions and remain motivated to do well.

 

It is this drive to succeed that keeps so many drivers on the road. They know that they can make a life for themselves by choosing wisely and working diligently. They may not wear a suit and tie, but they are often just as business-savvy as some of the sharpest-dressed financial gurus and executives. It’s just that they prefer to practice their business skills from inside a cab rather than behind a desk.

 

They Seek Out Adventure

 

From the weather problems to potentially treacherous terrain, there is always the adventure that is about to happen. Imagine hauling a massive shipment into the high-altitude ski towns in the Rocky Mountains. This is not an easy task, but those towns need to get their goods somehow, and somebody needs to be willing to answer the call. Truck drivers are the ones that keep these places in business thanks to their ability to and willingness to take on these difficult loads.

 

We might think these shipments would ruin our day, but the adventurous drivers out there enjoy being assigned to these tasks and proving that they have the skills and dedication to carry them out. There is a major sense of satisfaction when these jobs are finished successfully. The truck driver can be seen as somewhat of a hero when he delivers these essential goods to the towns that need them.

 

Work-Life Balance

 

For those that enjoy all of the above things – adventuring, the open road, independence, and travel – driving a truck can be an excellent way to be financially successful while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When you enjoy your career, you are far more likely to find happiness and satisfaction in life. Drivers who enjoy venturing out and delivering goods are keeping themselves in better health and doing a great job to provide for their needs and the needs of their families. Trucking can be a highly lucrative career for any person who believes in hard work and adventure.

July 6, 20181 Comment

Truck Driving and Family Life

 

family truck

 

Truck driving and family life is not an easy thing to navigate. Most people work a job that allows them to come home to their family at the end of the day. Whether it’s in an office, factory, or retail shop, their work location is usually within an hour of their home. For over the road truck drivers, however, this is not the case. The unfortunate reality of life for them is that they must be on the road for weeks at a time, often leaving their families behind without certainty as to when they are going to return. Such life can be stressful for both the truck driver and his wife, creating many difficulties that drivers must face when pursuing a career behind the wheel.

 

Uncertainty of Schedule

 

When a driver embarks on a trip across the country, he doesn’t always have a direct route back home. In many cases, he must rely on several backhauls to move from location to location until he eventually gets a shipment that brings him back to his destination. Sometimes, a driver may be able to set up his schedule so that he has a clear route back. This still comes with uncertainty, however, as shipments can be canceled, reconsigned, or significantly delayed. When that happens, there is no guarantee that a driver will be able to find a profitable replacement shipment that will get him where he wants to go.

 

Inclement weather, accidents, and traffic can also contribute to this uncertainty. With the United States being such a massive landmass, it can be hot and sunny in one city while a blizzard is ravaging a location only a few hundred miles away. Drivers can’t expect regular weather patterns if they are driving over the road, so they can’t always accurately predict when they are going to be home. They also have to account for their DOT hours of service. 

 

Loneliness

 

While many truck drivers enjoy the “lone ranger” lifestyle that the open road affords them, the fact remains that it can be stressful to be isolated for such long periods of time. Many drivers report that they miss their families immensely when they are driving, causing them emotional distress and contributing even more to their feelings of loneliness. This one of the most significant difficulties of choosing the independence that comes along with being a truck driver.

 

Drivers can make friends on the road, and they often do. However, this is not quite the same as being at home with a loving family and permanent companions. They can’t expect that they are going to be creating long-lasting bonds when they are always moving in different directions and running on separate schedules. This lack of attachment can cause feelings of isolation and depression. Most people want to connect with others, and it is increasingly difficult to do so when you must continuously be shuttling off to different locations.

 

An Empty Home

 

Drivers aren’t the only ones who are negatively affected by life on the road. Their partners at home can feel just as lonely and stressed out if they are gone for long periods at a time. A driver’s wife at home may experience the same feelings of sadness and isolation while her husband is driving across the country for weeks at a time. This stress on both parties can lead to arguments when he does eventually make it back home.

 

These problems are even worse if a driver has children. Kids want to be around their mother and father frequently, and they can become very disappointed if they find out that their parent will be delayed even longer than expected. Younger children don’t understand that some things are out of their parents’ control, so they may feel neglected or let down even though their father or mother is doing his or her best to get back home in a reasonable amount of time.

 

Solutions

 

While there are many issues that can put a strain on the family life of a driver, there are also ways to work around these. As with any job, there are going to be ups and downs, but it is up to the individual to work through these and focus on the positive aspects of the job. These are some of the things that drivers can do to reduce the stress caused by their position.

 

Set Realistic Expectations

 

A driver should talk with his or her spouse and be honest about the reality of their job. He should not set unrealistic expectations that will only serve to let his partner down. When the partner at home knows that the truck driver will not be back soon, he or she will be more accepting of their absence and able to plan around it. It will take some work, but couples must strive to understand each other and know what to expect in the future.

 

Focus on Scheduling

 

As mentioned, a driver can’t always rely on getting a direct route back home. However, he can be proactive about finding the right loads and taking better routes to increase his chances of a timely return. He should study the markets and try to make consistent contacts with shippers that can give him quality shipments that take him where he needs to go. Problems and delays will inevitably occur, but a driver should stay focused on doing everything he can to reduce the likelihood of these occurrences.

 

Consider Driving as a Team

 

Many couples share the responsibility of driving. Such arrangement works best for families without kids or whose kids are already out of the home. Operating as a team allows the couple to be with each other and get through the job together rather than being apart for weeks or months at a time. If they plan their routes efficiently, it can also be far more profitable than driving solo because of the reduced amount of downtime. Traveling the country is an excellent way for couples to bond.  Moreover, driving together allows them to make money while maintaining a happy and healthy relationship.

May 30, 20189 Comments

How to Extend the 14 Hour Rule Using the Sleeper Berth Provision

How to Extend the 14 Hour Rule Using the Sleeper Berth Provision

Drivers and dispatchers alike find the 14 hour rule extension a bit confusing, so people don't use it. The sleeper berth provision is one of the most complex hours of service regulations. Using it correctly, however, offers some significant benefits. We wrote this article, hoping it will help explain the flexibility afforded by the so-called “8 and 2 split”. Read more

May 5, 20185 Comments

ELD mandate shifts the trucking industry.

Dec. 18th, 2017 the trucking industry shifts for the better.

 

eld mandate truck driver workweek log book

December 18th is now in sight! It’s no longer a distant date in the future that we can put off thinking about. The ELD mandate has brought a lot of anxiety to truckers around the country and understandably so. Electronic logs are here! It is a big deal and it is happening.

Companies big and small brace for the December deadline, dreading over the expected loss of productivity and decreased bottom lines. There is a number of challenges, that company will face, with the switch to electronic logs. Equipment costs, driver and dispatcher training as well as problems surrounding meeting and managing customer expectations.

Many fleets are scrambling to make and implement these changes while others are still holding out in hopes for a last moment miracle. Lots of truckers we spoke to are planning to play it by ear. They intend to stay on paper logs until the very last moment and then lay low over the holidays to see how things go next year.

There is a myriad of articles in print and online detailing the regulations and how to stay compliant. We will not be discussing these here. Logiflex has been utilizing the latest in ELD technology for the past 5 years and we would like to use our expertise to shed light on an issue that is widely overlooked.

Electronic logs are good. They are good for drivers, good for companies and overall good for the entire industry.

Nothing about the ELD mandate changes the current hours of service regulations. It simply ensures that motor carriers and individual drivers stay compliant and do not cheat. It really is that simple. If you are raising hell about the DOT taking away your livelihood, you are in reality simply being upset you will no longer be allowed to cheat.

Putting an end to paper logs does not hinder drivers from earning good paychecks. It does however prevent unscrupulous employers from exploiting drivers and coercing them to drive beyond the regulated hours of service. Forcing truckers to drive around the clock in order to make up for the “bad rates” imposed by “unfair” freight brokers and customers will come to an end. In recent years, numerous companies have”taught” their drivers they need to drive more in order to earn a decent living. Well, here’s a question — why not drive less and get paid more per mile?

This is where the ELD Mandate levels the playing field.

Drivers will no longer be exploited and expected to deliver freight in record times with minimal or no sleep. When faced with the reality of enforced hours of service regulations, shippers and brokers will naturally adjust rates to address the issue of truckers refusing their freight.

Free markets adjust themselves based on the levels of supply and demand. Trucking companies will no longer accept low paying freight, as they will find it increasingly harder to fill the revenue gap simply by making it up in volume. More miles will now equal increased overhead in terms of additional equipment and manpower. Rates will have to go up and they will because freight needs to keep moving. Freight brokers and shippers will pay higher rates or they will not move their freight. Even bottom feeder carriers will be unable to provide transportation at rates below cost.

Higher revenues will create the opportunity for motor carriers to increase driver salaries and thus make up the difference in pay they would otherwise experience under “shortened” hours. In essence drivers will greatly benefit by the mandate. They will earn more and drive less.

But will my pay change?

Critics will undoubtedly offer that employers will not necessarily provide pay increases for their drivers and possibly pocket the extra cash, but those same basic economic principles of supply and demand will be in full play here as well. Drivers will simply leave companies unable or unwilling to offer competitive pay.

When it comes to motor carriers, the benefit of increased rates goes without explanation. There are however further benefits to consider. Decreased rates of equipment amortization will result in considerable fleet savings. Companies will also enjoy lower insurance premiums to reflect increased driver safety scores. Automated and electronically recorded geo-tagged timestamps will prevent detention and layover arguments and expedite loading and unloading times.

Driver performance will be easily calculated, compared and quantified. Seasoned drivers will enjoy better pay and job security, as quality will finally take precedent over quantity.

The trucking industry will indeed change December 18th. It will be safer, smarter and a better place to work.

America is making trucking great again!

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog / Owner Operators

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

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

Why People Become Truck Drivers

  People don’t always think of glamor and glory when they think about trucking. It’s a job that requires hard work, long hours, and...

→ Read More

Truck Driving and Family Life

    Truck driving and family life is not an easy thing to navigate. Most people work a job that allows them to come...

→ Read More

New FMCSA Personal Conveyance Rule

→ Read More

How to Extend the 14 Hour Rule Using the Sleeper Berth Provision

How to Extend the 14 Hour Rule Using the Sleeper Berth Provision Drivers and dispatchers alike find the 14 hour rule extension a bit...

→ Read More

ELD mandate shifts the trucking industry.

Dec. 18th, 2017 the trucking industry shifts for the better.   December 18th is now in sight! It’s no longer a distant date in the...

→ Read More