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.

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.

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 1, 2018No Comments

What Drivers Must Do to Work for HAZMAT Trucking Companies

HAZMAT trucking companies are responsible for transporting Hazmat goods under meticulous standards of handling. In other words, these drivers keep the public safe. Read more

July 10, 20181 Comment

Quarterly Bonuses for Our Drivers

Driving a truck is a challenging job. Many drivers feel that they are not paid what they are worth considering the amount of work that they put it on a daily basis. Insufficient pay is a significant reason why many truck drivers leave their companies or abandon the industry entirely. This has been a source of frustration for many carriers, shippers, and customers, as the lack of truck drivers has led to capacity shortages, significant delays in transportation, and increased rates across the country. These problems could all be alleviated if more drivers were earning what they believe they deserve, and there are things that carriers can do to help attract more drivers to their fleet.

At the end of the article, you can see our drivers that reached the milestones for their bonuses for Q2 of 2018

Bonuses

 

While many carriers claim that they cannot raise wages or the rates that they pay their drivers, they can indeed offer attainable and tangible bonuses that can significantly increase the pay of the truckers. If a driver performs exceptionally, he is bringing in more money to the company, and he should be treated as such. A driver should be rewarded for his dedication and his contribution to the increased profits of the carrier.

 

Unfortunately, many carriers don’t offer bonuses at all, or they offer packages that are unattainable or just not worth the extra effort. Driver bonuses should be based on clear guidelines and achievements, setting realistic expectations and giving the drivers a fair share of what they earned. If a driver has to push himself exceptionally hard for a small one-time bonus, he will become burnt out and may lose motivation to strive towards the bonus.

 

Our company, however, looks at bonuses in a different way than most other carriers. Last quarter, we came up with a new program. It has been well received by our drivers and has resulted in big payouts for them. Our drivers start with a base salary of 50 cents. With our new bonus structure, we promised our hard-working drivers that they could make 60 cents per mile. However, they went over 33,000 miles. This is a retroactive bonus that includes all the miles they already drove plus any additional miles after the 33k. This means that if a driver hit 34,000 miles, he gets 60 cents per mile on all those miles, or an additional 10 cents, which comes out to $3400 for the quarter. That is undoubtedly a significant bonus!

 

We have a large fleet of drivers, and many of them hit this milestone, so we are paying over $50,000 in bonuses for the last quarter. We are happy to keep our promise because it means that our drivers are making more money and will be happier in the long run. This will help us retain a strong employee base and create a culture that focuses on teamwork and success.

 

We have found that this is a far more effective strategy than that employed by many other carriers. They often promise only certain benefits as a reward for working more extended hours and spending more time away from their family. This is not enough incentive for a driver to continue working harder, and we believe it is why many truckers leave their carriers. While many people enjoy the lifestyle of a truck driver, money speaks volumes, and they will pursue opportunities where they can make more money if they feel like they are being underpaid.

 

Truck Driver Bonus

Signing Bonuses

 

Some carriers offer signing bonuses to entice new drivers to begin working with them. These signing bonuses, however, are often spread out over the first year or two of driving, and usually only amount to around $3,000. With our new bonus program, our drivers can earn this or more in every quarter. This is a far more attractive option for drivers who are willing to put in the hours to make the miles happen.

 

A signing bonus is nice, but as we mentioned, it is a small, one-time bonus that you may not even see to completion if you don’t stay with the company or if they go under. Continual, goal-based bonuses are a superior reward system that will help motivate drivers to reach new goals and heights in their careers continually. If a driver can earn an extra $12,000 or more throughout the year, he will want to work for the company and continue to strive for excellence.

 

Driver Retention

 

We believe that our company benefits from keeping a loyal, dedicated fleet of drivers rather than cycling through a large group of temporary drivers and suffering from high turnover. It is our strategy to provide a proper and profitable atmosphere for every one of our drivers, and that starts with paying them what we believe that they deserve. A well-paid driver is a happy driver that is far less likely to pursue a position at another company.

 

We make this possible by offering a very fair base pay but also giving the incentive to reach milestones to procure large, sustainable bonuses. As mentioned, we had many drivers reached their milestones last quarter, and we are proudly paying them the extra money that we promised. This is because we value every one of our employees and we know that each of these drivers worked hard every single day to drive the number of miles needed to earn these bonuses.

 

Hard work always pays off in the long run, and it is up to carriers to reward their drivers in a fair and lucrative manner. A driver bonus should feel like a significant amount of money that can significantly raise their annual income rather than the small perks and benefits that many carriers offer. Drivers who are not fairly compensated will ultimately end up looking elsewhere for their income. Many even look for new careers entirely, and that is harmful to the industry as a whole. It is up to us as carriers to provide fair wages, healthy bonuses, and profitable life for our truck drivers.

Q2 2018 Logiflex Drivers that got their bonus

Edgard Alvarez - 41022 miles

Roscoe Battle - 35549 miles

Robert Belcher - 38048 miles

Gilberto Enriquez - 35358 miles

Larry Ford - 39375 miles

Fabian Garcia - 34553 miles

Richard Marschall - 42167 miles

Alan Meyer - 34679 miles

Hristo Mihaylov - 44937 miles

Hristo Moysev - 34030 miles

Gloria Null - 34930 miles

Adrian Padilla - 33668 miles

Vladimir Petkov - 39372 miles

Robert Pinkelton - 38972 miles

Elmer Rodriguez - 33484 miles

Lorenzo Steer - 33730 miles

Randy Trichel - 36947 miles

Christopher Valenzuela - 36543 miles

Robert Wess - 37327 miles

Tim Wagner - 33252 miles (Tim joined Logiflex in May, but still made the bonus in just two months!)

 

If you want to join our team send us an email to info@logiflexinc.com or Join Logiflex's Driver Team

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.

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog / Truck Driver’s Life

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

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

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

What Drivers Must Do to Work for HAZMAT Trucking Companies

HAZMAT trucking companies are responsible for transporting Hazmat goods under meticulous standards of handling. In other words, these drivers keep the public safe.

→ Read More

Quarterly Bonuses for Our Drivers

Driving a truck is a challenging job. Many drivers feel that they are not paid what they are worth considering the amount of work...

→ 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