For many drivers, working for a company may not be enough, and they always keep thinking of going ahead with a freight business of their own. However, these want-to-become owner-operators get discouraged when the face the reality about their financial potential. Giving recognition to such demands, many trucking companies have incorporated lease options, lease purchase and drive to own options for drivers who are not in a situation to fulfill their dreams through conventional financing modes.
The question arising here is whether leasing a truck would be able to bring you financial gain? The answer to this question mainly depends on your own conditions and the perspective you look from.
From the perspective of the truck driver, leasing a truck is the perfect option for them when they are not able to pay a hefty down payment and related start-up costs. Most carriers have come out with leasing opportunities for enterprising drivers, and thousands of drivers have been attracted by such offers. Although the terms vary from one carrier to another, but most of them claim benefits for drivers in a number ways, including low deposits, low down payments, sometimes there are no down payments, no long-term contracts, pride of ownership, chance to drive higher specifications equipment, incentives on completion of lease and convenient credit standards. This allows lease operators to enjoy the taste of ownership without involving high financial risks. Most of the carriers market their leases as ‘walk-away’ leases, which mean that drivers can walk out of the lease in case the set-up does not work for some reason.
Some of the drivers have experienced truck leasing as a financial loss. Contrary to their expectations of fulfilling their dreams, these drivers have come to experience limitations and malpractices on the part of carriers, like low mileage, baseless deductions and complicated lease contracts drafted to benefit the carriers. Sometimes, the carriers tend turn the advantage of truck leasing completely in their favor. In such cases the drivers end up owing more to the carriers than they have been able to earn from their driving. Some of the main complaints recorded by drivers about their leasing carriers include large payments, over-charging for fuel taxes, inflated insurance fees, huge deposits, repair accounts and carrier-dictated repairs with rates decided by the carrier.
In addition to these complaints, drivers also charge that the method to clear repair and tire reimbursements is mostly not mentioned in the lease agreement, and sometimes the carriers make it almost impossible for the drivers to get these funds by fixing very high limits for minimum expenses.
And to aggravate the scene further, many carriers who promise a ‘walk-away’ lease, fail to release the funds collected from the drivers for deposits or repairs, in case the driver wants to leave the contract for any reason. Such experiences have led to the drivers questioning whether truck leasing opportunities are real opportunities or simply an easy way to a more complicated financial disaster.
Even though there have been instances that prove that leasing a truck may be a big gamble for drivers, but another side of the same story reports that there are numerous truck drivers who have turned their logistics business into a profitable enterprise. Therefore the drivers are primarily left with their own conscience to get to their personal conclusion.