New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

Topic 20161 | Page 4

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Brian M.'s Comment
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Old School, your right I do run hard. Though my old co driver had pre existing conditions before he came to work for Prime. He was a heavy smoker and drinker previous to driving with me. I don't think we should hold me responsible for running this truck hard. Your also correct I am out for 12 to 16 weeks at a shot, I rarely see a 34 and the truck never stops moving more than 4 to 6 hours.

I finally felt comfortable enough to take 3 weeks off. My truck never stopped moving though. I just came back to work and I am 52 dollars in the negative. Before I took off my co driver took 3 weeks off as well. Now I'm back and will run till The end of October with my co driver.

Brett my taxes require 2 accountants one for the trucking industry and the other for my other income. It's not as simple as just giving you my net income.

Brian M.'s Comment
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Those were the quarterly payments I've made on the truck to this point this year.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brian M.'s Comment
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Brett let's face it you will never change your opinion or actually give anyone credit for being successful at leasing.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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It's not as simple as just giving you my net income.

Of course it's not. I've been asking people for that number since I got into the industry in '93 and I've yet to see the first tax statement from anyone. Not one single statement. Somehow every owner operator and lease driver can quote their big, fat 6 figure incomes off the top of their heads but they can never seem to find that one darn elusive piece of paper where the actual number is written down for the Government.

So don't worry. I understand.

Brett let's face it you will never change your opinion or actually give anyone credit for being successful at leasing.

I would love to see people be successful at leasing or owning a truck. I'm a business owner myself and have been for a lot of years. If there's great money to be made at something I certainly want to know about it. I just might take a shot at it myself.

Old School was a business owner for 30 years. If he thought there was big money in this he'd love to take a shot at it too!

I give credit where credit is due as they say. You would think after all these years of telling literally millions of people that owning or leasing doesn't pay off there would be one person who would step up with a tax return showing me their big, fat six figure income.

One person? Anyone?

::crickets chirping::

I understand. It's not as easy as just showing me that profit/loss statement.

Seriously, if there was great money to be made leasing or owning a truck I would either be leasing or owning my own trucks, or I would be trying to make money helping others do it. I've had large carriers say to me, "Hey, why don't you put up a section that teaches people how to be successful leasing a truck?" And my answer is always the same, "Because I don't know how to do it successfully myself and no one that claims to know can ever seem to explain it to me."

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I have to admit I'm completely confused with all of that.

double-quotes-end.png

Brett, I think poor Brain has worked himself to a frazzle tonight. He just needs to get some rest. He will make more sense tomorrow, I think.

rofl-3.gif

I think your right. His math was completely off in his very first comment. I'm even getting tired myself. Tomorrow's another day.

I must say, though, these conversations are far more civil than they ever used to be.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm done. I have nothing but appreciation for the information and knowledge I've gained on your sight but this will be my last post on this sight. I offered my information to you and Old School by email. You will have to excuse me if I don't want to publicize my income to others. It's no ones business but my wife and myself what we make and have. You did not accept that offer.

Now you ask to see my financials, tax return and such. I don't ask to see yours so how do you get off asking for mine now! If you couldn't figure out a tax rate off of my settlements then your not a very savvy businessman. I feel like you are calling me a liar and for this I have no use for a person like you in my life.

Good luck to everyone looking for a rewarding career whether or not you decide to lease or be a company driver you all have the ability of having a great career. Listen to everyone and decide what's best for you. Everyone here has you best interest at heart and believe in this industry. I have been successful leasing because I worked hard at it. I have nothing to prove to Brett, Old School or anyone else. Good day

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not trying to add to the flames that were started here, but I do agree with Brian. I have my tax papers and all the information you seek from when I was a lease driver but you wont see me putting it on the internet just to prove to a stranger on the internet that I did well. Want to meet for dinner? Sure! I'll bring my entire cabinet for you. But as a victim of identity theft previously I am terrified of doing this. But I'm sure we will take this as just another excuse and I'm fine with that.

It all comes down to we love you, we respect you guys, but at the end of the day going into our taxes is a little too personal for most people.

In my opinion, a good leasing program is extremely rare. Unfortunately it seems people do more studying on which cool truck they want to lease rather than studying the contract and lease agreement then comparing it to other companies. I wouldn't lease with 95% of the companies out there.

So while I disagree with you guys on the taxes don't think I don't hold to most of your opinions. Leasing for a rookie is suicide and remains suicide for many years after, all lease programs are designed for the company to win and the driver to sink but there are one or two where you can still make a worthwhile profit. The cards are triple-stacked against you and I don't recommend it.

Old School's Comment
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It all comes down to we love you, we respect you guys, but at the end of the day going into our taxes is a little too personal for most people.

Come on Daniel. Nobody is wanting you to post your tax return on line. All Brett asked for is a simple number!

For you it is clearly obvious why you don't want to put a number out there. You didn't even lease a truck long enough to wear any rubber off the tires. You want to take a track record of less than a year's time and base some opinion on that. And then on top of that you quit and went to an hourly pay job. People who are making great profits don't just up and quit for a local hourly pay job. I think I know Olga well enough to know that she would have been glad for you to stay OTR if you were really doing great as a lease operator.

The problem with people acting like it is such a difficult thing to give us a number is that they know we are going to call them on it if it is way out of line with the industry standards. We actually know what you can accomplish in a lease agreement. There are well established means and standards in this enterprise, and when somebody comes in here, as did one fellow one time, making claims that he started leasing and is now making "three times" as much as he did as a company driver, we can demonstrate the folly of that type of thinking. "Return to means" is a "Female dog," and a brutal truth that has to be reckoned with as a person in business. Participating in a lease for a few months doesn't even allow you the time to face the reality of that issue.

We have had two lease operators in here who have given us legitimate numbers that I can recall. "Bud" actually gave us realistic numbers from his lease at Prime, and when you took it all in he was really making about what a company driver made. The biggest problem he faced was he couldn't reconcile the charges they gave him when he terminated his walk away lease. I still sense a little bitterness on his part about them taking the money he had worked hard for to set aside in escrow accounts. After it was all said and done, they decided those monies were theirs, and he had no recourse, even though he was the one who had done the work and made the sacrifices to earn the money.

"Ernie" is the other lease driver who has been realistic with us regarding his income as a lease operator. Ernie has his own reasons why he has chosen to lease. But making great profits was not among them, or at least he hasn't mentioned that before. Again, Ernies numbers, by his own admission, suggest that he is making just a little bit more than a good company driver.

You are such a contradiction at times Daniel. You try to defend leasing and then you end it with a statement like this...

The cards are triple-stacked against you and I don't recommend it.

That is all that we are saying, so why all the defense?

You have a long track record in here of such remarks about leasing. I'm going to pull just a few out of your long history to show you an example of how you make these statements against leasing all at the same time while defending it.

Here's two comments you made in the last little scuffle we got into over this subject. You made these comments after trying to tell us how great you did with your lease.

If you value your finances and would still like to keep food on the table from this moment going forward then don't do it.
If you want to complicate your life, finances, obtain unspeakable debt, and work your life away in hopes of making a profit once in a great while then go for it.

You can't have it both ways Daniel. At this point your remarks about leasing are becoming irrelevant.

(Just a little side bar here... Daniel B. is a great friend of mine, he knows that well. I'm not trying to be offensive with these remarks. This subject always goes south on us, which is why we purposely try to avoid it. But it cannot be pushed aside all the time. It has to be discussed at times. We do our best to steer new drivers away from it, but the truth is that we don't recommend it at any point in your career.)

If you have been following along in this conversation you may well remember one of my comments in the original article...

Here's the real problem with this whole thing of being an Owner/Operator, it ends up being an emotional decision rather than a logical one that looks realistically at the possibilities for profits or losses.

Now you are starting to see what I meant by the "emotional decision" comment. People who are leasing take offense at our stance because their emotions are tied up in this thing. Business decisions should never be based on emotion. That is the one factor that many people who eventually fail at business attribute as to why they kept beating their head against the same old wall - they were connected to it emotionally.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Indeed, I didn't lease long enough. I think leasing can work for the right person but you have to be in the right situation with a decent lease program with a good DM and perferably training to maximize income. As a solo its never ever worth it.

Now as far as me contradicting myself. I realize this, you see, I speak my mind but say just enough to keep Brett happy (satisfied)

dancing-dog.gifdancing.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
You will have to excuse me if I don't want to publicize my income to others. It's no ones business but my wife and myself what we make and have.

Are you kidding me? You came here and volunteered your own big, fat numbers! Was it not you who just offered:

So far this year leasing I've made 157,000 revenue my fixed and variable costs are 82,000 so before income tax I've Made 67,000 and I have my settlements to prove this.

I asked for one simple number - the net income from the lease last year which is shown on your tax statement. Everyone knows you can't lie about that number. That is the profits you're telling the Government you've made. Now suddenly you storm out of here and your financials are top secret?

And of course your math was wrong. That $67,000 is actually supposed to be $75,000. We are on day 193 of 365 for this year, barely past halfway. So that would put you on track for a profit of about $145,000 this year. Profit.

Folks, when you try to pin down a lease driver or owner operator that claims they're making big money you're going to get this smokescreen and indignation every single time. I've faced this same thing for decades now and I lost count years ago of how many lease drivers and owner operators have stomped out of here furious with me, never to return. And yet to this day I've never, ever gotten a shred of evidence from even one of them that they're making what they claim they're making.

I asked for one simple number - net income from the lease for last year. Here's what I get in reply:

  • It's not as simple as just giving you my net income.
  • You will have to excuse me if I don't want to publicize my income to others. It's no ones business but my wife and myself what we make and have.
  • I feel like you are calling me a liar and for this I have no use for a person like you in my life
  • If you couldn't figure out a tax rate off of my settlements then you're not a very savvy businessman
  • [I've given you the] quarterly payments I've made on the truck
  • Now you ask to see my financials, tax return and such. I don't ask to see yours so how do you get off asking for mine now!

Wow. I mean, talk about sidestepping a simple question! That's not just sidestepping. That's flat out line dancing!

Yet here's the thing. It is conceivable, though it may be a stretch, that a person could make $150,000 in profits for one year from one truck. If they did manage that, the next obvious question would be, "Well how did you do it?"

As Old School pointed out:

But if I remember correctly you are running your truck as a team, you are an instructor, and you very seldom ever go home. I also seem to remember that your rigorous schedule took a toll on one of your co-driver's health in such a way that he had to quit commercial driving altogether. I think this is all relevant information to be considered along with your remarks.

I guess a person might do pretty well with a business if they had an endless supply of cheap labor, worked them nearly to the point of a nervous breakdown, and never allowed themselves or any of their employees to go home.

And this is supposed to be "training" someone. Does this sound like proper training to anyone, or does this sound like, "I'm going to use cheap labor and run them into the ground to maximize my profits, then toss them aside and get the next guy in line."

You decide.

Honest to God, every time I have this conversation I think to myself, "This is the guy right here that's finally going to prove to me that this can be done, that you really can make big money doing this if you know what you're doing." I even wonder if I'm going to have to apologize for calling so many people out over the years.

Well, maybe the next guy will teach me how it's done.

Daniel, when you asked if you could give your reply I had even said out loud to myself almost exactly what Old School said:

For you it is clearly obvious why you don't want to put a number out there. You didn't even lease a truck long enough to wear any rubber off the tires. You want to take a track record of less than a year's time and base some opinion on that. And then on top of that you quit and went to an hourly pay job. People who are making great profits don't just up and quit for a local hourly pay job.

In fact, my exact words were, "Be serious. No one walks away from a hugely profitable business venture in 7 months. If it was that great you'd still be doing it."

At this point your remarks about leasing are becoming irrelevant.

That's something Old School does that I'm always trying to emulate, but I never come close to pulling off. He can word things honestly, and yet in a way that doesn't make people mad at him for it. I'm still too much "New York Italian" to pull it off I guess. That's a wonderful trait I'm going to keep working at.

smile.gif

I do very much enjoy these conversations, and I'm endlessly curious about the prospects of leasing or owning trucks, as I am with any business venture. So I'm hoping someone is going to come in here someday and lay it all out for me so I can understand how to make big money owning or leasing trucks.

I know I can be a company driver and make $60,000+ per year. So I'd have to make $100,000 per year in profits to make owning or leasing worthwhile, and it would of course have to be done in satisfactory conditions. I wouldn't want to train any students or run team, I'd have to run legally using an electronic logbook , and I'd have to get some days off once in a while.

Can anyone demonstrate to me how I can make $100,000 in profits owning or leasing a truck, running solo, using electronic logs , and getting a day off once in a while? I'd be thrilled if I could do that.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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