The Complete Guide To A Career In Trucking

Owning Or Leasing A Truck: What You Should Know

A sign on the side of a truck that says just gettin by

We highly recommend that new drivers, especially those without previous business experience, stay far away from leasing or buying their own truck, at least for several years, if at all.

The bottom line is that any slight increased pay advantage is offset by the added pressure, responsibility, and work involved in running what would be your own business.

What is an owner-operator, or O/O? What is lease-driving?

Owning or leasing a truck works much as it would with a civilian vehicle. Buying your own truck outright essentially makes you responsible for all things associated with it, from maintenance to fuel to finding work.

Many companies also run lease programs, with various requirements and agreements, but generally you will have to make payments on the vehicle, while remaining at the mercy of the company to find loads for you.

Should I lease a truck? Will I be forced to lease by the trucking company?

You won't be forced by your company to lease, but there are some companies that strongly "encourage" it. Again, we would recommend staying away from any lease agreements, especially as a new driver. You might make a little more money, you might not, but it is taking on much more responsibility while still being at the mercy of the freight cycles or the company itself.

Should I buy my own truck and become an owner-operator?

No, no you shouldn't. There are 100's of 1000's of small, owner-operated trucking companies out there, and many more that come and go quickly. It's a business, and VERY highly competitive, and without extensive trucking and business experience, as well as capital behind them, new drivers who buy their own trucks are generally set up to fail.

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