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.
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.
Article - My First Time Leasing A Truck: The Adventure Begins
The biggest problem was that, although they promised a lot of things, it wasn’t all in writing. And what was in writing was worded in a way so that they have all the power to control whatever they want. I may have made a mistake doing the lease, but at least Im going into it with my eyes open.
Forum - Advice, owner operator?
A truck is a big expense, and it takes big dollars coming in to keep those wheels rolling. Most lease operators have to drive team with students or they won't be able to make those weekly payments.
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.
Article - Leasing A Truck: Do The Rewards Justify The Risks?
The point I always make to anyone considering buying or leasing a truck is a simple one: the risk/reward ratio is awful. It just doesn't add up. Let's take a quick look at the profit potential and risks involved in buying or leasing a truck.
Forum - Forced to Lease a truck?
Actually, the experienced drivers here recommend new drivers to not lease because they feel it's too risky without much benefit. Having been around trucking for many years, I agree with them. But I don't know of any companies that force you to lease.. why would you?
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.
Article - So You're Thinking About Becoming An Owner-Operator?
First things first. Have you lost your mind? Well, maybe not. Maybe you're just pondering it because you don't understand the trucking industry, or you're looking for a new challenge. Maybe owning your own business sounds perfect to you.
Forum - From Company truck driver to owner op questions
So whether you're a company driver or an O/O or lease driver you can only consistently drive about what the logbook rules allow. And as a company driver I was almost always able to get all the miles I could stand. You might hit a slowdown in freight from time to time for a short time, but overall you should be able to max out on the miles you turn as a company driver.