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Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Sorry Don, I have no idea. My best answer would be to call and talk to someone about it. I like the trucking truth blog because of the lack of advertising and don't want to promote any single company..... I want to help answers for one sector of this industry.

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I just wanted anyone that spends time trying to read information about a potential opportunity to hear all sides of an argument for or against a sector of this industry. There are obviously very extreme mixed opinions on this subject and I will at least concede to the fact that not everyone will agree. The fact-finding portion of this discussion was to decide if lease purchase or owner operator was a good choice for someone, instead it turned into a mudslinging competition of Company driver versus Owner operator. No matter how much information and how many numbers have been posted on this blog, there are some people that will never believe what they cannot understand. I completely understand and accept that being a business owner is not for everyone, but to ignore that many, many, many people in this country can be successful business owners is just crazy!

Its kind of like saying Chocolate is the worst flavor of ice cream, YOU should only like Vanilla..... who should make that decision for you... someone else? or YOU?

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Honestly, outside of math, the best reasons I've seen NOT to lease have been your non-answers to almost every straight question in this thread. To me, your posts are basically blatant advertising of the sort that usually results in me completely writing off a company because I know I'll never get a straight answer out of them. Then again, I'm also the sort who realizes that leasing is not a good option for her as a new driver and would already be saying no, so I'm not exactly your target audience.

It's not telling them they should eat vanilla ice cream, just that while the habanero ice cream might taste good now, it can burn your butt later.

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Ask me a straight question and I'll give you a straight answer...... I've answered a hundred others on this post.... and straight and to the point.

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Hi David I drove for Western last year for 4.5 months , haven't driven since can you please tell me if i came back for acouple months if i could qualify for lease PP thanks.

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Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Hey Indy! Here are a few tips for Lease Operators to remember!

THREE things completely change the game. 1. Fuel savings: weekly I see fuel expenses ranging from 23 to 64 cents per mile. Simple math says if both drivers run 2500 miles per week the first one will spend $575.00 on fuel, where the scecond will spend $1600.00! That is an astounding $1025.00 difference in fueling practices! The problem with many of today's OO or LP is they spend 90% of their time focusing on methods of ownership from the 70's and 80's, mainly MPG. Using MPG as your primary financial compass is outdated and needs to be corrected immediately. 2. Maintenance: the maintenance variable is huge. Often companies will put schedules in place to service their equipment, but any professional driver will tell you that NO ONE knows their equipment better than they do. A company driver will tell someone in service and the person in service will just follow the schedule. An OO will follow their wallets and fix what needs fixing when needed. Simple things like air filters, tire pressures and fuel filters can save thousands and thousands per year. 3. Attitude: how many stores do you repeat because of their staff or someone that works there with a great attitude? Think carefully....... Often we like shopping or frequenting places that makes us feel good about our decisions. Being a business owner is the same thing in reverse. NO company guarantees OOs loads, they will offer them, but will not guarantee them. You have to remember you OWN that business which means you OWN its success OR its failure. If your business partner doesn't like working with you, or the reverse, why would they go out of their way to make sure your business is successful? You don't have to be best friends, but you have to have a mutual respect for the partnership that is required for success.

Hope that little bit helps!

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I agree completely. But how much more money is there to be made by saving fuel? $750/week? No way.

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Yeah, that's not possible. But I'd guess that maintainance savings for a good o/o or l/p could be significant. I slip seat and see first hand how the average company driver treats the company truck. Often appalling.

Could the savings in both add up to $750/wk? Where else can the owner beat the company driver in lowering expenses? David?

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Sorry for the slow response........ from a hard numbers perspective there are a couple of things at work here to consider. First is miles per gallon which is most obvious one, and Secondly the location in which the fuel is purchased. Prior to the 1990's fuel pricing did not pay much of role in OO savings or losses because the national average pretty much reflected the pump price throughout the country. Post 911, we have a totally different beast on our hands with pump price separation well into the $1.65 per gallon range from SC to CA. Pre-1990's and Pre-911 MPG was the only "primary" savings and loss variable an OO could focus on when trying to gain additional profits from strategic planning.....

FIRST SAVINGS METHOD If you drive 2500 miles per week at 5 mpg you will purchase 500 gallons. We will call this our base line variable. If an OO worked on slower average velocity, less "quick starts", over reving and reduced idle time, he or she could jump to 6 or 7 mpg depending on truck, equipment, load, weight and terrain..... but the above factors typically play into the savings 3 to 1. At 6 MPG compared to 5, you would purchase 84 less gallons at the national average of $2.502 this week OR $210.17 in savings. At 7 MPG compared to 5, you would purchase 143 less gallons at the national average of $2.502 for $357.79 in savings.

SECOND SAVINGS METHOD: This one requires nothing more than to use your common sense and a little planning. Unlike yesteryear, today we have satellite space-aged technology to give us up to the minute pricing for fuel at our fingertips. No more searching for billboards alongside the interstate for prices. Back to 5 MPG and 500 gallons at the national average of $2.502 or $1251.00 in fuel cost to the OO vs. fuel pricing in SC today at $1.83 or $67 cents cheaper than the average, OR $3.59 in eastern PA! Bulk fueling practices in cheaper states will always produce extreme savings when done properly and consistently. NO ONE ever thinks about this as a "savings", but they will surely calculate it as a loss if they go over the national average!! So, IF you ran 2500 miles purchasing fuel primarily in SC, NC, NJ, etc. at $1.90 you would have an average weekly fuel cost of $950.00. If you purchased your fuel primarily in PA, NY, CT, etc. at a fuel cost of $3.39 you would have a weekly fuel cost of $1695.00. The difference in these two regions would produce a swing of approx. $745.00 in a single week based on 5 MPG and 2500 miles!!

When you combine these two methods or practices of fueling you can quickly see the success vs. failure variable in owning a truck as compared to being a company driver. The biggest myth in owning a truck is IF you are a great company driver, you would make a great OO...... far from it....... You have to be a great driver with business savvy and self discipline.

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I agree completely. But how much more money is there to be made by saving fuel? $750/week? No way.

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Yeah, that's not possible. But I'd guess that maintainance savings for a good o/o or l/p could be significant. I slip seat and see first hand how the average company driver treats the company truck. Often appalling.

Could the savings in both add up to $750/wk? Where else can the owner beat the company driver in lowering expenses? David?

Posted:  6 years, 8 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

How much was put into the maintenance and escrow? How much does a 2 or 3-year-old truck typically cost to maintain and repair over the course of a year? How much would a company driver doing the same miles have made?

Most Owner's with experience will put approximately $0.09 - $0.14 cents per mile in their maintenance and $0.02 - $0.04 in escrow for a rainy day/vacation/tax purposes. The average cost of a 2 year old truck under warranty will maintain an standardized cost of 5 - 8 cents per mile, a 3 year old truck 6 - 9 depending on motor and trans setup. Remember the cost of 4 years or less is much less due to warranty coverage, policy write-offs and recall parts. This leaves most owners in a very good position financially for the future in gross savings at a rate of 5 - 7 cpm (x) 2500 avg miles per week (x) 36 months = approx. $22,000 - $24,000 in ADDITIONAL maintenance savings for the future. (Again... make sure its a maintenance SAVINGS account, not a Maintenance FUND!!) That way the money belongs to you, not the company.

For comparison: Company Driver: 2500 miles x .30 cpm = $750.00 2500 miles x .40 cpm = $1000.00 2500 miles x .44 cpm = $1100.00

Owner / LP: INCOME 2500 miles x 1.05 cpm = $2625.00 2500 miles x .32 fsc = $800.00 OR: = $3425.00 GROSS

OUTPUT 2500 miles x (avg) $0.29 to $0.34 cpm in fuel exp. = $725.00 to $850.00 Tractor package at = $560.00 weekly Maintenance at $0.09 cpm x 2500 = $225.00 Escrow fund at $0.02 cpm x 2500 = $50.00 Total output at: $1560.00 (including maintenance, escrow, permits, plates, tags, IFTA, tires, PM services, tolls, fuel, etc..)

Total Earnings for Comparison: Owner / LP: $1490.00 to $1865.00 (before taxes / depending on fuel.) Company Driver: $750.00 to $1100.00 (before taxes / depending on paid rate per mile)

Let me know if I left anything out......

Posted:  6 years, 8 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

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so we are all correct!

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David, you like to simplify things that shouldn't be simplified. We can't all be correct - this is the goof ball kind of thinking and reasoning we are teaching our kids when we give them trophies just for playing on a team in sports, instead of rewarding them for making the tough commitments it takes to win at the game The decision to lease a truck is much more complicated than deciding whether we prefer Chocolate or Vanilla ice cream. That is something we consume, but leasing a truck could quite possibly consume a person's livelihood, and has many times over.

David, we cannot all be correct when some of us aren't even telling the truth. I've been all over the halls of Western Express, know many of the good folks there, and can get many of them on the phone in a matter of minutes. I defy you to produce a driver who has a net income of 131,000 dollars - I would love to speak to them.

I've always said that numbers don't lie, but you my friend, have an uncanny ability to make me question that theory. What really concerns me about you is that you seem to believe your own rhetoric and your crazy math. I am real good with numbers David, I was a pretty good business man in the private sector for thirty years before I started driving trucks for a second career. I know all about the entrepreneurial spirit, and I loved being self employed all those years. Furthermore I am happy for anyone to be a lease operator or an owner operator, but I sure don't want them to jump into it misinformed. That is the primary difficulty I have with you. It doesn't seem to bother you one little bit to lead folks down a primrose path to ruin as long as you are benefiting from their rendezvous with disaster.

Hey again Old School..... I am 100 percent agreement with you again and again! I grew up in an age where Participation Trophies and 12th place ribbons did not exist..... I don't believe in them and never will. Every person is going to be different, have a different outlook on life and a different path that leads them from cradle to grave. I've never been to a horse race where EVERY horse came in first.... the same way I will never see two business owners operate in exactly the same manner. I have worked with thousands of owner operators in my life including family and friends and teach and learn through experience and comprehension. The hard fact is Everyone CANNOT!! Why isn't everyone a millionaire? Why do we need Microsoft or Apple, when we could just build it ourselves??.... Simple.. Because everyone cannot!! BUT I think you are saying NO ONE CAN?

When everyone asked for the math, I laid it out as simply as I could with detailed accounting of ownership, fuel, maintenance, tires, pm services, rate per mile, fuel surcharge,.... etc. Using examples from several owners, I think you would agree that it would be disrespectful to post names on a blog, but think that if anyone here reads the numbers and follows the calculations it is simple to see that they DO ADD UP and they paint the picture of a successful owner. For an opposing argument I could easily say with factual certainty that some people will not be any more successful at owning a business as they would taking a weekend class to become a heart-surgeon. Classic mistakes of an Owner gone-wrong is: "I can do what ever I want because I own this truck", "I don't have to take that load, I would rather sit and that's my decision", "I only want to run Monday through Friday because I am an owner", "I don't have time to keep up with fuel prices". All pretty similar mindset and often very similar outcome.

As a WARNING to anyone that is considering a Lease to Own program...: 1. You may or may not be successful if your business plan is flawed, 2. If you are becoming an Owner for the freedom just to turn down loads this is NOT for you, 3. Success and failure is pending almost exclusively on your fueling practices, 4. Some people are not cut out to own their own business. 5. To be completely frank with you, if you resemble numbers 1-4 the COMPANY DOES NOT WANT YOU ANYWAY!!....

Questions to ask any potential company offering a Lease Purchase Plan.... (97% of companies its not really a Lease to Own, just a Lease to Lease with a balloon.....) Search for ICP plans (true Lease to Own, Not these lease to lease or rental plans) 1. Does your Lease have a balloon payment at the end? (balloon payments are almost never reachable amounts) 2. Am I paid ALL miles or just loaded miles? (Pay should always be based on ALL miles, not just loaded to get a clearer picture) 3. Ask about Gross Revenue versus Miles driven...? What is the Net Revenue to Truck on a weekly average? 4. If your truck goes in the shop does the payment continue? (most companies it will) 5. Does the company offer business support and continuing education for their business owners? 6. Does the company offer Tax help or accounting totals for your business come tax time? 7. Can you hire a co-driver? Can you hire someone to run your truck?

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

I like you Errol, you are the reason I believe in blogs like this..... you debate your point well, but accept other's at the same time. Its a natural choice to want to be right.... this is just a situation where everyone is right and defending their opinion. EVERYONE is right, because some people should, some people should not, some succeed, some fail, some never make more than they did as a company driver, some make exceedingly more........ so we are all correct!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

The most compelling reasons I'm hearing to lease is the freedom it gives a person, not the profit it brings. Companies are probably putting these restrictions on drivers to make more profit. If it wasn't good for the companies to have these lease programs I don't think they'd have them.

For a straight answer as Beth stated...... Freedom is one reason for being an Owner Operator. So is pride in ownership and flexibility to move between companies if needed. Next is the Profit one can make from their business if they do it correctly. An AVERAGE LP driver here (we are not talking about other companies just this one), as described in great detail on earlier pages, will take home between $1150 - $1550 per week (before taxes) after paying for all operating expenses (truck, insurance, permits, plates, tags, maintenance account, escrow, Qualcomm, etc...). The top 35% will take home $2000.00 - $2650.00 as a single operator (after all expenses / before taxes). Teams will take home $3150.00 - $4325.00 (after expenses / before taxes), and trainers will typically make more than a Top Earning single, but less than a team.

Taxes are actually a whole other ball game since the shear volume of write offs will topple the bulk of tax you would typically pay in as an employee driver. As an owner, practically everything you touch is a write off, not to mention all the current Federal tax codes geared toward helping small business owners get started and flourish in the post-bubble economy. You could better your information on that through organizations like the OOIDA, or your local tax professional.

SO FOR A STRAIGHT TO THE POINT ANSWER..... Driver A, from January 1st through August 14th has driven 87,112, for a total gross income of $138,880.00. His 35 truck payments this year to date would be $13,333.41, his fuel expenses to date this year has averaged $0.3211 cents per mile OR $27,971.66 in fuel expense, putting this owner at $97,574.93 (before taxes / after all other expenses). If he continues at a rate (discounted for holidays at 70%) for the remainder of the year, his income (before taxes) would be $131,726.16.

Please keep in mind maintenance is already included in the numbers above for a maintenance account AND an escrow account that allows for cash or early payoff of the truck.

Is this a get rich quick ploy, absolutely not!!.... Its hard work and takes dedication and a lot of planning to make your fuel come out correctly. Fuel is by far the largest contributors to one's success or failure as an owner. Hope this helps.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

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I just wanted anyone that spends time trying to read information about a potential opportunity to hear all sides of an argument for or against a sector of this industry. There are obviously very extreme mixed opinions on this subject and I will at least concede to the fact that not everyone will agree. The fact-finding portion of this discussion was to decide if lease purchase or owner operator was a good choice for someone, instead it turned into a mudslinging competition of Company driver versus Owner operator. No matter how much information and how many numbers have been posted on this blog, there are some people that will never believe what they cannot understand. I completely understand and accept that being a business owner is not for everyone, but to ignore that many, many, many people in this country can be successful business owners is just crazy!

Its kind of like saying Chocolate is the worst flavor of ice cream, YOU should only like Vanilla..... who should make that decision for you... someone else? or YOU?

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Honestly, outside of math, the best reasons I've seen NOT to lease have been your non-answers to almost every straight question in this thread. To me, your posts are basically blatant advertising of the sort that usually results in me completely writing off a company because I know I'll never get a straight answer out of them. Then again, I'm also the sort who realizes that leasing is not a good option for her as a new driver and would already be saying no, so I'm not exactly your target audience.

It's not telling them they should eat vanilla ice cream, just that while the habanero ice cream might taste good now, it can burn your butt later.

Ask me a straight question and I'll give you a straight answer...... I've answered a hundred others on this post.... and straight and to the point.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

I just wanted anyone that spends time trying to read information about a potential opportunity to hear all sides of an argument for or against a sector of this industry. There are obviously very extreme mixed opinions on this subject and I will at least concede to the fact that not everyone will agree. The fact-finding portion of this discussion was to decide if lease purchase or owner operator was a good choice for someone, instead it turned into a mudslinging competition of Company driver versus Owner operator. No matter how much information and how many numbers have been posted on this blog, there are some people that will never believe what they cannot understand. I completely understand and accept that being a business owner is not for everyone, but to ignore that many, many, many people in this country can be successful business owners is just crazy!

Its kind of like saying Chocolate is the worst flavor of ice cream, YOU should only like Vanilla..... who should make that decision for you... someone else? or YOU?

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Now this should get interesting, since David is an employee of a trucking company who receives a W-2 at the end of the year! It appears he thinks you guys should take all the risks while he receives his weekly compensation for convincing you what "wet kittens" you are for not taking on the risks of a lease!

I'm confused Old School... is it me you don't like or truck leases or BOTH? For someone that owned their own business, you seem pretty Anti-Business and almost Anti-American for telling people they should just stay in the box and keep their mouth shut. Not one time have I told anyone that Leasing was a BETTER option, or try to convince anyone to lease a truck... not once! But, I have been steadfast that leasing is not the evil that you keep making it out to be. Leasing for the 100th time is NOT FOR EVERYONE, and an average guy should NOT ATTEMPT (like a warning ad on a cigarette box). Having a good CSA and MVR makes you a good driver, but not a good business owner. The same way that an experienced lease driver says "I know what I'm doing I've leased before"..... is pretty much saying "I wasn't good at it before therefore I will continue to do it the same way again and again, and probably fail again."

Owning a business is universal whether its trucks, trains, automobiles or Microsoft. You have to have a plan, execute the plan, set goals, execute your goals, stat diverse and love what you do. In this case you are the CEO and Workforce when planning to be an O/O, that is the defining difference. Again, I don't tell others how to perform heart surgery because I'm not a heart surgeon. You owned a business outside of trucking and have a CDL which makes you an expert of all leasing programs the same way that I own a home and have thinning hair therefore I must be Donald Trump.

Old School, I just wish that you would agree that there is a life outside of being a company driver. As a previous business owner, I would have a hard time believing that you really believe that all leases are created for failure and anyone that does it will fail.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

David, you've obviously taken a lot of time going through this thread to respond to the various points you disagree with, and so passionately at that. I can only assume you are an o/o or lease operator yourself, am I correct? If so, and if you feel so inclined, could you provide some specifics about your business strategies which have allowed you to be successful at it? Obstacles you have had to overcome and how? Financial numbers would be great too, but I understand if you're not willing to share that.

Grew up as a son and grandson to owner ops.... its just in my blood as a 3rd generation. I don't disagree with anyone's points, just believe that there is another side to it that is often too easily dismissed. I feel very passionately about this side of the business because its all I've ever done and I hear too many half-truths passed from people that have never even leased or owned a truck. I could tell you the risks and reasons for not being a heart surgeon, but since I've never done it OR done it well, I would technically be considered a less than reliable source of information.

Owning or running several businesses over the years, I have a found that almost every one of them have the same basic pillars even if they are in different kinds of industries. 1. Learn the business, 2. Plan 3. Develop goals. Learning the business, or lack of understanding your business, is the number one element that Forbe's Magazine said caused 8 out of 10 business in America to fail in 2013. Forbe's hypothesis was simple, if you are good at something but don't apply it well, you will most likely fail. As an Owner Op, you are the CEO and Workforce of your business.... something a little rare in large businesses, but quite common in small business. Imagine a company with great workers, but no leader to make decisions.... or a great leader making decisions, but no one actually working.... neither is a model for success. Too many guys think having an excellent driving record and low CSA score entitles them to be a good owner.... just not true... it just means that are a good driver.

Before making any BIG decisions, do your homework. Not on what people say, but on the number that make up the business like you are doing now. 98% of companies offer Lease-Lease programs with a Balloon Payment which are not my cup of tea. These are basically "rental" programs with no ownership potential no matter how you cut it. Look for a company that is offering trucks "for sale" through a real lease to own program. No Money Down, No Balloon Payment, No Inflated Pricing are pretty simple terms, but a little more difficult to determine if they are actually true or not. Find the ACTUAL market value of the truck you are thinking about, not the cheapest one you find or the most expensive, just the average market price. Then compare it to what the company is offering it for. If its a 2012 Freightliner Cascadia, the market price is approximately $65,000 - $75,000. So if the program is 156 payments of $450.00 with NO payoff at the end, you are on the right track. If the company tells you its 260 payments of $450.00 you are paying twice the market value.... run away!

Start planning your daily events much like a corporation would. How much money you are expecting to make and put pen to paper and find out how many miles, fuel consumption, rate per mile, tractor cost, maintenance cost, and then determine if your expectation of earnings and number of miles to produce are practical and possible. Too many people wake up in the morning and just do what they have always done like the humans we are, we like routine. The best answer is start working on a game plan for a different or slightly altered routine. Instead of rates and miles, simplify by focusing on REVENUE PER DAY. Whether you are operating on a rate per mile or percentage basis, a Revenue Per Day formula is always best. My target range is $450 to $550 per day after fuel expenses. On a standard 5.5 day work week I can expect approximately $2500 to $2700 in earnings after my variable expenses are covered. Then deduct my truck payment to get my actual take home. The secret, too many people spend so much time focusing on miles, they miss the forest for the trees. Stay true to the formula Revenue Per Day.

Goals are something that make or break a business. Planning is key, but meeting or exceeding goals are like the fuel in the drag car. It has the potential to go somewhere, but pretty much worthless if nothing propels it, the same way diets fail because we run out of "Instructions" to follow when the diet is over. Start writing down what your expectations are, like, I plan to take home a minimum of $300.00 per day for each day I'm over the road; I plan to be home every 8 days for family time; I plan to save at least $1000.00 per month toward my retirement; I plan to pay myself $500.00 per week as a salary from my operating account; etc., etc. Before anyone loses their marbles, I said pay myself $500.00 per week to offset personal income taxes from business income. You can pay yourself what ever you want, but remember the more you pay yourself the more you owe.

Above all, love what you do or do something else.

Anything more specific? Let me know. Thanks for asking!

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

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1) Never "buy yourself a job". In other words, don't start a business where you're only going to make what you would have made as an employee doing that job. Any driver with two or three years experience can make $55,000 or more without owning a truck.

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I would never do it either, but I can sort of understand why it might be appealing to someone. The independence or freedom factor... the freedom to pick the loads you want, the freedom to work when you want, etc... to me, its kind of like owning a house. I have "owned" a home for many years but I think it is b.s. that home ownership is a great investment... in fact, according to my figures, in the long run we would be better off renting. When you add up all the additional expenses you take on as an "owner" you end up worse off than if you had taken that amount of money and invested it wisely otherwise. The only good reason I see for "owning" a home is that it gives you some freedom that you wouldn't have as a renter... to decorate (or not) as you like, to have pets as you like, etc... This is how my wife talked me into buying our first house... she wanted these things. ( I say "owning" a home because it's never really yours... it's the banks while you still have a mortgage... and ultimately it's the governments because if you stop making payments to them... property taxes... they will evict you)

Regarding the article, as I read it, owner operators, on average, earn a little more than the average company driver. Is the "freedom" and a little extra money worth the extra hassles of owning? Whatever floats your boat, I guess

"Never Buy Yourself a Job"?... that's the kind advice someone receives from a person that is usually saying.. "would you like fries with that"? or "why own your own business.... sounds too risky". Its kind of shameful that a country that was built on ingenuity and pride of ownership has become so weakened that now we say such things like a bunch of lost wet kittens. The Greatest Generation said things like "if its hard to do, its probably worth the effort", many of the new generation says things like, "its too hard and I'm too tired to want to have to think about it". I have never seen so many work-phobic people bash a sector of this industry that so many know so little about.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

David, I wish I had the time to respond to this honey coated cheer leading, but unfortunately I'm busy out performing the other drivers in my fleet right now.

You have willfully ignored the arguments we've presented as being based on the inordinate risks involved because you painfully know that is the reality of the driver's difficulty with long term success in a lease.

You've presented a weak argument that attempts to make the naysayers appear as poor performers and the lease operators as folks who get a 60,000 dollar bonus every fourth year! What a joke!

Thanks for the response I was looking for! Proves my point exactly!

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

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Average net settlement of 52k. Knock off 13k for taxes and you made 39k. Ouch.

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I'm guessing o/o's have some tax advantages that would make it better than that.... business expenses that can be written off, and such

INDY, You are exactly correct. BUT remember that ALL lease drivers don's make $52,000. Some do, some make more, some make less. You have things like operational costs, depreciation of equipment, daily tax allowance, sales tax exclusions, etc., etc. You have to manage your time and money or hiring someone to do it for you. Most operators set up a bank account in their business name and pay themselves a weekly salary for ease of income tax settling, and have their business account filed separately often at a different tax rate. If you are considering something like this, find a good transportation accountant or tax advisor. Most run approximately $300 - $500 per year for their expenses to handle your entire business financially so you don't have to,..... kind of like hiring a part time business manager at a discount.

Remember the "Average" is the difference between the worst and the best, not an absolute for each individual. If we only believe in AVERAGES, you and everyone you know will be: 39 years of age, live to be 67, will retire at 63, 5'9" tall, 192 lbs., have $11,400 in savings, been at your current job 2.1 years, make $37,300 annually, have a credit score of 608 and have 1.3 children. If you have all of these traits you are "probably" average. Otherwise, your income may vary!

Thanks Indy!

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

This is the HARD TRUTH about Owning a Truck!

Back to the same old story told since the beginning of time... if you can't do it yourself, tell others about how bad it is! The MEDIAN starting wage for a Harvard Law graduate is $58,000 per year, and the average O/O earnings for 2014 was $54,000... am I missing something? Harvard Law School takes 3 years to complete at a tuition rate over $240,000.00, where the average CDL Course in America is $3250.00, YET, the difference in the average income is $4000.00 per year ($76.00 per week)???? Both are honorable career choices, but by those numbers it sounds like Harvard is a terrible investment???? We know that isn't true, far from it. I'm merely saying that a degree from Harvard is great financially for those that excel, and provide MEDIAN results for those that produce MEDIAN performance. The same rings true in every walk of life, in every city in America, yet every body knows of an exception to the rule.

Down to brass tax: An average driver is just that.... AVERAGE. He/she makes good earnings above the national average household income range, while a less than average driver will bring home less. Its pretty simple mathematics. NOW, when you are taking out the averages and focusing on those that produce more and provide more, that's a whole other ballgame.

An above average driver is something "nay-say'ers" typically don't like to talk about because they like to believe that we are all above average. They continually ignore those that excel because they actually make considerably more than the AVERAGE, and again proving that those that are Above Average will produce and earn considerably more just like any other career choice. "Lease-Haters" like to blame the programs, not the person that failed...... because all of us are perfect, therefore its only conceivable that the greedy lease program caused the failure. They also like to spout things like.... "Then you have to pay taxes" as if a company driver isn't taxed on his/her income?? Lastly, take the value of the truck at the end of the lease, YOU OWN IT!! If you took a 4 year old truck and sold it, the market value would be approximately $60,000 - $85,000 depending on brand, miles, condition, etc. Why do they never say "In addition to your earnings, you also get a $60,000 bonus at the end of your lease"?

In 20 plus years of producing some of the top lease purchase operators, some well-below average drivers did not make it..... I think something any reasonable person would say is acceptable and understand as a fact of life. Those in that top 40% range typically show similar characteristics like: cleanliness, mathematical skills, orderly paperwork, legible handwriting, ask a lot of questions, take notes during class time, prefer telephone over Qualcomm, prefer text over telephone, focus on a plan of attack versus day to day, wants ideas for a financial plan, and continually challenges themselves to do better. (That was a mouthful)!! On occasion some of these traits are not present, but all-in-all, most have at least 80% of them. If you have the majority of these traits, it doesn't mean you should lease a truck, it means you probably have the hard wiring that would produce above average results such as a Harvard Law graduate that starts his first job at $175,000, instead of the $58,000 median. If such a division of earnings exists with law school graduates, couldn't the same separation exist with CDL holders???? Of course it does!! (That's the dirty little secret!)

I say CDL holders instead of Professional Drivers not as an insult to me or my industry, but because some are just that.. CDL holders. We all know it and except it, but again "my friend's enemy is my enemy, where my enemy's enemy is a friend". Therefore no matter how much we believe a blog or posting from someone raving about 9 terrible companies in 12 months, we still want to dislike the companies instead of the blogger that we know probably will never have a happy day at any company. Things like "all these companies are out to get us, that's why I quit them AGAIN", and "I told them I would drive this truck into the river if they don't get me a load straight home now!"..... both statements are pretty one sided and say the same thing.... my way or the highway! Neither would make good company drivers OR lease operators anywhere because there isn't a give and take, we all know it and accept it, yet since the company was my "friend's" enemy.. therefore they are mine as well.

So as you make up your mind which direction to go, remember both company and lease are viable and legitimate options. As I sign off and watch the Nay Say'ers and Lease-Haters take over the blog-isphere over this post, keep one thing in mind..... are you above average or average? No one can answer that for you, except you. Huge corporations are born everyday from extraordinary men doing extraordinary things even against non-believers telling them they cannot. Making your own decision is a primal instinct, we were not born as sheep, even though some people are better off to stay as close to the "heard" as possible. As the old sayings goes, "some people have to be protected from themselves", "some people are their own worst enemy", "if given 9 right answers and 1 wrong, he would chose the wrong 9 out of 10 ten times", etc., etc., etc.

Like life, leasing is only as good and prosperous as the person doing it!

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Old school.... I think we just turned a corner! Reading versus listening to a person's words can sometimes create a loss of intention in their meaning. I believe this site was set up to help others and I truly believe you both use your time to help others and it's working. This form of media has become one of the best tools for continued education in this industry. I think that what you guys are doing is great and helping others is always an admirable trait into ones character. I read you had a couple of years experience in trucking and Brett had several more, so I really like how between you both there is an experienced hand's opinion AND and a new comers opinion to balance the scales. My phrase might have come across a little harsh when I said you both were against LP programs, when in fact I meant that when I read your words it's sounded as such. Again, a problem with the inflection of the written versus the spoken word.

For the record though, I thought I answered Brett's question of what I thought a successful LP driver was? But, If a specific number is needed to satisfy your curiosity I would weigh closer to the higher take home as most people would, but I'm still a harsh believer that higher doesn't mean higher success, just a larger bank account. An average LP driver can take home $1100.00 to $1400.00 per week after expenses or approx $60-$70,000 annually. An above average (performance wise) LP driver can take home between $1550.00 to $2000.00 weekly or $85-$100,000 annually. Then well above average drivers will bring home above that. All three fit into unique categories of drivers also.

Driver 1 wants to be home every weekend, Driver 2 wants to be home every other weekend, Driver 3 wants to be home every 3-5 weeks. Driver 1 will never make over $100,000 to the house, but his trade off is he is home much more frequently which is his preference. Where Driver 3 would be upset if he took home $1350.00 per week and was forced to go home every weekend. Both situations are good, but have the wrong driver for the job. Driver 2 is a little more viable to go either way.

Further, you both were correct about the confusion some people have disassembling net and gross. For those that do not know, Gross is the term for the total amount the truck earned, where Net is the amount the contractor took home, and his Net LTO is his take home after taxes. If Driver 1 drove 2700 miles at a rate of $1.43 per mile his GROSS would be $3861.00. Next, take that minus his fuel cost of $1375.00 and his truck package of $750.00 equals his NET of $1736.00 to the house. Then we know that Uncle Sam is going to get his portion at a rate specific to the individual tax payer and his own tax situation. But again for illustration purposes, say Driver 1 has two kids and a wife that stays at home, his total tax rate after deductions should fall in the 15%~21% range. (Remember this is not the raw rate, but the estimated rate after deductions are added back in). So his LTO net (lease truck operator) would be between $1400.00 to $1500.00 give or take a little after taxes to his bank account.

I want to say thank you to you both, we have managed to create an entire class on LP off this single blog! Further, what I believe all three of us were intending to do was give more information to an inquisitive public.......it worked. I appreciate the questions and the responses even if we don't agree on some points doesn't mean I'm right or your wrong, it just means we are human and have differing opinions on some things. Keep up the good work guys.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Simple answer but requires some discussion.... It's what you want out of it. If your goal is to make $1000.00 per week you can. If your goal is $1500.00 per week you can. If you want to make $1800.00 per week you can. Success is only an individual goal set by the person that sets it. Success varies by the person. Everything this blog is based on is variables of an individual's experience, not what you or I predetermine. If information is passed I wouldn't consider it "wasting anyone's time", I would consider it an additional point of view. Both of you have posted many posts condemning lease programs which is one opinion, and one which I have on multiple times said that I can appreciate. Leasing is not for everyone. There are plenty of people that are not good candidates for owning a business. BUT to say that people shouldn't try to own a business is anti-American. This country is based on men and women that wake up in the morning and try to make a better life for themselves and their families.

To old school, again, not a knock on company drivers, but LP drivers have to manage their money and fuel purchases that company driver do not. That doesn't make one bad or good. I'm not sure why you both have such animosity toward LP drivers or their choices, but I'll try to answer your questions. The fact portion says 1. LP programs do offer a way to own a truck to those that do not have $25,000 to out down on one, 2. Often those with business back grounds do earn 20 to 30% more than those that do not, 3. Some people do not succeed as a LP driver, 4. In the 60's and 70's OO did run this country, 5. In the 90's many of the LP programs did turn into lease/lease programs, and 6. Most programs today are lease to lease programs. None of the FACTs that I listed are indisputable by a reasonable person as opinion. As a flatbed driver for another company with a great tax return you sound very comfortable with your choice and I'm not taking that away from you, again just questioning why your choice is better than someone else's? You make it sound like if you are making the statement indirectly that if you run for Knight you will make more than another company and Brett makes continuous statements that if you are a LP driver you've made the wrong career choice. I know that's not what you both truly believe from reading your posts? Again, no disrespect, but there are plenty of LP drivers that believe in what they do the same as you both do and now you are just belittling their choice to be independent.

Brett, what I consider to be SUCCESSFUL is simple......... A person happy doing what they enjoy. An LP driver can find success driving when and where they want taking home $700 per week or $2100 per week. Some make more and some make less, but again if they are happy with their income and enjoy what they make who are you or I to judge? Not to sound too hypothetical but how do you measure a child's love? Or the best day of your life? How do you put a price on your daughters first school dance? All three can only be measured by the person that has the experience. I have met the happiest people living "off the land" with a net income of less than $5000.00 per year, and miserable executives with a net income well over a $1,000,000 per year...... I don't consider the executive to be more successful than the other because of a number. I consider both identically separate in circumstance. When I see someone that enjoys what they do whether their NET income is $45,000 or $120,000 I consider them both to be equally successful.

If I won the lottery tomorrow and my "net worth" skyrocketed would that make me more successful or happier? The answer is..... NO, There is not a number that encompasses success. To both of you, I appreciate the amount of discussion that we've had and if anyone out there reads this and it makes them THINK about their career choice I think we all win. I have been steadfast that LP is a particular sector of this industry and it is NOT for everyone and that Education and research is what blogs like this are about after all.

I agree 100% with Old School.......as always because the man just plain knows his stuff.......

David, since you have so many "facts", I'd love to get another one from you....

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Fact: there are plenty of people that are very successful with lease to own programs

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When it pertains to net profit, what would you consider a successful year as a lease driver? And I mean the absolute bottom line profits after every expense has been taken out. How much profit would you have to make running solo for an entire year to be considered "successful" as a lease driver?

And don't waste anyone's time with relative terms like "do well" or "whatever suits you" or things of that nature. I want it in dollars and cents. What would you consider a successful year as a lease driver?

And I'd love to know where you get your figure from. If you know mathematics and you know business you should be able to come up with a solid number based on quantifiable facts, not just your feelings about what it means to be successful.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

This is a MUST READ for anyone thinking about a Lease to Own Program.

This is getting a little crazy calling names and creating conspiracy theories as to how companies are all bad and the people in them are evil..... That's just not true. There are people that are not cut out for lease and those that are. People that lease have a drive for more. Now that doesn't mean company drivers don't have a drive to succeed, they just don't want the extra work for the extra pay.

I want to put out some info that makes since for anyone. Being in a Lease to Own program means you are responsible for your ship, your loads, your fuel management and your financial well being. Most lease purchase plans popped up about 10 years ago and were mainly legitimate. Today 97% of the, are lease to lease programs with huge balloon pay offs, so ownership is not an option. That doesn't make them illegitimate, it just means you are renting a truck for 3 or 4 years with no financial return. Western's plan is a true lease to own where you actually own it at the end. That is the first huge advantage of the program, the second is there is no interest or inflated price for the truck.

Fact: lease to own is a way for a person to own a truck that doesn't have the ability to abstain financing on their own. Most dealerships require 20 - 30% down and 12 to 18% interest. Westerns International tractors vs. a dealership with 15% interest saves the contractor nearly $54,000. Not hype, just fact. If you have $23,000 to put down on a truck do it, but hold the entire risk of your credit in your hands..... If not let the company hold the risk and finance a truck to you that you otherwise are not qualified to have.

Fact: there are plenty of people that are very successful with lease to own programs. The people that are successful with lease to own programs are people that typically have a no die spirit and want more than a company driver position. Often, a business background is present and often a good understanding of mathematics. The contractors with the highest levels of success often keep great records and very organized. They plan their trips from start to finish and know their fuel stops the day before.

Fact: there are plenty of people that are not successful with lease programs. The people that do not exceed often blame everyone else BUT lack of planning is most often to blame. Fuel management is the single most important key to succeeding and if you are lost on planning fuel stops around price and not on when the truck is empty will never make it. If you do not want to plan ahead this is not a viable option for you.

Fact: if leasing to own was not a success to the overwhelming number of people that tried it, It would eventually fade away. The reason why Lease to Own programs will always be around is because they have people that succeed at them everyday.

Fact: in the 60's and 70's owner ops ran this country until financing became to difficult to obtain by individuals after 1979. In the 80's lease plans erupted to save these drivers in the work force that refused to be a company driver. The plans of the 80's were the original ICP plans (independent contractor plans), these plans sold trucks to their drivers I order to maintain their independence.

Fact: by the 90's most of the original ICP plans became known as Lease Purchase plans due to tax issues, but maintained a legitimate base of trucks to be sold. BUT by the mid 90's most of these plans had evolved into Lease to Lease plans and caused a huge skepticism of the newer style programs.

Fact: there are still programs today that resemble the original ICP plans but they are few and far between. Only about 4% of programs today offer Lease to Own plans without balloon payments and no added cost to the end result of ownership. Western Express wanted a program that revived the sector of the workforce that still wanted the independence of the original ICP plans.

Conclusion: Owner Operators are a unique fraternity of drivers that require more and want less hassle from company control. They succeed when planning and self discipline are present. They fail when they don't plan ahead and forget this is a job even if they are the CEO. Like any business in America, there will be winners and losers. Business owners rise up in America everyday and some plan well and some do not. If you plan well and treat this like a business you have the first steps of success. Lease to Own requires discipline and is only meant for those that want the extra work for the extra reward...... BUT it's not for everyone!

Aha, the truth comes out!

I'm not gonna gloat or anything, but I'm so glad you jumped into this little discussion that seemed to have gone away.

We try our best to dissuade folks from these programs because the numbers are disingenuous. But the folks who try and sell the drivers on it are mighty persistent. The little secret that should be obvious, but it succeeds due to the truck drivers ego is that the truck ownership is what is such a costly beast to the trucking industry. So when they strategize and try to figure out how to formulate a plan to cut that uncontrollable cost they just figure they can pass it off to the driver who thinks it would be cool to own his own truck. Then it's all gravy for the trucking company and mostly nightmare for the driver.

Welcome to the forum Saffe!

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

Back at you Old School! This has been very productive in dissecting the why's and why not's of ownership vs. employee. I do very much enjoy the debate of two people defending good points and good positions. For clarity, I didn't mean you were "wired" differently.... that phrase was directed at those that are driven to be successful vs. those that are overly content. As a previous business owner we share a lot of the same "wiring".

The reasoning for the equipment lease is to utilize idle equipment while producing opportunity for a partnership, not a competitor. If both parties gain from the experience then a good partnership is formed, but in too many lease programs it becomes too one sided. This is especially true in the Lease-Lease programs that sprang up everywhere in the mid-1990's where one side owns a truck and the other pays for it, only one side truly gains. When you have a true Lease-to-Own, a contractor can earn a very good living while on his path to ownership. Now in 2014 its very difficult for a driver to find a true Lease-to-Own program that is legitimately a Lease-to-Own. Sure, you can find a "Lease Purchase Program" anywhere you turn, but they are actually just the wolf in sheep's clothing with a $50,000 balloon. The thing that made Western's program very unique in this day and age was the fact that it was a real purchase program.

We'll talk again soon! David

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Some people are "wired" to be the boss, and some are not, Lease Purchase just allows that to happen if its in their DNA.

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David, this is where we would collide with each other in your support of the lease programs. You see, I am wired that way, I was a business owner for thirty years, and signed more paychecks than I care to remember. This is the beauty of truck driving to me, a person who is wired that way can be very successful as a company driver because he has the drive and determination to make things happen in his favor. Truck driving is a very favorable career for that type of personality. When I was in custom manufacturing I never tried to find people to lease equipment from me so they could be my competitors. The only way a business would do that is if it was sure to benefit their bottom line, they don't do it because they want other to enjoy the pride and benefits of truck ownership.

I have enjoyed having you in here - you have certainly been respectful and knowledgeable, and I enjoy a good debate without a bunch of silly name calling. I just haven't figured out your motivation yet, and I'm not sure I believe that it is just your "wiring".

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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Western express lease purchase....thoughts???

The things that you have mentioned are very good questions and you brought up a few very good concerns. To take them one at a time.... the estimated truck package is $700.00 INCLUDING the insurance, permits, plates, tags, trailer, QUALCOMM, IFTA, fuel taxes, escrow and maintenance account. This All Inclusive is actually all inclusive with the obvious exception of fuel and income taxes. You are on to something with the equipment use objective, this program is a utility based program where a guy with no credit can purchase a truck of their own while moving freight for the company. The profit is a by-product of moving freight, not selling a truck. As I previously stated owning a truck and lease purchase is definitely not for everyone. I am a strong believer in the motivation of one's own ability to own a business.... its still the American dream. Some people are "wired" to be the boss, and some are not, Lease Purchase just allows that to happen if its in their DNA.

UNLIKE most lease purchase plans, Western's actually finances the entire lease from first to last payment, no balloon! For an example: International Prostar 2011 model retail price would hover in the $55,000 - $60,000 range, where the auction pricing would be in the $48,000 - $53,000 range. Western is selling them at a flat $50,000 including 2 year, 200,000 mile warranty included. With a 4 cpm escrow savings, this truck is paid for in approximately 18 - 20 months. in 2 - 2.5 years the FMV would still be in the $27,000 - $32,000 range and approximately 350,000 - 500,000 miles on it. That being said, its foolish to think that everyone will be successful at owning their own business, but when you consider the advantages of Leasing vs. Company Employee, it is merely a vehicle for those that are motivated and equipped to determine their own path. Successful people will always find a way to be successful not matter what profession they chose.

True.... I am a strong believer in the program Western has created, but above all, I am a believer in Lease-to-Own programs that make sense. I believe in owning your own business, and determining your own destiny. If you don't believe the same things, its not wrong, it just means we are wired differently. Unlike some of the comments on here, I believe that it is just as important for you to defend your position as to why a "company" driver is a better path for you.... while I defend why "Lease Purchase & Owner Operator" is my better path. We can agree to disagree...... but respectfully.

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Western Express has both Van and Flatbed contractors and both have ample opportunity to make great money while fulfilling their dreams of ownership. The average pay is like a previous blogger quoted in the $1.45 - $1.85 range per mile and Western also pays FULL rate on empty miles as well, which is a real game changer in this industry. The example above stated that 2500 miles would not be profitable, but a 2500 mile week actually can be very profitable with certain elements in place. 2500 miles would equate to approximately $3650.00 in revenue, and would require approximately 400 gallons in fuel at $3.58 per gallon average this week. So you business calculation would be: Your business: $3650.00 Your Fuel Cost: $1432.00 (based on 6.25 mpg) Your Truck Pkg: $700.00 (est) Take home pay: $1518.00

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David, you seem like such a well spoken guy that I am wondering if you are a recruiter for Western Express. Just curious about the above numbers you threw out. It seems to me you left out a lot of places where money needs to go like insurance, maintenance escrow accounts, tires, fuel taxes, IFTA... I could keep going. You make it sound like a cake walk. I understand the leasing programs, and I am not saying that Western's is bad, in fact I consider it better than many, but I also understand that this is a way for Western to get some unused trucks on the road turning dollars, and they get the added benefit of making money off of the maintenance and repairs on those previously idle trucks.

I, for one, know how to do the math, and I can never seem to pencil it out where it makes any sense to me. I'm not saying everyone must follow my lead, but why take the untenable risk when the only plus seems to be that you will end up with a worn out tractor in your driveway one day for your efforts?

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