Comments By David M.

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  • David M.
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Posted:  8 years, 8 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:  8 years, 8 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:  8 years, 8 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:  8 years, 8 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:  8 years, 8 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:  9 years 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:  9 years 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:  9 years 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:  9 years, 2 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:  9 years, 2 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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