Topic 13642 | Page 1

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Joseph H.'s Comment
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Is there anyone that drives or leases with this company if so I'd like to pick your brains considering swapping over

BushWheeler's Comment
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I wish I would've seen this earlier! I just went through their refresher program and was talking to some of the guys who were processing into the lease purchase program. Anyway, I haven't even been to orientation yet, so I'm not going to have a wealth of experience with the company, but I will be a company driver soon enough, and might be able to find out info for you in the coming weeks.

Joseph H.'s Comment
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I ask cause I'm considering moving over to them and possibly doing a lease, I like that they offer. $1 buy out for their lease and that its also a walk away lease, so if you decide you don't like it or whatever you can just turn in the keys with no damage to your credit, but I was trying to get some opinions from people who drive for them

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I like that they offer. $1 buy out for their lease and that its also a walk away lease, so if you decide you don't like it or whatever you can just turn in the keys with no damage to your credit

Just a word of caution.........when a for-profit business not only offers you a "no risk opportunity" to start your own business but they're even offering to fund it for you with "no strings attached" you should really ask yourself why they would do that for you. I've been a business owner myself for a lot of years and I can assure you there are sharks everywhere in the business world. They'll say whatever it takes to lure you in and use you to make more money for themselves, even if it means taking all of yours and putting it in their own pockets.

Now I'm not saying that's going to happen. But it does happen all the time. So the question is why would they take on the risk and responsibility of offering you a no strings attached opportunity to start your own business? Make sure you dig deep before diving in head first.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Hey Brett, a serious question and not trying to open a can of worms.

I know the recommendation for new drivers is to definitely avoid the risks of a lease before gaining knowledge and understanding of the trucking industry because the percentages show that most will fail. So many companies seem to be adopting the lease business model with KLLM being one of the more recent ones. My question is this. Do you think that if a company were more responsible and offered it to a more seasoned veteran, offered courses to understanding, business management and a better opportunity for success, that it could be an ok way to go? Granted, in its current state it's a huge risk but I'm curious as to your thoughts if companies were more pro active in ensuring that success, it could be a viable option. Also, do you think it might shift that way in the future?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Unfortunately the problem in trucking is razor thin profit margins. Now you have amazing companies that have been around for decades and have giant fleets of brand new rigs so you'd think, "Hey, they've gotta be making a killing!" But they're not. The profit margins are super thin and all of their growth is funded through massive financing structures like public stock offerings, huge lines of credit, and private investors.

So the problem here is you're taking already super thin profit margins and trying to split them with your company who is now a middleman in the process. The company acts as your broker, they finance your operations, they handle parts & repairs, logistics, insurance, and everything else for you. Well everything they do for you they take a cut. So they land some freight, take a cut, and hand the rest to you. They set up a large insurance system and resell it to you at a profit. They ink large deals for fuel, take a cut, and sell it to you. Even the financing for the truck is handled through them and you can be sure as always that they'll get a cut.

So your costs as a lease driver include paying for a middleman in an industry that already has very little in the way of profits to go around. So no matter how much a company genuinely cares about the success of their lease drivers they simply can't build up fat enough profit margins to give you a cut that's worthwhile when you consider all of the extra time, expense, risk, and work involved in owning and running your own business.

That's why in the end a lease driver will make about the same as a company driver on average. Some will make a tiny bit more, some will make less. But there simply isn't a path or an angle you can take that will lead to nice fat worthwhile profits as a lease driver. In the end all you're really doing is taking on all of the extra financial risk and hard work it takes to run a business without anything more to show for it in the end. The bottom line number on your tax filing is going to be about the same number as any company driver will have.

And there's actually a lot more to it than just thin profit margins. For instance, you have the illusion of control as a lease driver, right? You can go home when you like, you can turn down loads when you like, you can take on a team partner if you like, etc. But it really is an illusion that you're in control of things.

For instance, you can go home and stay home all you like, correct? But is that really a viable option when you'll go broke doing it? No.

You can turn down loads but do that enough times and the company will stop giving you freight and starve you out. So is turning down a bunch of loads and cherry-picking only the good ones really a viable option? No. They're not going to let anyone do that because in the end all of the freight has to get hauled - the good and the bad. Everyone has to be willing to take some of the bad or they won't get any of the good.

And finally there's nothing in those contracts that says the company has to give you enough freight to keep your business afloat. So if they decide they have it in for you, you're toast. You have no legal ground for demanding better miles. So in the end are you really in control when you have no control over your revenues? No, you're not. You're at the mercy of the company just the same as a company driver is, if not more because you have a whole lot more to lose.

So razor thin profit margins and a lack of control over your own business operations makes leasing a pretty lousy business prospect.

If anyone has any other questions they'd like to ask about leasing I'll set our policy aside for a moment and answer those questions right here. But I do want to point out that I'm not interested in debating whether or not leasing is a good business prospect or not because it isn't. If you think it is then I encourage you to go out there and make it happen. I'll be pulling for you 100%. But I'm not going to debate it.

So if anyone has questions please ask and I'll be happy to answer them. If you have strong opinions on the matter already and you disagree with our position on the matter I respect that opinion but I'm not interested in debating it.



Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
JakeBreak's Comment
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Brett how do you feel about true owner ops? You know the guys that own thier trucks not leasing them and that run with thier own authority. To me that seems like it would be the way to go if you wanted to be independent. I agree that lease ops are practically the same as company drivers with the exception that they can drive faster.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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With regards to KLLM as a company... I have a friend who left prime for them 3 yrs ago. He gets more hometime. He really likes the company .but says prime is better. He was also fixed ro rake an automatic which he hated.. the two weeks later he loved. Wanna hear something crazy??? He still wears his prime jacket he got for free. When he 2as told to stop wearing it.. he said "then you give me a better one"

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