Rookie Not Getting Miles....should I Lease?

Topic 16721 | Page 1

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Danny K.'s Comment
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Iam a rookie only been driving for 7 months and not getting the miles that the recruiter said I would but I guess that's normal for most companies iam really thinking about doing a lease what is the in/out on leasing ?

Tractor Man's Comment
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Iam a rookie only been driving for 7 months and not getting the miles that the recruiter said I would but I guess that's normal for most companies iam really thinking about doing a lease what is the in/out on leasing ?

DON'T.

Steve C.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree with DON'T - but to add a little more information: If you don't get the miles you want now that leads to a low paycheck. If you don't get the miles you want when you are leasing that leads to you OWING the company money.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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What kind of miles are you getting?// have you talked to dispatch to ask why or how you can improve to get better miles? Are you having trouble with time management?

Steve L.'s Comment
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Yeah you're being too vague. If the problem of not enough miles can be resolved, so that first.

Occasionally I will have the problem of miles, but what I consider a problem may be no big deal to others.

If your car wasn't working great, but it's paid for, would you spend $500 to fix it or buy a new one that might cost you $500 a month?

Be more specific and maybe we can help.

Tractor Man's Comment
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If your car wasn't working great, but it's paid for, would you spend $500 to fix it or buy a new one that might cost you $500 a month?

I like the way you Think!!!

smile.gif

Old School's Comment
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Danny, welcome to the forum!

Leasing a truck is one of the topics that we try to avoid here. Mainly because it seems to be a decision that folks make with their emotions rather than with good solid thought and logic. It seems every time we try to dissuade a person from leasing it gets into an unnecessary argument.

Here are some things to consider...

Ask yourself what it is about leasing that makes you think you will get more miles. That is a serious question you must consider. You made this statement:

not getting the miles that the recruiter said I would

So who is is it that is making you think you will get more miles by leasing a truck? If it is a recruiter, or someone else at the company, why are you all of a sudden going to suspend your belief that they are not always accurate with their information? And if it is a lease operator, ask them to produce for you a copy of their last years tax forms, don't trust one of their settlement checks.

Are you aware that when you actually consider all the expenses and the averaging in of the unpaid empty miles that a lease operator runs that most of your really good lease operators make about the same amount of money as a really good company driver? The lease operator usually gets paid on a 1099 basis which means you will be having to make quarterly tax filings with the IRS. Yes, that is right, you will actually be a small business as a lease operator with all the liabilities and responsibilities of showing evidence of your profits and losses.

And consider this: What kind of business plan is it to create your own competitors? Why would any business go to great lengths to create their own competition? That is exactly what these large trucking companies do when they lease their trucks out. They are basically setting you up as another freight carrier. Now they control not only your freight volume, but also how much you get paid to haul it! And you are paying them dearly to have all this control over your business! Does that sound very smart to you? Realize that they can absolutely ruin you in a heart beat if you aren't working out the way they want you to. They have total control over your sales, your revenues, your profit margins - everything that is important to a business persons success is in their control.

So what do you have control over as a lease operator?

Well, consider this scenario...

You are trying really hard to make some money, so you allow yourself to run over your hours one week just to make a delivery on time (not an uncommon choice for many owner operators). You end up in an accident while driving on violated HOS and the person in the four wheeler that you hit gets hurt so badly that they are now disabled. Now that you are an independent contractor guess who's considered liable in this scenario? Yep they will gladly let you shoulder that responsibility while they control everything else.

Look Danny, I've been a long time business owner, and owned as many as six big rigs at one time. I am quite content as a company driver now days. This business is tough, and the profits are very small. I think you are way ahead by being a really good company driver. The way you get more miles is to consistently prove yourself as a reliable efficient driver who gets along with the people you are working with.

Sometimes freight will slow down a little and maybe that is what you are experiencing, I have no idea based on the limited information you've shared with us. When ever that scenario happens and a company has got good solid company drivers on board, you can bet they are not going to be giving that limited freight out to their lease operators knowing that their really good company drivers are going to start quitting on them.

Most of the time when we hear that a driver is complaining about miles it is simply that they don't understand the whole concept of how this business is a performance based competition. The top competitors get the big miles. It is not an arbitrary act of fairness where the company tries to make sure each driver is getting his equal share. No, it is far from that. The top producers reap the rewards. We have drivers who are working the same dedicated account that I do who quit each month because they are not getting the miles they think they deserve. And then we've got about three or four of the fifteen of us who can barely keep up with what they are giving us. Just this week my dispatcher called me to tell me that the terminal manager had told him to give a certain 2,600 mile run to one of our drivers who is a trainer. The load involved some mountain driving which he wanted for the trainee. I was going to be empty on the same day as the trainer. During our conversation he chose to disobey his manager and gave the load to me. Here is what he told me. "Look Dale, this trainer has an extra pair of hands with him all the time, and he still doesn't get as much done as you do. If you will take this load, I'd rather give it to you. I'll find something else with a few mountains in it for him."

That is the way this whole mileage thing works. You really haven't been out here very long, and it takes some time to establish yourself out here. My recommendation to you is to stay a company driver, but focus on proving yourself as a dependable hard driving champion who gets it done each and every time they call on you. That strategy pays off every time in this business.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Parrothead66's Comment
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Once again Old School nailed it, couldn't agree more.

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

Iam a rookie only been driving for 7 months and not getting the miles that the recruiter said I would but I guess that's normal for most companies iam really thinking about doing a lease what is the in/out on leasing ?

If you don't get enough miles as a company driver, you make smaller paychecks.

If you don't get enough miles as a lease operator, you get NO paychecks.

You do not know the business well enough to be a lease operator yet, even if it were a good idea, which it normally isn't.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

And Danny you might be thinking "what old school just said is great for experience drivers but it doesn't happen for rookies". I can tell you it does. My FM runs me so hard sometimes I have to tell him to give me extra break time. After driving throigh the outer part of hurricane Matthew and dealing with the after math... I was happy to get a load I had time on. I wanted to relax. My FM had other plans " drop your load at the yard.. Pick up a trailer with two stops then drop it back at the yard and take your load back". I wanted to scream. He took my nice relaxing load and interrupted it ., and I wound up rushing to beat the clock with my load. After he said "thanks..of all my drivers I knew yoid be the one to get both loads done".

Guess what.... I get good miles.. Home time when I won't without delays.... And no attitude from him. He doesn't care how long I take for break.. He never asks why I stopped or where I'm stopping for the night... He says " you are great at getting to customers really early. If you tell me you can't I know it was impossible "

Build the relationship with your dispatcher ask how you can get more miles and what you can do to improve. My first three months I called every 30 days and asked him these questions. He finally said "you can't get more miles I max you out with what is available. Shift at a lower RPM and your fuel bonus will go up. Now stop calling me with this stuff cause you're doing great." Hahah love him Good luvk

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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