Considering Schneider Ic Choice. Advice?

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Steven B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm considering leasing on with schneider and getting a truck through schneider finance. I'm looking just for advice and real world numbers to help with my decision. I appreciate it

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Two questions for you Steve...

- How much experience do you have as a solo driver?

- Why do you want to go L/O with Schneider?

That said most of our advice, which is highly consistent can be found in the Trucking Truth Blog section. There are at least 3 articles written specifically on this topic offering fact over fiction and logical thought as opposed to emotional decision making.

My advice? Is more like an example...

If L/O was lucrative and beneficial, most, if not all of the experienced drivers contributing to this forum would have already taken that path. We haven’t, and likely never will.

Do your research, realize Schneider wants you to sign a lease agreement simply because it lowers their cost/ liability and raises their profits. It’s skewed to favor them, not you, the driver.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Here’s the little I know from a friend who started (like me) with Schneider. He went IC Choice while I stayed company driver.

He bought a truck outside of Schneider so he wouldn’t be forever tied to them. He said he was very happy with how Schneider handled the IC drivers. He also said he was making way more money than as a company driver. However, to make that really good money, he only got home twice in the first year as an IC driver.

After 1.5yrs as an IC driver, he switched to Landstar. He says he’s making better money with Landstar and made it home more times in the first three months with them, than the entire time as a Schneider IC driver. And, he kept his truck when he moved to Landstar.

I understand this doesn’t give you numbers, but I would trust this guy with my family. I respect his choice and he respects mine.

For me, there was no amount of money worth only getting home every six months.

Talk to as many IC Choice drivers as you can. This may be difficult because they don’t stop much. Also, many of them avoid the OC’s. But the ones I met usually had their laptops out while they were doing laundry. I also noticed (for Schneider IC’s) the better money was if you stayed in the northeast.

I hope this helps.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Steve, I love you man, but I have got to put in a few comments about this.

This makes no sense...

He also said he was making way more money than as a company driver. However, to make that really good money, he only got home twice in the first year as an IC driver.

If it were true that he was making "way more money than a company driver," then it stands to reason that he would have been able to spend a little time at home. He obviously wasn't making all kinds of money or he wouldn't have been married to the truck like he was. This is the same kind of rhetoric that lease ops and O/O's throw out there all the time. Maybe I should clarify and state that it makes no sense to me. He was having to bust his tail like crazy so that he could stay afloat. In my mind that cannot be considered as making way more than a company driver. To go home two times in one year by choice, is one thing, but to have to do it because you are an owner operator is another matter altogether and the reasons for that should be obvious to anyone with a little understanding of the economics of trucking. If he really was doing all that great, then why did he need to switch over to LandStar? There is very little wiggle room in this business when it comes to margins, and the national averages all point to the same conclusions. An owner operator who is doing very well can maybe earn a scant 5% more than a good solid company driver.

I realize there are people who think I am crazy when it comes to this subject, and I catch my share of flack over this, but to be honest with you, I honestly think most of these owner operators are living in a make believe world. Many of them don't even seem to understand their own numbers. They are happy their accountant is able to reduce their numbers at tax time to a reasonable sum, but they don't seem to realize what that means. It means that is what they are making! Most of them love to talk about the size of their checks, ignoring the fact that those are not paychecks! They don't like you to pry into their real numbers, because that indicates that you see the smoke screen they're putting out. I know this to be true, because every time I've tried to engage some of them with the kind of questions that will produce factual information, they get furious and refuse to continue in the conversation.

Owner Operator:

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

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

1. The guy was making more money and saved it so he could pay off his truck sooner. Remember I said he bought his truck OUTSIDE of the lease/purchase program.

2. I never said the guy was getting rich, just getting paid way more.

3. My friend IS adventurous and part of his plan was to travel the country, not be locked into shorter hauls. He has ZERO complaints about being away from home so long. I pointed that out so the original poster would have some idea of what he’s considering.

4. My friend switched to Landstar because (partially) he never intended to stay with Schneider. Landstar offered him more of what HE was looking for.

Please understand, I’m not advocating or suggesting anyone go owner operator. My friend has NO interest in owning more than one truck. He’s working his plan and it seems to be working for him. While I think that’s great for him, it’s not for me.

By the way, my friend isn’t telling me or anyone else he’s getting rich. He’d be the first to admit there’s a great deal of planning and adjusting to do what he does. He goes to Canada and back if need be. He’s happy driving through snow.

As much as I think it’s foolish for most people to jump into being an owner operator , I believe it’s foolish for me to kid myself in thinking NOBODY can do it.

Thanks for the love and keep on keepin’ on.

Owner Operator:

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

Dm:

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.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm going to throw my $.02 into the ring. The profit in this industry it was it is. I firmly believe your business (your truck) can not afford to pay you much more than a company would. Even if your company is doing well, you still have to put aside money for replacement of your depreciating asset. I believe a lot of O/O out there think they are personally making big money because they take the net profit as their pay. What they are doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul. They are depriving their company of the money it requires for sustainability, and think they are making a big pay check. They are running on borrowed time. Sooner or later their match stick house is going to crumble. If you are going to run a successful, sustainable business, you just can't afford to pay yourself more than maybe a few cents per mile more than you would make as a company driver.

An individual may think, hey I don't have all the additional expenses of facilities, additional personnel, advertising, recruiting and other expenses. Yep, you don't. You also don't make a 100% of the value of the load. You make between 70-85% of the value of the load. The company keeps the rest to cover their additional expenses and the profit of the load. You are left with the biggest expenses. Truck payment, fuel, and maintenance. Not too mention you will have to set aside money to replace your aging equipment. That piece of equipment whose value depreciates with passage of time and every mile run.

In the end you can only afford to pay yourself what a company would pay you. Otherwise you are building your house out of matchsticks. It will come crashing down one day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Patrick wrote:

In the end you can only afford to pay yourself what a company would pay you. Otherwise you are building your house out of matchsticks. It will come crashing down one day.

Like Steve and Old School not advocating doing this one bit, especially for a rookie. I do however agree with Patrick’s point. A smart business owner does not and cannot pocket 100% of their net profit. A L/O or O/O cannot think like an employee. And there in lies one of the fundamental issues with this model.

The OP is considering leasing...leasing through Schneider. You’ll never convince me that leasing with one of our beloved carriers like Schneider, Swift or Prime (to name a few) is a prudent business decision. Like I said, the agreements favor the carrier, not the driver.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Here is my opinion on leasing or owning a truck. I would never do it because of all the costs and bookkeeping involved. Lease/owner ops pay for everything, fuel, tires, electrical problems, everything that goes wrong with a truck. Also, if you break down and need a hotel, you pay for it. And since you can't work while your truck is broken, you aren't making money. There are so many more costs involved in leasing or owning a truck. A used truck could have a $1200/month payment while a leased new truck could have a $1200/week payment. Then you also have to pay for health insurance and other insurance. You have to pay for your elogs , tolls and prepass. All the costs need to come off the top before you pay yourself. I don't want to deal with that.

I know two people who recently went O/O. One thing they both have in common is they NEVER go home. The first is one of my friends at CFI. He bought a used truck. In the first couple of months he replaced tires had his A/C fixed and several other costly items. An oil change is a few hundred dollars. With all of that, he is happy so far. However, he has considerable savings which he has had to use. He also has been driving for 3+ years OTR.

The other guy is leasing through his company and I haven't spoken with him since he got his truck.

Again, if you want home time and less stress, don't lease or buy a truck.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Don L.'s Comment
member avatar

Steve, I love you man, but I have got to put in a few comments about this.

This makes no sense...

double-quotes-start.png

He also said he was making way more money than as a company driver. However, to make that really good money, he only got home twice in the first year as an IC driver.

double-quotes-end.png

If it were true that he was making "way more money than a company driver," then it stands to reason that he would have been able to spend a little time at home. He obviously wasn't making all kinds of money or he wouldn't have been married to the truck like he was. This is the same kind of rhetoric that lease ops and O/O's throw out there all the time. Maybe I should clarify and state that it makes no sense to me. He was having to bust his tail like crazy so that he could stay afloat. In my mind that cannot be considered as making way more than a company driver. To go home two times in one year by choice, is one thing, but to have to do it because you are an owner operator is another matter altogether and the reasons for that should be obvious to anyone with a little understanding of the economics of trucking. If he really was doing all that great, then why did he need to switch over to LandStar? There is very little wiggle room in this business when it comes to margins, and the national averages all point to the same conclusions. An owner operator who is doing very well can maybe earn a scant 5% more than a good solid company driver.

I realize there are people who think I am crazy when it comes to this subject, and I catch my share of flack over this, but to be honest with you, I honestly think most of these owner operators are living in a make believe world. Many of them don't even seem to understand their own numbers. They are happy their accountant is able to reduce their numbers at tax time to a reasonable sum, but they don't seem to realize what that means. It means that is what they are making! Most of them love to talk about the size of their checks, ignoring the fact that those are not paychecks! They don't like you to pry into their real numbers, because that indicates that you see the smoke screen they're putting out. I know this to be true, because every time I've tried to engage some of them with the kind of questions that will produce factual information, they get furious and refuse to continue in the conversation.

Old School, Can you tell me who you are a trainer for?....Sorry to be off subject....Respect is earned NOT given, and ALL the Moderators on here have paid their dues with Time and Real life experience! Therefore you ALL have earned my Respect.....Keep changing the world 1 mile at a Time!!

Owner Operator:

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

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Don, just about the only place you'll find me training is right here on this website. I've turned down multiple offers to be a trainer. It got to the point where some management people started calling my dispatcher asking him to put some pressure on me to become a trainer. He told me about it, and said he told them, "This is my most productive driver. I'm not going to slow him down by putting a rookie driver on his truck who is likely to quit in three months time. We've got plenty of other drivers here who can train new drivers."

I honestly love what I do, but I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and "best practices" for success with new drivers. I feel I can contribute the most help by doing what I can online, and keeping my truck rolling along as a solo act.

I drive for Knight Transportation as a dedicated driver on a flatbed account serving our customer "SAPA," a major player in the aluminum extrusions business.

I can be found in and around many of the nation's metal warehouses hauling loads of aluminum much like this one...

0045749001533394285.jpg

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.
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