Roehl's Lease Operator Program - What Percentage Does The O/O Pay For Fuel?, Fuel Tax? IFTA?

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Reuben M.'s Comment
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I am considering signing up with Roehl, and am interested in their Lease Operator program. I fully understand that I need to learn the business before becoming an O/O, however, I just want to get some facts on the expenses.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Why are you considering the Fleece option?

Reuben M.'s Comment
member avatar

Why are you considering the Fleece option?

I am exploring all of the options to earn more as a Trucker. Is it a bad idea?

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I am exploring all of the options to earn more as a Trucker.

Rueben, how much experience do you have? I only ask because I would never consider leasing a truck as a way to earn more money. Most lease operators I have encountered make less money than really good solid company drivers. Trucking is all about performance. That is why we get paid by the mile. The folks who know how to manage their trucking careers in a way that keeps them being productive make the most money. There is a lot to that. Leasing is basically a gimmick. It sounds enticing, but when you realize the profit margins of the major trucking companies are in the 3 to 5 percent range you realize there is precious little extra money to go around. Leasing out their trucks helps them put controls on their expenses. You agree to take the risk while they get to control their costs. That is not a good business decision. There are plenty of ways for good drivers to increase their pay by being more productive.

Check out these articles and see if they give you some other ideas about how to make more money by improving the situation you are already in now.

Show Me The Money!

Can You Hang With The Big Dogs?

By the way, when you lease a truck you are responsible for each of those expenses you questioned us about. You are no longer an employee, but an independent contractor. You get to choose where, when, and how often you get fuel. You pay for the fuel, and the taxes. There is a fuel surcharge, but you would have to get all that information from your lease contract.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I totally agree with Old School. Get in with a solid company and get your experience with them. In my brief experience, I've seen serval lease operators go belly up.

Reuben M.'s Comment
member avatar

I do not have any experience. I just obtained my CDP and am looking to sign on with Roehl. I picked Roehl, because they seem to have an emphasis on safety and care for their drivers. I understand that it will not be all rainbows and butterflies :-).

I have read/audible.com some books on starting a trucking business as an O/O. I thought that after a year of studying the industry as a Trucker, I would have a truer insight on what the actual costs/profits would be for a company driver vs lease operator. The idea was to spend a year OTR , and then make a decision on the best move forward.

When I went through the advertisement for lease operator on the Roehl website, it mentioned an industry leading surcharge for the fuel. This was important for me, because when I calculated the costs for 120,000 Miles @ 1.04 CPM , without relief for the fuel costs, I would make less than $44K as a lease operator, and that was with a lease payment of only $570 per week. My calculations did not include repair costs or down time.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Young man, it is admirable that you want to make more money...however, one year over the road will get you a little bit of experience on just the everyday nuances of this job. To become an owner operator , you really should have four to five years as a company driver so that you can see the ups and downs of this business.

In 2018, I hired on with a guy who leased his truck and two others from the company I'm with now. After 11 months with him, I had to fire him because he bounced a payroll check of mine and at the end of it a couple weeks later those trips I had already made were never paid for. What happened? The truck I was driving ended up being in the shop for 12 days and his other truck that he was paying on, had to go in the shop also. Those two vehicles put him under. He thought he was a smart financial person, but he learned that he was not. The company he leased to has the means to go after him, but even they have not been paid all he owes them.

It is just better to get 4 to 5 years experience, save up your money and I'm talking like $50,000, and in the meantime learn all you can about the mechanical aspects of the truck, buy a good used one, get your own authority and be an owner operator.

Laura

Over The Road:

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Reuben M.'s Comment
member avatar

Young man, it is admirable that you want to make more money...however, one year over the road will get you a little bit of experience on just the everyday nuances of this job. To become an owner operator , you really should have four to five years as a company driver so that you can see the ups and downs of this business.

In 2018, I hired on with a guy who leased his truck and two others from the company I'm with now. After 11 months with him, I had to fire him because he bounced a payroll check of mine and at the end of it a couple weeks later those trips I had already made were never paid for. What happened? The truck I was driving ended up being in the shop for 12 days and his other truck that he was paying on, had to go in the shop also. Those two vehicles put him under. He thought he was a smart financial person, but he learned that he was not. The company he leased to has the means to go after him, but even they have not been paid all he owes them.

It is just better to get 4 to 5 years experience, save up your money and I'm talking like $50,000, and in the meantime learn all you can about the mechanical aspects of the truck, buy a good used one, get your own authority and be an owner operator.

Laura

Thanks for the insight, but I think that you missed the part about me leasing from Roehl as a lease operator within their company infrastructure. The most of the problems that you noted would not apply.

However, I do appreciate your post and I have also thought about O/O from purchasing a used truck. The problem that I see with that option is simply the downtime due to mechanical failure. The truck that I would lease would be a 2021/22 Freightliner Cascadia or International LT. The lease would be of the "Walk Away" variety and the costs of repairs would be minimized due to company discounts.

Also, I am about to turn 57 and do not have 5 years to wait to make a decision on O/O vs Company Driver. I really don't think it would take that long to figure it out. Not that i'm so smart, it's just that there is a tremendous wealth of information, due to seasoned Truckers like yourself sharing your experiences, knowledge and wisdom about the industry for us Newbie's.

No matter what, I will not consider making a decision for a year. I will on the other hand research, study, and plan for the best possible outcome. I am not committed to L/O, O/O or Company Driver. I am only committed to being the best Trucker that I can be, while giving myself options for greater success in the industry and life.

Thanks again, your post is definitely helpful.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

We have lease ops at CFI, some are very happy. Some have more than one truck. I don't know any of them. I have two friends who are O/Os. They have one thing in common, they don't go home.

One is currently on home time for several weeks. The first real home time in several years. The other takes a total of about one month per year off.

They work for different companies. One gets paid a percentage of the load and knows what each pays ahead of time. He relies on company dispatchers. The other dispatches himself from company load boards. Both do well for their situations.

I would recommend you plan on a minimum of three years OTR as company driver, learning the industry. Then deciding if you want to be an O/O.

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.

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.
Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

Why would you even consider lease at $1.04/mi minus fuel? As a company driver with 1 year experience you will easily be able to make .60+ per mile. That extra .44 is going to be wiped out by fuel alone.

I took an early retirement in 2017 at 55 got my CDL and became a company driver. My W2 earnings for my first 2 full years driving were $68000 in 2018 and $89000 in 2019. And that was rarely working more than 5 days a week and only being out overnight a couple days a week. Many weeks I was home every night

In early 2020 I suffered a heart attack which put me off the road for 8 months and resulted in me only being able to keep an intra state physical. If I was under a lease purchase commitment that would have been a financial diaster . Instead I collected almost $1000/week from my company provided short/long term disability insurance while staying home and recovering.

You say you are 57 years old so what is your end game? Do you want to earn piles of cash to pay off bills, sock away additional retirement funds, or maybe maximize your social security earnings? In any of those cases company driver is by far the better choice.

I do not have any experience. I just obtained my CDP and am looking to sign on with Roehl. I picked Roehl, because they seem to have an emphasis on safety and care for their drivers. I understand that it will not be all rainbows and butterflies :-).

I have read/audible.com some books on starting a trucking business as an O/O. I thought that after a year of studying the industry as a Trucker, I would have a truer insight on what the actual costs/profits would be for a company driver vs lease operator. The idea was to spend a year OTR , and then make a decision on the best move forward.

When I went through the advertisement for lease operator on the Roehl website, it mentioned an industry leading surcharge for the fuel. This was important for me, because when I calculated the costs for 120,000 Miles @ 1.04 CPM , without relief for the fuel costs, I would make less than $44K as a lease operator, and that was with a lease payment of only $570 per week. My calculations did not include repair costs or down time.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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