Company Or Lease? Prime Inc.

Topic 30732 | Page 1

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Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, it's been a hot minute since I posted here. A few months to be exact. I started my new career over at Prime Inc, and honestly it's been hectic ever since. I'm definitely in love with it though and I know I made the right call. I have a lot of people on here to thank for that with messages and other posts they showed me that lead me to choosing Prime as my employer.

I'm just about to upgrade now from my TNT phase and a new dilemmas come up. I'm not sure if I want to go Company or Lease when I do.

Originally I thought Lease was the way to go. On paper it sounds solid in every way, especially since I'm single, have no kids, and love being on the road more then at home anyways.

However, recently I've had my doubts from friends and family about it, reccomending that I go company instead. Their reasons are sound. Most of it stems from winter coming up when I'll be on my own, and the issue of a new truck breaking down during it.

I'm pretty torn to be honest. I thought I had this decided on after the first month but now I'm not sure and I keep second guessing myself.

Has anyone here had this same dilemma? If so, what did you end up doing?

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Aaron, it's a common dilemma that almost every rookie driver has cross his mind. Ask yourself what you know about the trucking business. Do you know which loads are going to pay the best? Do you know which lanes yield the most money? Are you familiar with how to manage your fuel purchases so that you are getting the best bang for the dollars you spend? Of course Prime will be helping you with some of this, but why do you think Prime leases trucks to drivers? That is an important question for you to consider. Why is it they lease trucks?

They don't lease trucks just so the drivers can make more money. If they really wanted all their drivers to be making more money, they would simply increase their pay. So why would they be leasing trucks? The trucking business is full of volatile and unexpected expenses. It is a commodities business which is greatly helped by cost controls. By leasing trucks they can control their costs. That is a huge benefit for the company. You lease the truck and you are responsible for the expenses. They know exactly how much they can make with that truck now. Whatever expenses come up in the course of you doing business with them will be taken care of by you based on your lease agreement with them.

The truth about leasing is that if you are lucky you will make about the same amount of money as a good solid company driver. That will hold true if you are talented enough to be a good lease operator. I just don't know how a rookie can be a good lease operator. You have still got a ton of things to learn about trucking. Your best bet is to be a company driver. That way all you have to focus on is getting better at your job. You don't have to manage your trucking business and your rookie year as a new driver. Trust me, you will be challenged just learning how to be efficient and making a career out of this new passion of yours. You have got plenty of time to start a trucking business later when you know more about what you are doing.

That's what leasing a truck means. You are starting your own trucking business. You won't get a W-2 from Prime because you will not be an employee. You will be a sub contractor to them while they still control your freight and what kind of rates you work for. You will be the business operator with someone else in control of everything that any normal business person would be in control of. That's a bad plan. Don't even be tempted. It's all a gimmick. It's a fool's game, and there is no reason to do it as a rookie.

I am an experienced business owner, and I will always be a company driver. I can see no benefit to leasing a truck.

Don't believe all that nonsense about lease operators making a lot more money than company drivers. Puhleeeze don't believe your trainer if he is trying to convince you how much more money he is making as a lease operator. Lease operators are so biased that they can't recognize the truth when you put it right in front of their eyes. Do not let your trainer talk you into this!

If you want to make great money as a trucker, you have to be a really good trucker who understands the nuances of the job. You have to prove yourself consistent and productive with your fleet manager. You have got to build a solid relationship with your support team. They have to be able to trust you and you them. That all takes time and effort. Great drivers get the best treatment and the best loads. You have got to prove yourself worthy of that level of trust by producing a high level performance. Everything in trucking is based on your performance. Nothing is based on whether you are leasing or being on the company payroll.

Show Me The Money!

Fleet Manager:

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

COMPANY!

Enough said.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

As a rookie and a business owner, I can't agree more with what they said above. I'm doing well for my experience so far, but it's not nearly efficient enough to make money as a business in this. There are so many facets to learn daily and I figure the best way to do that is on the company payroll. I still get paid even if I mismanaged my fuel and time, my schedule. I get paid while waiting, while broken down, I have very little to no risk with the equipment and I have virtually no overhead.

Another thing to think about is this. Consider your income as profit for a second. Let's say you earn 50k in a year after expenses but before rent, food, etc. No ask yourself how much revenue a business with 4 percent margins will have to generate for the owner to clear 50k in profit?

Last year on 350k revenue I was lucky to clear 60k in an industry with 20 percent margins.

Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

Do NOT do lease, it's chasing fool's gold and is rarely if ever worth it as a new driver . Even expierenced drivers struggle with this option , hell it's better being an O/O as at least the equipment is yours.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

You learn a lot during TNT but what you have learned thus far is only half the battle. Actually, it's probably not even half. Going solo and and doing everything on your own is a huge step up. There is a crap load of stuff you still have to learn. It can be very stressful simply staying afloat for your first several months as a rookie solo driver.

I ask: Why add the responsibility of trying to run a business on top of everything else you need to learn?

It's best to navigate the turbulent waters of your new career as a company driver until you are able to reach the more placid seas of experience.

You can choose to lease at any time with Prime. If it takes you 6 months to feel confident with all aspects of the job, then you can test the waters of leasing. There is no rush. Take that into consideration before you decide to lease right out of the gate.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

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.

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