Getting Ready To Lease A Truck

by Corporal Clegg

Hi, I'm going to be blogging about my experience as a new Lease Operator. I want to start this by telling you a little about myself. I am 43 years old, married with one teenage daughter. My experience before trucking was business management and sales. Like a lot of people, due to the economy I had to make a change. So in Nov of 2010 I signed with a large refrigerated carrier that ran their own school. Graduated in Dec 2010 and went out on the road with my trainers for nearly three months.


After going solo, I decided to try the pre-lease program they offered, where you run as a company driver and are paid as a company driver, but you have a Driver Manager from the leasing dept. Another difference was that company drivers are required to do 8500 miles per month on avg, where pre-lease drivers are required to do 10,000 miles per month. As a pre-lease, I was also required to keep out of route miles under 5% (8% company) and fuel mileage of 6.4 mpg+ (6.0 company) . You have to meet those requirements over two months to qualify to lease.

I did a lot of research during this time and while in training about the lease program here. I talked to drivers that were successful at it, and also those that were not. I talked to people online as well and got lots of feedback. So this was not a rushed idea that wasn't researched well.

I'm here at our corporate HQ and was handed my lease agreement on Friday. I have until Monday at 2PM to decide. They have agreed to lease me the truck I had been driving as company driver at a big discount. It has 300K miles, but it still has 200K left on the extended warranty. I know the truck and it's in good shape. There are several reasons I wanted to lease that one instead of one of the new trucks, which I will get into later. This is also a walk away lease. By that I mean, if it doesn't work out I can switch back to company driver with no penalties. If I quit the lease and leave the company altogether though, there is a $500.00 penalty.

I have had my CPA and OOIDA look over the lease. I highly suggest doing this if you ever decide to go this route. My CPA has given me his assessment and I should hear back from OOIDA Monday morning. So, that's where we are at. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you on this endeavor.

Driver 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.


Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
by Brett Aquila

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