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.