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Cheapest Way to Start Your Own Trucking Business
There are many companies that offer a lease to prospective drivers with little or even no money down and no credit check. Some of these companies even offer training to help drivers get their CDL and some practical on the job training before signing a lease. If you want to become a truck driver, and especially if you dream of having your own trucking business, this is the cheapest way to get started.
Cheapest is not always best. If you have a good work history as a truck driver, a down payment, and decent credit then you can get a better deal by financing your own truck.
If you are just starting out, or you don’t have money saved up for a down payment, or if you have credit problems, then leasing may be the best option for you.
While many companies make it very easy to lease a truck, you should be aware that they find the lease to be a good deal for the company. If a new driver discovers that trucking is not his dream after all, then the company gets the truck back and they can lease it to another driver.
Lease drivers also pay for all the costs of the truck. They pay for their own fuel, insurance, permits, and of course a significant truck payment. Sometimes the insurance and permits are included in the truck payment. Be sure to ask about extra fees when you are comparing lease deals. You may find a company with a lower truck payment, but it is only because they charge your insurance and permits separately. They don’t always remember to disclose the extra payments until you are already there and about to sign your lease.
It’s a good idea to get a copy of the lease ahead of time… before you hop on a bus to go to the company for training or orientation. This will give you a chance to read it, ask questions, and even have a lawyer take a look at the contract you will be signing. Some companies are reluctant to send a copy of their lease. I would be very cautious about a company that appears to have something to hide.
Another thing to look at is what the company will be paying you as a lease-operator. A common payment plan is about $.90 a mile plus a fuel surcharge. You should take a close look at this and figure out how many miles you will need to run each week to make your truck payment and still have some money left to take home.
The best deal, in my opinion, is one that gives you a piece of the action. There are also some companies that will base your pay on a percentage of the load. This gives the driver an opportunity to make more money on short loads, or loads that deliver to places like New England. Many drivers don’t like these loads, and if they are paid by the mile, I can’t blame them.
The thing is, you will probably get these loads no matter who you work for, so why not also get paid dollars instead of cents for running the toll roads, or having to load and unload more frequently?