Leasing a truck and becoming your own boss is a dream that many truckers have. With a lot of big rigs costing between $80,000 and $200,000, the only option is to seek lease purchase trucking companies to help pay for your rig.
After a few years, you’ll have an option to pay off the remaining value of the truck and you’ll be able to enjoy life as an owner-operator without a lease payment hanging over your head.
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How Do Lease Purchase Trucking Jobs Work?
Lease purchase trucking jobs allow you to essentially rent your truck. You’ll be agreeing to a lease term of two or four years (it varies). During the lease, you’ll have to keep up on your payments and will be awaiting the end of your lease agreement.
When your lease is up, you have the option to purchase the truck you’ve been renting or you can return the truck.
If you want to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease, you’ll want to refer to your original lease purchase agreement which has all of the details about the purchase in writing.
You’ll know how much you owe to own the vehicle.
The great thing about a lease program is that you’re going into a program with low upfront costs and monthly payments.
And you’ll be able to use the truck as an owner-operator who will earn significantly more driving as an owner-operator than as a fleet driver.
You can benefit from the lease by making a substantial amount more money.
Leases also look at the residual value of the truck from the start of the lease not when the lease is up.
If you take good care of your rig, you’ll often have a rig that has a much higher value than estimated at the end of the lease and can actually make out really well on the purchase. Of course, you never want to enter into any type of contractual agreement without first understanding what you’re getting yourself into.
There are different types of leases that you should know about going into the process.
Captial Leases Vs Operating Leases
Capital or operating leases are the two main types of lease programs that you’ll find. Each lease type has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Capital leases mean that you’ll have to consider your vehicle at tax time. You will be able to write-off payments and other aspects of keeping the rig running. Since the vehicle is considered an asset, it must be listed on your taxes.
A major advantage of a capital lease is that you may be able to use depreciation on the asset when filing your taxes.
Capital leases are long-term, so this is also equally beneficial.
When you have a capital lease, the rights of the asset are transferred to you in what is considered a loan. You’ll be required to account for interest payments on the asset, and the present market value of the asset will be on your tax balance sheet every year.
The loan amount for the asset will be considered a liability and will be categorized accordingly.
Operating leases are when the vehicle is not considered an asset. You will not be able to claim deductions on the vehicle come tax time, but you may be able to write-off your rent you pay on the vehicle as an expense.
The additional tax benefits will go to the leasing company which effectively owns the vehicle.
Which is the better lease option?
It’s difficult to say. Capital leases are considered debt, and there will be depreciation over time. Operating leases are often short-term lease plans, and there are no ownership rights granted with this lease type.
If you’re strictly in need of a rig for the short-term, an operating lease is your best bet. Anyone that is planning to purchase the rig at the end of the lease term will likely want to secure a capital lease for tax benefits.
A lot of trucking lease purchase programs exist, and they allow truckers to be able to finance their rig and get on the road faster.
What Are The Best Lease Purchase Trucking Companies?
You’ll have to decide which lease program is the best for you. In may come down to location, company size or 1st-year earning potential.
Every program has its own benefits, and you’ll have to shop rates like you would with any other program to find one that works best for you.
PAM Transport claims to have one of the top lease purchase programs in 2020. The company allows drivers to enter into their program and will automatically reclassify the driver as an owner-operator.
Since the reclassification is automatic, drivers will start earning higher pay immediately.
PAM Transport has a lot of benefits, including:
- Low monthly payments with fees as low as $599 per week
- No hidden costs or trailer rental fees
- PAM perks, such as shop and fuel rates
- Steady work throughout the duration of the lease
PAM helps keep the wheels rolling so that owner-operators and PAM are both making money at all times. The company is able to offer lower rates than the competition which often charges $750 – $1,200 a week for a lease, because the company aims to make profit off of drivers driving for the company.
You also don’t have to deal with:
- Qualcomm fees
- Trailer fees
- Cargo insurance
And with maintenance and repairs provided at the company’s shop rate, you’ll be paying less overall as an owner-operator using PAM than using another company.
ATS offers a one-year lease program and is the industry’s only company offering this. The goal of ATS is to allow a company driver to quickly become an independent contractor. You’ll be able to get behind the wheel of your own truck with:
- No money down
- No credit check
- $3,500 sign on bonus
- $4,000 completion bonus if you stay with the company for a year
You’ll find multiple lease options that may offer higher bonuses, including:
- Flatbed / specialized with a $3,500 sign-on bonus, $4,000 completion bonus and 30-day “bumper-to-bumper” warranty
- Van padwrap with a $1,500 sign-on bonus, $2,000 completion ($8,000 on two-year leases) bonus and 30-day “bumper-to-bumper” warranty
- Heavy haul with a $10,000 sign-on bonus, 30-day “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, low down payment and purchase options at the end of the loan
You can always apply your bonus directly as a down payment for the vehicle. ATS has a lot of favorable terms, and with no credit checks, this is a great lease option for anyone that may have bumps and bruises on their credit.
US Xpress has a very robust leasing program with the company claiming that an owner-operator is able to earn up to $175,000 per year or more working with the company. What stands out about this program is that there’s a 500,000-mile warranty and drivers only need six months of experience to join the lease program.
When you apply, there is no:
- Credit check
- Money down
- Balloon payment
Drivers will earn $1 – $2 per mile, and there is a $500 maintenance deposit after your first dispatch. There is a pet policy for anyone that wants to drive with their pet, and dedicated weekly home time is provided.
Discounts are offered on all essentials:
Trucks that are offered through the company include 2015 – 2018 Freightliner Cascadia models and 2018 Volvos.
Term lease purchase benefits also include:
- Low weekly payments
- $3,500 sign-on bonus
- Three-week deferred payments
US Xpress has multiple trucks to choose from, and with steady work, it’s possible to remain profitable while being able to operate as your own boss during the lease period.
Dart wants to help you drive like a boss and earn up to $165,000 or more per year in the process. Dart has a robust lease purchase program that has all of its financing done through Highway Sales, Inc. The lease program comes with the following perks:
- $0 down
- 99% no-touch freight
- Up to $500 per month in lease payment savings
- 65% load revenue
- Truck years from 2014 – 2019
Costs per month will vary, but based off of the figures that the company has listed at the time of writing this article, these are the prices for the following vehicles:
- $1,495 for the 2014 Freightliner
- $1,395 for the 2015 Freightliner
- $1,995 for the 2016 Kenworth
- $1,995 for the 2016 Freightliner
- $2,195 for the 2017 Kenworth
- $2,195 for the 2017 Freightliner
- $2,395 for the 2018 Kenworth
Dart’s biggest issue is that the company pay is lower than the competition. While the company does offer a great lease program and has a lot of great reviews, if they offered higher pay, it would be one of the best lease options available.
Still, with steady work and a lot of great trucks to lease, Dart may be a good option for you.
RTI provides potential owners with the promise of no money down, no payments when there’s time off and no headaches during the lease process. The company has a robust lease option with equipment options and a lease purchase calculator so that you know exactly how much you’ll be paying for you lease. If you are looking for small trucking companies with lease purchase programs, Riverside deserves a look.
Payments can be:
- Flat weekly prices that never change
- Variable per-mile pricing
Variable pricing offers the utmost in financial security and helps keep costs down during low seasons.
When leasing with the company, you get to work alongside RTI hauling goods as your own boss. Vehicles that have under 300,000 miles will come with a 100% bumper-to-bumper warranty that further protects your investment.
There is no money down required and no credit checks required. When you have home time, you won’t make payments. There are reimbursed lumper fees as well as zero trailer fees and reimbursed scales.
If you’re just entertaining the idea of owning your own rig and becoming your own boss, the company’s calculators will be able to show you how much money you can expect to make per week. With the fixed rate weekly option, I would bring home a profit of $1,467 on net revenue of $3,380 and that’s including all of my costs.
It’s important to consider all of your leasing options and to work with a company that offers great benefits, top-tier trucks and multiple perks when leasing. A lot of the companies will provide you with cheaper rates on fuel and maintenance which lowers your overall costs of being an owner-operator.
If this is your first time operating your own rig, it’s also beneficial to work under these companies which provide you with consistent loads to haul.
The consistency, especially in the beginning, will allow you to confidently operate your own rig so that you can be your own boss. While you will be responsible for maintaining the vehicle and ensuring that you book enough loads, you also have the freedom of setting your own schedule and making more money.
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