In this chapter of my mini-series, I will be going over how to do research in order to find the right company and the type of lease that has the best probability of success.
Now that you’ve asked yourself all the difficult questions and have decided that this is what you want to do, you’ve gotta put some keyboard time in. When I asked myself the same questions and decided to take the next step, I first looked at the truckers report forum, searching and reading all the posts involving lease purchase programs. Once I did that I started searching for people who were currently doing lease purchases and asked them all the questions I could think of on how it works and how they make it work. Once I had laid out a basic business plan and model on what I needed to do to not only survive but thrive at it, I started comparing all the different lease purchase options out there.
After a lot of comparisons, I found that my goal was a lease-purchase that paid percentage instead of a flat rate per mile. This is because with percentage you get an idea of what the rates are going for. Another thing I wanted was the choice to lease a new truck instead of a high mileage vehicle. The reason for this is because if there are any recalls or mechanical issues you’ll only have to worry about downtime which helps with saving up for any maintenance work that occurs after the warranty expires. I decided that a place that pays 100% fuel surcharge is also a nice added benefit because when the line haul isn’t that great, the fuel surcharge can offset that added cost.
A few other items that helped me decide on my current lease-purchase was that I had a couple of years as a company driver so I knew how the day to day operations were as a truck driver, which meant I wasn’t learning a new system. Another thing that greatly helps is doing all the research on the vehicle you lease. The reason I say this is because not every truck model performs the same way especially when the trucks are spec’d a certain way for the company that originally purchased them. I was very fortunate that most trucks I have had dealings with were Freightliners and because of this I knew for my lease purchase I wanted a Freightliner Cascadia.
I also researched what the different companies had in relation to services and maintenance on a new truck, for example discounted rates for PMs. And the last thing that helped me with my research was the fact that I could change certain parameters on the truck, which has paid off fuel efficiency wise.
So with this chapter, I hope I conveyed the importance of doing as much research as you can to make a sound decision. In the next chapter, I will discuss the meat and potatoes of the lease purchase…signing the dotted line.