If you have no experience as OTR driver, you would be smart to start as a company driver & learn the industry.
Overwhelmingly, rookies who start out trying to manage being a lease operator FAIL miserably. Especially in
today’s complicated economic climate. There is so much more to understand- the
simple things about being OTR driver and driving the truck- that are crucial
state of an understanding what it takes to succeed when you're "running
the business under lease purchase program
It doesn't help that 99% of trucking companies lease programs are confusing,
questionably legal, high-interest with balloon payment SCAMS that are set up to
bring more money to the company than they do to their lease driver. Some are
wildly worse than others but only ONE that I've run across seems to be legit,
with a very high rate of driver "success" with the lease program.
That company would be Newcomb Transportation based out of California. They do require 1 year of an OTR
experience. Their lease program is a simple, 3.5-5 years lease much like you
would find at a truck dealership.
After 3.5-5 years, you hand the company's owner $1 and he hands you the title
of your truck. You can take the truck & trade it in at the local dealership
or you can turn it in for another lease, or if it's in good mechanical shape
you can simply DRIVE your paid-for truck & rack in an extra $600-900 A WEEK
until age-related maintenance issues become costly.
My husband is patently obsessed with owning his own truck one day :)....I used
to team drive with him and my "rule" anytime he hears about a
"too-good-to-be true" lease-operator deal (Prime, Werner, CR England,
etc) I tell him he's got to speak to exactly 100 drivers from that company who
are lease-operators. If he runs across FORMER drivers from the company to grab
'em and interview them. And then he's got to do online research. He's got to
really DIG, before I'll even think about listening to another word :)
He does it, because he's a social guy who doesn't mind asking people questions.
And overwhelmingly he found a lot more dissatisfaction with Prime, CR &
Werner....he has yet to find ONE Newcomb Transportation driver who is and/or
was unhappy with the *lease* program. He has found a lot of "former" Newcomb
Transportation drivers but they all quit because the company expects you to run
a LOT of miles- they will run you out of hours & push you to the very legal
limit every single week. If you can't perform they won't give you ANY miles so
you won't make money. Lots of drivers can't handle it & they quit. Over 100
current & former drivers spoken with & nobody dislikes the lease
program- in fact most drivers he spoke with had been there 5+ years, one guy
was on his 19th year & his 4th truck and was happy as a clam.
Anyway- my advice, wait until the economy picks up before you even set foot in
a truck. Companies are on hiring freezes & new drivers can't get hired in
many cases....even some 2-3 year experienced drivers can't find jobs. Driver
surplus. Once things pick up it'll be a driver shortage again. Then you get
your company job & grit your teeth & stick with it for at least 2
years. Do your own research on lease companies especially Newcomb Transportation.
Make your own choice on where to go- but only AFTER you have really done your
homework. Good luck :)