Andre Jackson is a happy camper when it comes to lease-purchase trucks. He’s on his third through a program at U.S. Xpress. He expects to have the 2007 Freightliner Century Class paid off in eight months, he told me during a photo shoot at a Nashville, Tenn., Love’s truck stop.
“It was a lot of learning in the beginning, but I was determined,” said Jackson, who’s based in Jackson, Tenn.
He said he’s gotten three lessons from his lease-purchase experience:
* You need technical skills to keep the truck out of the shop as much as possible. Doing so minimizes downtime and keeps maintenance expenses down.
* You need to be sure your fleet gives you enough miles to maintain the lease.
* “You have to understand you’re a business owner,” Jackson said. “You have to make sound decisions with the truck,” such as how much time you take off.
Look for Jackson in the February Overdrive, where Editor Randy Grider will be writing about lease-purchase programs. Many would-be owner-operators have had bad experiences with these programs, but there are also those like Jackson who’ve learned to benefit from them.