Path of Lease Assistance
Strand’s company performs an oil analysis on every truck it leases, most of which come from a carrier’s fleet.
Hoovestol says he encourages prospective buyers to get a U.S. DOT inspection and dynamometer test done on the truck before purchase. “If it doesn’t pass the dyno, they can bring it back here and we’ll fix it and cover the cost of the next dyno to make sure it passes,” he says.
After 5 years,
After about five years leasing trucks through U.S. Xpress, Jaramillo paid off his truck in April.
His lease experience took longer than usual. The company’s Greg Labrasca says Jaramillo was caught in the middle of a transition as the company was deciding how to structure its lease program. “Joel went through three 12-month leases before he went into a long-term lease,” he says. After each 12 months, the buyout figure became smaller.
The lease program served his needs. “Everywhere I went I had to have good credit or a down payment I didn’t have for a truck,” he recalls. “It was a dead-end street everywhere I went. I came here and they said they had a lease program where I could get a truck and in time it would be mine. I’m very happy with it.”
Lacking money, credit
Driving since 2007, Koons wanted to be an owner-operator, but most places he applied to first wanted him to work as a company driver for a while. Schneider National said it would sign him on as a contractor.
Lease-purchase was Koons’ only option because he didn’t have the money to buy a truck. Plus, his credit was weak because he had filed for bankruptcy on a company he owned in 2007. “I didn’t have much of a choice and I had to go to work,” he says.
Schneider signed him to a no-credit-check lease option. He started on a 1-year lease before he was approved for a 3-year lease-purchase agreement. That contract is pending the arrival of newer trucks than the 2005 he’s been driving that has had maintenance problems, he says.
Koons believes the $460 weekly truck payment and $130 weekly maintenance account on his 12-month lease will probably be carried over to the 3-year contract.
Burned on program
During her first lease through a West Coast-based carrier in 2007, her miles began dropping from about 15,000 a month to 9,000, she says. She also complains about administrative fees and other charges. Some weeks, she figures she was making only $200.
Not wanting to lose her truck, Russell found third-party financing and bought the truck for about $10,000. She eventually sold the 2001 truck to her dad, who made the payments.