Spotlight News

Understanding Lease Purchase Trucking Programs

March 23, 2023

Lease purchase programs have developed a reputation for being the trucking equivalent of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly over the past few years. While they offer a lower barrier to entry than going to a dealership, many programs are a double-edged sword that can quickly turn an owner operator’s dream into a nightmare. 

Like any business decision, the process of choosing a lease purchase trucking program should be done with clear eyes, an open mind, and an understanding of the potential pitfalls that might be right around the corner. At the end of the day, we want you to have the best information available so that you can make the business decision that fits your needs and goals as an owner operator.

5 Things to Consider When Evaluating Lease Purchase Programs

The truth is that not all lease purchase programs are created equally, and they should each be evaluated based on objective criteria. Here five things to consider before choosing your lease purchase provider.

1. Program Success

Before we get into the meat of the conversation, one of the first questions that you should ask every lease purchase program is their track record of success. There is an enormous difference in a 1% completion rate versus 50% or higher.

Success isn’t entirely dependent on the carrier, or provider, but it can be an early indicator of support networks, quality of equipment, and a properly structured financial plan for program participants. Before asking what kind of equipment someone offers, don’t be afraid to ask how successful their drivers are and how likely they are to complete the program. It can be more telling than you might realize.

2. Qualification Process

Step foot in any dealership, and you can expect a 10% to 20% down payment, assuming you have good credit. That is a major hurdle for owner operators that are just getting started. One of the biggest reasons lease purchase programs have exploded in popularity over the last few years is because they break down these traditional barriers and create a streamlined Path To Ownership.

Take stock of the qualifications for each provider to ensure that you find the program that is most suitable for you and your business. Don’t jump at the first opportunity, this is one time where doing your homework will pay off in the long run.

3. Financing and Terms

If the dollars don’t make sense, you will be behind the eight ball from day one. Many programs get you in the door with the no money down hook, but then gloss over all the nuts and bolts of the lease purchase program.

Most will provide base details such as weekly payments, length of term, and end of lease options. Very few are willing to pull back the curtain and show you the numbers that actually impact the likelihood of success within the program.

As you dig into the numbers be sure to ask for details on the cost of funds (interest rate or fees), example amortization schedules, and the total cost of the vehicle (including markups). You need to look at total cost of ownership and if you are building equity and creating wealth. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if these basic questions are not answered with transparency.

4. Equipment Selection

Truck preference is like picking a flavor of ice cream, each fleet owner has their favorite and we aren’t here to convince you that Peterbilts are better than Freightliners or Volvos or vice versa. What is important to note as you get deeper into the decision-making process is separating out programs that offer good versus bad or new versus used worn out equipment.

Used equipment in the lease purchase trucking world should be properly evaluated under a microscope. Many vehicles are older fleet vehicles that carriers are looking to offload without fully refurbishing or repairing properly. Although they might come with a lower price tag, repairs and downtime could quickly add up, offsetting any price benefit.

Leveraging new equipment and or fully refurbished equipment helps to stack the deck in your favor. Not only is newer equipment more reliable, but they are also backed by warranties that prevent you from being on the hook when repairs are needed.

5. Ongoing Support

Ongoing support can easily be an afterthought. In truth, it should be a top priority for every person thinking about entering a lease purchase agreement. Having a network in place to help you when the chips are down can be the difference in success or failure. 

As you explore options, ask about any maintenance programs, deferment process, vendor network, and additional services (or discounts) with a fine-toothed comb. Some program providers are more hands on than others and having a support network is critical for business success.

Path To Ownership With ES

ES goes to great lengths to make sure we check every box to help you be successful.  We look at several factors before extending an invitation into our lease purchase program. We value attitude, aptitude, work ethic, and work history. We make sure it is a good fit for everyone.  Our goal is help LIFT up your business. Connect with our team online or by phone at (877) 349-9303, option 4 and learn why with ES in your corner, you will Never Stand Alone.

5 Ways Being an Owner-Operator is Like March Madness

March 15, 2023

March Madness has finally arrived and the conversation around the ES office as of late has been how the infamous tournament is incredibly similar to being an owner-operator or fleet owner. Both are full of highs and lows, grit and determination, and teams rising above expectations. Here are the similarities that has our office buzzing.

Build Your Resume

No two owners are the same. Like every team in the tournament, drivers need to build their skills and their resume over time. They will face adversity throughout the process and must show flexibility and resilience. The good news is that you don’t have to be a blue blood to make it to the dance. 

Survive and Advance Mentality

“Survive and Advance” – a phrase that you hear every year as would-be upsets push contenders to the brink.

The secret to making a deep run is the same with running your fleet. You have to be cool under pressure and work diligently to set yourself up for success. Approach it with a business-like mindset and expect that occasional setbacks will happen along the way. The last thing that you want is to rest your business on a buzzer beater. 

Get In the Paint

We all love a perimeter shooter that gets hot and starts draining threes, but it is only part of the game. You have to be willing to get in the paint and do work. They might not make SportsCenter, but over time developing fundamentals will help you build your business and create a foundation for success that will last a lifetime.

Cinderella Stories

Who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story? Someone coming out of nowhere to shock the world. This is probably one of our favorite analogies at ES, because the truth is that ANYONE can make it in this industry with the right pieces in place.

Take a look at any of the recent Cinderella teams that made deep runs and they all share common traits with the ES community – Attitude, Aptitude, Work Ethic, and Work History. They build their resume, and with the right approach and a solid support system they are able to succeed. 

Having a Solid Bench Matters

Speaking of support systems, every team that makes it to the Final Four has one thing in common – great bench play. Owner-operators and fleet owners are the stars of the show, but even the best need a breather, or get into foul trouble at times.

At ES, we don’t want to be the star player. We want to be the complimentary piece that can help you drain that three and get to the board for that important rebound. With ES on your bench, you will NEVER STAND ALONE.

Just like a bench player, ES is here when you need us! If there are areas in your business that you feel like you need some extra support, we’re here to help, reach out to us at (877) 349-9303 or connect with us to discuss our programs available to you including

  • Discounts on fuel, shop, and tires
  • Back-office & operational support
  • Low-cost premiums on insurance coverage
  • Ongoing safety training
  • Legal services
  • Truck financing
  • And more!!

International Women’s Day

March 7, 2023

Each year on March 8th the world comes together for International Women’s Day to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe and help them push for rights and continued progress. At ES we are proud to stand by the women in the trucking industry and help LIFT up those that work in the driver’s seat as well as behind the scenes.

International Women’s Day

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day can be traced back to the early 20th century as women pushed for better working conditions and the right to vote. Annual celebrations began in Europe as early as 1911 and have continued to grow over the last century.

Over the years the event has not only grown in size but also scope, celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility as well as serving as a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. Each year, focus expands to include new issues that women face. This year’s theme, Embrace Equity, aims to create dialogue around the world about how true inclusion and belonging requires equitable action. 

The beauty of International Women’s Day is that no one organization owns the event, and it is truly a grassroots celebration that the ES team is proud to support. As a sign of solidarity, supporters wear purple on March 8th each year. You can learn more about International Women’s Day here.

Within the trucking industry, the number of female truck drivers has swelled in recent years, today sitting at around 16% of the total driver population. Since 2017, ES has proudly played a role in helping bolster the number of women that have access to truck and fleet ownership through programs like the Women Owned Business Initiative. This initiative has helped create more than 150 women-owned businesses in partnership with the Women In Trucking Association. Today, women make up nearly 40% of the total ES Community.

Never Stand Alone

As a member of the ES community, we are asking that you join us on March 8th to help celebrate and LIFT up the amazing women that keep the trucking industry moving forward. It is just another way we promise that with ES by your side, you will NEVER STAND ALONE.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ES Women In Trucking program or any other programs supported by ES, call our team at (877) 349-9303, option 4 or contact us here.

Spotlight On Success: Cheryl and Andrew Anderson

March 1, 2023

Attitude, aptitude, and work ethic are cornerstones of the ES Community, and they are the pillars that Cheryl and Andrew Anderson have built their trucking company upon. The Andersons are proof that having a solid foundation for your business, a little know-how, and a strong support system can LIFT you up for success.

Cheryl and Andrew Anderson

Time in the Trucking Industry: 11 Years

Year they Joined ES: 2022

ES Community Carrier: Forward Air

Service Coordinator: David Neese

Fun Facts: The Andersons have always homeschooled their children, and it was their sons that helped give Cheryl the nudge to get her CDL and join Andrew on the road.

In many ways, the story of the Anderson’s, who run MMOB Trucking LLC, is like many husband and wife teams in the industry. After years spent in agribusiness, they were ready for a change, and wanted something that would provide the freedom to build their own business and leave a legacy for their children. The road was calling and the Andersons were ready for the challenge.

After gaining experience as a company driver, and trainer, Cheryl joined Andrew in the truck. The opportunity to get out of a cubicle and build their business their way was a driving factor in choosing to join the ES Community. The Anderson’s vision and experience eventually led them to the Women Owned Business Initiative at ES a year ago and the rest, as they say, was history.

The Andersons describe their start in the Path to Ownership program as “nerve wracking,” but they knew what they brought to the table and knew that they could make it work with the right support system in place. Backed by Cheryl’s experience in finance and marketing, they have  branded their business and built their reputation, serving as the captains of their own ship.

As you will hear in our most recent Spotlight On Success, the road hasn’t always been easy for the Andersons, but their positive attitude and a helping hand from the ES Community have allowed them to forge a path and build their legacy.

We are proud to have Cheryl and Andrew as part of the ES Community and are delighted to continue supporting them in their Success in Trucking.

Cheryl and Andrew Anderson

This Spotlight On Success shines on Cheryl and Andrew Anderson. In this most recent episode, you will hear the Anderson’s story and how they became the captains of their own ship through hard work and a little help from the ES Community.

ES IN-SITE Webinar Replay – Nothing But Love

February 23, 2023

On February 14th, ES once again joined forces with Panther Premium Logistics (a service of ArcBest) to bring together an all-star panel during our Valentine’s Day IN-SITE 2023 Webinar event entitled Nothing But Love.

If you’re not in love with your current carrier or are looking to take the next step in your driving career, this webinar is for you!

Learn about:

  • The non-traditional Panther Lease Purchase Program Powered by ES
  • The transparency & focus on success of the driver by both ES and Panther teams that sets this program apart
  • How Panther’s diverse customer-base allows for consistent freight despite an inconsistent market
  • The low-barrier process to join the Panther Lease Purchase Program Powered by ES

Expert Panel
Leah Shaver
Leah Shaver
President & CEO
National Transportation Institute
Jeff Tacker
Jeff Tacker
Chief Operating Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Executive Vice President
Expediter Services
Colby Lynch
Colby Lynch
Lease-Purchase Specialist
Expediter Services
Kyle Green
Kyle Green
Fleet Supervisor Expedite Operations
Panther Premium Logistics, A Service of ArcBest®
Lisa Whitten
Lisa Whitten
Owner-Operator Recruiter

If you’re interested in learning more about the Panther Lease Purchase Program Powered by ES or any other programs supported by ES, call our team at (877) 349-9303, option 4 or contact us here.

ES is proud to have Stoops Freightliner serve as the Title Sponsor for the IN-SITE 2023 Series.

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