The noted French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once famously said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. His words could have easily been the inspiration for the husband and wife transportation team of Ed and Yolanda Camacho. Their career has spanned over twenty years together and during that time, they have always had a plan to achieve their personal and business goals.
Yolanda speaks with Spotlight News and details how they modified their meticulous planning to take ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) in order to get their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to leave behind a troublesome and expensive lease purchase agreement.
How did you get started in Transportation?
Before getting in to transportation, I was a private investigator and I did a lot of undercover work. One day on the way to a job I saw a billboard promotion that said “be your own boss” as a truck driver. Since I had just finished an investigation and was forced to take a three-month sabbatical, I thought I would look into the opportunity. That was twenty-four years ago and I’ve been in the business ever since. Ed started driving eleven years ago and we’ve been on the road together since then.
How did you choose XPO as your motor carrier?
We had been working for an owner operator who had quite a few trucks leased on with XPO. We had a lot of experience transporting pharmaceuticals and they asked if we would be interested in coming on board with them in that capacity. We worked with another owner operator in that division and that’s how we got on board with XPO. We’ve been here about two years, they’re a good carrier and have been a good fit for how we run our business.
Tell us about your lease purchase experience?
We had been with XPO for about a year, driving as contractors for an owner operator. We were in the process of moving to another owner operator when the opportunity to move into a lease purchase came along. The truck wasn’t new (it was a 2016) and soon it began to have maintenance issues. We had problems with the motor, the generator and several other major components. We began spending a lot of money on getting the truck up-to-par.
We had established a maintenance account, but it was so much trouble attempting to communicate with the lease company trying to get out our funds to fix the truck, we wound up paying for most of the repairs out of pocket. It was either pay for it our selves or take a financial hit due to the truck being down for an undetermined amount of time. The lease company also bragged about having a working relationship with a number of vendors that would save us money and perform repairs, but that never happened either. So, we bit the bullet and did what we had to do to keep our truck and our business going. The lease company even gave us a hard time about that too, because they said the repairs weren’t “up to their specs”, even though I took the truck to the dealer for repairs and kept all oft he receipts as proof. Dealing with them was a hassle from the get go.
Looking back on that experience makes us realize just how bad being in a lease purchase actually is. There are a number of things that just don’t add up, chief among them is the fact that you pay a LOT of money to lease the truck and there’s truly no way to beneficially pay off the lease. If we ever did pay it off, the truck would have wound up costing us at least twice what it is worth. And don’t get me started about maintenance on a used truck that you know absolutely nothing about. Add to that the lease company kept the money that we set aside in our maintenance escrow account. There was even a “buy out clause” that stated the lease company would buy your truck for “fair market value” — which wasn’t much! Really, the only thing that does add up with a lease purchase is the money you have to spend to be in one of them. It totally isn’t worth it!
How did you hear about ES and the Path to Ownership and Much Better Alternative to truck finance?
We’re a planning family and feel its important to be organized in order to have a successful business. The expenditures on maintenance on our lease purchase truck didn’t allow us the ability to save as much money as we wanted in order to put a down payment on a truck, which left us looking at different financial options.
I spoke with another team who is with XPO that also had a bad experience with a lease purchase agreement. Their XPO recruiter had told them about options for buying a truck and they had chosen Expediter Services because of their PTO and MBA programs. It sounded like just the kind of opportunity we were looking for. We approached our XPO recruiter about financial options available in the market and we also chose ES. We were intrigued about ES taking our work history, attitude and aptitude into account when it came to getting financed. We had never heard of anything like that before, so we gave them a call.
Tell us about getting financed and purchasing your new truck?
Our first contact was Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager. We told him about our desire to become true owners. He gave us a lot of good information about the program and explained how it worked. We told him about the kind of truck we wanted and he found us a brand new Volvo 860. It’s everything we were looking for. It has a terrific sleeper with lots of room and a big refrigerator, which is nice because we prepare almost all of our own meals. The truck also is equipped with a ThermoKing APU, which helps us save on fuel. It has a great turning radius and you can tell it was built for a team. We love it!
Once our truck was selected, we were placed in contact with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance. We submitted our paperwork and in a short amount of time we were approved. The entire process was really pretty easy and both Steve and Danny always kept us up-to-date on the status of the transaction. They were also patient and helpful because we had tons of questions about the truck, financing and the PTO and MBA programs. Everything they told us was spot on. Everyone was upfront and easy to communicate with, which was refreshing after our lease purchase experience.
When everything was in order, we made the trip to ES’s offices and picked it up. We’ve been in our truck since July 23rd and things are going well. The fuel economy is very good and there have been no maintenance issues. The ES fuel card is wonderful and positively effects our bottom line. Also, our relationship with the ES support staff is very good. These guys really know how to service us, so we Never Stand Alone.
What are the future plans for your business?
We plan on driving this truck and generating revenue for our business. At some point we want to purchase another truck with a custom sleeper and possibly build a fleet. We’re just going to work our plan and see where it takes us.
A Woman in Expediting’s Perspective
What is it like being a woman in the transportation field?
When I first started twenty-four years ago, there weren’t even showers for women. Many times I had to wait until all of the men had left the shower area and it was awkward. But today many things have changed. Women are welcomed at truck stops and there are facilities for us.
As far as the opportunities for women in transportation are concerned, there are more now than ever before. I think its great that ES is a supporter of Women in Trucking and the 150 Women-Owned business challenge. The fact that fifty women have taken advantage of this opportunity so far this year is awesome! I would encourage any woman looking to create her own business to look into transportation. I have six kids and seven grand children. We have been able to make a good life for our family and support them, its’ been a blessing for us. It can be a great career with the proper planning and hard work. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here.)
What advice would you give women looking to get into trucking?
I would tell them to do your homework, make a plan and work that plan. There are great opportunities in this business. It also helps to have the right person as your business partner. In my case, my business partner is my husband and we work wonderfully together. We split our tasks fifty-fifty and truly work as a team.
Also, I would tell women (or anyone else who wants to drive and own a truck), to have a plan for how you want to achieve your goals. It has worked for us and we’ve had a great career in the business. Now we’re planning for even greater Success inTrucking as true owners.