October is an appropriate month for our latest Lease Purchase story involving Contractor Pam Ritche who lived through a true-life nightmare with scary maintenance costs and the horror of being caught in a Lease Purchase spider web with no support and virtually no chance to pay it off. Truly an appropriate subject for a frightening Halloween tale, except this one will have a good ending!
Unfortunately, this chilling narrative is common in the industry, where Lease Purchase agreements are easy to get into and extremely hard to make profitable. They are also set up to benefit the Leasee, not the Leasor. The ease of entry into Lease Purchase agreements make them a trick with no treat for the potential owner, as often there is little to no down payment, no credit requirements and minimum start up costs involved. Lease Purchases have a spooky downside including high payments, little to no support and the virtual impossibility of paying off the lease.
Luckily for Pam, she was able to get away from the Lease Purchase monster that had been keeping her from reaching her business goals when she got her MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance and turned it into a not-so-scary PTO (Path to Ownership) through Expediter Services. Here’s her story of TRUE TRUCK OWNERSHIP.
SLN: Tell us about yourself?
I Started out five years ago as a company driver with another firm and learned to drive with them. I drove there for about four years before weighing my options about owning my own truck. I got into a Lease Purchase through this company and took my Lease Purchase truck with me when I went to All State.
SLN: What made you want to get into a Lease Purchase Agreement?
Although I liked being a company driver, I wanted to be an owner and to have something that was mine that would allow me to make my own decisions. At the time, the Lease Purchase seemed like a good option.
SLN: Tell us about your Lease Purchase experience?
I went with a well-known Lease Purchase company and from the start it was a nightmare. They had a yard full of trucks that you go into to pick out your truck. All of the units were “as is” and it’s just awful. I wound up with a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia. I hadn’t had it two weeks and the clutch went out on it. The agreement said within the first thirty days they are supposed to fix these kind of problems. But they refused to honor it and I wound up having to pay $3,500 out of my own pocket to get it repaired. It was just a nightmare from the very start. I got absolutely no support from anyone. It was just terrible the way I was treated.
On top of that, even getting routine maintenance performed was a struggle. You had to fight with them every step of the way. It was exhausting and frustrating — it’s like they don’t want you to succeed. They just want to take your money. They also took money out of my weekly settlement as a maintenance fund and when I turned the truck back in to them, they kept it. I never saw a penny of that money.
I was in that Lease Purchase agreement for an entire year and if I hadn’t gotten the truck I’m in now through Expediter Services MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance and taken the Path to Ownership (PTO), I would have returned to being a company driver instead of a true owner.
SLN: How did you get hooked up with Expediter Services?
I’ve been with All State for five months now. They are a great company and I’m really happy being on-board with them. I brought my truck (and the Lease Purchase agreement) with me. About the time I signed on with All State as my carrier, they had begun working with Expediter Services to help support their operations through the ES family of companies. My recruiter asked if I might be interested in the ES (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance and Path to Ownership (PTO) since I was so unhappy with my Lease Purchase and my truck. It sounded like a great opportunity to experience true truck ownership, so I contacted ES to see what it was all about.
I peppered the ES team with tons of questions because I did not want to be stuck in a nightmare agreement again! My experience with Steve Kochensparger and Expediter Equipment Finance was professional and went smoothly. He answered all of my questions and he was so polite about it. That took some getting used to after what I’ve been through with my Lease Purchase, but it was a very nice change of pace. Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manger was also polite and knowledgeable when it came to finding my truck: a 2017 Western Star with an 82-inch Stratosphere sleeper and a Carrier Comfort Pro APU. It’s very well appointed. The whole transaction went smoothly and I’ve been in the truck now for about three months.
It truly is an entirely different experience owning your own truck versus being in a Lease Purchase agreement. I know that I can actually pay off this truck and it will be mine. I’m just so excited about this great opportunity and being an owner is already affecting my bottom line for the better! And as a business owner, the support I get from ES is also a tremendous help. I know that if I call Lee Burkhalter, my Service Coordinator, he is there to help me. It’s so different from the whole Lease Purchase culture of no support. ES is actually there for you when you need them with insurance and fuel discounts and even back office support so I Never Stand Alone. Now that I have the ES team in my corner, I feel confident I can succeed.
Stay tuned for even more true stories of True Truck Ownership in upcoming issues of Spotlight News.
Recently, Spotlight News has shined the light on prospective Owner Operators who have abandoned Lease Purchases and gotten their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance through the Expediter Services Path to Ownership (PTO).
As you’ve no doubt noticed, there’s a theme that runs throughout each of our stories: Lease Purchase agreements can be fraught with risks for the Leasee as they are most definitely set up to benefit the Leasor.
The ease of entry into Lease Purchase agreements make them tantalizing to the potential owner, as often there is little to no down payment, no credit requirements and minimum start up costs involved. But as we’ve seen time and again, Lease Purchases have a downside including high payments, little to no support and the virtual impossibility of paying off the lease, just to name a few.
This week’s Spotlight highlights Jesse McCollough, an experienced Expediter who recently got his MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance and parleyed it into a smooth running PTO (Path to Ownership) through Expediter Services. Here’s his story of TRUE TRUCK OWNERSHIP.
SLN: Give us some background about yourself?
I drove a truck in the military for eight years. When I left the service, I looked around for the right opportunity with a company that treats its people right. After going through a few different firms, I finally landed at Panther after a recommendation from a friend. I’ve been with them now for the past two years. Once I caught on to the Expediting way of operating, it’s been great and Panther is a wonderful company.
SLN: Tell us about you Lease Purchase experience?
My experience started with a Lease Purchase company, as I had plans to get onboard with a well-known trucking firm. But, that opportunity fell through. I decided to go ahead and get the lease anyway and got a brand new 2016 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. I then went to work for a division of that same company I had looked at earlier.
Although the truck was new, it had some issues, but the company didn’t want to help me fix anything even though the truck was under warranty. Talk about no support! On top of that, every time I called them they were rude and disrespectful. I was down for a couple of weeks due to various problems and of course, the payments never stop. It made it very hard to get ahead, especially with the way they treat you on a personal level.
I wound up leaving that company, that truck and that Lease Purchase agreement and went to Panther. I found another Lease Purchase company and got into a different Lease Purchase agreement. This next truck was also a 2016 unit but it was used. And man, was that truck dirty when I picked it up! The thing is, I really wanted to be an Owner Operator and I just made the best of the situation.
SLN: What were the factors that made you look for a Much Better Alternative to a Lease Purchase?
There were several things actually. With the latest Lease Purchase company, they too were rude when I called them for help. Also, they take about $200 a week out of my settlement each week that went into a maintenance escrow account. But any time I needed work done on my truck, it was like pulling teeth to get them to use the money from my maintenance account to get my truck fixed or even perform routine maintenance.
After finally getting approval to have work done on my truck, they then dictated what kind of tires or parts needed for the repair or maintenance. It was like I had no true ownership. The way I look at it, that’s my money in my maintenance account and I should be able to use it how I please for my truck. I did not like the way this was structured at all. I wound up turning that truck in and drove for an owner at Panther. I still had money left in my maintenance account with the Lease Purchase company and I never did get that money back. They wouldn’t return it. After that I was done with the Lease Purchase thing.
SLN: How did you get hooked up with Expediter Services and their Much Better Alternative to truck finance and their Path to Ownership?
I’ve known about Expediter Services for a while because I know several Fleet Owners who have a number of straight trucks operating under the ES umbrella of companies. I had also heard through the grapevine that ES was positioning itself to support the general trucking market. I spoke to someone with Panther who had taken the Path to Ownership and contacted ES myself to see what my options were for becoming a true owner.
SLN: Tell us how ES helped you take the Path to Ownership?
First I contacted Danny Vernon at Expediter Truck Sales and asked questions about ES and about the process of buying my own truck. I also spoke with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance and got into a real in-depth conversation with him about the finance process. It was important to me to know and understand every single aspect of the purchase because I did not want to get into the same problems I experienced with the Lease Purchases I’d been involved with in the past. They both were really helpful and were straight up with me about everything. It was a great change of pace to speak with people who treat you with respect and actually talk to you and show a real interest in your success and well being. Steve sent over the paperwork and everything was straight forward and completed in a timely fashion. The entire process was easy and efficient.
SLN: Tell us about your truck buying experience?
When I spoke with Steve Kochensparger I had mentioned that I wanted another Freightliner because I like these trucks very much. Danny Vernon had sourced one for me and suggested that i look at the Volvo 780 as well. I went to a Freightliner dealer and checked one out and was left a little disappointed. There were some things that I didn’t like about the new model. As Danny suggested, I looked at the Volvo and man, that truck was nice! After all these years as a trucker, I had never been in a Volvo. Also, I had never driven an automatic or had an APU. The Volvo had everything, a large factory sleeper and more, so that’s what I got and I love it. The APU (a ThermoKing TriPac Evolution) is great. It saves on fuel and is a terrific accessory.
In the short time I’ve done business with Expediter Services, I’ve developed a relationship with Steve and Danny, and I know if I have questions or problems with my new truck, I can call anyone at ES and get answers and real support. The contrast between true truck ownership through ES and a Lease Purchase is like night and day. I only wish I had taken advantage of the true ownership opportunities offered by ES a long time ago it would have saved me a lot of heartache and money.
SLN: What is it like being a true Owner Operator?
When I make payments on this truck, it’s going toward something that is actually mine. Unlike a Lease Purchase, I can truly pay off this truck and at the end of the agreement I can keep it or do whatever I want to with it because I will own it. I could never say that about a Lease Purchase. And when it comes to maintaining my truck, I make the decisions about equipment, not someone in an office somewhere who doesn’t really care about me or my business.
The benefits through the ES Owner Operator Program are helpful too. The Insurance and fuel card are a great savings and I don’t have to hassle with paperwork because ES takes care of that for me. I’ve been in my new truck for just over a month and I can already see the financial benefits of being an owner. I’m looking forward to truly working for myself with support from ES.
Stay tuned for even more true stories of True Truck Ownership in upcoming issues of Spotlight News.
We continue our series about how more and more contractors are moving away from Lease Purchase agreements and into a Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance with Expediter Services Path to Ownership (PTO).
The low barrier to entry with little to no down payment, no credit requirements and minimum start up costs make Lease Purchases an attractive proposition for the would be owner. But as you’ll see in our latest story (as indicitive of the growing trend), Lease Purchase agreements can be fraught with risks for the Leasee as they are most definitely set up to benefit the Leasor.
However, there is a solution to the Lease Purchase predicament that offers TRUE TRUCK OWNERSHIP. It’s called the Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance utilizing the Expediter Services Path to Ownership (PTO). Just ask Jonathan Holden, a veteran contractor who recently got his MBA from Expediter Services to become a true owner.
Jonathan Holden’s Path to True Truck Ownership
SLN: How long have you been in the trucking industry?
I’ve been in trucking for just over thirteen years and in Expediting for seven of those years signed on with Panther as my Carrier. I made the move into Expediting because it afforded me a better opportunity to earn more money. It was the right career path for me.
SLN: How did you get started with Lease Purchases?
The reason I got into Lease Purchase agreements was because they’re easy to get into. I also had the opportunity to walk away from the lease. But at the same time I was paying a lot of money each week to be in it — a lot of money!
I’ve been in three Lease Purchases over the years. A friend told me about how easy it was to get into: no down payment and no credit check. As I said, they’re easy to get into, but you pay a price for the ease of entry into a Lease Purchase.
SLN: Besides having to pay exorbitant weekly payments for your Lease Purchase, what are some of the other downsides?
There are quite a few downsides actually. To start with, you’re almost an Owner Operator, but not quite because you don’t have full control and you never can pay off your truck. If you were ever able to actually pay it off you’d spend at least three times what the truck is worth. But in reality you probably will never pay it off. This makes it difficult and frustrating to be in one of these agreements. You feel like you’re signing your life away and at the end you’re left empty handed.
My weekly payment was high and of course it never stops, but the total true cost of ownership was extremely high. If you ever had a break down, you were really put into a bad position because there was no help or support. Since my Lease Purchase truck was used, it had a higher repair and maintenance cost and less fuel economy. On top of this, you can never go home and visit with your family because the payments stack up so quickly. If you do spend a week at home, you’re in the hole and playing catch up because of the inflated costs of the agreement. It’s a vicious cycle.
It was my desire to be an Owner and make my own decisions that ultimately got me into Lease Purchases. But the way they’re structured it’s virtually impossible to be your own boss and control your own destiny.
SLN: Speaking of being your own boss and controlling your own destiny, how did you hear about ES?
I called my representative at Panther to see what my options were for purchasing a truck. The lease purchase company I was associated with was having some major problems and were trying to change the rules, and I didn’t want to continue down this path. I went over the options for true truck ownership with true bank financing and ES was the best choice for me. So, I contacted ES and the rest is history.
SLN: Tell us about the transaction of purchasing your new truck and finding the right truck for your business?
I contacted ES and spoke with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance. I must have kept him on the phone for over an hour asking questions. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision regarding the Path to Ownership.
ES also asked me what kind of truck I wanted. I told them I wasn’t picky and wanted a truck with low maintenance that got good fuel economy. Danny Vernon at Expediter Truck Sales emailed me practically every single day a list of trucks that were available or that were coming in. There were many to choose from. ETS showed me the prices, features and options available for each unit. They were very thorough and as a result I knew exactly what I was getting. It was such a difference from getting a Lease Purchase vehicle. The Lease Purchase option really isn’t much of an option. You’re stuck with what they have and that’s it. The trucks I had been getting were used and cost me more than $40,000 a year in repairs. Not good!
Expediter Truck Sales found me a brand new 2018 Volvo 780 with a ThermoKing TriPac Evolution APU and a seventy seven-inch factory sleeper . I’ve been in the truck for over a month and it’s amazing! It gets great fuel mileage, I don’t have to worry about maintenance issues and everything is brand new — and it is a true ownership proposition with ES. It’s such a difference being a true owner of your very own truck. If you’re looking to become a true owner and step off of the Lease Purchase merry-go-round, you need to contact Expediter Services and get your MBA and take the true Path to Ownership (PTO).
Stay tuned for even more true stories of True Truck Ownership in upcoming issues of Spotlight News.
For Drivers looking to become Owners, the Lease Purchase agreement has been a staple of the trucking industry for over a decade. Although these agreements are often risky and fraught with the potential of abuse for the Driver, the low barrier to entry with little to no down payment, no credit requirements and minimum start up costs make these offers attractive to many potential owners. Even though lease purchases have been easy to get into, the structuring of these agreements are stacked against the leasee.
Finally, there’s a solution to the perils of the Lease Purchase agreement that offers TRUE TRUCK OWNERSHIP. It’s called the Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance utilizing the Expediter Services Path to Ownership (PTO). Just ask Steve Wilson, a seasoned contractor who recently got his MBA and put his PTO in high-gear to purchase his own truck.
Steve Wilson’s Journey to True Truck Ownership
SLN: Give us some background on your experience in the industry?
I’ve been a truck driver for ten years and an Expediter, signed on with Panther as my Carrier for the past eight years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my career in Expediting because you never know what the next load may be or where it might take you. Thankfully I got associated with a good motor carrier like Panther at the start and our relationship has been very fruitful.
SLN: Tell us about your Lease Purchase experience?
At the time, one of the only options available to me was a Lease Purchase. It was simple to get into the Lease Purchase agreement, but it was a real hassle to have to travel to Indianapolis and then try to find a decent truck. The Lease Purchase company had available certain trucks that you could chose. I thought I was lucky when I got a 2015 Kenworth. The trouble with this situation is that you really don’t know what you’re getting. The company says they inspect it and DOT it, but I had some issues with the truck — and when you get out of warranty, the repairs are totally on you. I know this is also the case when you buy a truck, but with the Lease Purchase, you don’t have many options or control and most all of the trucks are used and some are used very hard. Not to mention that they don’t have APU’s creating even more issues.
Another downside is that you have a high payment for a used truck. This is the result of an inflated pay back which includes an extremely high cost of funds and added fees (total true cost of ownership is extremely high in a Lease Purchase). Thankfully, I was in that agreement for only two years. There were other drawbacks, too, like the hassle of getting the truck back to Indianapolis and checking it in. Then I would have to fly home on my dime. As you can see, there are a lot of costs involved that came out of my pocket.
SLN: How did you hear about ES and their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance?
I was having issues and concerns with my truck and problems with my overlying Lease Purchase agreement. I heard about Expediter Services who had solutions for my success. That’s when I called Jeff Tacker at ES. I learned about their support programs and discounts to help me run my business. I also talked to him about my desire to purchase a truck and be a true owner. I was really pleased with how they were able to help me find the truck that I wanted and everything has gone smooth ever since. This really was a Much Better Alternative.
SLN: Tell us about the process of purchasing your truck?
The Path to Ownership at ES was super simple. I filled out some paperwork for Expediter Equipment Finance and waited on a phone call to get approval. The unique thing about ES is that they look at the person, not just your credit score. They saw that I had a good track record as an earner and put their faith in me that I would be successful being affiliated with a good carrier under their program such as Panther. Things have been going smooth ever since.
ES also let me pick out the truck that I wanted. Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager was in touch with me throughout the process. I told him what I wanted and they found it, a 2018 Volvo 780 with a Thermo King Evolution Tripac APU. The brand new truck was delivered to me in Southaven, Mississippi, and I could not be happier. We’re in the process of delivering our third load in the truck and it’s going great. Things are working out exactly as ES promised. I’m enjoying the perks of true truck ownership.
Stay tuned for even more true stories of True Truck Ownership in upcoming issues of Spotlight News.
For over a decade, the trucking industry has institutionalized the lease purchase agreement for drivers looking to become owners. In many respects, the lease purchase was one of the main options truckers could qualify for due to the demanding requirements stipulated by lenders.
According to USA Today, these agreements have had varying success in regards to their effectiveness and the capability of the leasee to balance work load with their ability to pay off their “purchase”. In some instances, there have been abuses, with drivers being taken advantage of by the often unfavorable terms of lease purchase agreements.
The good news is that the market is beginning to rectify the shortcomings of these agreements. One company in particular, Expediter Services, is taking a leading role in providing a Much Better Alternative to lease purchase agreements with true ownership opportunities. ES Vice President of Operations, Jeff Tacker, shines the spotlight on how drivers can become owners through their innovative MBA (Much Better Alternative) to traditional finance and lease purchase agreements.
SLN: What is a Lease Purchase agreement?
In a nutshell, a lease purchase agreement is a binding contract set up as a lease with an option to buy or purchase a truck.
SLN: How did Lease Purchases become so widespread in the industry?
Lease Purchase agreements became pervasive for a number of reasons. First, these agreements represent a low barrier to entry for the driver with little to no down payment, no credit requirements and minimum start up costs. Couple this with a Carrier’s need for capacity and you have the perfect Lease Purchase storm.
SLN: What is the downside of Lease Purchase?
Unfortunately for the leasee, Lease Purchases suffer a high rate of failure. I’ve seen statistics that place the failure rate as high as 87%. Another interesting fact is that most Lease Purchases are structured to make their money on turnover, not stability. So, it’s set up with bad intentions from the start. Another downside is that usually once the company has a driver under contract, there’s a high potential for abuse that leads to treating the driver unfairly. It’s a system fraught with perils for anyone entering into these type of binding contracts.
SLN: Are all Lease Purchases bad?
I can’t definitively say that all Lease Purchases are bad. But I have yet to see a good one! I truly believe that when a driver is looking at a Lease Purchase it’s like they’re comparing which type of cancer is better to have. In the end, there really is no good choice until now.
SLN: How can someone in a Lease Purchase get relief?
If you’re in a Lease Purchase, give our team a call. We have partner motor carriers that are supported by our comprehensive owner operator program, which includes access to Expediter Equipment Finance. Drivers can enter into our PTO (Path to Ownership), which is the MBA or Much Better Alternative to truck finance. It’s the best relief in the market when it comes to getting the Lease Purchase monkey off your back (or the chains from around your legs).
SLN: Who can qualify for the ES PTO?
People with a good attitude, a good work ethic, an established work history with one of our proven partner motor carriers can qualify for our Path to Ownership. We’re always glad to help drivers become owners. It’s what we do every day.
SLN: What is true ownership?
True ownership means your name is on the title. With ES, we understand that your truck is your business and we believe in being up front and transparent about every aspect of getting you into the right truck for your application. When new owners have utilized our Owner Operator program, coupled with one of our partner carriers, the success rate of ownership has been over 98%.
SLN: What sets ES apart when it comes to purchasing a truck?
Since 2006, ES has built a family of companies, including: Expediter Management Services, Expediter Insurance Services, Expediter Equipment Finance and Expediter Truck Sales, to support independent contract drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners. This means ES is here to support you at every level, so you Never Stand Alone. No other company in the transportation industry brings together the resources to create economies of scale and back office support to help you succeed like we do.
SLN: How does someone begin the process of transitioning from a Lease Purchase into the ES PTO?
All you have to do is contact our team at 877-349-9303 or visit us on the web a expediterservices.com. We can help you start your Path to Ownership right away.
SLN: Compare and contrast the Lease Purchase versus the ES PTO (Path to Ownership)?
To put it simply, there really is no comparison to the ES Path to Ownership and Much Better Alternative to truck finance, and the contrast could not be greater. We offer true truck ownership — and ES actually wants you to succeed! Call us today to get started on your Path to Ownership.
Thanks, Jeff, for helping us understand Lease Purchase agreements and how ES can help drivers into the position of real truck ownership. Break the chains of your Lease Purchase by calling the ES team today at 877-349-9303.
Stay tune to hear about success stories of owners who broke the chains of Lease Purchase agreements with ES’s Path to Ownership and MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance.
2017 is shaping up to be a good year for freight. According to a recent Morgan Stanley Dry Van Truckload Freight Index, freight has been plotting upward since the beginning of March, pointing to the second highest freight volume in the last ten years, with the exception of 2014 — and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Good freight is a leading economic indicator and as a result, people are giving Expediting a hard look as an investment for the future. A good example of this growing micro-trend is business partners David Richardson and Todd Cowart, two CPA’s from Tuscaloosa, Alabama who recently chose to add an Expediting position to their investment portfolio by purchasing two reefer units: one signed on with, FedEx’s White Glove division, the other signed on with Panther’s Elite Service Division. Here’s their story by the numbers.
According to Richardson, the journey into Expediting was a process using his knowledge as a CPA focusing on small business, tax accounting, corporate structure, capital and management. “About seven years ago I decided to put my money where my mouth was because I advise small businesses (mom and pop businesses, doctor’s offices, moving companies, small trucking corporations) on what I think they need to do to better their bottom line. I felt like I had grown enough in my career to be able to handle a secondary job. I got into the moving business and operated several moving companies in Florida, Alabama and California. As a result I traveled a lot, taking me away from my family much more than I wanted. Over the past year, I sold all of these businesses and began to look for opportunities that would allow me to use my fleet management background to find a business that would allow me to stay at home with my family, while making a good return on my investment.”
2. Due Diligence
Richardson and Cowart teamed up and began searching for the right business model to use their skill sets and accounting knowledge. Their due diligence paid off when a mutual friend connected them with FedEx Custom Critical. “I’m a big believer in performing due diligence when it comes to business and didn’t want to rush into just any business opportunity. Todd and I teamed up and through a mutual connection and we reached out to FedEx. We were intrigued with their business model and made the trip to Ohio to meet with them. We also kept hearing about a company called Expediter Services, so we decided to do our due diligence and check them out too.”
“We were soon on the phone with Jeff Tacker, Vice President of Operations at Expediter Services and Danny Vernon, Sales Manager at Expediter Truck Sales,” said Richardson. “After several phone conversations and gathering information from the ES website the time was right to pay them a visit. We drove to the ES offices, met the people and toured the facility. After all of this research I felt that ES was the right fit for us to get into the industry regardless of the carrier because of their backbone of support. Even though I felt confident with what I knew about fleet management, I would have a team to bounce things off of if needed, because there’s safety in numbers!”
Richardson and Cowart soon put their business plan into motion by purchasing two reefer units to start a fleet that attacks freight from two directions. “We bought a 2014 custom Cascadia with a Bolt custom sleeper from Expediter Truck Sales with about 260,000 miles on the clock. We also bought a new 2017 Cascadia with a Bolt custom sleeper from Stoops. Our plan is to operate the 2017 unit under FedEx’s White Glove TVAL division. The enhanced credentials of operating a White Glove fleet makes a lot of sense because we aren’t limited to dry freight. We can take practically any type of load. It’s very much like being a doctor with a specialty. Also, in order to expand our footprint and mitigate risk, we will run our 2014 unit under Panther Expedite’s Elite Service Division. We should start operations in the next couple of weeks. We’re excited to see the results of our due diligence and efforts,” Said Richardson.
“We also utilized Expediter Equipment Finance for both trucks. After looking at a number of lenders, at the end of the day Expediter Equipment Finance had the best terms hands-down out of everyone else we talked to. The process went smoothly and it was convenient having all of our transactions handled under one roof.”
When asked why now was the time to invest in the Expediting segment of the trucking industry, Richardson said its all about the opportunity and the numbers. “Freight is one of those things that are always necessary and will always be necessary. As the economy picks up, so does freight in practically every business sector. We live in a society where the expectation is we “want things now” and there’s a sense of urgency to everything, so to me, Expedited shipping falls right in line with this philosophy. I looked into a number of different segments of freight and Expediting is a specialized niche with a lot of room for growth with higher profitability. The numbers just looked right.”
With freight trending upward since the beginning of 2017 (with strong signs it will continue into next year and beyond), there is a renewed interest in Contractors looking into the opportunity of becoming Owners in order to capitalize on this favorable freight environment.
Mick and Jennifer Henry are a husband and wife Expediting team who recently made the transition from Contractors to Owner Operators. Their decision to make the leap into ownership followed several years of working in the trucking industry only to realize that Expediting offers the best lifestyle and opportunity for their future goals and aspirations.
Putting in Their Time
Seven years ago after a short stint driving big rigs for a company that was difficult to work for, the Henry’s shifted gears as Mick took a position with Cat Scales. The work was extremely intense and physically demanding, causing Mick a few injuries that made him realize it was time to get back into the cab of a truck before one too many surgeries sidelined him permanently. He and Jennifer knew the time was right to look into Expediting as their next career move.
“We knew we didn’t want to drive big rigs any more, so we looked into Expediting. I liked the size of the trucks, and I liked the size of the condos. It just seemed like this business was right up our alley, so we went back into what we knew,” said Mick.
Time to Get Into Expediting
The Henry’s started their Expediting business this past January, working for another owner, signed on with FedEx Custom Critical. Mick explains how their journey to truck ownership began with a visit to the ES website and a trip to The EGG. “When we were doing research about getting in to the business, we came across Expediter Service’s website and we read up about the company and the opportunities they offer. We also read about all of the success stories of the many owner operators in Spotlight News — and that’s where we learned about the Spring Expediter Group Gathering (The EGG) and the trucks they had for sale. We were soon in touch with Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Sales Manager. We told him about our desire to become truck owners and he began checking their inventory to find us a truck. He also sent us an invitation to The EGG.”
“We thought visiting The EGG sounded like a great opportunity and made the trip to Southaven, Mississippi, to check it out. We really liked what we saw and learned! We got the chance to meet a number of people who had made the move from Contract Drivers to Owners Operators. Jennifer and I weren’t 100% satisfied with who we were working for at the time and had been kicking around the idea of becoming owners. At The EGG, we learned about the improving freight environment and the opportunities provided by ES. We made the decision that it was time to become owners right then and there. We looked at the numbers and felt we could be more profitable working for ourselves,” said Mick.
Time to Finance
“I wanted the truck we would buy to have a bed that would convert into a table,” said Mick. “While ETS had a great selection of trucks, they just didn’t have one available with that feature. We eventually looked around and found a truck online for sale in Florida that had all of the bells and whistles we were looking for. Even though we didn’t find the truck through Expediter Truck Sales, we were able to utilize Expediter Equipment Finance to finance it. The transaction went much more smoothly than I ever would have thought and we were able to close the deal quickly. I was pleasantly surprised at how willingly ES was to work with us even though we didn’t buy our truck from Expediter Truck Sales. They were so professional throughout the process and worked to help us get up and running as soon as possible so we could start generating income.”
Mick and Jennifer have now been on the road for a couple of months and are loving their new truck and the earning potential of being an owner. “Since buying our truck, we’ve already had several friends mention that if you buy another truck, we’ll go to work for you — so you never know, we might venture into being fleet owners some day, Lord willing. We’re also enjoying the benefits of the programs and support offered by Expediter Management Services. We especially appreciate the discounts we get with the fuel card,” said Mick.
Time for A Woman in Expediting’s Perspective
ES continues spotlighting Women in Expediting and their uniquely important roles. We talked with Jennifer to get her take on what it’s like being a woman in the industry and a new truck owner.
SLN: What has it been like being a Woman in Expediting?
I’ve found that when I speak to people on the street, they think that I’m just Mick’s co-pilot. In reality, I share a large portion of the driving responsibilities, as well as other duties like bookkeeping, paperwork and just keeping things on schedule. It’s funny, I’ve even sent pictures to my father to show that I actually drive the truck! It’s a misconception that some people have, but women in the business do their share of the work. I also find that people in the industry have the expectation that you know what you’re doing and that you’re a professional and that you’re just as much a part of the team as Mick. If anything, my responsibilities are needed even more now that we own our own truck.
SLN: With your husband as your driving and business partner, what makes it work for you both?
We’ve been in business ever since our kids went off to school. We’ve always done everything together and we get along great. Sometimes there are moments where things get a little intense, but we’ve always been able to work through it and give each other space. Having common goals is also important and we’re in-sync when it comes to running our business.
SLN: What would you tell women who are looking to get into Expediting?
I would tell them that as long as you can drive and get along with your partner, Expediting is a great way to make a living. Go for it, there’s a lot of opportunity and it’s a lot of fun, too!
Mike and Leslie Weis are successful Contractors on the cusp of retiring after a rewarding twelve year career in Expediting, leasing a truck from Expediter Services. You could say they’re completing the Circle of Success as they prepare to move on to the next phase in life.
Over the years, their careers have experienced ups and downs, but through it all, they’ve always had each other — and the support of Expediter Services behind them. Their story in Expediting began at the Expedite Expo in 2005, with a chance meeting and conversation with Jason Williams, President of Expediter Services. Their story is even more poignant, as their career will end after their visit to this year’s Expo when they hang up the keys to their truck. This is their story in their own words.
SLN: What made You and Mike want to become Expediters?
We worked for another company back in 2005 driving 18-wheelers and heard about the Expedite Expo. So, we decided to go to see what it was all about. Mike was interested in looking at all of the trucks and companies represented. We walked into the Expediter Services booth and started talking to Jason Williams, and what he had to say about the company and Expediting sounded really good. Their approach to business sounded like a breath of fresh air compared to what we’re used to. Right away we felt comfortable. He was nothing like the “used car salesman” kind of people we usually run into in this business. We actually had a conversation about our goals, our business, and what we wanted to accomplish. Mike filled out some forms to become a Contract driver and within a few days, we got a call from ES. We immediately put in our notice at the company we were with and signed on with ES as Contract Drivers. We soon completed our class training in Ohio and hit the road in a new truck. As it turned out, we made a great move!
SLN: What was it like transitioning into a straight truck?
I had my license for about a year and I drove the big 53-foot trucks. It was such a big difference driving the shorter straight trucks. They were so much easier to maneuver and you can park them almost anywhere. It just made things so much easier. We were happy with driving what we affectionately call our “tonka toy”. The quality of the Expediting lifestyle was head and shoulders above what we were used to.
SLN: Tell us about working with Expediter Services over the years?
I can tell you without hesitation, Expediter Services is like family. They are the most gracious, kind and loving people we have ever known. Throughout our career, we’ve traveled, seen and experienced many things and ES was always there for us and made it all happen. When my daughter passed away, they were right there with us showing support through prayers and heart. Now with Mike’s mother being ill, the people at ES are once again with us as we go through this. They have been supportive as we’ve had to take time to take care of her and I can’t say enough about how good they’ve been to us. These days it’s really unheard of to find a company that truly cares and supports you through life’s challenges. It’s our need to take care of Mike’s mother that has brought us to make the decision to retire right now. We don’t want the truck to be out of service while we attend to her, so it was just the right time to step away from the cab.
SLN: What is it like being a Woman in Expediting?
As a woman in this business, I found it challenging and rewarding. The lifestyle is definitely better because you can park the smaller straight trucks almost anywhere and they are so much easier to drive. Once the kids left home, it was great being able to get my CDL and travel with Mike and work with him. I love being in Expediting and can’t imagine doing anything else. It also helps to have such good people behind you like Expediter Services.
SLN: As a former electronic engineer with the Department of Defense, what made you want to get into trucking and then Expediting?
After working with the government on missile programs for a number of years, I was ready to do something different. I like to travel and I like trucks, so it was a natural move into trucking. I’ve been a driver now over thirty years. When our daughter left home Leslie got her CDL and we hit the road together and that’s where we’ve been ever since.
SLN: Tell about your decision to be a professional Contract Driver versus an Owner Operator?
I really enjoy driving. It’s what I like to do. I was never really interested in becoming an owner, even though Jason and Paul always told me I would be good at it. We’ve always been happy driving and its been a good career for us. One of the things I like about Expediter Services is that they’re OK with that. They presented the opportunity of ownership, but it just wasn’t for us. ES supports us as Contractors and we appreciate how non-judgmental they are about it. I’m a go-getter when it comes to working and driving, and If it’s what we want to do, they’re here for us. I like to run the truck and make money and the more I drive and the more loads I make, the more money we earn. It’s as simple as that. Did I mention that I like driving?!
SLN: What advice would you have for anyone looking to get into Expediting?
I would tell anyone looking to get into the trucking business to call Expediter Services first, listen to what they have to say, then go talk to somebody else. They’ll soon find out the difference between ES and the other companies out there. Over the years I’ve worked for a lot of different firms since I started driving in 1976, and I’ve been told so many stories that turned out not to be true. But Expediter Services is the exception. They’ve always been upfront and they do what they say they are going to do. On top of that, their equipment is first rate. With ES the opportunity is there: the harder you work, the more money you are going to make. It’s the American dream and we have lived it.
We want to wish Mike and Leslie the best of luck in their retirement!
The Forecast is Favorable
As the economy shifts into the third quarter, a trend is evident in the freight market pointing to future growth and opportunity for Expediters.
Based on Morgan Stanley’s Dry Van Truckload Freight Index, freight has been plotting upward since the beginning of March, pointing to the second highest freight volume in the last ten years — with the exception of 2014.
History tells us that a good economy and shrinking capacity normally equates to more freight and better rates. Based on these positive indices, NOW is a good time to get into Expediting, as a Contract Driver, Owner Operator or Fleet Owner. Opportunities for growth in freight are looking strong throughout 2017 and beyond. Read below to learn how Expediter Services can help you capitalize on the opportunities presented in this growing freight environment.
What Does It Mean for Expediters?
According to Jason Williams, President of Expediter Services, when freight charts upwards, Expediters stand to benefit if they are prepared and positioned properly. “Everyone’s heard the old saying, “strike while the iron’s hot”. And according to trends, freight is HOT! We want everyone to know that Expediter Services provides great programs, services, savings and opportunities to help you prepare and take advantage of good freight. ES is here to help you position your business to make the most of any freight environment.”
ES Can Help You Prepare for the Road Best Traveled
Expediter Services has established tried-and-true programs and services developed through years of experience and community input to help Contractors, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners quickly and efficiently maximize and capitalize upon the opportunities presented during a growing economy. We also provide a community of support during times of economic downturn — so regardless of the road ahead, ES has your back.
Williams explains more about how anyone looking to take advantage of a growing economy can find opportunity through the offerings at ES. “Over the years, we’ve formulated programs and services to help anyone looking to get into Expediting. ES offer Drivers a Try it Before You Buy it Option. We also offer a Path to Ownership (PTO), providing opportunities for Contractors to move into truck ownership. Once someone becomes an owner, we offer a number of programs through Expediter Management Services to support their everyday business. This includes back office support with assistance in bookkeeping, business analysis and more. We have available insurance offerings to the Owner Operator and Fleet Owner that go beyond trucking insurance, including access to safety training. There’s no doubt that ES offers the most well-rounded opportunity in the industry for Expediters.”
In addition to the above mentioned services and programs provided by ES, Drivers also can benefit from an MBA or Much Better Alternative to truck finance. Williams explains: ” We believe that anyone who wants to own a truck should have the chance at ownership if they desire. The MBA or Much Better Alternative is our way of letting people know that we’re not the everyday financing option. We break the mold of traditional financing because we take non-traditional factors into account when it comes to buying a truck.”
Expediter Services is the only company that Offers a Much Better Alternative for prospective owners by taking into account the following non-traditional lending factors:
- ES takes your work history and productivity into account when it comes to financing a truck
- ES takes your work history and productivity into account when it comes to down payment requirements
- ES welcomes 1st time buyers
- ES welcomes non-homeowners
- ES has market competitive rates for the entire spectrum of loan applicants
- ES offers proven support programs through Expediter Management Services to help you succeed
The above factors help prospective owners overcome obstacles, greatly improving the opportunity for ownership. The MBA is a great opportunity for Drivers looking to become owners in preparation for good freight environment.
The Best Carrier Base in the Industry
ES can help you prepare for growing success by offering access to the best Carriers in the Industry.
Contractor Opportunities include:
All State Express
FedEx Custom Critical
Panther Premium Logistics
Premium Transportation Logistics (PTL)
Opportunities for Women in Expediting
A growing freight environment means opportunities for Women in Expediting. As more women enter into the field, their roles vary depending upon their skill set and business goals. ES is proud to feature the highest percentage of women in Expediting with over 30% participation. Your talents are needed and welcomed in the industry and ES is here to help you as there are NO glass ceilings in our trucks!
Let Expediter Services help you prepare to take advantage of the opportunities of an upwardly trending freight environment by leveraging our services and programs, so you Never Stand Alone. Contact our team today. Call 877.349.9303.
Expediter Services was once again excited to be the Title Sponsor of the Expedite Expo 2017. This year marked the sixteenth year for the event, and the second year at its new home in Lexington, Kentucky.
The annual Expedite Expo has grown to become an important event for the Expediting industry as a whole. This year, the quality of attendees once again made the Expo an unqualified success as the anticipation of a continued strong freight environment made for a spirited crowd looking for opportunities. The ES team was excited to meet and greet everyone who visited our booth. We would also like to thank everyone who dropped by our Expediter Truck Sales exhibit in the End Zone.
The Expo gave us the opportunity to share the solutions of tried-and-true programs created to make Independent Contractors, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners more efficient and profitable — regardless of the road ahead. It also allowed us the opportunity to highlight our expanded services for our existing partner carriers and introduce our new carrier partners — our stable of carriers includes: All State Express, FedEx Custom Critical, Panther Premium Logistics, Premium Transportation Logistics (PTL), V3 Transportation, XPO Logistics.
We were also excited to let people know that through our Much Better Alternative (MBA Program), if you can drive a truck, you can own a truck if you desire, and we’re pleased to have helped a few attendees to become new truck owners. We’re also pleased that some Contract drivers chose to join our program to start their Path to Ownership (PTO), while other contractors continued their PTO and became owners. There were also Fleet Owners who decided to grow their fleets at the Expo!
A number of opportunities were realized as we spoke with many new and experienced quality driving teams at our Driver Recruitment Center, and we’re looking forward to assisting them getting into equipment in the near future.
We also had a great turnout for our annual EGG at the The Expo! Read more about The EGG (Expediter Group Gathering) further down the page.
Please Check Out The Expedite Expo Photos Below
It was a Great EGG at the Expo!
At this year’s EGG (Expediter Group Gathering), everyone enjoyed a great meal and fellowship, as we gave thanks to the community and reflected on the outstanding history of the EGG. We also focused on growth opportunities for Contractors (Contract Drivers, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners). We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who attended.
ES would also like to give a heartfelt shout out to the Carriers who attended the EGG: All State Express, FedEx Custom Critical, Panther Premium Logistics, Premium Transportation Logistics (PTL), V3 Transportation and XPO Logistics.
We look forward to seeing you at the next EGG! Check out the video and the photos below to learn more about the EGG.
Don’t wait for the Expo or the EGG to access
the opportunities offered by Expediter Services.
It’s what we do every day!