Chances are good that if you’re in a Lease Purchase, you’ve asked yourself what would it be like to truly own your own truck. Spotlight News has answered that question in our recent series about Contractors who have taken ES’s Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance, the Path to Ownership (PTO) and experienced true Success in Trucking. In this issue we feature Jason Williams, an over-the-road trucker who chose to leave the Lease Purchase merry-go-round when he took advantage of an opportunity to come on board with Panther Premium Logistics.
Over the years, the trucking industry has offered lease purchase agreements to Contractors looking to become Owner Operators. In general, lease purchases are configured to benefit the Lessor featuring little or low down payments veiled to entice you to overlook restrictions and requirements. The final results are a higher total cost of ownership with no beneficial way to pay off a truck. The lack of a true ownership option can make it frustrating for contractors wanting to become owners. The good news is that the lease purchase agreement has now met its match!
A much better option is Expediter Services’ Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance with a true Path to Ownership (PTO) offering true truck ownership. Read on to learn about the benefits of true ownership from Panther Contractor Jason Williams.
Can you tell us about your career in trucking and what lead you into Expediting?
I’ve been driving over-the-road since 2004. Earlier this year I came on board with Panther. I was looking to do something different. I had heard good things about Panther and Expediting seemed like a good choice — and It turned out to be a great choice! Panther is an absolutely wonderful company. I tell people all of the time that I wish I had gotten into Expediting years ago. It’s such a great way to make a living as a trucker. I truly enjoy the lifestyle and opportunities associated with Expediting, especially at Panther.
Prior to moving to Panther, you were in a Lease Purchase agreement. Can you tell us about that experience?
Actually I was involved with two Lease Purchases. Both experiences were similar, but the last one was particularly unpleasant. When I got involved with the first LP, I was going through some personal issues and the Lease Purchase option seemed to be the cheapest way to get into a truck as an owner operator. I drove that truck for about a year and turned it in and took a position with a local trucking company. I tried that for a while and at the suggestion of my girlfriend (now fiancé), I went back to over-the-road and moved into a second Lease Purchase.
This time around, it was worse than the first time. The Lease Purchase company had gone through some tough financial times and the truck I wound up with was worse than the prior Lease Purchase unit. When it comes to getting stuck in a Lease Purchase you’re at their mercy as to the equipment that’s available. Basically, you go to their lot and pick out a truck from their inventory. You have to be extremely careful and go over the one you choose with a fine toothed comb or you can get stuck with a lot of problems.
Can you tell us about the good and the bad sides of a Lease Purchase?
Well, the only good side that I saw is that it costs virtually nothing on the front end to get into. There was no money down and no credit check. But in reality that’s a false situation because you actually wind up paying about triple what the truck is really worth. So, from a financial standpoint it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Also, with a Lease Purchase, you have a false sense of ownership because at the end of the day, you don’t own that truck and it’s highly unlikely you ever will. Another downside is you’re at the mercy of the leasing company when it comes to equipment. You generally don’t have much of a choice and most of the trucks are used and you don’t really know what you’re getting. Thankfully, I was only in these trucks a very short time period.
Tell us about your opportunity with Panther and how you got into a true ownership position with ES?
On day one when I went through orientation with Panther they asked me about my goals and what I wanted to achieve from a business perspective. I told my recruiter that my six-month goal was that I wanted to be out of my lease and to be a true owner operator of my own truck. My recruiter presented me with a number of options to make this happen and I chose ES because of their Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance and their Path to Ownership (PTO).
How did ES help you to become a true owner?
I made a call to ES and spoke with Bobby Gardner and explained my desire to become a true owner. He spent time with me and put me in touch with the right people: Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance and Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager. Everyone answered my questions and made me feel comfortable with my decision to purchase my own truck. The process was straight forward. I did the paperwork, selected a truck, and obtained an approval. It was that simple.
Danny found a slightly used 2017 Western Star with only 15,000 miles on it. I got a great deal! The truck is equipped with a Carrier Comfort Pro APU and a nice 82-inch factory sleeper. I LOVE it! Since I’ve owned it, I’ve put about fifty thousand miles on the clock and it’s just a joy to drive.
How has being an owner benefited your bottom line?
I can absolutely confirm that being a true owner has a positive cash-flow to my bottom line. I am putting more money in my pocket every month as an owner operator. I only wish I had known about ES and their MBA and PTO years ago!
What advice would you give someone who is stuck in a Lease Purchase agreement?
Get out of your LP as quickly as possible and call Expediter Services today about their Much Better Alternative to truck finance and Path to Ownership. You will be glad you did when your name is on the title of YOUR truck.
Stay tuned for even more true stories of True Truck Ownership in upcoming issues of Spotlight News.