In general, no, but it’s not because we want control – it’s because our dispatchers are incredible at what they do. After drivers work with our dispatchers, they tell us they don’t want to pick their own loads.
Our seasoned dispatchers are booking loads every day out of different areas. Freight can be somewhat seasonal, and what might be a great rate going to Colorado today might be not a great rate next week. In other words, just because a load is paying really well going in doesn’t mean you won’t be deadheading out.
We have the tools and experience to make sure what looks like a great rate is actually a great rate. Dispatchers are looking to maximize your weekly revenue – not just the revenue going out to a location on a particular day.
On top of that industry knowledge, our dispatchers make sure you have a scheduled appointment that’s confirmed so you’re not sitting around and waiting all day. You want our dispatchers looking out for your best interest.
In addition, we have a lot of customer freight, which means no matter how high or low the market is, our freight is reliable and steady.
With all that said, we take our drivers’ preferences to heart. A lot of companies don’t care what you want or where you want to go – we’re quite the opposite. We listen to every driver and honor their requests. We also take home time seriously.
Our dispatchers also go above and beyond to ensure drivers don’t get burnt out by building in needed breaks at home. They make sure you’re doing well both financially and mentally. We really take pride in how we treat our drivers – like family.
#3: What do you offer for teams?
We really have the ideal setup right now for team drivers. The combination of high compensation, light loads, and dedicated lanes is a team’s dream.
Here are the highlights:
Each driver gets 30 cents for all miles the truck travels per week (even when you’re sleeping!)
Dedicated light loads under 10,000 pounds
90% drop and hook – no sitting around, about 15-minute load and unload time
In and out of Florida
Cash bonus if you run 3 round trips per week, which most teams take advantage of
Each team driver consistently grosses up to $2,200 per week
It’s pretty rare to be home every day, but it depends on the lane. In some instances, yes.
If you’re a Florida-based driver, we do have some mail runs that are home every day, but they’re all taken right now. With that said, the lanes we have are constantly changing, so if you’re interested in driving for us, send us an inquiry and we’ll get back to you if we have a good fit for what you’re interested in.
#5: What makes of tractors are available for lease?
We’re currently leasing 2015 and newer ProStar Internationals.
#6: Do you have driving jobs in my city/state?
It depends on the contracts we get. We always have driving jobs in Atlanta, Miami, and Orlando. We typically go as far west as the Mississippi.
As far as regionality, we’re heavy in the southeast and go up the eastern seaboard.
#7: What type of freight do you pull and in what kind of trailer?
We do FAK (freights of all kind) in dry vans.
#8: I have careless driving on my Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) – can you hire me?
As you probably know, insurance companies frown upon careless driving on your MVR. Hiring safe drivers is our top priority, so we feel most comfortable with at least 5 years since the last incident. We handle careless driving from the last 3-5 years on a case-by-case basis.
#9: When can I start a lease purchase contract?
If you’re interested in becoming a lease purchase owner operator at Freight X, you must be a company driver for at least 90 days first.
#10: If I’ve been driving for many years, do I still need to be a company driver for 90 days?
Yes. During the 90-day period, you have a chance to get familiar with us, the type of freight we haul, etc. We also get more comfortable with your reliability as a driver. We have a lot of risk when doing a lease purchase agreement, so we also appreciate the extra time to get to know you as a driver.
If you know from the beginning that you’re interested in lease purchasing, we’ll start you out in the truck you want to eventually lease. You have the opportunity to try it before you buy it, and we also repair anything that’s wrong with the truck as you do your DVIRs (Daily Vehicle Inspection Report).
This helps you get comfortable with us before we go through all the paperwork of a lease.
#11: After 90 days do I just automatically go into the lease?
After the 90-day period as a company driver, you can choose to stay a company driver or you can choose to lease purchase the truck. As long as we’ve gauged you’ll be successful in the lease purchase program (not everyone is a good fit!), then we’ll put together a contract.
You’ll pick a truck (if it’s not the one you’re already driving), we’ll settle on the price, the payments, etc. We help you with everything – plates, insurance, fuel discount, and more.
#12: What are you doing for COVID-19?
Drivers can rest assured that Freight X has a robust continuity plan. We have prepared our office with remote work capability, so your dispatcher can continue serving you from home if need be. Our phone system is equipped to transfer to our cell phones seamlessly, and we have a secure way of connecting to our information with a VPN.
Our drivers are also prepared to face the challenges. We know finding meals can be the biggest challenge as many restaurants are closed, but nearly all Freight X trucks have fridges in them. We’ve also given all drivers a credit to purchase hand sanitizer, and we’re ready to offer additional support to our drivers in any way we can.
We mean it when we say we are prepared for anything. We know drivers are our everyday heroes, and it’s during a crisis that they get the much-needed attention they deserve. Thank you to all of our drivers – and the drivers across our great country – for being true front line heroes.
In order to get started as an owner operator, the first step is to buy your own truck. However, that’s easier said than done. A lot of times, dealerships won’t offer financing – even if you have perfect credit. That means you can’t get a loan on a truck, so your only option is to pay cash for it.
Do you have $50,000+ in cash sitting around? Not many do.
That’s why many drivers turn to their trucking company for a lease-purchase opportunity. You’re still an owner operator – you’re just leasing your truck until you complete the payments and it’s yours.
I’ve structured the lease purchase contract here at Freight X, and I’ve done enough of these deals to hear about what other companies are doing.
It seems to me that many trucking companies are ripping off truckers who don’t understand some of the contract details. That leaves a lot of truckers with a bad taste in their mouth, and just hearing the words “lease purchase program” turns them off.
In order to save you from getting burned by a bad lease-purchase agreement, I’ve come up with 7 of the most common things you should avoid in a lease-purchase contract.
Of course, we’d love to strike a deal with you if you’re looking to become an owner operator, but no matter who you go with, I want to make sure you’re not getting screwed over.
1. Run away from balloon payments at the end of the contract.
Some lease purchase agreements have what’s called a balloon payment that’s due at the end of the contract period. This recently happened with a driver who came to us in the middle of their lease-purchase contract with another company.
He was paying around $600 per week for nearly 5 years, and the final balloon payment was $50,000 at the end. That makes absolutely no sense – that truck isn’t even worth $50,000! Luckily, his maintenance account had $25,000 in it, and they let him use that balance towards the balloon payment. He came up with the other $25,000.
Most people aren’t in his position and wouldn’t be able to afford that. If that were the case, the company would send you into another lease, and it just goes on and on. You’d never end up actually owning a truck!
At Freight X, we have no balloon payment. If the company you’re talking to has a balloon payment, it better be something reasonable that you think you could come up with.
2. Make sure the maintenance account doesn’t have too many restrictions.
What’s the maintenance account going to look like? We hold between 12-20 cents per loaded mile and put it into a maintenance account for you. It’s your money, but we hold it there until the lease agreement is over so that you have money available to make necessary repairs.
And that makes a lot of sense. Think about that – if I was
driving your car, you’d want to hold something back to fix it. For example, in
a worst-case scenario, you could walk away from it or the car could break down
and you may not have the money saved to fix it.
Once you own your truck, it’s entirely up to you whether you want to keep the maintenance account going or not. Smart owner operators still do a maintenance account because they know they won’t save that money on their own. They save 10-12 cents per mile until there’s a good chunk in there, and then we’ll pause it for some time until it’s needed again.
You may not have a credit card or the cash to fix an issue in the middle of the night if you break down, so that maintenance account is a little insurance for you. I encourage it, but it’s not mandatory once you own your truck.
So, when you’re in your lease-purchase agreement, I let you use that maintenance money for any repairs on the truck – other places have way more restrictions on that.
For example, here are some questions you want to ask about the maintenance account while you’re in the lease purchase contract:
Am I allowed to use the money in the maintenance
account to pay off the balance of my truck?
Once I pay off the truck, is it mandatory to
have a maintenance account or is it my choice?
Do I have to get maintenance done at the company
shop, or can I get it done anywhere I want to?
Some guys say, “What if my maintenance account gets too big?”
I say it can’t get too big, because if you end up with more money in your account then you owe me for the truck, we just sign the truck over and it’s yours.
3. Make sure you have the freedom to go to any shop to get maintenance done.
At Freight X, you don’t have to get your truck maintenance done at our shop. However, it can be advantageous to you to do so, and here’s why.
If you take your truck to an outside shop, their goal is to make sure they charge you for everything you may possibly need. Their job is to make money fixing your truck.
At our shop, our job is to get you back on the road as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. It doesn’t mean we sacrifice quality or safety – things that are necessary have to be done – but our goals are aligned.
In a dealership, they’ll go, “Well, it’s not re-genning, so
you’ll need a new DPF filter, a DOC, possibly your doser isn’t working… and
then we’ll need to run it through a re-gen to see if that fixes your problem.”
That right there is an $8,000-$10,000 bill.
We would attempt to run it through a re-gen and see if there were any codes that came up during that process. We’d investigate those codes, and try to determine what the actual source of the issue is. It could be a wiring issue, a sensor not reading correctly… it could be a simple $1 fix. Either way, we’ll solve the root of the problem.
In defense of the dealerships, they’re going to throw parts
at the problem hoping that they’ve hit the real problem with one of them. They
don’t want you to come back to their shop and have them rework something
because it isn’t fixed. I can’t say that’s totally true, but that’s what I’d
say in defense of them. Maybe they aren’t all crooked, so that’s a possible
In any case, if you come to our shop, we have your best interest in mind, and we also charge a lot less per hour than outside dealerships. We charge $80 per hour whereas outside dealerships charge anywhere from $110-$130 per hour.
No mechanics are perfect. We all know that. Sometimes, you just don’t know. Your truck acts funky on the road, but when you bring it in, it stops acting funky. It just happens. But we have a higher success rate than outside dealerships – that’s for certain.
Another thing to take into consideration is that we’re just easier to work with. Here’s an example.
I had a truck the other day where the blend door wasn’t operating correctly. We tested the controller and found that it was likely the problem. We replaced it, and it didn’t fix the problem. Turns out it was the blend door actuator, which was a much more expensive fix. I didn’t charge the owner operator for the controller in that scenario.
I’ll stand behind that and say, “Well, we tried to fix the cheaper thing first and it didn’t work.” An outside dealership would charge you for both.
In any case, if our shop was terrible, I would want the option to go somewhere else. So that’s the case in our lease purchase agreement. I think our shop is awesome, but you do have the freedom to go anywhere you want.
You don’t want to be limited to the company’s shop, especially if it’s not great.
4. Ask if you’re allowed to pay the truck off early.
Are you allowed to pay the truck off early? We have a clause in our contract where after half the payments, you’re more than welcome to pay the truck off early.
Other places require you to stay with them the whole time.
Paying off your truck early allows you to save on interest.
Additionally, if the company’s not treating you fairly, not giving you loads, or not keeping you working, you might want to pay off the truck and go somewhere else.
If I was an owner operator, I’d be asking a ton of questions
and would be a bit apprehensive because of how many drivers have come into my
office with a bad history of lease purchase programs. They come in and say
either they’ve had a terrible experience, or a friend has.
The general consensus is that whenever you get close to paying off your truck, they stop giving you loads. We obviously don’t do that, but some places do.
I’m not in the business of leasing trucks. I’m in the
business of running freight. I have 3 choices when it comes to a truck – I can
sell it, trade it in, or lease it to someone and give them a start at their own
business. It makes me feel good to play a part in that and have a new business
partner. So why would I stop running freight when that’s my primary goal here?
At the end of the day, you don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you’re stuck not making money, so just make sure you have the option to pay it off early.
5. Don’t go for really long leases.
Like I mentioned before, one of our drivers came to us from another company on a 5-year lease. In my opinion, that’s just too long to be leasing a truck. You want to actually own it at some point!
We structure our lease-purchase contracts to be between
2-3.5 years long depending on what you want your weekly payment to be.
A typical weekly payment is $400-$500 per week, which just depends on the value of the truck. However, we can play around with the length of the contract to get that payment where it needs to be for you.
Some drivers like a higher payment so that they can be done
with it sooner, while others prefer a lower payment to help with cashflow.
We’re flexible and are proud of it!
6. Some companies pay you a smaller percentage if you’re leasing a truck.
I’ve heard that a lot of companies pay a smaller percentage
of the load to a lease-purchase driver versus an owner operator. We don’t feel
You’re doing the same amount of work, you have the same maintenance, the same costs… we pay lease-purchase drivers the same percentage we pay owner operators. The only difference is you have a truck payment to make.
7. Don’t overpay for the truck!
This may sound obvious, but I see it all the time and it’s absolutely shocking to me: the purchase price of the truck ought to closely match the market value of the truck.
I’ve seen a driver sign a lease agreement for a 2013
Freightliner for $120,000. It should’ve been $50,000-$60,000.
Obviously, the price will depend on the condition, the
mileage, is it automatic or standard, does it have an APU… but anything that’s
exorbitantly high like that is a bad deal!
Let’s put it this way: a stripped down 2019, brand new, 0
miles… you could buy that for $120,000, you know?
We are extremely reasonable. For example, we just bought a truck for $72,000 and lease purchased it for $72,000. Apparently, that’s unheard of, but not here at Freight X.
And don’t forget that there’s no credit check – we just give you the keys, you sign the lease agreement, and you start driving. A dealership isn’t going to do that.
At the end of the day, our goal at Freight X is to be business partners with you. That’s why we are so fair and transparent with our lease purchase agreements, and we want to ensure you’re as successful as you can be.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave a comment below if you have any experience lease-purchasing trucks!
Freight X, LLC is a transportation company with terminals in Georgia and Florida. We run freight of all kinds and have the capacity to run reefer or flatbed loads. We are always recruiting new drivers, so please contact us if you’re interested in joining the team.