Life and Family

Doing Your Job

What's the difference between "lease-to-own" and owner-operator? Are they about the same or not?

No, they're not the same.

Typically, as an owner-operator you already have a truck of your own. You
put that truck to work at a motor carrier and agree to work for a certain
rate. You retain control of the truck at all times because you own it.

In a lease-to-own arrangement, the carrier agrees to lease you a truck for a certain payment per month, and there's usually a downpayment involved or a
buy-out at the end of the contract. The carrier almost always retains ownership (and control) of the truck until you have made the final payment with the buy-out.

In these arrangements, it's seldom possible to break the lease and get your
money back. If the work gets slow and your miles are cutback, you won't be
able to leave and go somewhere else. If the relationship between you and the
carrier sours, you're stuck there 'til you pay off the truck. Some carriers
allow a early buy-out, but then you'd probably have to finance the deal
through a bank or finance company.

The thing to remember is, the carrier always controls the deal, and what
ever terms they dream up, you nave no choice but to accept them. If not, they can usually take the truck back, leaving you with nothing.

Generally -- but not always -- these deals are stacked heavily in favor of
the carrier. They're not usually the ones who loose money if things don't
work out.

I'd be real careful going into a deal like this of you don't already have a
terrific working relationship with the carrier.

Jim Park

Will carriers switch to hourly or flat rate pay if EOBRs are mandated?

They're certainly under no obligation to change anything in terms of how drivers are paid. I suspect the carrier response to this will depend on how drivers react. If drivers experience a cut in pay while complying with an EOBR mandate, they might complain about it, or they may not. If drivers don't raise the issue with carriers, carriers are not going to raise it on their own.

So, if drivers want to see the issue of pay addressed, I'd say they had
better make their concerns known to the carrier -- loud and clear. Typically, though, drivers just roll with the punches. It would be nice to see drivers do the right thing for a change and refuse to take this lying down.

Jim Park

Is there a limit to how many lights you can put on your rig?

Technically, you're limited to the requirements described in the DOT regulations. Over the years, drivers have been adding more lights, and the DOT really hasn't dome much about it. There is however, an movement afoot at DOT that would see the lighting requirements more vigorously enforced. Nothing in stone yet, but I've heard they're talking about it.

Jim Park

I got my AZ a month ago too. I'm now driving a DZ truck with an automatic transmission. I want to know if that will help me to get the experince I need? - 24-Nov-06
I just recreived my AZ licence 3 weeks ago. Was told to drive D trucks to get experience first. What do you suggest. I love the big rigs!!! - 08-Nov-06
I'm considering getting my Class 1 licence, but I'm only 19. Would I be stuck on Canada-only runs for two years? - 04-Jul-06
My carrier is getting fuel surcharges paid, but is not paying the appropriate fuel surcharge to his owner operators. Are there any court cases that speak to this problem? - 24-Jan-05
In the "All the Right Lies" article, (Oct. 2004 Issue): Does example 5a, where the driver was on duty for 2 hours, drives for 5 hours, goes off duty for three, then drives for an additional 5 hours, not put him in violation of the 14 hour rule by 2 hours? - 25-Oct-04
We use a satellite communications system, and I would like to know if DOT auditors are using these records to check logbooks. - 22-Dec-03
My partner and I have been driving team for a company for three months and we have yet to be paid. And, we’ve been told we have to Interstate as well. What can we do to get our pay? - 24-Nov-03
Some people think it’s legal to interstate, others say it isn’t. Recently, I was told U.S. Customs says it’s legal, while the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) says it isn’t. Who is in charge here? - 03-Nov-03
Isn't it rather foolish for drivers to work in teams so that carriers can nearly double their productivity, yet SPLIT the pay? Why shouldn’t both drivers get paid, since the companies are getting the extra cash from the extra freight hauled? - 03-Jun-03
I am 51, and have my az but no real practical driving experience. Any pionters? Thank you. - 10-May-03
When you consider the impact that the trucking industry has on the country, why can't trucking companies organize themselves to improve the industry and quality of life for it's drivers. Why can't they get together? - 05-Apr-03
Are there any laws governing how a company treats one owner-operator compared to another, i.e. one being fed more and better work than all the others? - 21-Feb-03
Do you know where I can find info on costs for Canadian fleets? - 28-Jan-03
What Trucking firms pay in US $ for Canadian owner-operators or drivers? - 25-Nov-02
Is it possible for foreign drivers to get work with Canadian or American trucking companies? - 16-Sep-02
Is it possible for an insullin-dependent diabetic to get a waiver permitting him to run international freight, even if he is on two needles a day? - 04-Apr-02
What is an I-94 Border Pass? - 04-Mar-02
What procedure would enable an individual with a criminal record to be acceptable by potential employers for border crossing, Pardon or waiver? - 20-Jan-02
I have a 1986 tractor, it’s in good shape and it’s certified, yet many carrier won’t even talk to me. Why does it matter how old your truck is? - 04-Jan-02
I was working on a broker's truck, had a minnor accient. The broker still wants me driving this truck, but the company says "no". Where should I go or what should I do? - 12-Dec-01
Is there such a thing as a standard carrier-owner-operator contract? - 31-Oct-01
I'm am 45 years old, Heavy Duty Mechanic I've also got my Class 1 license and would like to be an o/o. Can you please help me with any info that might make my dream of driving my own rig, and being on the road a possibility. - 07-Oct-01
Where is a good place to post your resume on the web? Where is a good place to post your resume and to look for driving positions on the web? - 02-Sep-01
I'm an American who has a CDL and I would like to know about career opportunities in Canada. - 17-Mar-01
I should graduate with my AZ licence on March 30/01. What are some good ways to evaluate prospective employers? I'm new to this industry and don't really know the best questions to ask. - 04-Mar-01
Can a company fire you for having a preventable accident? - 22-Feb-01
What is non slip-seating? - 30-Nov-00
Do you think that automated transmissions will be a good thing for the future? What about computer problems? - 25-Nov-00
I heard rumors of companies switching to automatic transmissions. Is this true? - 21-Nov-00
We haven't been o/o for a long time and we’d like to know more about the owner-operator associations that have started up recently. - 16-Nov-00
I'm 37, and I'm thinking of becoming a truck driver. How do I get started. - 02-Oct-00
Can a company fire you if you refuse a load cause you don't feel safe going there? - 02-Oct-00
If I refuse a run, but later accept it, can the company force me into a voluntary quit because they don't want to fire me? - 28-Jun-00
Why won't trucking companies stick together and get the rates up so they can pass them onto the ownerso/operators and divers ? - 29-May-00
Is there a study showing how many owner/drivers are necessary to satisfy the industry's needs in Canada? - 27-Mar-00
Is it hard to drive a tractor trailer? tractor trailer. mbessing@ds2.virtualscape.com wrote: Hello, my name is Pete, and I'm thinking about going to school for CDL class A. Is it that hard to drive a tractor trailer. - 20-Mar-00
I've got a question about the driver shortage and a company's responsability. Why is it so hard for a green horn trucker to get in with a good company? - 26-Feb-00
Why do carriers require me to pay them a holdback just so I can work for them? - 17-Dec-99
What is an AZ (or A-Z) driver? - 07-Nov-99
What are some of the costs incurred by owner operators when switching companies? - 19-Oct-99