Prime Lease-Operator: Questions

Discussion in 'Prime' started by csmith1281, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. 1oldschool

    1oldschool Bobtail Member

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    Leasing a truck to start your own business and having to stay in it at weeks on end, is no way rewarding way to be in business.
     
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  2. xray

    xray Bobtail Member

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    Do you pay vehicle insurance as a lease operator at Prime?
    I’m considering going lease IF insurance like liability (the same stuff you pay for your personal automobiles) is not something you have to pay for. I don’t see anyone talking about vehicle insurance anywhere which is probably around 900/month
     
  3. crocky

    crocky Medium Load Member

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    Insurance is part of the lease payment. Aside from the APU rental and the actual lease payment there is roughly about $150/week additional charges for things like your occupation insurance (like workmans comp) the tire mileage fee and so on.

    Then of course there is fuel and tolls..

    As far as the bay sayers, it seems there are tons of debbie dowers on this forum that just want to ##### about this or that.

    Making money as lease is up to you and your dispatcher working together as well as luck..

    I went company 1st for a very short stint then went lease. I suggest going company 1st to learn about what you are doing before going lease, because it's easy to go in the hole or work a lot for nothing as lease if you dont know what to do.

    If you want to go home every 2 weeks then go company but if staying on the road isnt a big deal go lease.

    It's not hard to go home as lease, you just have to plan it better. Example if I want to go home, I make sure to run a load or two over Tues-Thurs so I end up home either Thurs or Fri with about $1,500 give or take income. I can then stay home Fri -Wed and leave and still have positive income both weeks.

    Or if you want to stay home longer just have them set aside a bit of money each week to cover your payment..

    As I say it's not hard to go home if you plan well , it's just not profitable to go home every 2 weeks or so..
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  4. nofreetime

    nofreetime Road Train Member

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    We have different insurances than personal vehicles but they mostly serve the same purposes.

    Liability and cargo insurance is where the major bulk of the cost is I've heard of new owner operators running under their own authority paying $15,000/yr for this. However when you're running under someone else's authority like Prime for example as an independent contractor(IC) whether that be as an owner op or lease op it becomes the company's responsibility to furnish liability and cargo and the IC is not charged. I think some of the folks in Prime's leasing office tell lease operators that the cost of these insurances are included in the lease payments and that's not entirely accurate but it may give drivers the impression that their roughly $1000/wk lease payments cover more services than they do. As an owner operator with Prime I do not make lease payments or liability/cargo insurance payments.

    IC's do pay bob tail insurance @ $8.58/wk & occupational Accident @ $28.56/wk

    I don't recall if lease operators pay physical damage )which is basically the trucking equivalent to the comp and collision of an auto policy) or if this is in fact what's included the lease payment. However physical damage isn't nearly the cost of liability/cargo. For example $135,000 in coverage enough to cover the value of a new truck should run around $100/wk.

    If fixed costs are something you're watching as an owner operator at Prime with paid off equipment total fixed costs can be kept down fairly well mine is $14,000/yr which is low by industry standard. Compare that to a lease operator who's going to be at $60,000-$65,000/yr in fixed costs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  5. csmith1281

    csmith1281 Medium Load Member

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    I’ll tell you when I pay above and beyond my lease payment as Lease Operator: bobtail, workers comp/occupational accident, and physical damage. It comes out to about $100 per week. That’s it. There are other insurances, but they are covered in the lease payment, which is what the leasing office told me. I was surprised because when I bought my truck and became an owner operator, I had an additional insurance costs that I was surprised to see on my settlement. They told me under a regular lease, those insurance costs are covered by the lease payment. As an owner operator, it is not.

    People new to Trucking, take heed. This business is no different than any other: income minus expenses equals profit. You have to know your fixed expenses, variable expenses, breakeven point, and profit goals. Paying your driver… You… Is an expense. If you can’t profit more than you would as a company driver, don’t bother buying yourself a job. It’s not worth the extra headache and tax liability if you’re not going to make more money… Significantly more. My recommendation is if you are going to go lease, don’t do something stupid and lease a brand new truck. Get into a used truck. Keep your overhead low. Not everybody will be able to do that, of course, but if you can that will give you a better chance of success. Ultimately, look at the situation. Tons of people are doing it, and there are a lot of success stories. There are also a lot of failures. It isn’t because the carrier is lying to you in hopes to make money while you go broke. It’s because some people pay attention and work hard and others are expecting prime to hand them a business in a box with no effort or thought required. Lots of people lease trucks right out of training and do really well with it. But it would be a really good idea to know something about the numbers involved before getting into it so that you can remind full of your expenses like eating out, clothing, and all the other crap that truck stops, casinos , Hotels, and tourist traps want you to spend your money on. Bottom line is this: prime has your back. They will do everything they can to make you successful. But they can’t force you to know your numbers and run your truck like a business. You will make money if you choose to do that. If not, you won’t.
     
  6. freebirdnca

    freebirdnca Bobtail Member

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    Which companies?
     
  7. crocky

    crocky Medium Load Member

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    As far as leasing a older truck.. I did that and I'm not 100% sure I'd do it again if I planned to lease again..

    I took the older truck expected to see more money go in my pocket. In fact I was averaging more money to my truck with the newer truck.. I'm now making less with my older truck than I made with a new one..

    I dunno if my dispatcher decided he doesn't like me anymore or the loads are worse or what, but I'm am seeing less money to my truck than I did with my new one.

    Also, the older truck gets worse mpg and there is no warranty. My new truck I never paid for anything except putting a used box on the side. The used one everything is on me and again I'm making less than I did.

    Again not sure if it's a dispatcher issues, load issues, bad luck or whatever but I can tell you I dont see $2k loads much if at all now and I used to see them.. I dont thin in I've seen a single $3k load since I got this truck..

    I'm getting lots of $800 to 1500 loads... so I'm moving on after I turn this truck in and buying a truck to go elsewhere..
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  8. IrreverentCrawfish

    IrreverentCrawfish Light Load Member

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    I'm a newer driver (about 1 year behind the wheel and leasing at Prime for the past 6 months) so take my opinion with a grain of salt, by here's my thoughts on the Prime lease program and the company overall. Both Prime and their lease program are much better than the haters at the truck stop will tell you, but they're also not the greatest or highest paying job in the industry. From what I've observed, Prime is a wonderful option for rookies like me to break into the industry, learn to drive, and start building a resume. Our training program is a great start for a new driver, and from what I've heard about training at the other megas, ours is longer and more in depth. Leasing is the same way: it's a great START. For a 20 year industry veteran, there are plenty of other ways to make more money doing better work. But for someone like me who wants to learn all about trucking and simultaneously learn the business side of the industry, it's a great option. One of the main things that makes it great for learning is the fact that you can bail on your lease at any time if things go south, and you certainly can't do that if you buy a truck on credit. However, that freedom comes at a price. Lease payments are very very expensive. I'm in a 2017 Pete 579, and my truck and apu payment together are $1034/week. If I went and financed a truck at the dealership, it would be much cheaper. I just want to lease for a while so I can learn with the ability to back out if things go wrong, all the while saving money for a down payment to purchase a truck down the road. Ultimately, Prime's lease program is great for a single purpose: learning to run a trucking business. Once you get a bit of experience and finish a lease, go buy a truck (or pay off your lease truck if you really like it), and either bring it to Prime as an O/O, or take your truck elsewhere. The lease program is a stepping stone instead of a career, and it suits that purpose well.
     
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  9. csmith1281

    csmith1281 Medium Load Member

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    Atlanta, GA
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    1) If you do the math, you’ll see it as a horrible deal to complete at lease at Prime and then buy the same truck from them. “If you really like it” you would buy it? For that kind of money, let’s hope the truck is really good in bed and does dishes.

    2) I agree with you that leasing at prime can be a great stepping stone to building a bigger, better career / business, but once you have completed a lease, why would you want to go buy a truck and bring it back to Prime? Rates are pretty low there.
     
  10. IrreverentCrawfish

    IrreverentCrawfish Light Load Member

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    I'm not saying it's smart to buy the truck from Prime at the end. I'm just saying it's an option. And rates aren't that bad. They're not amazing, but I usually get over $2/mile.
     
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