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Old 05-04-2009, 04:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 12
Default Prime, Inc and lease operators

I am thinking about getting into driving and have been looking into company training programs. I see that Prime has one, then they expect you to become a lease operator. Is that a good idea? What are the pros and cons to that? They say you "make your own schedule" after the intial training..I know that is just something they true is it? Sure, you can make your own schedule, but you won't make any moey..that is what I am thinking..and if you are locked into a truck lease you certainly need to be making some money. Do you also have to qualify for a lease, or is that guaranteed as long as you are working for them? I know you have to agree to be with them for a year in order to get the "free" training also.
This is really just the start of my research, but I wanted to get some feedback from the people that know.
Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-04-2009, 07:34 PM
GMAN's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 17,082

You can find that much has been written on this forum about Prime and lease purchase. I can't think of anything positive about doing one of these fleece purchases. Some you can own after you pay all of your lease payments. Others, such as Prime are strictly leases which means that you make the payments and they own the truck. You are a company driver who makes truck payments and pays for all the costs of operating the truck. The way most of these programs are structured I don't see how anyone could make money with them. You don't need credit to qualify since they own the truck and will appreciate any payments you make for them. Most people who become involved in these fleece programs have little or no credit and no money. That is a bad combination, even in a good economy with a payment you can afford. These companies can make these programs sound really great. It usually only takes a few months to find out the truth. By then, you have less money than when you started and may also be behind in all your bills. Your credit is really messed up now and you are broke.

You will be much better off to find a decent company where you can drive a company truck and start to learn the business. In many ways this is a simple business. It isn't always simple to make a profit or survive. All of us who have been around this business for any length of time understand that there are good and bad times. Business is good and bad, depending on the time of year and economy. Right now things are not so good, even for company drivers.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:55 PM
Jumbo's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 2,102

You can make your own schedule as long as your schedule is the same as Primes
Don't trust anybody. Especially that guy in the mirror.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:18 PM
Board Regular
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212

Agree with Gman.

Why would you want to start out, fresh in a new industry - having to make a NUT every month (on top of whatever your REGULAR financial obligations happen to be) AND your bill for schooling.

When I decided to make the career change into the trucking industry - I was browsing all the truck manufacturers sites, trying to decide which BRAND NEW TRUCK I was going to buy when I got out of school.

Doing some "due diligence" on this, and other forums showed me I was WAY OFF BASE in my expectations.

If you're retired and independently wealthy (or at least have an income that covers your monthly overhead) and are getting into trucking for the travel and for kicks - THEN you can "make your own schedule".

If you're out there to put food on the table, then you take EVERY LOAD you can - so as not to piss-off your dispatcher and not get any loads AT ALL. I've heard too many horror stories of folks getting old trucks, paying too much for them, getting "starved out", and losing every penny they had into the truck - and walking away from a JOB, IN DEBT to the EMPLOYER.

Not THIS newbie. I'm taking the advice of those who've gone before me. I'm gonna drive for a few years as a COMPANY DRIVER, learn the biz, bank some $$ - THEN (and only then), if I choose to go O/O, I'll lease a truck from a LEASING COMPANY that has NOTHING TO DO WITH a trucking company, and lease on as an O/O - or get my own authority and go hustling for loads myself.

BAD ENOUGH to be a "slave" as a newbie driver, to whatever companies are HIRING US - until we get that year or two under our belts that are REQUIRED by the "better companies" - WITHOUT becoming a SLAVE to the TRUCK LEASE PAYMENT TOO...

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:56 AM
--grande--'s Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 56

I was looking into doing one of them there fleece programs. But after talking to a few of drivers that were doing these programs, I figured I was good with my $.38 a mile, no drama job :thumbsup: I am working on getting a raise, then I'll start putting away some change to get my own truck when things pick up.

I went into a pete dealer a while back and talked to them about buy direct. My credit is not the greatest, but I think they might work with me, then I will lease on someplace and make my own payments on my own truck. Im also pokeing around at used tractors Something will tickle my fancy, sooner or later :thumbsup:

I would stay way away from these programs, If you have the cash, look into a used truck.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 43

The reason these companies don't require credit is that if you go belly-up, they'll just take the truck back and re-lease it to someone else.
If you get on their bad side and aren't a "team player" and refuse too many low-paying loads, they'll starve you out.
That's why you should NEVER EVER enter into a lease-purchase agreement from the company that controls your freight.
There's no risk to the carrier in this situation.
But plenty of risk to you.

If you want to become a true owner operator then save up your money for a down payment on a good used truck.
Plenty of excellent used rigs available why on earth would you buy brand-new and at premium prices, to boot?
Learn some mechanical skills and do the preventative maintenance and routine repairs yourself.

I don't understand why anyone of sound mind would enter into a fleece-purchase scam.
You'd have to be dumber than a box of rocks.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 64

Its not a LEASE PURCHASE you dont buy the truck when youre lease is up you can turn it back in and get a brand new truck. I wouldnt do the lease not even if the economy was booming. Just go be a company driver for a company and see if you like driving then save some money and get youreself a used truck.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:00 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 12

Oh, I definitely was not LOOKING to become a lease operator..that is what their website shows as the "next step" after getting your CDL..I was just wondering if that was the way it was supposed to work and how much crap you'd put yourself into by going that route. I have no interest at all in being a lease operator OR an o/o. I just want to learn to drive and make some money without having any possibility of being stuck in a situation that I don't want. I assume Prime does have company drivers, but they certainly did not make it appear as if that was the path they preferred for their school grads.
I am looking into an independent school, but like the idea of company paid training..less money up front for me.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:16 PM
Syncrosonix's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: in bed with your woman
Posts: 1,916

they, c.r. england, swift, pride, and other carriers will push that lease-purchase thing like it's the greatest thing since velcro. you'll end up losing not only your real house, your ass, credit score, and any freedom you once had before signing up for something like that. go company and stay that way.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:17 PM
jd112488's Avatar
Board Regular
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Home of the BUCKEYES
Posts: 369

i don't see what is so great about velcro??
Keep on rockin'
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