If your home bills aren't out of line and you know going in that the lease is set up to benefit the carrier offering the lease and you can live with the income based on a 2000 mile week minus fuel and fixed carrier expenses go for it. If you're looking to get rich forget it. You'll make a hair more than most company drivers but will assume more headaches and expenses.
Half way decent companies that offer this idea are Central Refrigerated, ACT out of Liberty Ks, CRST Malone. But even then it is what YOU make it and you can't be spending time and money in the chrome shop and expect to succeed. Fuel will be your biggest expense so you can't be driving to be cool, you have to drive smart. Here's an excellent resource for you... Secrets of better fuel economy
If you choose to drive for a fleet owner DO NOT accept a 1099 contract. You'll take a hit on taxes and decrease your SS benefits.
If you choose company driving you'll be at minimum wage for an experienced driver when you hit $.38 cpm.
mostof the owner-ops I drove for paid by the Hour.Not the mile.Yes I know It is hard to find these types of jobs anymore.Any mail carrier will pay you by the hour,plus pay for your motel expenses,eating expenses and any other expenses you Incur while driving for them.1 here in Ohio is called Sodrel.There starting pay was $16.85 an hour but would only let you drive 10 hours a day.Then take your required time off befoore resuming your run.They ran all over the lower 48 and even had some states they had rented condos yuu would go into to get your proper rest as well as returants to eat at to keep your expense down.Just a thought,Hope this helps you
Driver, I would avoid the lease purchase program at all cost with any company. Better to just remain a company driver. After cost of fuel and all other expenses it all equals out the same in my opinion. When you are your own boss and drive on the lease purchase program you tend to stay out longer to make that payment. My opinion stay clear.
How mechanically inclined are you? I have bought cheap junkyard trucks for $5000 to $7000 3 times now. Don't take loads to Indonesea & Japan & Alaska & stupid shit like that but stay regional with it until you get the bugs worked out of it. Only spend your money on the necessities and you should get 2 or 3 years out of it. Pay cash for it. No payments. And if it all falls apart you junk it. You're not locked into anything long term. After a year or two, if you like what you're doing & wanna stick with it, trade up. Be prepared to carry tools with you & fix most stuff on the side of the road to get you home. It's possible. I've done it & I'm no ace mechanic or rocket scientist. Try to find one that has a recent rebuild on the engine & looks half respectable. Even if you fail...you're only out a few thousand dollars...not locked into some big payment that you can't find in your couch cushions. My first truck was a 1990 cabover Frieghtliner. Old MS Carriers truck. I paid $5000 for it. My first year I did $145,000 gross & got $4500 back on my taxes. And no payments. I got about a year and a half out of it then got rid of it & bought an FLD Freightliner off my buddy for $6500 with a fresh engine. It CAN happen if you know how to get by with little & how to fix stuff yourself.
Trucker Charity and everyone gave you good advice
If you decide to do a lease to own look at the end of the lease, How much will the balloon payment be?
With Central Ref their balloon payments are around 60K. New trucks when you get them.
Christner Trucking I think have a 1 dollar buy out but their trucks are older when you get one.
US Express I believe is 1 dollar buy out. Older trucks also I think
How ever if you play it smart, drive for the fuel milage.
Watch your money you can own a a new truck in 3 years. I have 4 friends that bought their trucks through Central and now pulling for LandStar, Central, J.B Hunt O/O ext.
You can do well as a L/O but you have to run it like a business and as a truck L/O business your highest cost will be fuel. Cut it as much as you can to come out ahead. Just my 2 cents..