Driver-to-Driver Perspective: Four Keys to Lease Purchase Success
Have you ever dreamed of owning your truck? Are you unsure of where to begin? For drivers interested in truck ownership, partnering with a major carrier who offers a quality lease purchase program, like PGT Trucking, can be a great way to get started. We asked our own Lease Purchase Drivers for their advice, giving you a driver-to-driver perspective on what you need to know before entering a lease-to-own agreement.
Deshontae Bean entered PGT’s Lease Purchase Program in October 2021, and he has quickly become one of our top revenue earners. Deshontae credits his success to partnering with the right trucking company and being disciplined as a small business owner. His goal is to work toward owning a small fleet, expanding PGT’s presence in the Southeast.
Steve Dowler has been with PGT since April 2015, using our Lease Purchase Program multiple times to help grow his own fleet. Steve already owns seven trucks with his business partner, and they hope to start bringing in their own customers as well, eventually becoming an Integrated Fleet Partner with PGT.
REMEMBER, IT’S A BUSINESS
While most truck drivers dream of being their own boss, not everyone is suited to running a business. As an Owner-Operator, you’re responsible for maintenance costs, fuel expenses, tolls, insurance, taxes and more. In order to be successful as an independent driver, you need to stay focused and maintain a business mindset. Deshontae believes in picking up the extra load on Friday to make the most out of his weekly revenue.
“You have to set yourself up for a Monday delivery,” says Deshontae. “Those weekly deductions add up, so every bit of revenue helps offset your ownership costs.”
By partnering with a major carrier like PGT, you will have our full support and a variety of resources to help you successfully transition to truck ownership. Our Lease Purchase Manager will guide you through your truck payments and monthly expenses, helping you stay on track financially during your entire lease. We also offer discounts on fuel, parts and tires, file state road and fuel taxes on your behalf, and provide flexible financing options with no balloon payments. PGT’s Lease Purchase Program is designed to help you succeed, and once your truck is paid off, we’ll still be here to support you as an Owner-Operator.
Steve also recommends that Lease Purchase Drivers hire qualified professionals for their financial needs, including tax preparation, account management and investment planning.
“Don’t try to do everything by yourself,” advises Steve. “Working with a professional will actually help you meet your financial goals faster and ensure your legal requirements are handled properly.”
EXPERIENCE IS KEY
Both Steve and Deshontae stress the importance of gaining experience as a company truck driver before entering a lease purchase agreement.
Deshontae compares the trucking industry to his service in the United States Marine Corps. New recruits are only tasked with learning the military’s standard operations, and they are not given the opportunity to advance until they’ve mastered the basic processes first. This same approach can be applied to a truck driving career.
“Lease purchase candidates should focus on the trucking basics and learn how to be a successful truck driver first,” says Deshontae. “Once they have that solid foundation, they can start learning the business aspects of truck ownership.”
Steve believes prospective lease purchase drivers can also benefit from working as a company driver, gaining a firsthand look at how a company operates before entering a long-term deal.
“When you enter a lease purchase agreement, the business side will be completely new to you,” states Steve. “If you’re already familiar with the company, it will be easier to succeed in their lease purchase program.”
Like Steve and Deshontae, PGT knows there is a lot for prospective lease purchase operators to learn, which is why we require at least one year of driving experience for our Lease Purchase Program. No experience? No problem! Start with PGT as a Company Driver, and we will support your career growth through our Lease Purchase Program when you’re ready.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION MATTERS
Behind every successful truck driver is a great fleet manager/dispatcher. At PGT, we know the power of a quality Driver-Fleet Manager relationship, and we aim to keep our driver-to-manager ratio low, around 25-1. Our Fleet Managers are responsible for more than just dispatch. For PGT Drivers, a Fleet Manager is their primary advocate at the company, not only working to find them the best lanes and freight available, but to also listen to their needs, build personal relationships and coach them toward success.
As a Lease Purchase Operator, you’re going to experience some challenges along the way, but if you have a positive relationship with your Fleet Manager, you can stay focused and get back on the road quickly. Deshontae knows the importance of effective communication in a strong Lease Purchase Program.
“You can’t be afraid to voice your opinion,” states Deshontae. “If there’s something you need, ask. Your Fleet Manager will work with you to ensure you reach your full potential.”
USE YOUR RESOURCES
Truck ownership can be intimidating, but with the right company, like PGT, you will have the resources and support you need to achieve your business goals. In addition to your Fleet Manager and Lease Purchase Manager, you have full access to company specialists for your payroll questions, tech support, compliance concerns and more. PGT’s Operations, Safety, Risk and Training Departments are available to you 24/7, ensuring that you have round-the-clock support no matter where you are.
For new Lease Purchase Operators, efficiently managing equipment expenses and repairs can be challenging, but with PGT, we will guide you through the process to get you back on the road and quickly earning revenue again. PGT offers comprehensive maintenance solutions powered by Penske Trucking Leasing, including 24/7 roadside assistance and access to over 850 shops across the U.S.
Steve knows that in order to be successful in Lease Purchase, you need to use your resources.
“Call your Fleet Manager, reach out to the departments at PGT, talk to other drivers, whatever you need to do,” says Steve. “You can’t do this on your own, but if you take advantage of these opportunities, you will become a truck owner.”
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
PGT is proud of our Lease Purchase Program, helping truck drivers achieve their independence and grow their business. Whether you dream of owning a full fleet or just your truck, PGT will support your goals. We have late model equipment available, and for the first four weeks, tractor payments are deferred and free trailer rental is included to help you get started. Lease Purchase Operators earn 75% of line haul revenue and 100% of fuel surcharges. Apply today!