There is an enormous need for truck drivers in the USA to transport materials and food items with an increasing population.
It is a profitable profession for hardworking individuals to earn a handsome amount per annum by driving their trucks.
Do Truck Drivers Buy Their Own Truck? A truck driver can buy his own truck by seeking bank loans, online lenders, finance schemes, or leasing opportunities from a trucking company. You can hire a salesperson or a dealership to find the one best suited for his requirements. Moreover, it is financially profitable to own a truck; however, it comes with greater responsibility.
However, it requires good research before buying one regarding selecting trucks, possible funding options, legal requirements, and finding work.
Do Truck Drivers Buy Their Own Truck?
I have been working as a truck owner-operator for the last 10 years, having a tremendous experience of all possible pros and cons. Here is a brief guide for newcomers who want to indulge in this business as owner-operators.
There are several financing options available to buy a truck for commercial purposes. However, you need to work out the pros and cons of all possible options and select the most feasible one.
It is crucial because your business as an owner-operator will solely depend on your choices at this stage. So here are a few financing options and other important points to consider while buying a truck.
The bank loans you can get to buy a commercial truck depend on many factors, including your business idea, experience, credit score, and financial status.
Larger banks offer loans for trucks, but they have strict qualifying criteria. However, it is a good option due to the lower interest rate and longer terms.
If you have good credit history and few years of experience driving a truck and goods hauling jobs, you have a significant possibility of getting selected for a loan.
Moreover, you can get loans without a down payment. However, you will need to provide beforehand the make, model, VIN, mileage report, and other legal documentation, including driving licenses at the time of application.
Truck drivers can avail this option to buy their truck if they don’t qualify the criteria of larger traditional banks.
Online lenders provide finances for commercial vehicles despite the bad or below-average credit history. However, they have strict conditions, higher mark-up rates, and shorter terms to repay the loan.
All online lenders present are not reliable and can change their terms and conditions after you accept their offer. In addition, some of them can also involve in fraudulent activities.
Therefore, do thorough research, read reviews, and check the business profile of online lenders before applying for loans.
You will find another term of alternative lenders for them as they are different from traditional bank loans.
To operate a trucking business, you can work without even buying a truck. Some companies provide vehicles on lease to manage.
In this way, you can share your responsibilities and pay an agreed amount as rent to the owner. It is beneficial as you will pay lesser monthly installments and no down payment as well.
Few companies also offer truck leases to some experienced drivers on fixed monthly payments.
However, it will bind them to work for the company. Otherwise, they have to return the truck if they decide to quit the company or driving.
Specialized Truck Financing Companies
It is a good option for drivers to find a lender specializing in financing new and used trucks.
They will provide the necessary finances to buy one and the knowledge and guidance regarding its selection.
Moreover, they will also work as your agent to smoothly finalize a deal and complete the whole process.
However, they have strict criteria and will support only profitable existing businesses or potential buyers. Therefore, if you are a startup owner, you will not be able to avail the opportunity.
Buy a used truck
Buying a used truck can be an option if you don’t have sufficient funds and want to own it for the first time. However, you will need to find a vehicle in good shape fulfilling the following criteria for a good deal:
- First, it should not be more than 5-7 years old.
- Second, purchase it from a reliable dealer or somebody you know.
- Third, it should have less than 500,000 miles of operation.
- Finally, check the maintenance logbook for any major breakdowns and engine conditions.
By observing the following measures, you will be able to buy a reliable truck with less frequent maintenance and excessive downtimes. Moreover, it will help you get the loan from a lender worth the price.
Purchase from a trucking company
Trucking companies keep on trading their used vehicles from time to time as a side business.
However, you can buy the one from them because they keep their vehicles up to the mark by hiring expert mechanics and regular preventive maintenance. Moreover, they keep a log of all the maintenance and repair activities.
If you have a good working relationship with the company you are working for, you can even purchase the truck you have been driving. It will be a smooth transition from a company driver to an independent owner-operator.
Purchase from an authorized dealership
One of the reliable and best options to buy is from authorized dealerships of the truck manufacturers instead of random sales agents.
They will offer you not only quality products but also will provide additional maintenance services for the future.
Another option can be to find a reliable salesperson with a good reputation. Moreover, he should know about trucks and a regular one working in the field. It is an easy method to afford a new truck.
Pros and cons of buying your own truck
I will suggest taking your time to consider all factors before leaving your company driver job. Here is a brief guide to give you a clear picture of the situation.
If properly planned, you will earn more money as an owner-operator. It multiplies with the expansion of your business.
Owning a vehicle gives you freedom of your working hours, holidays, and quantity of work.
The owner-operator can better maintain his truck with a greater sense of road safety.
Owner-operators have to face fewer psychological issues due to the stress of meeting the delivery timelines and penalties opposed by the companies in case of failures.
Startup truck owners have more significant financial risks involved as they have to pay installments and other expenses of their vehicle by themselves.
You have to maintain all the documentation and legal paperwork for permits, taxes, driving license, and registration.
The income of the owner-operator depends on the quantity of work, and there can be periods with no income like the recent pandemic.
Some unexpected accident or truck breakdown can bring down your business and substantial financial loss.
Types of truck drivers in the USA
There are 3 possible options for a truck driver in the USA. Each type has its benefits and responsibilities.
It would be best to go through thorough research before choosing an opportunity to know what you are getting into.
They work as employees for a trucking company. Vehicles they drive are the property of the owner company, and they perform the delivery jobs assigned to them. Their payment can be either on a per hour basis or per mile basis.
Owner-operator working as a subcontractor for a company
They own their trucks and provide services for a company as subcontractors. Some drivers also lease trucks from their employer company and pay their installments to become owners within a few years.
It enables them to own them and share responsibilities with the trucking company if they don’t have the investment to buy.
These drivers buy their trucks and independently carry out the transportation of goods jobs from their clients.
Their fleet can vary from 1 truck to multiple trucks with time. It gives freedom to work on easy terms and earn increased profits.
However, they need to take care of all paperwork, legal requirements and finding work to sustain their business.
Being an owner-operator is a critical decision in your career due to the considerable investment and greater responsibilities involved.
Therefore, you do sufficient research to work out your options and gather all the needed information. It will help you to buy a reliable truck with the best financing options.