From Driver to Owner: A Comedy of Trials Essay

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There may come a time in a long haul trucker's life where he wants to leave the the simplicity of being a company driver, and to enter the exciting world of being an independent contractor. While a company employed driver is assured his miles and loads, pay and benefits, an independent contractor is his own business entity, whether incorporated as a Limited Liability Company, or doing business under his own name (Kostas, 2012). The first step in him becoming an independent contractor, in this case, is procuring commercial equipment adequate to his needs. This in and of itself is a difficult step, an obstacle to financial freedom, as attaining the necessary equipment can be a daunting task. Whether he decides to locate a lender, buy from a…show more content…
Much of their stock may have mechanical deficiencies. With the driver responsible for the mechanical maintenance and upkeep on his equipment, this may ultimately become cost-prohibitive over time, leaving him with difficulty in making his payments, be they weekly or monthly. Additionally, due to the in-house financing option, the interest may be very high, or the down payment required might be beyond what the driver is capable of producing.

Some drivers prefer to simply rent their equipment. Leasing equipment might be a good option for a driver, when he has no money saved for a down payment (Barabas, n.d.). Leasing equipment can be done directly through a major carrier, if it offers a program, or through a third party leasing company. Participating in a lease program is a decent way for him begin a carrier as an independent contractor, though there are a few shortcomings which may limit his success or true independence. First of all, he won't be gaining any equity in the equipment he pays for and maintains on his own dime. While leasing through a carrier, he may have access to benefits offered by the carrier, such as fuel discounts, maintenance funds, freight networks, and the like, he is still beholden to the carrier. The truck still belongs to the carrier, and he doesn't have the freedom to just up and leave with the equipment if he isn't satisfied with the company.

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