Several years ago, nobody in trucking ever publicly spoke about the scam and abuse of the truck driver DAC report or the trucking company owner operator lease purchase programs offered through the trucking companies. There were written comments and posts on a few of the trucking blogs and forums, but never out openly and in the public eye. Truth About Trucking changed that. Never considering that possible change could occur within these two industry frauds, my primary purpose in exposing these scams were purely for information.
Information and knowledge that needed to be exposed, publicly, in order for CDL students and new drivers to become aware of just a few of the abuses that exist in OTR trucking.
Just recently, I received an email from a driver who stated: “I’ve been a driver for 15 years and never even heard of the DAC report. Now, I see it everywhere.”
I was listening to a show on Sirius Satellite Radio and they were talking about the DAC abuse and I had to laugh a little . . . now, everyone seems to be talking and writing about the problem with this DAC issue. Also, many are now discussing the fraudulent scheme of the lease purchase contracts by many of the trucking companies. I have to laugh because I always wonder, “Where were they all several years ago?” Regardless of how it all got started, the most important factor in all of this is . . . they are talking about it.
In the past years, how many new CDL drivers have fallen victim to the DAC and the lease scams? They knew nothing about them because nobody ever told them. Although the critics have grown more silent, I will still receive a message now and then which will tell me that I will never be able to change anything because the trucking industry is too big and too powerful. First of all, I agree. I alone, will never be able to change anything . . . but I, along with thousands of others . . . will.
The DAC may continue on being DAC and the trucking companies may continue on with their lease purchase plans, but what these critics are missing is that change has already happened. These two abuses within the industry are now more known than ever. New drivers coming into the industry are more aware and knowledgeable than they were before. Thousands have now learned about the DAC report abuse and thousands more have discovered the trickery and deceit behind these owner operator lease programs which are a big money-maker for the trucking companies. This awareness . . . this knowledge . . . IS CHANGE.
I always like to make it a point to mention that there are a handful of trucking companies that offer a decent, reputable owner operator lease option. However, for the large majority, these lease programs through the companies are totally designed for the driver to fail. These trucks have been paid for over and over again by drivers. They are a huge money-pit for truck drivers and a massive income provider for the trucking companies.
Many advertisers for owner operators will claim earnings of $100,000 plus per year, attempting to pull in the naive. There are those who do gross $100K and more, but they are experienced veterans, yet these numbers are dwindling. Also, remember that this number is gross and many will see net income of 50% or less . . . in a good economy. In a 2008 study, the report showed that the average net income for a truck owner operator was $36,150 and the average net income for a company driver was $38,000. Owner operators contracted through a trucking company lease program has shown a failure rate as high as 87% in the past. Our recent owner operator lease purchase program survey brings a more recent update to this trucking scam.
For those truck drivers wanting to become owner operators, the lease purchase plans offered through trucking companies have a proven track record of being the wrong road to take. Leasing should be done only through a reputable, independent leasing company such as Lone Mountain Truck Leasing. The majority of trucking companies offering lease purchase plans have established these programs as another means of profitability for the company, not the driver. Everything within the lease is against the truck driver and totally for the company, right down to the insurance carrier. Drivers wanting to become independent should lease from an outside source, such as Lone Mountain and secure their own insurance through another source, other than the trucking company. For truck insurance coverage, we recommend RigQuote.
When I started Truth About Trucking, one of the first statements I made was that you can make trucking work as a career . . . if you choose the right company. While listening to Sirius Radio the other day, I heard a trucking company advertising for drivers. The announcer said, “Trucking can offer you a rewarding career, if you choose the right company.”
I had to laugh a little . . . again.
© 2010 – 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.