“Have a goal…stick to the plan!”
Julian’s goal, entering into the trucking industry, was to become an owner operator. When he started with RT&T, he had not leased before and was fairly new to trucking, with just shy of two years of experience. His cousin, Corey, had leased on with RT&T and was able to offer him first-hand knowledge of how things worked at the company.
Having a goal and sticking to a plan is what Julian’s advice would be to drivers looking to get into a lease program. He didn’t realize the costs involved in keeping up with regular truck maintenance and repairs. He was glad to have the maintenance escrow in place, to help cover those expenses. With the balance he had built up in the escrow, he was able to pay his truck off, three months early, and still leave a decent balance in the account. Julian will continue to fund his escrow account on a weekly basis, in order to have a safe cushion for future expenses. He would add that drivers can own their own truck if they really want to, but they need to be very disciplined with their money. There will be good weeks and bad weeks, so you have to plan ahead and save your money on the good weeks. He also used the accounting service ATBS, to help him with recordkeeping, taxes, and some business consulting.
Julian said that there was a learning curve, as he started in his first lease program. It’s something every driver should be ready for and just plan to go with the flow. Julian was one of the first drivers to go on RT&T’s load board, and was able to help work through some of the bugs. He wanted to move to the load board to allow him more freedom in what loads he would run, but also knew he had to rely on himself for the success of his truck. In both scenarios, he says it was an overall good learning experience and appreciated that RT&T listened to him if an issue did come up. He also likes the driver incentive and safety bonuses. He said it isn’t hard to qualify for the bonuses – just focus and stay on track. As for Julian’s future plans, he would like to eventually run under his own authority, but knows it will take a little more time to be able to do that.
RT&T would like to thank Julian for all his hard work and congratulate him on completing his lease and becoming an owner operator!