choosing a semi truck

Best Semi Truck For Owner-Operators

Best Semi Truck For Owner-Operators

Whether purchasing your first truck or upgrading to a newer model, buying a semi-truck is a significant investment that requires many considerations. As an owner-operator, your truck is the most essential piece of equipment that your entire business relies on. So, choosing the right truck is vital.

There are many types of semi-trucks out there, each catering to different trucking needs and preferences. The type you choose should be carefully selected based on the specifics of your trucking business.

In this guide, we’ll break down some of the most important things to remember to help you choose the right semi-truck as an owner-operator.

Choosing The Truck For New Owner Operators

As a semi-truck owner-operator, one of the most critical business decisions you need to make is choosing the right truck for your business. Unfortunately, there’s no single “best truck” for owner-operators.

Picking your semi-truck brand and model depends on your preferences and the type of work the truck will do. Of course, different trucks offer different benefits. These include improved fuel efficiency, greater power, increased comfort, and advanced features, like driver performance assist.

However, the vehicle you choose should depend on the type of work you do in the trucking industry and what kind of truck you prefer.

choosing the right semi-truck

Points To Consider When Buying A Semi Truck

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right semi-truck for your business needs. Here are a few important considerations to ensure you select a reliable semi-truck.

Budget Wisely

Determining a realistic budget is the all-important initial step in choosing a semi-truck. Consider not only the upfront cost but also ongoing expenses like maintenance, fuel efficiency, insurance, and potential repairs.

Once you have a budget, you can narrow down your list of semi-truck brands, models, and years.

Age of the Truck

Decide whether you prefer an older or newer truck.

Newer trucks generally offer updated technology, better fuel efficiency, and fewer maintenance issues. Older trucks might be cheaper initially but may require more frequent repairs.

Some drivers prefer older classic American semi-trucks as a personal choice, while others like the latest models from truck manufacturers. Of course, your budget will also dictate how old or new your chosen truck will be. Just keep in mind that financing older trucks can be more difficult.

Technical Requirements for Routes and Freight

Assess the technical specifications required for your trucking business.

Consider factors like engine power, axle configuration, load capacity, fuel efficiency, and adaptability to different road conditions. If you need to haul oversized loads or unique cargo (like a tanker), then make sure your truck aligns with these needs.

cab type

Cab Type – Day Cab or Sleeper

Determine whether you need a day cab for shorter routes or a truck with a sleeper compartment for long-haul trips. Sleeper cabs offer resting space and amenities for drivers during overnight stops.

Semi trucks with a sleeper cab are more expensive but they are necessary for long-haul trucking.

Transmission Preference

Decide between a manual transmission for more control or an automated manual transmission (AMT) for ease of use and potentially better fuel efficiency. This really just comes down to your personal preference for driving.

State Regulations on Vehicle Emissions

Understand the emission regulations in the states where you operate. Some areas have strict emission standards that might affect your choice of truck or require additional modifications.

Business Operator Strengths

Consider your strengths as a business operator.

Are you proficient in maintaining and repairing vehicles, or do you rely heavily on maintenance services? This can influence the type of truck that best suits your operation.

Truck Make Preference

Do you have a preferred truck manufacturer based on reputation, previous experience, or reliability? Choosing from the best semi-truck brands that you trust is always a good call.


Identify any specific features or necessities that you need for your operations.

This might include advanced safety systems, comfort amenities, specific engine specifications, or warranty considerations.

long haul trucks

Best Trucks For Long-Haul

Choosing the right truck for long-haul operations should come down to the vehicle’s reliability, comfort, fuel efficiency, and performance.

While this can vary depending on specific preferences and needs, here are some of the most popular options for long-haul trucking.

Volvo VNL Series

These trucks have earned a reputation for their comfort, safety features, and fuel efficiency.  They offer various sleeper cab options and advanced technology for long-haul comfort.

Freightliner Cascadia

These trucks have gained recognition for their fuel efficiency and aerodynamic design. This truck provides a range of sleeper cab configurations and advanced driver-assistance systems.

Kenworth T680/T880

The durability and driver comfort of these Kenworth trucks are renowned.  They offer customizable options for sleeper cabs and fuel-efficient engines.

Peterbilt 579/587

The main focus of these trucks is on fuel efficiency and aerodynamics. They provide sleeper cab options and have a reputation for reliability.

Mack Anthem

People know the Mack Anthem for its ruggedness and advanced safety features. This truck offers various sleeper cab configurations for long-haul comfort.
International LT Series

These popular trucks focus on providing driver comfort and fuel efficiency. They include sleeper cab options and advanced technology for long-haul operations.

short haul trucks

Best For Short-Haul Trucking

For short-haul trucking, where frequent stops and local deliveries are common, versatility, maneuverability, and efficiency are crucial. Here are some of the most reliable semi-trucks for these types of operations.

Isuzu NPR Series

This type of truck is known for its compact size and maneuverability. It’s ideal for urban deliveries and smaller loads with good fuel efficiency.

Ford F-650/F-750

These trucks offer a range of configurations suitable for various short-haul tasks. They’re known for their reliability and versatility for local deliveries.

Hino 155/195 Series

These are compact and efficient trucks suitable for urban deliveries. They’re known for their maneuverability and reliability in city driving.

Freightliner M2 106

The Freightliner are versatile and customizable trucks for various short-haul applications. They offer good maneuverability and fuel efficiency for local deliveries.

Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 4500/5500

These are solid and reliable trucks suitable for smaller-scale short-haul operations. They provide excellent versatility and ease of maneuverability for urban deliveries.

Ram 5500 Chassis Cab

These international trucks offer multiple configurations suitable for various short-haul tasks.
They’re known for their durability and capability for local deliveries.

Isuzu trucks

Best For Local Trucking

Local trucking involves frequent stops, city driving, and shorter distances. So, you’ll want trucks that offer maneuverability, durability, and efficiency in urban environments. Here are some of the most popular options.

Isuzu N-Series (NPR/NQR)

Known for compact size and maneuverability, these trucks are ideal for urban deliveries. They offer good fuel efficiency and durability for local routes.

Ford Transit

A versatile truck that’s available in various sizes suitable for local deliveries. These trucks provide excellent agility and efficiency for navigating city streets.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

This popular type of truck offers multiple body styles and configurations for local cargo transportation. It’s known for its comfort, efficiency, and maneuverability in urban settings.

Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana

Chevrolet Express are versatile vans suitable for various local delivery tasks. They’re durable and offer ample cargo space for urban deliveries.

Ram ProMaster

These smaller trucks offer customizable options for local cargo transportation. They’re known for their maneuverability and efficiency in city driving.

Nissan NV Series

The Nissan NV Series provides various configurations for local cargo transportation. They’re durable and reliable for urban delivery operations.

5 Best Semi-Truck Brands

A massive part of choosing the best semi-trucks comes down to the brand. Here are five of the most reputable and widely recognized semi-truck brands known for their quality, reliability, and performance in the industry.

Mack Trucks

Their durability and ruggedness have made Mack trucks renowned. They’re recognized for their robust construction and strength, making them popular choices for various hauling applications.

best semi trucks


Freightliner offers a wide range of trucks suitable for different operations. They’re known for their innovation, efficiency, and advanced technology in trucking.


These trucks generally focus on customization and driver comfort. Kenworth trucks are popular for their reliability, versatility, and personalized options.

Volvo Trucks

Volvo takes up a huge share of the truck market. Volvo semi-trucks are focused on safety, fuel efficiency, and advanced technology. Volvo trucks are known for their innovation in safety features and environmental sustainability.


Peterbilt trucks offer a combination of performance and style. They’re recognized for their distinctive design, reliability, and customizable options.

Great Condition is a Priority .

Regardless of the make, model, or production year, it’s essential that the semi-truck you purchase is in great condition.

The overall quality, maintenance history, and current condition of your trucking equipment is more important than the specific brand or model you choose. Ensuring that your truck is in top-notch shape is crucial to its performance, reliability, and longevity, ultimately impacting the efficiency and success of your operations.

Regular maintenance, thorough inspections, and verifying the equipment’s condition before purchase are critical steps to ensure it meets the necessary standards for your business needs. A well-maintained vehicle will also help you avoid commercial truck accidents.

Final Thoughts

Whatever make or model of semi-truck you choose, make sure that you focus on finding a quality vehicle that has been well-maintained. Of course, the truck you choose should tick all of the right boxes for your business needs.

When purchasing a semi-truck, you’ll also need to make sure that you work with the right financing supplier. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services to discover just how easy semi-truck financing can be – even if you have poor credit or are looking for an older model of truck.

GETTING a license

How To Obtain A Commercial Truck Driver License

How To Obtain A Commercial Truck Driver License

If you drive a commercial motor vehicle, you must hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
Getting a CDL can be a reasonably long process, depending on the type of license you’re applying for and what allowances and limitations this license holds.

It’s essential that you understand precisely what kind of CDL you need before getting involved in any commercial driving or trucking business.

We’ll break down everything you need to know in the guide below.

What is a Commercial Driver’s License?

A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is a specialized driver’s license required in the United States and some other countries to operate vehicles used for commercial purposes. This license allows individuals to legally drive vehicles larger or heavier than those permitted by a regular driver’s license.

Valid CDL holders are held to higher standards due to the nature of the vehicles they operate. They are subject to more stringent regulations regarding driving hours, vehicle maintenance, and compliance with traffic laws.

CDL License Classes Overview

CDLs are categorized into different commercial driver’s license classes, each allowing the holder to operate various types of vehicles based on their size, weight, and purpose.

Class A CDL

This class permits the operation of combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, where the vehicle being towed has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds.

commercial driver’s license classes
Class B CDL

With a Class B CDL, you can drive single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or operate such vehicles towing trailers with a GVWR not exceeding 10,000 pounds.

Class C CDL

This class is for vehicles that do not fit into Class A or Class B but are designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or transport hazardous materials.

How Do I Get a Commercial Driver’s License?

Getting a commercial truck driver’s license is a lengthy process. Here are the main steps involved.

Check Eligibility Requirements

Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria set by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Typically, you must be at least 18 years old to drive within the state and 21 years old to drive across state lines or transport hazardous materials.

Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit

Start by applying for a CLP at your local DMV office.

You’ll need to pass the required knowledge tests specific to the type of CDL you’re seeking. These tests cover general knowledge, air brakes (if applicable), and any necessary endorsements, such as transporting hazardous materials or passenger vehicles.

Apply for a Commercial Learner's Permit
Training and Practice

Consider enrolling in a CDL training program or school to learn the skills required for driving a commercial motor vehicle. Practice driving under the supervision of a licensed CDL holder to gain experience.

Schedule CDL Skills Test

Once you’ve held your commercial learner’s permit for the required period (typically a few weeks), schedule a CDL skills test with the DMV. This test includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving assessment.

Apply for CDL

Once you’ve passed all the required CDL exams, submit your application for the full CDL at the DMV office. You must pay the required fees and provide any additional information requested.

Commercial Driver’s License Program

There are a couple of stages involved in obtaining a license to drive commercial motor vehicles. Here’s a breakdown of what you have to go through.

Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

Before the DMV can issue commercial driver’s licenses, you must first obtain a CLP. To do this, you’ll need to pass a written test specific to the type of CDL you’re applying for and any endorsements required for specialized driving.

The CLP allows you to practice driving a commercial vehicle under the supervision of a licensed CDL holder.

Commercial Learner’s Permit
Complete Entry-Level Driver Training

Many states and employers require the completion of Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a registered training provider.

This training covers classroom instruction and practical behind-the-wheel experience, teaching essential skills and safety practices for commercial driving. ELDT often includes vehicle operation, safety protocols, regulations, and hands-on driving practice.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

After obtaining a CLP and completing the required training, you must pass a skills or road test to get your full CDL.

The skills test typically consists of three parts:

  • A pre-trip vehicle inspection
  • Basic vehicle control
  • An on-road driving assessment

Passing this test shows your ability to operate the specific commercial vehicle you intend to drive.

Once you successfully pass the skills test, you can apply for the full Commercial Driver’s License at your local DMV office. You must submit the necessary documentation, pay the required fees, and provide proof of completing the CLP and any mandated ELDT.

Training and Testing

Training for a CDL involves both classroom learning and practical training covering traffic laws, vehicle operation, safety protocols, and hands-on driving practice.

Candidates develop skills in vehicle inspection, control, and safe driving techniques, preparing for written knowledge and practical skills tests.

Specialized endorsements for tasks like hauling hazardous materials may require additional training and testing.

Medical certification
Medical Certification

Medical certification is a requirement for obtaining and maintaining a CDL in the United States. It involves a physical examination by a certified medical professional who evaluates a driver’s health to ensure they meet the necessary medical standards for operating commercial vehicles.

The examination assesses various aspects of health, including vision, hearing, blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular health, and overall physical fitness.

Drivers must provide proof of meeting these medical standards by obtaining a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) or DOT Medical Card.

Drivers need to renew this certification periodically, usually every two years, to ensure they continue to meet the health requirements for safe commercial driving.

Endorsements, Restrictions and Waivers

Endorsements, restrictions, and waivers are extra permissions, limitations, or exceptions granted to drivers based on their qualifications or specific driving conditions. Federal law notes them on the CDL permit and controls them.


Endorsements are additional qualifications beyond the standard CDL that allow drivers to operate specialized vehicles or perform specific tasks. You’ll need the proper endorsement for whatever truck driver job you plan to do. This could include:

  • Hazardous Materials (Hazmat): Allows you to drive a truck carrying hazardous materials.
  • Tank Vehicles: Permits drivers to operate tankers.
  • Passenger Vehicles: Enables driving vehicles carrying a certain number of passengers, like buses.
  • School Bus: Allows drivers to operate school buses, typically requiring extra training and testing.

Firefighters operating emergency vehicles

These are limitations imposed on a CDL, specifying conditions or types of vehicles a driver is not allowed to operate. Restrictions could include:

  • E: Prohibits drivers from operating vehicles with manual transmissions.
  • L: Limits drivers to vehicles without air brakes.
  • Z: Indicates a full air brake restriction, excluding the operation of vehicles equipped with air brakes.


These are exceptions granted to CDL applicants under specific circumstances. For example:

  • Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate: Allows drivers with specific impairments, such as missing limbs, to qualify for a CDL after passing an additional evaluation.
  • Vision or Hearing Waivers: In some cases, drivers with impaired vision or hearing may qualify for a waiver if they can still demonstrate the right skills or use assistive devices that allow them to drive safely.


Certain types of commercial drivers are exempt from holding a Commercial Driver License. Here are some examples of CDL exemptions:

  • Taxi and Ride-Sharing Drivers: Drivers operating taxis or ride-sharing vans that transport fewer than seven passengers are often exempt from holding a CDL.
  • Firefighters: Firefighters operating emergency vehicles are typically exempt from CDL requirements when performing their official duties.
  • Rescue or First-Aid Squad Operators: Drivers operating vehicles for rescue or first-aid purposes as part of a squad or emergency response team may be exempt from needing a CDL.
  • Farmers: Farmers transporting their own agricultural products, machinery, or supplies within a specified distance (usually around 150 miles) from their farms might not need a CDL.

It’s important to note that while these exemptions exist in certain states or under specific circumstances, regulations can vary by jurisdiction. So, make sure you properly understand the CDl requirements of your situation.

Final Thoughts

Commercial Driver’s Licenses are relatively easy to get if you follow the proper process and take the right steps and training. Get the correct license, and a whole new world of commercial driving opportunities opens up.

Are you planning to purchase a commercial vehicle? Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services, where we can help you easily obtain financing.

semi truck owner (1)

How To Be A Successful Semi Truck Owner Operator

How To Be A Successful Semi Truck Owner Operator

Running your own trucking business may be a dream. However, there’s a lot that goes into being a successful semi truck owner-operator, and it’s essential that you know all the different elements involved in managing a business.

Follow this guide to learn some of the most important tactics and responsibilities that owner-operators should show.
What is an Owner-Operator?
An owner-operator is an individual who owns and operates their own trucking business.

Instead of working as an employee for a trucking company, an owner-operator owns the truck they drive and may either work independently or lease their services to carriers or logistics companies.

A successful owner-operator is responsible for managing their truck, handling maintenance costs, fuel expenses, insurance, and other overheads associated with running a trucking business.

Owner-operators can choose their routes and schedules and sometimes negotiate their compensation rates.

Tips to Becoming a Successful Owner-Operator

If you own a semi-truck, then establishing a successful owner-operator business is undoubtedly appealing. Here are a few essential tips for truck owner-operators to keep in mind.

Ensure You Have Enough Experience

Gaining experience is crucial before transitioning into an owner-operator role within the trucking industry.

Working as a truck driver provides invaluable knowledge about the nuances of the job, from managing different cargo types to understanding diverse routes and handling various situations on the road.

Acquiring hands-on experience also familiarizes individuals with different equipment, truck maintenance, industry regulations, and the administrative aspects of the business. You’ll probably also need to hold and use your commercial driver’s license for some time to help you get better rates on truck financing and commercial insurance.

Create a Business Plan

Crafting a comprehensive business plan is essential to the success of any owner-operator business.

This plan should outline your business goals in detail. This might involve expanding a fleet, specializing in certain cargo types, or targeting specific geographic areas.

It’s crucial also to perform thorough market research, identify your target audience, study your competitors, and pinpoint your unique selling propositions. Within your business plan, include a detailed financial strategy.

create a business plan

Assess Your Finances

Understanding your costs is an essential step in starting any kind of business. As you’ll be running your own truck and operating your own business, all costs involved are your responsibility.

Your financial evaluation should cover startup costs, including the purchase or lease of a truck, insurance, permits, and licenses. Understanding ongoing expenses such as fuel, maintenance, repairs, and taxes is also crucial.

Distinguishing between fixed costs (insurance, truck payments) and variable costs (fuel, maintenance) is essential for gaining a clear picture of the financial health of your business.

You’ll need to realistically understand your finances and know how to track them in order to run a successful owner-operator business.

Understand Freight Cycles

A comprehensive understanding of freight cycles for commercial motor vehicles is vital for your operational success.

Study seasonal trends and industry cycles to help anticipate busy and slow periods in freight demand.

You’ll want to diversify your client base or adapt your services during slower periods to maintain consistent income. During peak seasons, you can develop strategies to capitalize on increased demand by efficiently planning routes and securing higher-paying contracts.

Know How to Generate Revenue

Owner-operators can make money in the trucking industry in a couple of different ways.

Explore different types of commercial trucking opportunities such as load boards, freight brokers, direct contracts with shippers, or participation in dedicated freight programs offered by larger companies. Building a solid network within the industry is also crucial for securing repeat business and referrals.

generate revenue

Have a Maintenance Reserve

Being a small business owner can be expensive – especially when you have to maintain a commercial truck.

Make sure that you allocate funds for truck maintenance and unexpected repairs. By setting aside a portion of earnings into a designated maintenance reserve, unexpected breakdowns, and repairs can be managed without causing financial strain or disrupting business operations.

Regularly scheduled preventive maintenance helps avoid costly breakdowns and extends the lifespan of your equipment, ensuring continued smooth operations.

Protect Your Credit

Maintaining strong credit is a vital element of your owner-operator career.

Ask other owner-operators, and they’ll tell you that good credit is so much more than just a way to help your cash flow; it’s a way to manage your business.

Timely bill payments, responsible debt management, and regular monitoring of credit reports help you achieve a good credit score. A good credit score opens up better financing options, lower interest rates on loans, and increased credibility when negotiating contracts or leases.

Create Your Own Schedule

The flexibility of being an owner-operator means you can create personalized schedules that maximize productivity.

Effective route planning, workload balancing, and rest period management are essential for running a trucking operation.

negotiate deals

Negotiate Your Own Deals

Developing strong negotiation skills is essential for owner-operators to secure the rates, terms, and contracts they want.

Understanding market rates, industry standards, and the value of services helps you confidently manage negotiations. Building strong relationships while negotiating fosters mutually beneficial agreements that prioritize long-term partnerships and profitability.

This is essential for a successful owner-operator business.

Final Thoughts

If you own and operate your commercial truck, you must have solid business management skills and trucking abilities. Follow the tips above, and you’ll be in an excellent position to manage a successful business.

If you want to purchase a semi-truck, you’ll need to gain the right financing. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services to make acquiring financing an easy process.

truck leasing

Guide To Commercial Truck Leasing

Guide To Commercial Truck Leasing

There are two main ways to acquire a commercial truck: purchasing one or leasing one.

Commercial truck leasing is a convenient solution for getting access to a semi-truck. The upfront costs are lower, and you eliminate many risks associated with owning a truck. However, commercial truck leasing also comes with its downsides.

We’ll explore everything you need to know about this in the guide below.

What is Commercial Truck Leasing?

Commercial truck leasing is when you rent a truck for a specified period instead of purchasing it outright. Leasing commercial vehicles involves a contract between the lessee (the party renting the truck) and the lessor (the owner or leasing company providing the truck).

Under a commercial truck lease, the lessee pays a regular monthly fee for using the truck over a predetermined period. The lease terms could include maintenance responsibilities, mileage limitations, insurance requirements, and potential penalties for excessive wear and tear on the vehicle.

There are various types of truck leasing options available, such as:

  • Full-Service Leasing: This type of lease covers most costs associated with the truck, including maintenance, repairs, insurance, and sometimes even registration fees.
  • Finance Lease: Also known as a capital lease, it’s more like a loan where the lessee assumes most of the responsibilities of ownership, including maintenance and insurance.
  • Operating Lease: A short-term lease where the lessee doesn’t take on the risks of ownership. This type of lease often allows for easier upgrades to newer vehicles.

Elements of commercial truck lease

Essential Elements of a Commercial Truck Lease

While you can have different types of agreements for leased trucks, a leased vehicle agreement should include the following elements. Understanding the fine print of these different elements is essential before leasing a commercial vehicle.

Identification of Parties

The lease should clearly identify the lessor (owner or leasing company) and the lessee (the individual or business renting the truck).

Description of the Truck

The agreement should specify the truck’s details, including make, model, year, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and any additional features or equipment.

Lease Term

The agreement should state the duration of the lease, such as the start date and end date, or the duration of the lease period in months or years.

Payment Terms

This section outlines the financial aspects, including the amount of monthly lease payments, due dates, additional fees, and penalties for late payments or breaches of the agreement.

Maintenance and Repairs

The lease should define the responsibilities for maintaining and servicing the truck, specifying whether the lessor or lessee is responsible for preventive maintenance, repairs, and insurance coverage.

Usage Restrictions

Details covering how the truck can be used, mileage limits, geographical restrictions, and any prohibited activities should be clearly outlined.

Return Conditions

Conditions for returning the truck at the end of the lease term. This includes requirements for its condition, any excess wear-and-tear charges, and potential charges for exceeding agreed-upon mileage.

conditions of truck leasing

Insurance Requirements

Specifications regarding the types and levels of insurance coverage required for the leased truck, including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Early Termination or Buyout Options

Any provisions regarding early termination of the lease or options for the lessee to purchase the truck at the end of the lease term should be clearly stated.

Comparing Commercial Truck Leasing vs. Purchasing Options

Should you purchase or lease a commercial truck? Each option has its trade-offs.

Leasing offers lower initial costs, predictable monthly expenses, potential tax benefits, and easy upgrades. However, you don’t get ownership equity, and the long-term costs can add up.

On the other hand, buying a truck involves a higher upfront investment, but it gives you ownership of a significant asset, flexibility in your truck’s usage, and potential long-term cost savings.

However, ownership also involves bearing all maintenance costs and facing depreciation impacting resale value.

Choosing between leasing and purchasing should depend on your immediate cash flow, long-term business strategies, and operational requirements.

Owning a vehicle is typically preferred, but many trucking companies don’t have the cash to purchase a new truck. Leasing is also a standard solution for substitute vehicles to keep a fleet running and the business moving.

pros and cons of truck leasing

Commercial Truck Lease Pros and Cons

As we’ve already mentioned, commercial truck leasing comes with its pros and cons.


  • Lower initial costs
  • Monthly lease payments are more predictable
  • Lease payments might be tax-deductible as a business expense
  • Some leases include maintenance services
  • Easier access to newer vehicle models at the end of the lease term


  • Lessees do not gain ownership or equity in the truck.
  • Lease agreements often involve mileage limits and usage constraints
  • The long-term costs of leasing might be greater than ownership

Costs to Consider When Leasing Commercial Trucks

Leasing a commercial vehicle involves various costs. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.

Monthly Lease Payments

The main cost is the monthly lease payment, which covers truck use. This payment varies based on the type of lease, truck model, and your lease terms.

Down Payment or Initial Fees

Some leases require a down payment or initial fees upfront. These costs can vary and may include security deposits or the first month’s payment.

Maintenance and Repairs

Depending on the lease agreement, lessees might be responsible for maintenance and repair costs. Some leases include maintenance services, while others require lessees to cover these expenses separately.

truck leasing maintenance

Lessees are typically required to have insurance coverage for the leased truck. Insurance costs vary based on coverage types, deductibles, and the truck’s value.

Excess Mileage or Usage Fees

Lease agreements often include a maximum mileage limit. If this limit is exceeded, additional fees per mile might apply.

Taxes and Fees

There may be taxes, registration fees, and administrative costs associated with leasing a commercial truck.

Early Termination Fees

Terminating a lease before the agreed-upon term might result in penalties or early termination fees.

Final Thoughts

Leasing a truck might seem like an attractive option, but in the long run, it’s generally best to own a vehicle.

Luckily, it’s possible to access affordable vehicle financing that makes purchasing a commercial truck an easy process. Get in touch with Mission Financial Services to gain the funding for your dream truck.

truck accident stats

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi-Trucks?

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi-Trucks
Large trucks, like semi-trucks, are essential in growing the U.S. economy. They’re the backbone of the overland freight transportation industry, which recent statistics indicate is worth over $730 billion. Simultaneously, these large and heavy trucks present a significant risk for fatal road accidents. So how many accidents are caused by semi-trucks?

We investigated how many accidents are caused by semi-trucks nationwide, their causes, and when they are most likely to happen.

The truck accident statistics research findings below provide insight that truck drivers like yourself can use to minimize or prevent motor vehicle crashes and make our roads safer for everyone.

How Common Are Semi-Truck Accidents?

Crashes involving large trucks have become a growing concern as their numbers increase yearly.

In 2021, there were approximately 523,796 police-reported large truck accidents that injured an estimated 154,993 people and killed 5,788 individuals across the U.S.

This was a significant increase (nearly 26% rise) from 2020, when about 415,444 large truck crashes happened, 141,613 people were injured, and 4,945 died.

High-Risk Times for Truck Accidents

Fatal semi-truck accidents peak between June and October, with the highest recorded in September 2021 at 515 crashes. Urban areas witness over half (54.53%) of these incidents, primarily on non-interstate highways (73.99%).

Most fatal and non-fatal accidents involving large trucks occur on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. As a semi-truck driver, vigilance is crucial, especially on non-interstate highways during weekdays, to prevent accidents and safeguard road users.

bus accident statistics

Semi-Truck Accident Statistics

Here is a summary of essential semi-truck accident statistics commercial truck drivers need to note.

Truck Accidents Statistics by State

Texas leads in fatal crashes with approximately 568 fatal large truck accidents in 2020, followed by California with about 368 incidents. Florida, Georgia, and Illinois rank as the third, fourth, and fifth high-risk states, reporting 322, 210, and 155 fatal semi-truck accidents, respectively, in 2020.

Conversely, Washington stands is the safest state, recording only one fatal accident in 2020. States with the lowest rates include Vermont (4), Rhode Island (6), Hawaii (6), and Alaska (8).

Truck Accidents by Vehicle Type

This section highlights large truck accident statistics by vehicle type so you can see the extent of motor vehicle accident risk you face daily as you share the road with these different types of vehicles.

Semi -Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks are responsible for nearly all fatal large truck crashes because they have more blind spots and leave little room for error when driving. Of the fatal truck accidents in 2020, 74% included semi-trucks. Also, semi-truck accident victims suffer the most severe injuries.

Bus Accidents

Thousands of deadly bus accidents happen every year. In 2021, more than 100 people died as a result of school bus-related accidents alone. If we include data from fatal motor vehicle accidents involving private charter and public buses, the number of fatalities easily doubles.

 low-speed limits for truckers

Garbage Truck Accidents

Frequent and potentially fatal garbage truck accidents result from the poor driving habits of many garbage truck drivers. These drivers often operate in low-light conditions and tend to stop and start multiple times in the middle of their routes instead of pulling over, contributing to unavoidable fatal accidents.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents Statistics

Different types of commercial truck accidents may occur as a result of one or a combination of the following causes:

Truck Driver Error

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a large truck crash causation study, identifying truck driver errors as the primary cause of most accidents. These errors, categorized as non-performance, decision, recognition, and performance errors, accounted for 87% of all examined accidents.

The study underscores the need for heightened attentiveness among drivers of semi-trucks and large vehicles compared to drivers of passenger vehicles.


Most inter- and non-interstate roads impose low-speed limits for truckers due to the vehicles’ large sizes and the longer distance needed to stop. However, speeding was a contributing factor in 7.3% of the fatal accidents that happened in 2020.

tired driver

Trucker Fatigue

FMCSA established hours of service guidelines to regulate the number of consecutive hours truckers can drive and how long they should rest before resuming work. Despite this, some truck drivers spend long hours on the road and fall asleep behind the wheel due to trucker fatigue. Trucker fatigue is a contributing factor in about 13% of truck accidents.

Drug Use

Alcohol and drug use impair a person’s ability to drive safely by affecting cognitive functions, resulting in diminished focus, impaired vision, and slower reaction times. In 2020, approximately 2.8% of truck drivers involved in accidents had a blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeding 0.08%.

Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) setting a stringent BAC limit of 0.04%, which can lead to license suspension, drug and alcohol use still contributes to nearly 20% of truck accidents.

Tire Defects

Tire defects, including tread separation, pressure loss, and full-on blowouts, can destabilize large trucks, causing truck drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash. Tire problems lead to large truck crashes nearly 6% of the time.

Brake Problems

Brake problems resulting from stuck calipers, master cylinder failure, and leaking fluid lines usually prevent drivers from stopping in good time. They occur more frequently than tire defects and lead to large truck crashes almost 29% of the time.

Roadway Issues

Poor road conditions contribute to approximately 20% of large truck accidents. Common roadway issues include large potholes, missing road markings, and missing signage.

Final Thoughts

Reducing the unpredictability of truck accidents is possible through collective efforts. Avoid drinking and driving, consistently maintain your truck, and remain vigilant to prevent errors while driving.

In the unfortunate event of a semi-truck accident, it’s essential to know your rights and seek compensation for damages. Follow a step-by-step guide to navigate the aftermath successfully.

Additionally, engaging a competent lawyer is crucial for filing a truck accident case. Explore our blog for detailed guides on selecting the best commercial vehicle accident lawyers tailored to various motor vehicle accidents. Take proactive steps to enhance road safety and protect your rights.


How Much Do Commercial Truck Drivers Make?

How Much Do Commercial Truck Drivers Make?

How much do commercial truck drivers make? If you plan on getting into the trucking business, this is an essential question.

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer here. Truck driver salaries can vary greatly depending on factors like the type of trucking being done, the driver’s experience, distances covered, and more.

By understanding these factors, you’ll be better positioned to get a fair-paying truck-driving job based on your experience.

To help you understand this better, we break down everything you need to know about truck driver salaries in the guide below.

Commercial Truck Drivers Salaries

The average truck driver’s salary in the US is $1,864 per week. This comes from a reported 434.6k salaries.

However, what truck drivers earn can differ vastly depending on various factors – like the driver’s experience, the type of trucking being done, the distance drivers cover, and more.

The average pay for an owner-operator can also differ vastly compared to a driver employed by a trucking company. Local drivers and regional drivers also earn differently compared to long-haul truckers.

Plus, different pay structures are involved in various types of trucking jobs.

Factors that Influence Truck Driver Pay

As mentioned above, a truck driver’s salary can differ vastly depending on various factors. Let’s break this down into more detail.

Salary of a Truck Driver by Route Type (Distance)

The salary of a truck driver can vary based on the type of route they drive.

Long-haul or cross-country routes often pay differently than shorter routes driven by regional truck drivers due to differences in distance, time commitment, and demand.

Salary of a Truck Driver by Operating Mode

The mode of operation can significantly impact a truck driver’s salary.

Drivers operating as owner-operators might earn differently than those employed by trucking companies. Specialized freight or specific industry-related transport may also influence pay scales.

For example, hazmat truck drivers, mining industry drivers, or OTR truck drivers have areas of specialization, which could result in earning more money and additional benefits compared to an Amazon delivery driver.

Salary of a Truck Driver by Experience

Experience plays a crucial role in determining a truck driver’s salary.

Drivers with more years in the industry often earn higher pay due to their expertise, knowledge of routes, safety records, and familiarity with the job’s demands.

The longer you’ve held a commercial driver’s license and have a clean driving record, the better your chances are of earning more money.

External Factors Affecting Salary

Various external factors can influence a truck driver’s salary, such as economic conditions, supply and demand for drivers, fuel prices, industry regulations, seasonal variations, and overall market dynamics.

These factors can fluctuate and impact pay levels within the trucking industry. This also means regional truck driver pay can differ in quite a big way.

truck on ice road
What Types of Truck Driving Pay the Most?

There are various truck driving jobs, and those requiring special endorsements or licenses often tend to pay higher. This is because of the extra skills, training, and responsibilities involved.

Here are some types of truck driving jobs that typically pay more.

Hazmat Trucks (H Endorsement)

Drivers transporting hazardous materials (Hazmat) usually earn higher pay due to the increased risk and specialized training required to handle such cargo safely. This endorsement involves transporting any materials deemed hazardous by federal law.

Doubles/Triples (T Endorsement)

Truck drivers hauling double or triple trailers often command higher pay due to the complexity and skill required to maneuver these larger combinations of vehicles on the road safely.

This endorsement permits drivers to operate multiple trailers simultaneously.

Tankers (N Endorsement)

Drivers transporting liquids or gases in tanker trucks typically earn more due to the specific handling and driving skills necessary for these vehicles.

This endorsement is required for hauling liquids or gases in bulk.

Hazmat and Tanker (X Endorsement)

Combining Hazmat and Tanker endorsements (X Endorsement) typically increases pay. Drivers with this endorsement have the qualifications to transport hazardous materials and tanker loads, requiring a higher level of expertise and responsibility.

Ice Road Drivers

Ice road truckers who navigate frozen roads and extreme conditions in remote areas, such as Alaska or Northern Canada, tend to earn higher salaries.

This is due to the hazardous nature of the job, driving in extreme weather conditions, and the specialized skills required to operate a commercial vehicle in such environments.

time sheet

Truck Driver Pay Models

To understand how much a truck driver’s salary is, it’s essential to understand the different pay structures involved.

Hourly Pay

Some truck drivers are paid based on the number of hours worked. This model calculates payment for the time spent driving, loading, unloading, or performing other work-related tasks.

Per Mile Pay

This model pays truck drivers a set rate for every mile they drive. It’s a common method where drivers receive a specific amount for each mile traveled, incentivizing longer distances and more driving hours.

Fixed Salary

Certain truck drivers receive a fixed salary regardless of the hours worked or miles driven. This model provides consistency in income, and drivers who prioritize stability over pay fluctuations based on hours or distance may prefer it.

Percentage of the Load

Truck drivers receive a percentage of the total revenue generated by the load they transport in this pay structure.

Team Driver Pay

Team drivers, where two drivers share driving responsibilities for a single truck, can get paid uniquely.

This could involve dividing the pay based on the miles driven, hours worked, or a fixed load percentage. This depends on the arrangement between the team members and the employer.

Truck driver salary

Types of Commercial Truck Driver Pay

Beyond pay structures, there are also various forms of truck driver pay that you should know about.

Per Diem Pay

This pay model compensates truck drivers for daily expenses incurred on the road, such as meals and lodging.

Per diem pay is a daily allowance provided to cover these expenses. It is often given in addition to the driver’s regular wages.

Stop Pay

Truck drivers sometimes receive stop pay for each stop or delivery made during a trip.

It compensates drivers for the time spent at various stops, including loading and unloading cargo, which can add up during multi-stop routes.

Detention Pay

When truck drivers experience delays at pickup or delivery locations beyond the agreed-upon waiting time, detention pay is provided.

This is to cover the extra time spent waiting due to delays in loading or unloading.

Fuel and Safety Bonuses

Some trucking companies offer bonuses to drivers based on fuel efficiency or safe driving practices.

Fuel bonuses reward drivers for achieving good fuel mileage, while safety bonuses acknowledge drivers for maintaining a safe driving record and sticking to safety regulations to avoid commercial vehicle accidents.

Accessorial Pay

Accessorial pay includes extra compensation for various non-driving tasks or services performed by truck drivers.

This could involve handling specialized equipment, assisting with loading or unloading, providing extra services beyond regular driving duties, or navigating challenging routes.

How Much Do Commercial Truck Drivers Make?

Final Thoughts

Various factors go into how much truck drivers earn and how they earn money. If you’re planning on entering the trucking business, then it’s essential to understand the different elements that go into a driver’s compensation package. This can help you build the right experience and endorsements to maximize your earning potential.

Are you looking to purchase a semi-truck for your trucking business? Then, you’ll need to get financing. Contact us at Mission Financial Services, where we help truck drivers get funding for their dream commercial vehicle – even if you have a bad credit score.


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