You want to do business with Kennedy Transportation Network Ltd? THINK CAREFULLY. It is better to pay CN$ 300 and have a legal opinion before signing any contract, than to lose thousands of dollars, damage your credit record, distress your family and waste time afterwards. If you are not allowed to read and think about the agreement (contract) before the day of signing it, it is a bad sign. BE CAREFUL. If you are allowed to read the agreement beforehand, read the documents carefully with legal assistance (it has technical legal terminology). For instance, Kennedy Transportation’s add in newspapers and the Internet indicates that you can make UP TO… which means that if you make only CN$ 100 per week it is OK. The add also indicates that you can EARN… But is it net or gross income? Drivers would tell you that they hardly make CN$ 1, 500 per week GROSS. You have to pay the lease, gas, maintenance, food, etc. Many drivers are trying to sale their trucks, but they cannot. And if they return their trucks, they got in trouble. The contract indicates that the business is the SOLE or ONLY responsibility of the driver or owner operator, meaning that Kennedy Transportation has NO responsibility and cannot be hold accountable. It may sound wrong and unfair, but they are legally covered. The law would protect them. It has been planned and executed carefully over the years.
Remember: the important thing is the meaning. The wording of the add and the contract can be changed at any time. There is when a legal opinion becomes important. By law you can cancel a written contract within a few days of signing it, but by the time you figure this whole package out, you have no time to cancel it. Kennedy Transportation suggests that you can become your OWN BOSS. But in practice you continue working for a company. The trucking company needs availability and reliability with deliveries. They are not forced to give you loads to deliver. They can terminate your contract at any time. You also continue working for a lease company, making lease payments, usually over a period of 5 years. You need to pay your own survival bills. For example, you may have to wait 2 or 3 days over a weekend in Texas for a load to be able to comeback closer to the border with Canada. If you decide to move, you usually have to pay the fuel and other costs. Kennedy Transportation suggests that you can create your OWN COMPANY and have others working (driving) for you. But if it is hard to earn enough money just to pay the lease, in practice within a couple of weeks you yourself would be looking to get out of that business. Unbelievably, very few drivers do not see other way out and stay there longer, most of them without serious family responsibilities. It is like many people getting used to bad jobs. Those who stay for several months often just got in more economic trouble.
Unfortunately, the report from the Best Business Bureau about Kennedy Transportation is very superficial and misleading. If you want to have a good idea of how much money you would make, for example, contact TST Expedited Services in Windsor (http://www.tst911.com/) and Dynamex Canada in Cambridge (http://www.dynamex.com/). You can request written documents. If they do not want to show you reports, it is a bad sign. Even better, you can go to stops in the 401 (Service Centers, Husky, Fifth Wheel, Petro Canada) and talk with the drivers directly. You do not have to pay for that information and it will save you money and trouble. Look for midsize trucks (especially with sleepers). There are many companies. Ask the drivers: how much do they make? How many miles (no kilometers) do they run per week? How long do they stay on the route before going home? How much do they spend on maintenance? How much are their lease payments? How much do they spend on fuel and insurance? How long have they been in the business? What is the best way to get into the business? Specially, ask their opinion about Kennedy Transportation.
Note this carefully: Transportaction Lease Systems Inc. is one of the companies that offer financial services (lease) to clients of Kennedy Transportation. If you want to have a good picture, ask in the Small Claims Court in Toronto (47 Sheppard Ave. East, Toronto ON M2N 5N1) how many cases are there pending and the claim history involving Transportaction? In 2008, according to the clerk in the front desk, there were many cases (perhaps 100). When somebody returns the truck, in addition to keeping the down payment, they claim the rest of the lease (now up to CN$ 25, 000 in a small claims court). And remember, the fees paid to Kennedy Transportation at that point are lost, including all other expenses, and time without a real job. You can also enquire about the claim history involving Kennedy Transportation. Follow this advice and —I am sure— you will not be disappointed. You will not make business with Kennedy Transportation. You will not get in trouble.
If you really want to get into the trucking business, you can do it all yourself. Contact a company directly. They will guide you. Good companies provide even training and insurance at a low cost. You may be able to start with a good truck for even less than CN$ 20, 000 and not get in debt. Enquire with the Ontario Trucking Association (http://www.ontruck.org/) and get the license (DZ). It may be better to start as a company driver and learn the business first, then become an owner operator. Companies like Kennedy Transportation seam gentle and helpful, but really they have no mercy. They do not care about you and your family. BE CAREFUL!