106: Sustaining an Owner-Operator’s Quality of Life

During this week’s episode of the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett is joined by Larry Ginsberg to discuss how CAG Truck Capital is helping owner-operators with everything from securing their first truck to achieving and sustaining their long-term goals.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • What CAG Truck Capital is all about (4:09)
  • Getting your first truck with CAG (6:53)
  • The effect of truck prices (9:22)
  • Transferring from another finance company (10:49)
  • Helping achieve and sustain long-term goals (14:33)
  • What’s going to happen with crazy high prices (16:14)
  • Other services CAG offers (17:55)
  • Warranties (20:02)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website:  podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Larry Ginsberg  0:12  

Our main mission is to help owner-operators technically improve or sustain their quality of life. We work with individuals that are new to the business. They might’ve been drivers, they want to become entrepreneurs, they want to grow their own business, kind of get a piece of the American dream, get their first truck. We help them do that.

Jeremy Kellett  0:31  

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family.

This is Jeremy Kellett, Director of Recruiting here at Oakley Trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is episode 106. So on today’s episode, I sit down with Larry Ginsberg. He’s the executive vice president at CAG Truck Capital. And we discussed how they help truck drivers when it comes to buying new trucks used trucks or also financing motors for trucks. It was a really good conversation. They had been doing it a long time and I think they’ve got a unique path to where they help owner-operators be successful. I think you want to hear about it. Very interesting episode and course as always, we try to bring you good information here to help the podcast to help you be a successful owner-operator for sure. So thanks for listening. Be sure and watch us on our YouTube channel. Check it out like subscribe, comment. Also, if you want to hear anything, let us know what that’s what you want to hear here on the Oakley podcast. We’ll be glad to talk about it. But before we get started on this episode, let’s hear from our sponsor Arrow Truck Sales.

Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales in Springfield, Missouri is currently offering $1,000 off your first month’s payment when you finance with transport funding, or $1,000 off the truck price if you bring your own financing. They’re also discounting the cost of an extended warranty by $500. Arrow Truck Sales has been a longtime partner with Oakley Trucking and that’s because they specialize in first-time truck buyers, they don’t do any leases, they have the best-used trucks money can buy (because used trucks is all they do, they don’t sell any new trucks), and the biggest reason that Arrow and Oakley are partners is service after the sale. It is very important to us at Oakley that when we refer you to a company, that they are a good company with good people, they do what they say, and they understand our requirements. So give Keith a call at 573-216-6047 for a good used truck and tell him you heard about it on the Oakley podcast.

Okay, so we’re here at Mid-America Truck Show and we are going to visit Mr. Larry Ginsburg with CAG Truck Capital and talk to him for a minute about what’s going on in his world and how it associates with the trucking world because it is big. I know we have seen a lot of that I’m anxious to hear what he’s got going on at CAG Truck Capital. Hey, Mr. Larry, how are you today?

Larry Ginsberg  3:22  

Jeremy, I’m good. I’m glad to be here. Appreciate the opportunity.

Jeremy Kellett  3:26  

Hey, I appreciate you responding to our inbox and coming over and sitting down with us because anytime I can find people that are interested in helping truck drivers like CAG, I want to get that word out there the best I can, like Oakley. How long have you been with CAG, Larry?

Larry Ginsberg  3:45  

This is actually my second tour of duty I was with CAG back in 2006 came back this past July. So started here back in July of 2021. And as you can see, I’m Executive Vice President helping to grow the company, build the company, and work with some incredibly talented people, opposite owner-operators. That’s what we look to do: help owner-operators.

Jeremy Kellett  4:08  

That’s what I was going to say, yeah. Let’s explain that, CAG Truck Capital. First of all, where are y’all out of?

Larry Ginsberg  4:12  

We’re out of Pennsylvania. Chadds Ford.

Jeremy Kellett  4:14  

Okay, and what’s your main goal as a company?

Larry Ginsberg  4:18  

Our main goal, I would say first what it is we do is we finance trucks new in us and engine overhauls. What’s our main mission? I mean, if you spoke with our visionary, our founder, Chris grieve, as Our main mission is to help owner-operators technically improve or sustain their quality of life. We work with individuals that are new to the business. They might’ve been drivers, they want to become entrepreneurs, they want to grow their own business, kind of get a piece of the American dream, get their first truck. We help them do that. We also work with those individuals that have been in the business. And this event happens which we kind of say it’s not a matter of if but it’s a matter of when they’re driving a truck gets up into the 6, 7, 800,000 miles, they notice events going to happen that catastrophic engine failures coming. We help those individuals get back on the road. Like I said, sustain their quality of life.

Jeremy Kellett  5:13  

That’s really good because the people need it more than anything now because stuff has gotten so expensive, Larry, so hard to justify that. I do like the part that you said about first-time owner-operator. It’s hard to find a finance company that wants to invest in that first-time owner-operator, and y’all do that?

Larry Ginsberg  5:35  

We do that. We do the individual that’s looking to get their first truck they have 2, 3, 4 years worth of driving experience and might only have one but they see the opportunities to get in there get their own truck and now work as an independent get take advantage of the larger Groasis we also work with individuals that are say neutered estates, they have family or friends over here in the states that are either driving have their own companies, these individuals will come to the States sign on as a driver do they get a CDL now they see it skins the land of opportunity now they get an opportunity to get their own truck the I help these individuals.

Jeremy Kellett  6:14  

Getting that first truck is such a hurdle, too.

Larry Ginsberg  6:18  

It really is.

Jeremy Kellett  6:19  

We do a lot we encourage a lot with Oakley, everybody. I think a lot of people know Oakley trucking. I mean, we tried to get that company driver to do after that American drain to the extent we even refer guys to certain dealerships sure, that we have confidence in but probably one of the parts we’re missing is that finance company because it is so hard for that first time owner-operator to get approved for that money to get that first truck. How does a guy go about doing it with CAG Truck Capital?

Larry Ginsberg  6:51  

Again, I agree with what you’re saying. I worked in another world previously. I’ll call it the AB world, for some big finance companies. I will say back our financial a great company to work with. I worked on the finance side, first-timers looking to get into the visitors’ limit experience limited comps comparable depth fame experience, I wasn’t getting that done as the credit manager. So there had to be some avenue to get these individuals that might not have, let’s say the creditworthiness or the experience that they’ve been driving, they have sufficient and adequate downpayment, they need someone and it’s going to look at that total picture. And that’s what it’ll say on our website. We work with a lot of different individuals, we listen to the story. The AB world doesn’t listen to the story. It’s kind of a FICO-driven thing. But here at CAG we’re able to tell the whole story.

Jeremy Kellett  7:42  

I gotta tell you a couple of stories.

I like stories.

We deal with this all the time trying to refer guys over to companies to get a truck. And we have had guys that have great credit a lot of money down but still do not get approved because they’re first-time owner-operators because they don’t have any commercial credit. What are the finance companies looking for? To me, if a guy’s buying a truck, he’s got a sufficient amount of money to put down I mean at least 20% on a truck. And he’s got good credit but just because he’s never owned a truck before they don’t approve me and we get frustrated because we could get that guy as an owner-operator with Oakley because they won’t approve you. What in the world is going on?

Larry Ginsberg  8:29  

First-timers are tough to get bought. Good credit means a lot of different things. You might have good credit 700+ credit score. But he might come down to like he said the first truck comparable debt-paying experience. So again, good credit means a lot of different things. We’ll let it there Filippo. And those individuals, let’s say that have let’s say a little less than 700 credit, they’re looking at the same opportunities that they want to get a piece out so how to somebody structure them to again pursue their dream to get into truck to become an independent make the grosses that they can is someone that signed on Oakley pattern they get to that world? Well, we do we help those individuals. And like I said the same thing with the engine overhauls. This could be a solid A credit might be someone with a couple of some challenges.

Jeremy Kellett  9:20  

What are you seeing right now? Recently in this past year, what’s going crazy at CAG? Is it engine rebuilds? Is it people trying to get— I know process of trucks. How’s that affected you?

Larry Ginsberg  9:35  

Just like it affects every other lender. Your loan to value is totally challenged. When you’re looking at a four, five-model-year-old truck and prices aren’t that far off from what the trucks sold for new five years ago. It’s a challenge for the lending community.

Y’all have to think about that as a lending company. I mean, this truck’s all wore out, are we gonna loan this much money on it? When’s it gonna come back? That’s what I’d be thinking, too. I understand that.

And we do, just like every other lender. So when we’re looking to finance that truck, this is a big, long nose 379, 2015. The truck’s looking good but let’s say it has mileage of about 650 701 of the things we’re asking the client about is, as his truck had any recent overhauls to show that might be 750 on the odometer, but it might have 110,000 on a fresh overhaul. So now they got greater value for that truck than a truck that shows say, 800,000 miles and is kind of coming to that inevitable point, it’s coming, it’s coming. They know what’s going on. Like I said, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

Jeremy Kellett  10:49  

So do y’all do just a lot of just financing motor rebuilds? Like, you’re not financing the truck.

Larry Ginsberg  10:56  

We are financing the truck.

Jeremy Kellett  10:57  

I know that, but say I own my truck.

Larry Ginsberg  11:00  

We’re financing people buying trucks.

Jeremy Kellett  11:02  

Right. I’m saying that if I got my truck bought through some other finance company and my motor blows, can I come to you to get a loan on rebuilding my motor?

Larry Ginsberg  11:16  

Possibly. Depends upon the value of the truck and what the payoff is on the truck, if you have a pretty fresh loan on it, and the engine blows up pretty early, that’s going to be sort of a numbers challenge. We do finance individuals that have their loan someplace else, and the loan payoff, in addition to the value of the overhaul, we’re able to put those two together, we’re not going to finance somebody else’s encumbered truck. But if the numbers work out, we’ll pay off the primary, the first-day lender will work that into our deal will pay the shop that’s doing the repair, we might require some downpayment, just to again, give them a good loan to value so that their residuals and their Heyman is reasonable opposite their cash flow. So in essence, the answer your questions, we can and then you’re the only lien holder, I’ll draw the only lien holder on the truck.

Jeremy Kellett  12:08  

Exactly. That makes sense there because that means you don’t want too much of that. But I’d say your preference is you actually financing the truck. And then you’re more apt to loan on the motor, we have motor transmission problems if you already have it so you don’t have to go through that or the process.

Larry Ginsberg  12:26  

Exactly. And it’s kind of interesting that you bring that up because we kind of look at that in a kind of a unique way. We look at the truck purchases with a sweet spot of mileage under five, maybe closer to four. But now you’re going to look at it an individual that’s looking to buy a truck that, say has 650 on it. What do you do with this individual still has a really nice shock that they’re looking to buy, we can actually go in structured alone, where there’s almost a built-in overhaul that’s coming along with it, how does that happen? They’re making, say, $20,000 a month, $7,000 a week gross. And I understand there’s going to be the truck payments that dilute that. But now they have mileage of 657 we know what’s coming, they know what’s coming. So we’re actually setting up a reserve for them by compressing the payments. So give them a shorter-term versus what other lenders are going to do, which is kind of asked to come to hey, I can get you a loan with 48 months, your payment will be less. But then when the truck inevitably has this catastrophic event, the equity position doesn’t avail itself for that lender or the operator themselves to really bail themselves out there. They’re almost out of business, we will coach and counsel, we’re not like your traditional lenders that are just looking for a one-and-done deal. We’re working through them through the long call this loan. So we’ll actually kind of factor in the anticipated overall for the higher mileage. And this thing goes down. He understands he’s got a great equity position because of how we structured that loan. He comes back to us we kind of look at it as though it’s a second bite of the apple, we’re going to help you get the truck. When that inevitable event happens. You’re investing your downpayment in the future versus risking your downpayment, we’re going to be able to help structure that and what we’ll do was kind of change the terms a little bit keep your payment the same truck goes into some certified dealer location, you get a certified warranty with one of the majors Cummins cat Detroit, it could be a bad car for the Volvo engine. And this person again, as I said earlier, sustain their quality of life.

Jeremy Kellett  14:30  

I love that right there because you’re thinking on the next level there. A lot of finance companies do not think about that.

Larry Ginsberg  14:38  


Jeremy Kellett  14:39  

So you’re actually trying to set money aside for the guy.

Larry Ginsberg  14:43  

We’re trying to help them sustain and achieve long-term reliability, uptime. Keep them doing what he does try at least get equity in that truck as quick as possible. And they understand that the questions we would ask is something like, correct me if I’m wrong, in the event this truck that now has 650 750,000 miles on it experiences that catastrophic event, which we all know was coming, correct me if I’m wrong, you have $60,000 sitting in reserve. What do you think the answer to that question typically is?

Jeremy Kellett  15:16  

I don’t know.

Larry Ginsberg  15:17  

Well, what are you going to do? Silence. Well, let us help you with that. We got a different plan, got a different path we can kind of share with you. And they appreciate that. It’s almost thank you every time.

Jeremy Kellett  15:33  

That’s probably one of the things you tell me more. But that’s probably one of the things that separate you guys from just a regular finance company, that it knows they’re thinking about, you’re thinking about down the road, and keeping this guy in business envy, because, because we all know, as you said, it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when you’re gonna have problems and they know that and breakdowns. It’s common. You’ve been in it a long time, Larry. How crazy is this right now going on with the price of trucks, the price of used trucks.

Larry Ginsberg  16:09  

It’s a challenge.

Jeremy Kellett  16:10  

What is going to happen?

Larry Ginsberg  16:12  

Well, I was talking to some motor fleets here. What is their average trade cycle? Some say three, some say four years average around 354 50 in that range. That major fleets are so far beyond their trade cycles. Those fleets at BI Kenworth Peterbilt international trucks typically trade at 350, like a JB Hunt, there’s such a scarcity of inventory out there. And again, I’m not an expert in the area, but it all kind of relegates back to the whole supply chain event. So the new trucks are not rolling off the assembly line, the trades are not coming in. And that’s why so many dealers and factory stores have such a scarcity of inventory. And then it comes down to I guess, and no economics major. But supply and demand impact is just like cars, limited inventory, their car prices are selling at a premium new and use same in the trucking business. So it circles back to the thing we talked about earlier: loan to value. It’s a little distorted these days.

Jeremy Kellett  17:18  

It’s a little scary for us, to be honest with you, sometimes trying to get a guy to buy a truck when they’re so overpriced, but you just don’t know what that you don’t know what the future brings if that’s the new norm. But the good thing is there’s money to be made. I mean, they’re making more money than they’ve ever made so it’s still a great time to get in the trucking business and become an owner-operator, it’s just that a lot of folks are getting into it so it just might be a little more difficult.

So what all services? I know you told me a little bit about the financing the truck, but do y’all do trailers, anything like that at CAG?

Larry Ginsberg  17:55  

Our primary focus is the class A trucks have got to know when US purchases, the engine overhauls. It’s our specialty. It’s our area of expertise. We even have a certified technician, Service Manager on staff that can work with clients work with shops, how do we differentiate ourselves from some of the other lenders, they’re looking to put together alone, they’re not looking to get too deep into what it is the clients looking to do. And on the overhaul side, there’s a lot of nuances to getting someone’s truck for the client to get their truck through to shop will actually orchestrate and coordinate with the shop and make sure they’re getting factory parts making sure they’re getting something like fuel injectors put back in a lot of times what you’ll see is that shop will look to do and we’re talking about certified shafts, they’ll look to do the in frame the overhaul might not necessarily do new set of injectors. So we have some expertise in-house will communicate with the client explain why this is in your best interest to put the injectors new injectors into this fresh overhaul than the old injectors which are coming close to probably the end of their useful life might impair this new fresh overhaul. We’ll talk with the shop he coordinates that on behalf of the client so we’re beyond financing. We’re kind of triangulating a lot of things with the client with the shops and dealers.

Jeremy Kellett  19:18  

That’s going that extra step.

Larry Ginsberg  19:20  

Big time.

Jeremy Kellett  19:21  

It really is. I didn’t realize that. I’ve always heard of CAG Truck Capital and I think we might have talked in the past but didn’t have a sit down good conversation like this is but it sure sounds like you guys have got a great company going on there. Is it privately owned?

Larry Ginsberg  19:36  

It is.

Jeremy Kellett  19:37  

Okay, and y’all just have the one facility. You said Pennsylvania?

Larry Ginsberg  19:43  

Correct. Correct.

Everything happens there from origination to servicing. We’re not a broker. We’re not outsourcing this. We manage all this from the point of origination from when the client finds us, goes through our website, all the way through to servicing the loan. It’s all done on there.

Jeremy Kellett  19:59  

How about warranty? Y’all sell warranties?

Larry Ginsberg  20:02  

We don’t sell warranties but we definitely encourage the clients when they purchase their truck. And definitely, when they’re doing the overall they’re getting warranties, and especially on the overhaul. Again, if it’s a Cummins Detroit, these are certified overhauls that have been done up through and including remand graded engines. So they’re getting a warranty from Cummins cat Detroit, a kobiet pack are on the MX engine, they’re getting those certified warranties.

Jeremy Kellett  20:33  

We always encourage these guys when they’re buying a truck to get a warranty. I know there are a lot of warranties out there and people have their differences about them, but, man, I’ve seen too many things go wrong when they didn’t have a warranty. And if he hadn’t released he had to lay on the stand on to get on.

Larry Ginsberg  20:52  

Again, it’s about planning for the future. Get the warranty done, you buy truck, get the warranty all the OEMs, like PAGCOR, Volvo International, they all have their factory warranties. It’s good to get the warranty and the same thing. You’re getting a certified engine overhaul done. You want that certified factory warranty. What is it? It’s about uptime. Reliability. Not to mention being able to sleep at night.

Jeremy Kellett  21:18  

Yeah, isn’t that the truth. Well, man, I sure appreciate you sitting in with me. Anything else you’d like to add about CAG Truck Capital?

Larry Ginsberg  21:25  

Well, like I said, pretty excited to be here. It has a program and a product that just helps owner-operators, drivers that are looking to become owner-operators.

Jeremy Kellett  21:36  

You do new and used?

Larry Ginsberg  21:37  

We do.

Jeremy Kellett  21:38  

Okay, good.

Larry Ginsberg  21:39  

So again, it’s about their quality of life. We work with them different than a traditional lender does. We’re helping them improve and sustain their quality.

Jeremy Kellett  21:48  

I like that. I like hearing the part that you said earlier in this as you hear the story you like to listen to the story now which hits home with me because when we look to lease people on it Oakley Trucking, we will hear the story. We want to know the person and what’s going on we just try not to look at the piece of paper we try to understand what’s going on with them and if they’d be a good fit for us, so that sounds like what CAG does, too.

Larry Ginsberg  22:15  

It works, and clients—we call them clients—we look at these individuals just like to get my Morgan Stanley rep looks in and the client she’s educating me she’s helping me understand what it is I need to do for long term wealth and sustainability. Their clients to us and it works real well.

Jeremy Kellett  22:35  

Good stuff. How do people get in touch with you?

Larry Ginsberg  22:39  

We have a pretty massive marketing effort. People are calling us at all hours of the night sometimes it just kind of boggles my mind is voicemails out of being left at two in the morning. Applications are coming in order they find this they find it on our website. We advertise an XM radio so truckers are out there perusing the highways they’re listening to road dogs are listening to bearish news stations. We advertise there. So they’re coming back they Google things such as engine overhauls. You’ll Google engine overhauled, heavy-duty truck engine overhauls were popping out now like the preeminent lender and it comes up first.

Jeremy Kellett  23:18  

They can also go to your website, CAGTruckCapital.com.

Larry Ginsberg  23:22  

Correct. They can also go to virtually any dealer in the country. They’re going to know us. We have a strategic partnership with Commons. They just drop into really anyone or two Commons facilities around the country. They’re gonna find us also, so we’re pretty well connected pretty well recognized throughout the industry. They find us.

Jeremy Kellett  23:44  

Oh, yeah. They need you.

Larry Ginsberg  23:47  

They need us. We need them.

Jeremy Kellett  23:48  

We need them, that’s right.

Larry Ginsberg  23:51  

We need truckers.

Jeremy Kellett  23:52  

Right, we do. Larry, appreciate you sitting down with me. And I really appreciate you informing me more about CAG Truck Capital. I’m impressed. I really am. It sounds like a great company. And I think we might ought to talk a little more after this and make sure we’re on the same page so we can help me because I think both of those together if you got the financing and I got the company and the freight and everything, we can make somebody pretty happy.

Larry Ginsberg  24:15  

That’s how I kind of look at it. We’ve talked a lot of the freight companies here your dispatch department doesn’t want to get that inevitable call from somebody who’s out there on the road somewhere and says hey guy, little problem. My trucks down looks like I needed overhaul. What do I do? It everybody kind of sits there staring at each other? Well, I’ll tell you this. The dealers know as we get business that comes in through the dealers, whether it’s Kenworth, Volvo, Mack Peterbilt, international, the dealers know how to get to us they can help the clients get to us. Cummins can help folks get to Detroit, and then we’ll pretty broad base footprint throughout the marketing and like I said XM they find us they are there to help.

Jeremy Kellett  24:57  

Well, everybody check out CAG Truck Capital talk to Larry and he will take care of you. Make sure and look at love when you have a truck overhaul need a truck looking and getting your first truck anything that comes to truck financing be sure to give CAG Truck Capital calm. appreciate everybody listening and once again, it’s the Oakley podcast every Wednesday comes out with a new one and we appreciate it. We’ll talk to you next week.

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