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  #1  
Old 02-29-2012, 06:25 PM
mw2012 mw2012 is offline
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Default buying a used truck

I am thinking about buying a used truck but having trouble deciding if I should buy newer with less miles ex500,600,000 miles hope to run it for 200k or so or buy750/900k and plan ona sooner rebuild.Also could use suggestions on hp. Can't see any real advantage with going to big with fuel as it is. Think I would prefer 10/13 spd versus ultra shift with years around 03 to 07. Any intelligent advice out there except don't do it. Thanks mw2012
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: buying a used truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by mw2012 View Post
I am thinking about buying a used truck but having trouble deciding if I should buy newer with less miles ex500,600,000 miles hope to run it for 200k or so or buy750/900k and plan ona sooner rebuild.Also could use suggestions on hp. Can't see any real advantage with going to big with fuel as it is. Think I would prefer 10/13 spd versus ultra shift with years around 03 to 07. Any intelligent advice out there except don't do it. Thanks mw2012

Hi, MW, and welcome to Layover.

Your question is a bit like me asking which firearm or motorcycle should I buy. Unless you know something about me and the intended use, you simply can't answer the question. So, with that in mind:

- How long have you been driving?

- Have you ever run a business?

- What do you plan on hauling?

- Which company will you lease to or will you haul for yourself?

- What is the cost of the typical truck in the two categories you are considering?

- How much of the total cost are you financing?

- Have you calculated the CPM of operating those trucks?

- Do you know the difference between fixed and variable costs and have you penciled them out?

- Do you know the difference between gross, settlement and net profit?

- What will your net profit be hauling typical loads?

- Do you have an extra $5K - $10K in your bank account to cover unforeseen problems and get you through the lean times?

When you answer those questions, we might be able to give you an honest answer.

BTW, this makes no sense --


Quote:
Any intelligent advice out there except don't do it.

Depending upon your answers to the questions above, why would you not want to hear "don't do it" if that is the answer that would keep you from making a horrible financial move?

We look forward to hearing more from you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:00 PM
mw2012 mw2012 is offline
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Default Re: buying a used truck

Sorry, I sort of figured that getting a suggestion from someone else that has pondered this question and had either made a right or wrong decission when they did it would be difficult. As far as your list of questions, requirements,experience knowledge etc I'm having a hard time understanding what they have to do with my questions.In fact I don't even understand why you would even care.I didn't post this for and evaluation of my knowledge or ability. Just hoping to draw on someones experience with the subject. Oh well, thanks for your attempt at a viable response. mw2012
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:27 PM
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juno_hoo juno_hoo is offline
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Default Re: buying a used truck

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Originally Posted by mw2012 View Post
Sorry, I sort of figured that getting a suggestion from someone else that has pondered this question and had either made a right or wrong decission when they did it would be difficult. As far as your list of questions, requirements,experience knowledge etc I'm having a hard time understanding what they have to do with my questions.In fact I don't even understand why you would even care.I didn't post this for and evaluation of my knowledge or ability. Just hoping to draw on someones experience with the subject. Oh well, thanks for your attempt at a viable response. mw2012

I thought my point made sense but maybe it didn't so, simply put, there still is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to your question.

F'rinstance, for an experienced trucker (with business experience, crunched numbers, some savings and a solid lease pulling high-dollar freight) one type of truck might be a better bet even though it's doubtful that he'll more than make what he could have made with a good company as a company driver.

On the other hand, for an inexperienced trucker (with zero business experience, no numbers, no bank account and no clue about what he'll haul and for whom) just about any truck will do. If that rookie has already made up his mind to buy, so much the better. One of the overpriced "steals" from SelectTrucks with $995 down would probably be the most painless way to go because this driver will be out of business and right back in a company truck within a year. Sadder but wiser...

See where I'm coming from?

I've owned two trucks and neither of them earned me more than I could have made with a really good company. The only advantage to buying my own was that I could take massive amounts of home time without slip-seating.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:33 PM
mw2012 mw2012 is offline
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Default Re: buying a used truck

Sounds to me juno hoo that you are just the person to give me the advice i'm lookin for. When you bought your 1st truck what did you U do? If you bought a 2nd truck was it for U to drive or did you have 2 trucks on the road?Or was it because the first truck need ed replacing due to miles etc. and or not worth rebuilding. answer this for me and maybe we'll be getting somewhere with out all the hoop de la.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:10 PM
aftershock aftershock is offline
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Default Re: buying a used truck

Howdy MW!
Welcome to Layover.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mw2012 View Post
Sounds to me juno hoo that you are just the person to give me the advice i'm lookin for. When you bought your 1st truck what did you U do? If you bought a 2nd truck was it for U to drive or did you have 2 trucks on the road?Or was it because the first truck need ed replacing due to miles etc. and or not worth rebuilding. answer this for me and maybe we'll be getting somewhere with out all the hoop de la.
Don't be too hasty to dismiss Juno's hoop-de-la. Whereas it might not be information that you're currently seekin', it might be information that's good to know sometime in the near future.
Presenting the extra information can also be a reminder for a question that needs to be asked And, as an added bonus, Juno doesn't charge any more for the extra information.

However, readin' through hoop-de-la is time consumin' and can be frustratin' if you're only wantin' the Cliff Notes. I'm thinkin' Juno will edit his replies to fit this format. Juno's answers are pretty accurate either way.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: buying a used truck

Thanks for the comeback aftre shock. Just FYI. I have been driving for 14 yrs class of 1998. I have driven in 36 states and most major us cities with about 75/80% in the NE and yes including the Bronx and Brookyln. I have pulled van,reefer,flats and tankers and am currently semi-retired leaving out 2 early evening nites a week and returning the next nite after 900 to 950 m each trip. Before trucking I have managed more than one business dealing with major companys in several areas of production but mainlly industrial mechanical areas. I don't really have to begin this trek I'm considerang but besides enjoying the ride have my reasons and don't feel compled to elaberate on them.I will be running under my own authority and as far as what i'll be hauling ,for who,for how much etc. well honestly I can't seem to find anyone to give me any gaurentee. If you know of someone that does without a lease please feel free to elaberate. As far as the math, I have done the research know how to do the calculations and also am confident in my own ability. My biggest liability is that I was a company driver, my last truck being a NEW 09 30mi when I picked it up. and the main questions I needed to get involved in where compliance,safety,maintenance ETC,ETC,ETC.

Last edited by mw2012; 03-03-2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: changes
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: buying a used truck

MW, you're probably long gone and won't see this so I'll try to minimize the hoop de la but I do have diarrhea of the keyboard.

Quote:
Thanks for the comeback aftre shock. Just FYI. I have been driving for 14 yrs class of 1998. I have driven in 36 states and most major us cities with about 75/80% in the NE and yes including the Bronx and Brookyln. I have pulled van,reefer,flats and tankers and am currently semi-retired leaving out 2 early evening nites a week and returning the next nite after 900 to 950 m each trip.

Good; we've got a little bit of background to work with and I'm guessing that you would prefer to run east of the Rockies. That means that you won't need killer horsepower to tote heavy loads through mountainous areas. Big horses & mega trannies command higher prices (even if they aren't needed) since they're the trucking equivalent of d**k waving. Just about any modest truck with 425+ or so horses will get the job done and probably save some fuel.


Quote:
Before trucking I have managed more than one business dealing with major companys in several areas of production but mainlly industrial mechanical areas.
Great, and the nature of the previous job hints that you'll have some mechanical ability. You'll need that and some tools. Hopefully that previous experience covered a little about taxes so you'll know that the big tax write-offs O/Os yak about are BS. They're still spending 85-90 cents of every dollar and don't realize it.

Quote:
I don't really have to begin this trek I'm considerang but besides enjoying the ride have my reasons and don't feel compled to elaberate on them.
We can only hope that they're good reasons since making great money isn't going to happen with your own truck.

Quote:
I will be running under my own authority and as far as what i'll be hauling ,for who,for how much etc. well honestly I can't seem to find anyone to give me any gaurentee. If you know of someone that does without a lease please feel free to elaberate.

“Own authority” means that you need more than just a truck, doesn't it? Unless you plan on hauling freight on the fifth wheel, a trailer might be nice. The joy of having your own trailer means one more piece of equipment to maintain, tote around empty and worry about. It also negates opportunities to drop and hook.

On guaranteed rates, you'll find none unless you lease on to a company for mileage pay, rather than percentage. What is guaranteed is that the brokers you'll deal with will do everything in their power to ship a given load at the lowest possible price. Long ago I read in Landline where O/Os get about 85% of the money owed them by brokers. But all is not lost and you can get an idea what the prevailing rates are by visiting sites such as this. Hmmm, it looks like a buck and a half – a buck seventy five is the average so you can whack a few percent off that. That's one more reason why I'm glad I got rid of my truck.

Quote:
As far as the math, I have done the research know how to do the calculations and also am confident in my own ability. My biggest liability is that I was a company driver, my last truck being a NEW 09 30mi when I picked it up. and the main questions I needed to get involved in where compliance,safety,maintenance ETC,ETC,ETC.
More on your “math” in a moment but your “liability” is genuine. That was probably a pretty nice truck and if something broke, you could pick up that phone and say, “Hey, your truck is broken. Whatcha want me to do.” I didn't appreciate how sweet those words were until I got my own truck and dug in my wallet.

To answer your original questions about what to buy, you already have the answer if you've crunched the numbers. Your calculations should have looked like this . Hopefully, you used 'worst-case-scenario' 2012 numbers and erred on the high side of the costs. Now, consider what you have to put down for the tractor and trailer and how much you'll finance. Plug in the monthly payments for tractor/trailer into your calculations and adjust them to arrive at your desired driver income.

You asked if I ran two trucks and I didn't. The reason is simple – anyone who would drive my truck for what I could afford to pay would be too stupid to drive my truck. To do significantly better than a solo truck operation, a small fleet has to be 6 trucks or more for a variety of reasons I won't bore you with.

Mistakes I've made: First truck was a very modest Freightshaker, gave me little trouble besides $1700 in repairs on the very first trip. I traded it at approx 750K miles and only lost half the original price because it was clean, maintained and well serviced. The mistakes – “Freightshaker” (everybody has them and it isn't always easy getting into an FL shop), 42” sit-in sleeper, 350 mechanical (fuel hog) Cummins motor and no Jake. That truck is probably still pulling containers in SoCal.


Second truck: Another modest FL with bigger sleeper and 425 DD 60. Mistakes – again, FL and no Jake although the truck ran well, pulled everything easier and got good fuel mileage. Huge mistake was keeping it way too long and I should have traded it off around 750-800K. Like the dummy I am, I kept repairing things and eventually repaired/replaced darned near everything except the drive axles. You have no idea how many things go wrong as the mileage goes up and that's why companies dump trucks when they run out of warranty.

My biggest mistake was probably buying my own truck but it worked for me at the time.

Do come back and tell us how things are working out. You might also want to search "jdrentzjr" (without the "") on this board for some really intelligent comments on his O/O adventure.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:25 AM
ghostof99 ghostof99 is offline
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Default Re: buying a used truck

I also think this guy's probably gone off to seek more "positive" input regarding his plans to buy a truck.

I've never owned one, but thought about it a few times, and exhaustive number crunching always led to the same conclusion - if I can't afford a new one, then I can't afford a used one.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: buying a used truck

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Originally Posted by ghostof99 View Post
I also think this guy's probably gone off to seek more "positive" input regarding his plans to buy a truck.

I've never owned one, but thought about it a few times, and exhaustive number crunching always led to the same conclusion - if I can't afford a new one, then I can't afford a used one.
Positive input is too true and I don't get it. If I'm going to make a major purchase of anything, I want people to give me every possible reason as to why what I'm about to do is a really bad idea. They may very well point out something that I had never considered and, in doing so, save me some money.

Then again, there are people who want reinforcement for bad ideas and it sort of covers their a$$ when things go wrong. They can always say, "Well, everyone told me it was a great idea!"

But when I think of the O/O thing, it is really kind of insulting to the zillions of company drivers who have at least toyed with the idea. Are all company drivers too stupid to jump on a really good thing? I don't think so. I've seen a slew of people on these boards who could have easily gone O/O if they wanted to, but they didn't. Smart move.
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