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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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