Budget To Start As An O/O

Discussion in 'Storage Trailer' started by brinkj23, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. brinkj23

    brinkj23 "Asphalt Cowboy"

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    How much does one think you should have saved up to start o/oing. Including getting the truck and everything, Also anyone have any experience o/oing with Schneider,and their purchasing program. Thanks any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

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    money wise, i think that for ANY business, you should have at least 6 months of your current salary in the bank.

    down payments i think are at or about 20% of the purchase price, provided you have very good to great credit?

    i can't help you with schneider's program.
     
  3. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    In addition to the cost of the truck, be it a cash purchase, or just the amount for the downpayment, based on what you want to do, I would recommend that you have about 10-15% of the truck purchase price available to put into the truck right away in repairs and updates, enough to pay for at least 75% of the repair cost of a major component, which means 7,500-10,000 in cash, and at least enough money to run yourself and the truck (all expenses) for at least a month minimum. And engine / trans / rear end failure can happen the second day you own the truck, as can a deer across the hood wiping out the front end due to no fault of yours.

    I plan to buy in cash, and have at least 20,000 extra on hand for operating money when I start. People will tell you that you can get by with less money, but it all depends on your taste for risk. And you need to look carefully at any warranties on the vehicle, since they are covering your risk. The stronger the warranty, the less cash reserve you need on hand to cover things. Remember, in a breakdown, just the tow off the highway can cost you 5-800 dollars, and that doesn't get you to the repair shop or any repairs done. One of the reasons why I recommend buying the truck then going over it mechjanically with a fine toothed comb is to prevent the little things like radiator hoses from putting you out of business. Spend the money and replace all the hoses, belts, and many other parts of the truck before running it.

    In my opinion, only a fool selects a truck on Friday, drives it home on Saturday, goes to Indoc on Monday, and startes pulling load on Wednesday. And you would be shocked at how many people do just that!
     
  4. Joethemechanic

    Joethemechanic Medium Load Member

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    Yeah, having some cash on hand and some mechanical skills is important.
    Three weeks in, my 3406E Cat started leaking coolant into the crankcase. Pulled the pan and pressurised the system and saw that the leak was coming from the crevice seal on #5 cylinder. Trucks will break. There is no getting around that. If I wasn't capable of doing the repairs myself, I would make sure I had enough money put into my repair fund to handle something major, like an engine rebuild. $20,000 for repairs should cover it. A couple of months worth of income to feed the wife and kids would be a good idea too.
     
  5. Joethemechanic

    Joethemechanic Medium Load Member

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    You know how they say if something is going to break it will happen at the worst time. Well it did, it happened while we were really busy. It wasn't untill Thursday that I got the pan down and pressurised the cooling system and found the leak.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I have seen guys have some luck with KW Block Seal for sealing up leaking crevice seals, so I think I might try that and see if I can get a couple of mounths out of it and buy myself some time to start looking for another truck. I can tell you this is the first and last time I buy a truck with a Cat in it. From what I have read these 3406Es have had a crevice seal problem since they built them. They have tried at least 3 different materials for the seal and combinations of all three and still have problems. http://www.bandgmachine.com/technical/july98.htm
     
  6. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    As for the truck, check around. If this is a well known problem, then there has to be someone around that has had the problem and found a solution to it. There are too many million mile Cat's out there for it not to have been solved, even if the solution is not a Cat approved one.

    Add another reason to my list for not wanting a Cat engine when I buy. I don't have a lot of experience with them, but my roadside survey of broken engines as i drive by people with their hoods up shows me a lot more yellow engines than I prefer to see. I know a lot of people swear by them, but I hear a lot of people also swear at them.
     
  7. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    Would it be cheaper to drop another engine in it?

    A lot of people don't like Caterpillar engines. Any particular reason for this or is it just a matter of preference? They seem to do alright in heavy equipment.
     
  8. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    In my case, I simply have limited experience with Cat engines in trucks. I know most Cummins and Detroits well, pretty much know their good and bad points, and how to solve any potential problems. And, of the 3 engine manufacturers, Cat has always held closely to it's repair parts, which means that for a great many things, you have to go to Cat and pay their prices. The others have allowed other sources for the parts, and that means that there is a greater number of sources for parts, and usually more experience rebuiding them across the board.

    One of the thing that contributes to the popularity of an engine is how the repair parts get controlled. Detroit and Cummins long ago made a decision to allow replacement parts to be purchased outside of their specific control. And that contributes to the popularity of their engines. Other engines like Volvo and Mercedes may be good engines, but the number one complaint with them is the limited parts and repair sources. It's an issue that has to be thought of when a new engine is introduced. IH is going to see this when they bring out their new engines next year.

    Of course, you can sell anything to the people buying trucks new, because it's not going to break in 600,000 miles, but if it can't be rebuilt at reasonable cost, the truck and engine will have zero value in the secondary (used) market, and that's the place where reputations are truly made for the long run.
     
  9. Joethemechanic

    Joethemechanic Medium Load Member

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    I really haven't had much experince with Cat truck engines in the past, so to me this 3406E isn't an easy rebuild like a E-6 Mack, 855 or N-14 Cummins, or a Detroit. Then there is the problem of the price of the repair parts. Cat is just so expensive to work on. The last Mack I did an in-chassis on was an 300 Maxidyne, I wrapped the whole job up for about $1500-1700 in parts and it took about 2 days. That was pistons, liners, rod and main bearings, valve guides, 6 new injection nozzle tips, gaskets, filters, oil, pretty much everything. Cat wants like $500 for just one cylinder kit. I think I saw some package deals for 6 cylinder kits for like $2400. still like $400 a piece.

    My 3406E only has 340,000 miles on it. It ran great, not even a hint of blow-by, clean as could be inside, had regular oil changes, and had every indication of being a good tight engine. From what I hear these crevice seals are about the number 1 reason Cats have to be rebuilt.

    Maybe I am spoiled. I grew up with Mack ENDT675 and 676, and 855 Cummins powered trucks. Most of these engines went 750,000 miles in fleet service, even with abusive drivers. And it was almost unheard of to have a major problem before the half a million miles.

    As for rebuilding this thing or putting another motor in it, I just don't see it. I would end up with about $4,000 or $5,000 in it, not to mention my time. The truck is 11 years old. I don't see it being worth the money. If the block sealer will seal it up for a couple of months, I will start shopping for another truck and run this untill it drops, and break it up for parts.