First Truck

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Holy.Roller$, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. Holy.Roller$

    Holy.Roller$ Bobtail Member

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    OUCH! Thanks
     
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  3. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    A well spec'd aero truck with a pre-emission Series 60 can easily get 6 mpg all day long (or better if you try). Problem is finding that unicorn. Most of these early 2000s and older trucks are hammered and will need probably $20-$30k put into them right out of the gate.
     
  4. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    I don't see it that way at all.

    If you're just coming into this business and you spend $60,000 on a truck that next year is going to be worth twenty-five thousand, and you spend $30,000 on a trailer that's going to be worth $10,000 or so, that's bad math I think.

    And like I said the wave has already crested. You might not get 3 months.

    And what happens if you spend $60,000 on the truck and you spend $30,000 on a trailer and all the sudden that 500000 mile truck is in the shop for a month? And then it goes back to work for two or three weeks and it's back in the shop again for another few weeks. And then it goes back in the shop again for a month.

    And then the wave has crashed and you say okay I have $95,000 worth of equipment here that I just spent another $30,000 on and now I'm four months in the hole on paying my $30,000 a year insurance and my $2,500 a year tag and my $550 heavy use tax my $5,000 deposit on the insurance, and all of my other many startup expenses, I'm going to sell it. But the wave has crashed.

    So now you're big business venture of going in debt for at that point, what, $125,000 at least, you're lucky if you can get 30 or 40 back out of it.

    I don't look at business as a craps game like it's hot so put some money down right now and we'll get the money right back it'll be great.

    I'm not arguing with you everybody has their point of view but I don't agree especially giving someone new that kind of advice.

    I get what you're saying if you have a fleet of trucks and you want to attempt to add another, but even at that you're going to pay top dollar for the truck top dollar for the trailer and drivers have not been in more demand than they are right now. I wouldn't want to be looking for a driver right now.

    Then if you can't find one the truck sits and if you decide to sell it the wave has crashed.
     
  5. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

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    I would like to own one in my life to see what they're about, but I'm not dead set on it yet. That California produce sure does pay nice.
     
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  6. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

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    The odds ARE well in your favor. The overwhelming majority of trucks don't blow up at 500k.
     
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  7. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

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    I think it's bad math too, but only because a 5 year old truck is worth quite a bit more than 25k, even in a lean market. Prices aren't early as inflated as you guys are claiming.

    Not according to DAT Analytics. They've still got rates rising and are projecting no letup thru the end of the year at least.

    What happens is the same thing that would have happened two years ago if there was a crash and you only paid $75k for the equipment. Except nowadays the rates you got while the truck was running are a lot higher.

    I wouldn't buy a truck until I had a driver lined up. But our guy here, he already has a driver lined up.

    Let's face facts. There's a certain vocal minority who is almost always saying it's a terrible time to get started, because what if things get worse. I was told that myself when I got started four years ago. Luckily I didn't listen. And yes, my truck sat in the shop at times. For my fourth month of ownership I calculated a loss of $22k between repairs and downtime. But I'm still here and would risk it again..
     
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  8. drivinhome

    drivinhome Light Load Member

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    Southeastern Mass
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    I really don’t think that is good advice. It’s a very rare occasion that an emission truck will go past 750k without having spent at least 20k on repairs.

    Considering the fact most fleets that dump these trucks at 500k it’s for a reason. They got their monies worth and soon the problems will occur. The costs of downtime and repairs usually outweigh the cost of keeping them.

    Here is the best way to look at it. $60k for a used emission truck. Almost guaranteed to spend $50k on emissions work and an inframe well before 1 million miles. Allot of these trucks don’t make it that far. Then you can add all the repairs and maintenance that will be needed as well and you have to figure in downtime and lost revenue.

    It’s been weighed out many times here. It simply is cheaper to buy new. There are some very rare circumstances where someone gets extremely lucky and can do most of the work themselves.

    I myself know emissions pretty well and have worked through many of them on lots of trucks. It’s a crapshoot even for the best mechanic.

    I do believe most everyone on this forum has good intentions and I believe all we are trying to do is prevent people from making the biggest mistake of their lives.
     
  9. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

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    Cats are real nice, but I wouldn't start off with a Cat unless I had a place to turn wrenches and a full set of tools. I do my DD15 oil changes at 50k, right in line with manufacturer recommendation. Will hit 700k this week and oil samples are fine.

    There's two ways to measure the value of a truck, one is what you the Cat lover would pay for a Cascadia, and the other is where the market decides the value. I'm using the latter method. :)
     
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  10. drivinhome

    drivinhome Light Load Member

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    You were lucky. I definitely will disagree with rates right now. You say you follow DAT. How well do you follow their predictions? The rates are slowly declining and tonnage is also slowing. The rest of this year should still be good but the decline is predicted early next year.

    Trends are trends and what goes up must come down. Allot of years in this business I have seen many ups and downs and this one is high. Nobody can say for sure when but it will drop.

    We are in unprecedented times and our government has piled the money into the economy. IMHO when it does drop it will be ugly. All we can do is keep our costs low and save some money. The best will survive and the rest will go bankrupt. Enjoy the good times and be ready for the bad. That’s really all we can do.
     
  11. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

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    There's no doubt that emissions trucks have more repairs. They have more components so of course they'll have more repairs. But on the other hand, the difference between 6mpg and 7.3mpg is $8,000 extra per year into the pocket of the owner of the emission truck. And that's assuming it's just a manual emissions truck. My automatic Cummins got 9.5 mpg, which would be another $8k per year into pocket.
    That may be one factor, but another major factor is they're chasing mpg. As it turns out, when you have a fleet of 1000 or 10000 trucks and upgrade them all from 6.5 mpg to 9.5 mpg, the difference turns out to be real money.
    A lot of pre-emissions trucks didn't make it that far either. There's some people who skimp on maintenance. And trucks with more components require more maintenance.
    I don't doubt it's cheaper to buy new. Someday I would like to buy all new. But not everyone can afford to do that right out of the gate. He didn't ask what's the best way to do it, he asked if the trucks he is looking at can make money. I'm saying yes. I think there's pros and cons across the board, but any which way can work as long as the freight pays good enough. One guy has a 2022 and he's making money. The other guy has a 1996 and he's making money too. I have a 2013 and I'm doing halfway decent as well, and there's a guy out there somewhere with a 1976 cabover who is making money at 4mpg.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
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