Old truck for new O/O

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by kros, Feb 5, 2023.

  1. kros

    kros Light Load Member

    Feb 4, 2023
    Hello Truckers!

    I have a dilemma, I am planning to buy my first truck and become an owner operator. I've been working as a company driver for 4 years now and saved about $85k.

    1. I am just veeery scary about financing a brand new truck, too much money for a newbie and no way I'll purchase it before I'm sure I can be good as an O/O.

    2. I have the option to buy a 400k miles fred for $55k (I've been running this truck now since it had 250k miles), all for cash.
    I understand that this truck may soon start to have a lot of problems here and there. And I can't seem to fix it myself. But its relatively new.

    3. Or I can buy a truck with already deleted DPF system, which reduces the possibility of breakdowns, but also reduces the number of states that I can go to. Could you tell me which states I won't be able to drive on the truck?

    4. Or the third option, I can buy an old truck, 1995-2009 and try to fix it myself when it breaks, which I think I can do with trucks 1995-2005. Again, I will not be able to drive in to some states, which ones? and what is seen in the future about old trucks without DPF.

    Really appreciate your help and wish you $2/gallon diesel and $15 rates per mile!
    blairandgretchen Thanks this.
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  3. Kshaw0960

    Kshaw0960 Road Train Member

    Jun 17, 2018
    I’ve done both, twice. I bought a 3 and 4 year old truck and a 1999 and 1996

    My advice is to buy the truck you’re in now with 400k miles and delete the dpf. You will get decent fuel economy and repairs won’t be bad for a year or two at least.

    New trucks made sense when they were reasonably priced. There’s no way I would buy a $250k truck at todays rate and diesel cost.

    The only states right now is California you couldn’t drive through. However many people still do it and it’s hard to catch you.

    The second option would be to buy an older truck. This may be the first option it’s tough choice. Right now you can get REALLY clean trucks pre 2007 for CHEAP and can pretty much make the truck brand new again for less than a used newer truck costs.

    To give you ideas… my 3 year old truck I purchased with 380k miles, sold it at 550k miles and only maintenance I did was a fan clutch and dpf delete. If I had kept this longer I would have sky high maintenance bills.

    For my 1996 and 1999 I spent about $15-20k a year on maintenance each the first year and it drops down after that. Just know you’ll usually need $10k worth of crap including tires right off the bat. However a rebuild is so cheap and will make overall maintenance costs acceptable.

    As of now I sold all trucks but the 1999.
  4. Trucker K

    Trucker K Medium Load Member

    Sep 21, 2019
    I recently become O/o after working for 20 years as a driver previously being a O/o over 22 years ago that did not work well back then with a used truck. Currently, decided to purchase a new truck with a full warranty that covers the truck up to 350k millage/5 years. New trucks have issues too however, for the amount of time I've been in the shop im glad I purchased a newer truck. To sum things up the wheels need to keep moving in order of being paid. So most have to weigh in on the pros & cons when purchasing a truck. A lot say drivers need to be mechanically inclined (which I am to a point) so I bring my tools etc. with me in my truck. But at the end of the day I'm trucker not a mechanic so hemorrhaging more than 1/5th of my pay settlements on fixing something major on my truck doesn't make good business sense. So far, regular maintenance such as oil changes or a slight tire issue is the only out of pocket expense. After working with companies before blowing multiple turbos having transmission issues, def issues etc. Old trucks become costly when they're in the shop. Its a personal preference however with prices declining as of late on trucks you might want to look at some kind of deal with a dealship closer to newer (even a year old truck) for consideration.
    Rideandrepair and kros Thank this.
  5. Kshaw0960

    Kshaw0960 Road Train Member

    Jun 17, 2018
    For me the issue with new trucks is the warranty. You drop your truck off and it could be a month before you see it again. I had wabash hold my trailer for 2 months for a broken handle. It’s ridiculous.
  6. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    There are many old vs new threads in here. I suggest to read them all from top to bottom.
    Personally I would go with 1998-2000 Detroit 12.7 or a brand new truck.
    A $55k emissions truck with 400k miles will cost you per year more than a $55k 1999 one.
  7. gokiddogo

    gokiddogo Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    What state are you from? If you are from CA and registering it there they may be able to make your life difficult if you are running around a deleted or a simply old truck. Not sure how true it is, if they can deny registration renewal if you aren't "emission compliant" in their eyes. @Diesel Dave I think is from/runs cali.

    If you are buying a deleted truck or buying one and having it deleted, a few things, you will have no warranty if there is any left, dealerships may turn you away or demand you need your emission garbage "fixed" since they may be held liable if they don't act this way, therefore limiting you to other non-dealer shops. Last, there are plenty of improperly done deletes out there that sure you don't have a dpf or def anymore, except now it eats a turbo every year or runs hot or otherwise is going to cost you money another way.

    I've done it both ways. Had a 2000 classic xl, 12.7 detroit, that truck I paid cash for and while I had lots of repairs, they all were just because the truck was getting old. Radiator transmission alternator ac fan etc. I basicly rebuilt it one piece at a time. Later, I bought a 1y old 16 389. It was a right place right time opportunity. Basicly no repairs for the first few years, but good size payments. The difference in cashflow, for me, was about 1000 more per month going out for the new truck compared to repairs for the old. For the last 2 or 3 years I have been in that zone of, truck is paid, but haven't had big repairs start coming yet *knock on wood*. Old truck, paid for, you gotta drive it so you can fix it. New truck you gotta pay a monthly note regardless if you drive it. I will admit when all my equipment is paid for, I get lazy and don't work as much. Usually the devil you know is better than the one you don't. Perhaps I am lucky with my emission truck. I don't idle it excessively and I replace sensors before they fail. Also carry a box of sensors. Paranoia I guess from too much youtube watching and rawze reading. (I have a cummins).

    All that being said, now that I am out of warranty, if my emission systems start acting up and costing me reliability, I will correct them permanently. I do just fine not going to cali. I won't delete it just for kicks, it may be a part of the annual inspection where I live, not sure. I'd have to find a shop and talk to them beforehand if they'd still do a yearly safety if it isn't working.
  8. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    South GA
    @Dave_in_AZ might have one that would interest you.
    I can attest to his upkeep and honesty.
    If I were going to buy another truck, I'd buy his.....(so long as he cleans the cat hair out of it.)
    He's a good guy that takes care of his stuff.
    PM him.
    JoeyJunk, JolliRoger and kros Thank this.
  9. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Land of local
    Plain and simple unless you can do 90% of the work yourself old iron will cost you more, especially buying something that's on its last legs. Money and downtime.

    Now something rare like a 1 owner truck that's been taken care of since day one would be a different story but you're highly unlikely to find that gem. You'd be better off going new.
  10. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Newport, Ar
    I wouldn’t delete anything.
    Most people that tell you to won’t tell you about the problems that arise later, turbos going out all the time from to much back pressure, shops that will not work on one, and who will turn you in.

    Run it a while, so it cost a lil bit to fix, once it’s fixed, mostly sensors nowadays, run it more, or trade it in.
    Some companies won’t accept trade in on illegal trucks either, nor would I want to take a chance, if someone runs into you and they die, they’ll go over your equipment and you with a find tooth comb,Oh, deleted truck?
    You should not have been there, as it’s not legal for highway use so therefore you shouldn’t have been there.
    You’ll be sued back to the stone ages, living in a tent, or maybe a van, down by the river..
  11. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    The Detroits are supposed to be pretty good since 2017. That might mean a 2018 Truck. I don’t know. Don’t know any details either. Worth looking into though. I was told that by an Engineer at Detroit who works in emissions R&D Super smart Guy. I also think Cummins may have a 5 yr warranty available. Sometelse to consider. Hard enough to get a Truck into the Dealership with or without warranty. A Deleted Truck will be refused, only choice will be being able to find a Mechanic willing to work on it. Or have the deleted system restored, Either way it’d going to add $$$ to the bill. I’ve been running a 99 12.7 for 15 yrs. 2.5 mil on the Truck. It’s a 2001 Freightliner Classic. Had a different Classic for 7 yrs before this one. It was a 99, w/ 98 engine. I won’t even think about buying another Truck. I’d avoid spending a lot on a newer Freightliner, unless you plan on keeping it forever. KWs and Pete’s hold their value better for future trades. The exception would be a late model at a low price. Pay less upfront, get less on trade. Make more money in the process. So who cares.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2023
    JoeyJunk and kros Thank this.
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