Team truck drivers need advice!

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Stefan94, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Stefan94

    Stefan94 Bobtail Member

    Apr 10, 2021
    Chicago, IL
    Hi guys,

    I’ve been reading posts on this forum for a while and finally decided to register to ask a big question.

    Should we buy a new or used truck??

    First, an intro with few details just so you know my experience level and what’s going on.

    Me and my wife have been team driving for around 6-7 months now. We did our winter months in NJ and Pennsylvania in harsh conditions, now it’s finally getting easier with spring and summer coming.

    We do around 4,500-6k miles a week. We go coast to coast and pretty much everywhere and haul everything with dry van.

    We work for a company in Chicago, and first 5 months we were getting paid CPM.

    The last month and a half, we rented a brand new truck from them and it’s been going pretty good except for the money we give every week for the rent (like 2k$ a week, 1100$ + miles). We like driving as owner operators. Even with all the expenses, we still make more money then getting paid as a company drivers.

    But paying all that money for renting is a big chunk of our earnings.
    We were thinking of buying our own truck pretty soon, in the next 4-6 months.

    so the main question is: New or old?

    Brand new Freightliners and Volvos are around 140-155k$.

    used ones are still 60-90k$ but have 600k + miles on them.

    Our concerns about buying a new one are: high interest rate ( we have fair credit score with not a lot of history), we have our CDLs less than a year so the payments may be higher or even we might get denied.

    Our concerns about buying a used one are: maintenance, repairs, safety issues, loosing time sitting at the shops...

    But the used one is way more affordable.

    What to do? Please give me your opinions and advices. Is there any gold rule of what not to buy when buying a used one? Also anything i need to know when buying a new one?

    what about spitting out 40-50% of down payment for a brand new one? All we do is drive and save.

    Sorry for the lengthy post! Thank you in advance. Feel free to pm me but posting replies might be better!
    slow.rider Thanks this.
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  3. Arctic_fox

    Arctic_fox Heavy Load Member

    Sep 16, 2016
    Well your going to get a ton of opinions here. That said, first you are teaming that is going to help a lot with making payments. Especially if you get on with an outfit that pays well, i dont know any off the top of my head but im sure someone like @slow.rider does.

    Next i would HIGHLY recomend new in your situation ESPECIALLY if you pay 40%-50% up front. The reason is simple. A team can and will put upwards of 250k+ miles on a truck per year. And even being conservitive at $2 a mile and 250k a year thats a half million a year. If you get a high MPG truck you could easily pay the truck off in a year and run it till it blows then buy a new one on profit alone.

    As for getting declined on credit if you joint sign it its unlikely you will get declined with even 25% up front let alone 50% and i assure you companys will fight to the death in an arena against a horde of rabid bears for the chance to snap up an established team. Teams are rare, estabished husband-wife/father-son ect teams are rarer still and are like gold to these places. Which trust me if included in a business olan will help a lot.

    However, used is still very viable. Though if you go used anything 2006-2016 should be avoided like the pluage if it has ERG or DEF those trucks were known to be unreliable and bankrupted entire fleets. So if you get emissions go 2017 or newer. Next go to diesel laptops or the like and get a code clearing/reading tool if you go emissions truck as it will save you a LOT of downtime because you will be able to clear minor errors and 1 time derates cause by stupidity.

    Older glider trucks are also useable and even desireable though caution should be used as many are likely ratted out and should get a clean bill of health on the frame, oil test, and blowby buy TWO 3rd party shops befofe you buy. Also even if used trucks are down more the trade off is as a team you will make enough money it shouldnt matter on anything thats not a blown engine as long as you can do some maintaince.
  4. bad-luck

    bad-luck Road Train Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Baltimore, Maryland

    Interest rates are really high for first time owner operators, even if you have A+ credit. If you can afford a new truck I would buy new. Keep it until 500K and trade it back in, it will still be worth a decent amount at trade in.. Reason being is you are running as a team. So basically you are doing double the miles a solo driver does. If you were to buy a used truck it would be worn out before you paid it off.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  5. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

    Aug 31, 2018
    I would recommend a new one regardless but as a team it’s a no brainer. A used one may seem more affordable but in reality it will cost you much more in repairs and lost revenue.
  6. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2017
    There's some fairly new gliders out there to be had. They only stopped making them last year. Landstar is said to have decent team freight, and some of the solo freight is even said to be worthy of a hard-running team's attention too. I hear FedEx teams do well also, but I'm not sure if they pull semis or only straights.
    Stefan94 and NavigatorWife Thank this.
  7. mnmover

    mnmover Road Train Member

    Apr 5, 2009
    Lichfield MN
    Running those kind of miles, go to a new truck. Talk to Mike Stringer at Freightliner of St Cloud MN, they have a lease program that should get you started without delay. Note, Freightliner of St Cloud is owned by Anderson Trucking Service who also controls Warren Transport plus other companies. Mike works at Truck Power, but his office is in the Freightliner Dealership.
    homeskillet and Stefan94 Thank this.
  8. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    St Louis
    Have you talked to any dealerships about getting a new truck? Make a call or three in Monday. Your best chance is with a peterbilt or KW. Freightliner no trucks till December.
  9. Solo Driver

    Solo Driver Bobtail Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    Everyone has to make their own decisions - just be sure your decisions are both informed and intentional...

    Having said that - I personally believe used trucks are a far better and far more affordable deal. But you must understand trucks and know what you are getting into - and any older truck IS going to need work (money) put into it to get it right and keep it right.

    Even so - you can buy FIVE decent used trucks for what ONE new truck will set you back.

    With a used truck - once the engine is rebuilt - and so long as all else it kept up and maintained - it should be good for another million miles or more. Consider the revenue that can be generated (especially as a team) and you can EASILY afford to build/rebuild and maintain any used truck of your own choosing.

    Also, keep in mind late-model used trucks can be purchased with some factory warranty remaining - and still cost under $50k total.
    slow.rider and Stefan94 Thank this.
  10. Stefan94

    Stefan94 Bobtail Member

    Apr 10, 2021
    Chicago, IL
    Thank you very much for your reply. I understand where you coming from and i think our final decision might be a new one. Our plan for the future is to start building a fleet and open our company, so in case we buy a new one, we can still use it to put drivers in.
    If we buy used, we will run it for 2-3 years and kill it, also a lot of new drivers don’t want to drive trucks older then 2017-2018. That’s what my company told me, so i have to buy a newer one for sure. Brand new is the best option but it can cost me up to 180k$ with tax added. That’s a lot of dough!

    I will think about but brand new is definitely the best option. But for 150-180k i can buy 4-5 used trucks and with a little risk i can build a small fleet with that kind of money. But i do understand all the repairs and maintenance, lost nerves, lost time and headaches!

    Thank you for the reply. I will think about it still.

    I will look into it, thank you!

    What are the prices of the new ones?

    Not yet, i plan to do it by the end of the summer, i want to save up more money for a big down payment. My plan is Volvo or Freightliner. What do you mean no Freightliners until december?

    That’s what my friends told me also. All of them drive 2007-2008. Rebuilt trucks and still do a lot of miles. That’s the thing i am debating my mind about, i can buy 5 used ones for the price of one that is brand new. But those 5 can cost me triple more in repairs and maintenance, headaches and lost time. It’s gambling.

    But since we want to build our own fleet in the future and open a company, we might be better off with a brand new, we can drive it for two years and it will still be good to put a driver in it.
  11. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    St Louis
    @Stefan94 go call a freightliner dealership and ask. There is a ECM shortage globally. Or to be more accurate a chip shortage. Video cards for gaming computers are in short supply too, lots of things because of chips. Go call volvo and freightliner. See what they say.
    slow.rider Thanks this.
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