1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

new trucks or old trucks?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CNYScapes, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    OK What do you guys think about buying new trucks for the reliability or saving the monthly payment and spending it on older trucks with a few repairs now and then?

    New trucks=$500 per month
    Old trucks= $200 per month + some repairs here and there
     
  2. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    It depends on preference.

    RMaintenance is the key for an older truck, the question is when does your maintenance budget excede the payments on a new truck. Mine doesn't.

    I would rather buy a good truck and maintain it for several years. My Ram, for instance: I bought it second owner at 2 years old for $22K. It's a daily driven truck that does work for it's living. It's maintained so it shouldn't breakdown in a storm. 6 years and counting and never a major plowing breakdown- never a breakdown I couldn't drive it home with (rubber hose and clamps saved me one time)
     
  3. wddodge

    wddodge Member
    Messages: 64

    I prefer buying a 2-3 year old truck that was used as a grocery getter and keeping it 10-15 years or till it gets so rusty that it can't be saved. That way I don't take such a big hit on depreciation and the maintenance isn't so bad since I'm a mechanic by trade. I know my old '95 Dodge doesn't have heated leather seats but I think I can survive.....:)
     
  4. mrplowdude

    mrplowdude Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I try to keep trucks for only a couple of years and then go with new ones. Reliablity is a big factor. All problems will be covered under warranty. If you find the right used truck, you could save a lot of money
     
  5. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    It all depends on if you can do repairs yourself. If you can, buy something cheap and fix it up for cheap. If not, I'd stick with a truck payment.
     
  6. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Since I do all the work myself, I'll stick to older GM solid axle trucks, buy'em cheap and spend a few grand building them up to strong plow trucks.

    Tough as nails, reliable as anything else, and can be tinkered into running regardless of the problem. Not to mention rebuilding one is probably less than 6 months of payments on a new one, and lasts for years.
     
  7. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    old?

    I SECOND THAT BY PremierLand YOU WILL SPEND A TON ON LABOR CHARGES payup :cry: IF YOU HAVE TO PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO FIX IT. ALSO HAVING A SHOP AND THE RIGHT TOOLS MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IF YOU ARE DOING THE REPAIRS.:nod: AS FAR AS A BUYING A USED TRUCK AS LONG AS YOU KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM OR ITS A 1 OWNER WITH LOW MILES YOU SHOULD BE OK. ITS ALWAYS A GAMBLE WITH USED EVEN IF ITS KINDA USED OR REALLY USED. A NEW TRUCK CAN BRAKE ALSO BUT AT LEAST ITS UNDER WARRANTY. YOU CANT COMPARE PAYMENTS ON A USED 3/4 TON REG CAB GAS VS A 1 TON CREW CAB DIESEL EITHER. WHAT EVER YOU CHOOSE MAKE SURE ITS WHAT YOU WANT THE LAST THING YOU NEED IS 2-3 YEARS OF.....I SHOULD OF GOT THE OTHER ONE...........
     
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    I have a ramcharger , 1986 , bought it 2 years ago for $ 500.00 . Had a plow set up for it that I have had on 3 previous dodges. The truck sat since last march , never started . With a 3 hour battery charge and 1 squirt of starter fluid it was up and running again. This is its 3 rd season , it pays for itself after 4 hours of plowing . Is it reliable ? yup Is it pretty? not realy But it gets the job done . I put 4 trucks out plowing and have less into all 4 than the adverage new 3/4 ton with a plow and v box. Have I had break downs ? Sure but with 4 trucks there is always a back up. I drove by the transmission shop yesterday , and there were 5 plow trucks sitting there ALL were LATE MODEL 1999 to 2004 . New or old something is going to break or get broken .
     
  9. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    New, always new for me.. Inless I get one hell of a deal on it.
     
  10. Rgory

    Rgory Member
    Messages: 64

    I have seen contractors that buy a new vehicle every two/three years depending on how well buisness is treating them. The benifits that have been described to me are as follows:
    1.) You get to depreciate the truck and write it off as a buisness expense
    2.) You develop a good repor with your dealer and can get great deals
    3.) You get high return rates on the vehicle that is only a few years old
    4.) As stated, low maintenance/repair costs.

    I believe however that this system is not fitted for everyone. If you are a mechanic like others have atested to, than fixing maybe the way to go. However if you are using your vehicles for your buisness full time than there can be certain advantages to equipment turnover.


    Long and short- Go with what works for you.
     
  11. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Until they stop making "Work Trucks" that are suitable for little girls (ie: leather, vanity mirrors etc.) I think I'll stick to trucks made of steel and iron.

    WTF does it cost more to buy vinyl seats and rubber floor mats??? Supply and demand I guess.

    :dizzy:
     
  12. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    the tax laws persuaded me to get new...look into it.

    my 28k truck cost me 20k after taxes.
     
  13. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I just retired my 85 Suburban. Was plowing since 88. The truck had a little under 375,000 on it. I am going to calculate what that old beast made me over the years. I do know one thing, it owed me nothing. :salute:
     
  14. meathead1134

    meathead1134 Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 170

    IMO,
    It's pay now or pay later
     
  15. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,967

    This is true.

    I have 2 trucks and trade one every 4 years.

    I've got a 2003 Dodge 2500, my backup and a 2005 Dodge 2500, my main truck.

    Once you're on top of the game, a new truck is quite cheap, depending on how you look at it.


    I just traded a 2002 Dodge 2500, extended cab, CTD, 4x4 with 60k miles on it.

    It was traded against a 2005 Dodge 2500 Quad cab, High output CTD, 4x4.

    They sold me the new truck for just over $32k, and gave me just over $21k for my trade, meaning my trade difference was approximately $11k.

    Now I spread that over 4 years, and a new truck costs me approx. $3k / year, or $6k for the two, or about $500 / month.

    It does help to stick with the same dealer, but it's better to get two to bid against each other.

    That $6k for the year, summer / winter, for 2 new(er) trucks is about 1/20th of my gross as a solo operator.

    Don't take me wrong, you have to pay off that truck the first time in about 3 years, and you don't get that great of a deal because the dealer doesn't know / believe that you're going to be buying a new truck every other year, so you're paying about $15-18k / year those first couple of years, but after that, it's nothing.

    I run one truck for 2 years, then turn it into my backup. The first 2 years I put on about 40-55k miles, then the next 2 years it has about 15k miles put on. This way they both stay under warranty, so the only payment other than fuel, maintenance (tires / brakes) and insurance, is the truck payment.

    I don't have to worry about, crap, have to put $1k - 2k into a tranny, engine, etc.

    Plus, where my location is, all the commercial account holding guys are running with new(er) trucks. You have to somewhat play the game to get the accounts.
     
  16. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    See it all depends on how much you plow. I got to a point with my old trucks that I was running them too hard and the downtime cost me too much. in 2001 I leased a brand new GMC 2500. I now run an 04 and an 05. I have lost 0 hrs to downtime in the last 4 winters. When the trucks are out billing $120-$150/hr, having something stupid break down on you is VERY expensive. Makes the lease payment look REALLY good. Yesterday we got about 3 inches of snow. Between 2 trucks we put in about 30 hrs. On a serious snowfall that number increases quite a bit. Last thing I need to be doing is worrying whether or not my truck is going to finish out the route or not. No brainer for me.
     
  17. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    #1 Today, 11:12 PM
    Quality1
    Registered User Join Date: Nov 2005
    Location: West Michigan
    Posts: 3

    2005 F-350 Transmission Failure

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Anyone have any problems with the Ford transmissions? We have an 05 with 9,000 miles and the tranny has gone out 5 times. Ford refuses to put a new one in and continues to fix it. Just as a note we have all Ford trucks and have never had any problems. I'm asking specifically for the 05's.


    ==========================================================

    Like I mentioned before now or old its going to break at one point
     
  18. TRUE TURF LAWN

    TRUE TURF LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    go with new i have learned my leson.:waving:
     
  19. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    This is an old arguement discussed many times on this forum. New or old is going to depend on YOUR situation. Factors such as other year round uses for the vehicle, number of times per season you plow, number of accounts, what you charge,insurance, taxes, and a million other things all come in to play. Personally, we plow 6-8 times per season. I can't see how anybody in this area can make money with a new vehicle. The depreciation, the cost of the blade, added cost of insurance, and upkeep can't leave much in the profit department. I have been plowing for over 16 years, my most expensive plow truck cost less than half of a new blade. We maintain our trucks and have experienced very few breakdowns over the years. We don't charge any less than the guys with the new trucks and our expenses our lower, so I am sure we are considerably more profitable than many other operators in our area. Your situation will determine new or old.
     
  20. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    1)Don't forget a used truck is a write off too, it doesn't have to be new- just new to you. All equipment you buy depretiates and is a writeoff- snowblowers, loaders, plow blades, even shovels if you buy enough of them.
    2) if you want a good deal, make that the best deal, pay in cash. No matter what dealer, you come in with greenies in your pocket you WILL get a better deal than the guy who has been financing a new truck every three years with the same dealer 9 years running. Trust me- cash talks alot louder that repeat business.
    3)If your going to trade in a vehicle you have to do it at 3 to 4 years or you start losing money on the trade- but if you trade it too soon you also loose money. IE buy a new truck at $28K, trade it in in 2 years for another one at $28k (unlikely it will be the same price) recieve $22K for the trade in- it costs you $3k a year.

    It's personal preference- I personally love my Ram- had it 6 years, paid $22K, still worth half of that. Minor repairs and expenses considering what it does, it owes me little to nothing. I'll drive it for the forseeable future with no intentions of replacing it.