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New vs newer vs Used truck and plow to start with.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Jake's Lawn and Snow, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. I know a lot of people say not to buy new when starting a company.
    My fear is that if I buy an older truck and plow, what happens if it breaks down in a storm?
    I could buy 2 older trucks and plows.
    That way if 1 break's down, a tow truck could take me home to my 2nd truck, tow the 1st truck to the mechanic, and I could keep on plowing, hoping the 2nd truck doesn't break down.
    If only the plow breaks, and for example, doesn't lift anymore, I could ratchet strap it up, and use snow blowers for the small driveways the rest of the storm.
    I can also buy a new or newer truck and a new plow. Fewer problems, less to worry about, but higher cost upfront. I can add in the monthly payments into my overhead.

    What is your experience with buying used, newer, or new? Does it matter? What should I be looking out for in a used older truck if I go that route?
    What about plows? Prices at my nearest Boss dealer are only about $1,500 difference between new and used.

    Should I buy 1 new or newer truck and a new plow, or should I buy 2 older trucks and 2 used or newer plows?

    As always your feedback, opinions, thoughts, and advice are always appreciated. I just want to make sure I start my business with the best possible outcome.
  2. Hydromaster

    Hydromaster 2000 Club Member
    from 406
    Messages: 2,832

    If you have the funds .
    It could be the perfect time to buy new.
    New truck prices will be cut this summer so will new plow prices as they try to move product that is stagnant.
    Their going to be ready to make deals.


    Don’t have a clue as to your business model or how are you plan to grow.
    how many employees you wish to start with etc. etc.

    Get one new truck get a second used truck and two new Plows
  3. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 769

    In my opinion, start with old and work your way towards newer. Less fixed costs and overhead etc, not just truck but insurance, taxes etc. The big IF is whether you are good at looking over used equipment to find issues and have either the time/skills/tools to repair yourself or have a good and reasonably priced mechanic. If you buy a garbage pile and bring it to a major dealer for service you'll be broke and still have a pile of junk...

    I've had trucks that were '88, '95, '02, then 2012 and now in a 2015. Only the last 2 had loans on them but I could comfortably make the payments.

    I'd get used plows because they are pretty basic but if sanding I'd spend the money on a new sander.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    cwren2472 likes this.
  4. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,793

    Guys make fun of me all the time on here. I like older stuff. My newest is a 2002.
    If you are in business you have to be able to finish your route if your truck goes down.
    So you need 2 trucks. I'm as anti debt guy you will find here.
    I also believe you can get a perfectly fine work truck for $10,000 or less.
    As far as plows. Look into getting 2 of the same mount. Fleetflex, snowex,Fisher, western, so you can put either plow on either truck.
    You could have truck #1 break down, and plow #2 break down.
    So you put plow #1 on truck #2.
    512high, Western1 and JFon101231 like this.
  5. EWSplow

    EWSplow PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,430

    Nothing wrong with a good used truck, one that never had a plow on it and a good used plow.
    You live in Wisconsin, I'm sure you've seen the lenz truck ads.
  6. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,838

    What makes you think an new truck will not break down just like an "older newer" truck.
    Drock78, 512high, Western1 and 4 others like this.
  7. Hydromaster

    Hydromaster 2000 Club Member
    from 406
    Messages: 2,832

    I don’t
    But at least with the new one he has a warranty, while somebody is fixing that truck you can drive the back up.

    I agree you can find good trucks for 10,000 bucks but I also don’t know if he can fix everything himself or if he needs to take it to a shop.

    Depreciate a new truck on your taxes and you don’t need to show a profit for five years Or so..

    Just saying, I believe there are going to be

    huge discounts on pick’em up trucks in the coming few months and some low rates.

    Also the price if good used trucks are going to remain high As people are slow to replace them with new
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    jonniesmooth likes this.
  8. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    I bought a new truck out of the gate, before i had my first contract . It was set up for work, not comfort. 3500 4x4 with a dump box. Hand crank windows, am/fm radio, no air. 25 years and i sold it last spring. It sat as a backup for 12 years where it was used 3 times in a pinch.
    As I got older, the comforts have come and if you work hard and care about your customers yours will to.
  9. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,510

    I'm the cheapest son of a gun on this form when it comes to plow trucks to work with. My newest truck is a 2008 my oldest truck is a 02. 2 diesel and 1 gas left. I did buy a new truck when I was working and commuting. last new truck was in 1998.

    I buy my trucks from minici's with plow and all. You need a back up if you decide on new or used. New trucks break just not as often. The main thing when you buy a used truck is reconditioning. Go right through it and make sure it is right.

    Maintain it and keep a eye on things, you here a weird noise check it out. Don't do like I did before I got smart and ignore it till your done with your route sometime it will cost you twice as much ignoring it. I did it on a transfer case that could of been saved.

    As long as you got 2 decent used you will be okay. Try to stay away from a lot of rot. Mechanical is easy once they get to much rot there shot. I done rockers, floor pans and cab corners on a GM and it come back to haunt me quicker than I liked. https://www.auctionsinternational.com/auction/21044/item/town-of-sandy-creek-ny-21044-127509 Probably won't go much more than where the bid is at. Good Luck
    jonniesmooth, 512high and TJS like this.