Semi...Own or rent hourly?


Senior Member
Chicago, IL.
This year I have booked several snow removal(off site) projects.

Can anyone tell me how much $ can one expect to pay for a 15-20 year old semi w/dump trailer in fair shape?

Do you recommend renting/leasing hourly or purchase, if I can find about $5K in savings(yearly) by incorporating a semi in my operation? Not to mention scheduling benefits by owning equip.

Thank you

Somerville MA.
I don't know if this will help, but in these parts you can expect to pay $125-$145 per hour for a dump trailer (if you can find one not already working for the state).

snow Veteran
well, from buying the truck trader every week, you could pay say $15-20k for a truck w/ a wet system and a dump trailer. u need a cdl to drive a semi, and the registration fee for the dump truck will be expensive. if your only looking for something for snow, and would like to do trucking the rest of the year, mayb look into a tri-axles. you'll spend around $15-20k for one depending on the year, and make. Macks tend to keep their retail value longer, so if ur not set on a brand u could find one newer for 15-20k. around here a dump trailer w/ a semi gets like $110 an hour or so, and a tri-axle makes like $75 an hour. i'm considering getting into trucking in the future, so i'm keeping an eye on prices.
check out or for a lot of trucks.



Senior Member
Chicago, IL.
Thank you for your feed back! Much appreciated.

I currently do not have a CDL - but I just hired a person that has one. He has agreed to train me for the CDL test. I'm starting to look at the investment of a semi as a longterm investment both for my operation and my personal abilities.

Thanks again.



If you don't have a year round use for a semi don't get one just for snow. I have 2. Plate are about 2400.00 a year, ins 6500.00 a year, permits and stricker 200.00 a year. Then you have maintance and tires. You realy need to use everyday to afford one they are not cheap. It all depends what you plan to do with the truck.



Junior Member
Kansas City
Oh, Lordy, on those fees!

I get the feeling I'm going to be getting a very rude awakening courtesy of the local revenuers this week.

Bought a 73 Ford 8000 dump truck last week and am going through it to get it in good shape for inspection/registration this week. Tandems, Cummins 555 diesel, 14-foot, 46k GVW. Sounding like it might turn out to be a real expensive date.

Someone in another forum mentioned traction as a big reason for using twin-screws. I'd like to add another reason. At least, it's the reason I personally was looking for such a truck: Steep hills. A lot of this truck's work will be moving topsoil from real low on my property. Hauling it up pretty steep hills. Figure I'm about half as likely to rip axles out of this one.

We've talked about getting a nice semi with a large condo and lots of windows, so I could get a lowboy for the backhoe I have and the skidsteer I want, haul our travel trailer in style, and get a more serious setup for my racing endeavors. If the fees are that steep, I'm definitely reconsidering.

On the CDL, it wasn't too big a deal. Got mine last week (the day before I drove the dump truck home). Spent an hour or so a night for a week studying for the written tests (took and passed them all, including HazMat, which I'll never need -- but I like taking tests so I went for it), then located a local outfit that, for a fee of $300, provides you with a tractor and trailer (with the all-important air brakes), and walks you through the pre-trip inspection, tests you on it, then has you do the driving test.

Since the thread originator has access to a semi (if I remember right), then the test can be taken for free. It just has to be scheduled (about 2 weeks in advance in the Show Me state), and I get the feeling it's a more stringent driving test than what I dealt with. My understanding is that you literally have to check the air pressure on every tire for pre-trip part of the state-run test, for example, while in my test I only had to tell the tester that I would be doing that.

Speaking of air brakes, I really had to baby the dump truck getting it home. Built up plenty of air, but I noticed that it used a BUNCH of it every time I used the brakes. Last night I finally got the last of the leaks nailed down while it's just sitting there with the brakes off, then wedged a board against the brake pedal and walked around the truck and could hear air hissing out everywhere.

$225 bought replacement actuators all around (two type 16's, two type 24's, and two double-24's) and now I'm into the fun task of replacing them all. Got one done so far. So nice to not hear hissing at that wheel finally. :)

Yeah, would've been cheaper to just buy rebuild kits, but I figure it's worth the $150 or so extra to have a lot fewer grunged-up bolts to deal with and deadly springs just waiting for me to get careless.