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When to add another truck to the fleet?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by P&M Landscaping, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. P&M Landscaping

    P&M Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 786

    Alright guys, I am going through a little decision process. I have been debating on adding another truck to my business for about a year now. I currently have 11 drives on my route, a H.O.A. that takes about 45 min to push, 2 1-acre lots, two other .25 acre lots, and 2 addition lots that take about 15 minutes to push. I am about 25% seasonal, and have been doing figuring that payments on a truck I will be purchasing will be roughly $280, plus another roughly $100 in insurance on the truck. My seasonals would more than cover this on the truck. I was wondering at which point you guys would purchase another truck, and which route you would take. 1.) Buy something in the 15k region that is turn key, or 2.) 5k region that may need a little TLC 0r 3.) not add anything....
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  2. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I personally do not think there's a whole lot of extra reliability for the extra 10k, given the absurd prices on used trucks, and given that this is the wrong season to be looking for a good plow truck because the best have been scooped.

    Hate to say it, but if your credit and debt to income will let you.....a new leftover truck and new plow can be had @ Zero % interest...in the long run, it's a better investment.
    And it's always wise to avoid interest.
  3. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Always add a truck before you need it. That way you are not scrambling last minute and paying top dollar for something you just have to settle on, because of timing.

    That way, you are also prepared for additional business. I always find the proactive approach increases my long term profit, instead of being reactive and settling.
  4. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Look towards another plower to use as back up this year, and start looking first thing in the spring. Then main problem with buying now has already been mentioned. Spring is a great time to start looking.
  5. djagusch

    djagusch 2000 Club Member
    from mn
    Messages: 2,107

    Add a truck for a back up truck. Start adding work for the truck. When it gets 50% filled up its no longer a back up and add another truck for back up. Keep repeating this process.
  6. P&M Landscaping

    P&M Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 786

    I was agreeing with the consensus on here. The tough thing that I deal with is that I'm only snow removal and no summer work, and I work a day job in the summer months, so essentially the truck will sit for 6 months.
  7. gtmustang00

    gtmustang00 Senior Member
    from Berlin
    Messages: 752

    You cant afford another rig unless you have the cash to buy one.
  8. coppertec

    coppertec Member
    from calgary
    Messages: 52

    im in the same boat as you. I have a daily driver truck that I couldnt use for snow plowing. it is also getting long in the tooth. I ended up financing a truck+plow to use this season and so far, I am happy with the money it seems to be able to make me. I also work full time throughout the year. my daily driver was financed as well @ about $530 with insurance, but that is almost paid off, so my new truck will replace that ones payment @ about $650 a month. (remember thats truck, plow and insurance)

    even though my day job could carry that payment through the year, I would rather the truck be self sustainable.
    not taking into account gas, repairs, advertising, unforeseen costs or heaven forbid profitability, i see the following math:
    $650x12 months=7800/year
    we here have about 5-6 months of active plowing months so
    $7800/5.5months= $1418 a month

    this tells me that in order to break even for my first year of the loan, I have to make $1500 a month this season.
    for me, and the little amount I am doing subcontracting @100/hour on 5-7 worksites i have, I only need it to snow 3 times a month.

    I HATE the idea of my truck sitting not making money for 6 months too, but I think I will live with it if the above numbers end up working for me.

    is your other job not year round? if it is not, try using the same math I did above for what your annual budget would be and see if you can find the magic number that works for you
  9. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    personally i would look at another truck... as some said ... DO NOT BUY ONE WHEN YOU NEED IT... buy it before ... also i would look at a MAJOR cost that you missed while talking about this...which would be another driver/employee that is sitting behind the wheel of the truck.
  10. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Depending on the year I have 4 or 5 trucks that sit for the summer. Occasionally, they get driven just to keep the juices flowing.
  11. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    And, to explain my first advice...

    I think it's much wiser to have a new rig and use the current rig as the second or spare...rather than buy another 15K truck..Because when you add interest and repair bills to that 15K...you are now spending 2/3 of what a new rig costs, and when you buy new, you get the reliability AND the warranty that comes with it...not to mention the fact that;

    Nothing makes you more willing to go start your plowing at 3AM than a new truck..


    A new truck projects a good image.
  12. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    I'd wait until you absolutely need to get another one. Don't forget about paying another driver as well. If you were to get another truck I'd spend money on a good one. It would be cheaper in the long run than buying a truck that needs tlc.
  13. P&M Landscaping

    P&M Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 786


    Thank you for all of the responses. After doing the figures over and over, I figured a new truck was best for my fit. My seasonals for 5 months will cover the truck for the 12 months.

    With $8500 in rebates and X-Plan, a 2013 F250 with a Boss V seemed best.... $34k out the door with some options....wesportwesportwesport
  14. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    In feb last year seen a truck at a auction. I didnt need it but it had a bed sander, plow, lights. I paid less then what the sander is worth. Then I let it sit all year. Now I'm trying to get it going but right now I still dont need it for the year. I already own 1 truck that sits all year. I dont want to add another when its not needed. So i guess my point is make sure you can afford it. If I dont use the truck its not going to hurt. If I get it all ready to go and dont use. My insurance goes up a little bit and I have piece of mind. If we get another blizzard ill have a truck thats not doing anything. That really help for any problems and new drives.
  15. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    You bought the right truck! The plow, well, if you are happy, then that's all that matters! CONGRATS!
  16. nick4634

    nick4634 Member
    Messages: 35

    looking at the same set up myself. did you get ex cab or reg
  17. P&M Landscaping

    P&M Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 786

    I went with a regular cab for the shorter wheelbase, and price tag.