Owner Operator Seeking advice regarding first purchase of truck

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I rolled my eyes at you because again, you have yet to put skin in the O/O game and yet make it seem like you know it all.

Running this business is more than just simple, "I got $30G in my bank account.".....

It's understanding what a lease purchase is versus a "lease purchase" vs being leased on to someone.

It's understanding that you can do everything wrong. And still win.

It's understanding you can do everything RIGHT. And still loose.


and what really matters is how flexible you truly are.
It's sound advice to have cash on hand to weather storms for ANY BUSINESS.

You like to argue JUST to make yourself seem superior. Every f'in time.

We aren't even discussing lease vs lease purchase vs fully independent. And yeah it doesn't take a super genius to know the difference between those either.

Trucking is not brain surgery.

You said it yourself...driving for yourself is more business than driving. Duh.

Cash when starting out = the more the better. That's BASIC.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I rolled my eyes at you because again, you have yet to put skin in the O/O game and yet make it seem like you know it all.

Running this business is more than just simple, "I got $30G in my bank account.".....

It's understanding what a lease purchase is versus a "lease purchase" vs being leased on to someone.

It's understanding that you can do everything wrong. And still win.

It's understanding you can do everything RIGHT. And still loose.


and what really matters is how flexible you truly are.
Tell me how having 30 grand in the bank after you've already bought your truck is a bad thing when it's your first day, when you also have a mortgage and car payments.

Debate the actual advice, that I specifically stated is MY personal requirement, instead of insulting the person who said it.

I'll wait.

PS: The reason I don't have skin in the game is because I don't have 30k in addition to funds for a truck. I won't do it until then. And maybe I still won't. I know my expenses. You don't.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
because people read what you state. "I wouldn't do it without having $30,000 cash on hand after buying a truck...."


And sit there thinking, "I will never be able to make something like this happen. Ever".


Had I listened to every person like you that said I needed to have that much cash or more on hand, I'd be flippin' burgers in a bar someplace still.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
because people read what you state. "I wouldn't do it without having $30,000 cash on hand after buying a truck...."


And sit there thinking, "I will never be able to make something like this happen. Ever".


Had I listened to every person like you that said I needed to have that much cash or more on hand, I'd be flippin' burgers in a bar someplace still.
Good for you. But that's my personal assessment based on my circumstances and an analysis of a particular plan that appeals to me, as well as conversations with various drivers who left here to do exactly what I'm interested in doing. I've also already spoken with the company I'm interested in doing it for, so I know what their pay rates are (were at the time of call) as well as accessorials and insurance.

I know for a fact I would be buying an older truck, with mileage, due for an overhaul at any moment if not already at the time of purchase. It would probably need other (relatively) smaller things to make it as reliable as possible.

So cash right off the bat. I'm NOT doing it on a shoestring as I have too much to lose. I'd also be leaving an above average income that more than a handful of drivers got out of the O/O game to do.

For me personally it's far too much risk to just go do willy nilly. Also, something colossally bad would have to happen here at work for me to leave anyway.

So yeah, plenty of cash in the bank is the only way I'm gonna do it.

No, I don't know everything. I don't know all the permits and licenses and basically the paperwork corporate exists to do so I don't have to, but I have a decent handle on my plan.

Everything can be learned when it needs to be learned.
 

smoov

Active Member
I have 30+ experience owning a truck
First of all you have to buy in to the fact that a used truck is a hand grenade with the pin pulled.
Being comfortable with that is half the battle.
Repairs is another thing. You will get killed at dealerships.
You need a whole list of "guys" spring guy,clutch guy, tranny/rear guy at your fingertips.
Last if you pick a truck make and the closest dealer is 150 miles away and closes noon Saturday........
 
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Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
I have 30+ experience owning a truck
First of all you have to buy in to the fact that a used truck is a hand grenade with the pin pulled.
Being comfortable with that is half the battle.
Repairs is another thing. You will get killed at dealerships.
You need a whole list of "guys" spring guy,clutch guy, tranny/rear guy at your fingertips.
Last if you pick a truck make and the closest dealer is 150 miles away and closes noon Saturday........
It’s a roller coaster for sure.

Figuring out the previous owners “fixes” are a huge part of any used truck

I don’t tear my truck down on weekends unless I have every single part at hand or I’m not due out until late Monday or Tuesday. If it’s running and driveable leave it that way until you have time to disable it

My 2 cents
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Cabinet rattle: Get some 1/4 or 1/2 inch* door sill insulator foam that has the sticky side and stick it on the cabinet on the latch side of the door. While you're at it, tighten all the screws and bolts.

* @Rigjockey or @Ontario Outlaw can run the conversion to metric. I'm just feeling too lazy at the moment and ol' RJ doesn't have anything better to do.
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Cabinet rattle: Get some 1/4 or 1/2 inch* door sill insulator foam that has the sticky side and stick it on the cabinet on the latch side of the door. While you're at it, tighten all the screws and bolts.

* @Rigjockey or @Ontario Outlaw can run the conversion to metric. I'm just feeling too lazy at the moment and ol' RJ doesn't have anything better to do.
I don’t know the metrics system

But I agree. Run some rubber or foam and it kills some rattling
 

smoov

Active Member
You can have 2 trucks same make, year, same fleet on with 600k and one with 440k. you would think the lower mileage would be best bet but.... Chances are the lower mileage was a local truck and has "city miles" and had different drivers etc on it while the 600 k ran the road. You only can figure that stuff out after you buy it...then you hit yourself in the head
or the reason it has low mileage was because it could never stay on the road because it was always breaking down....It used to take me weeks of heartburn to pick out a tractor(and don't even start with picking a trailer) I owned 7 tractors over the years and had 3 good ones and 1 really good one and 2 ugly. 1 very ugly (silver 6v92 detroit) Which is probably a good record for trucks.
 
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Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
You can have 2 trucks same make, year, same fleet on with 600k and one with 440k. you would think the lower mileage would be best bet but.... Chances are the lower mileage was a local truck and has "city miles" and had different drivers etc on it while the 600 k ran the road. You only can figure that stuff out after you buy it...then you hit yourself in the head
Lower miles may mean less miles but more idle time.

Also more miles may be at 65 mph but more hours is stop and start from local deliveries

Hard to compare apples to oranges
 

redash

New Member
Go price out the actual service on a cascadia with a dd13 or dd15 engine.

Then go do the same for an ISX 15.

Then go talk to different shops and ask them which engine tends to come in for more rebuilds and at what kind of miles.

What you'll find is engines are being junked out as early as 300,000 miles, max of 600,000 because they are tearing themselves apart from carbon build up.

Mainly from increased service intervals, emissions systems and excessive idling.

Brakes are the same regardless of make/model. Same with tires. Figure a set of tires will generally have to be replaced before their third winter. If you do your part, brakes about the same.
Yes, a lot of people have advised me on getting a truck with tripac or installing one after I buy it because the cost of idling is too high on the engines and dpf systems.

For oil and filter change I was thinking 13-14k miles, would 10k be more reasonable or is that excessive?

I don’t know the metrics system

But I agree. Run some rubber or foam and it kills some rattling
I just shoved some terry cloth under the cabinets and in the edges, it helps a lot when sleeping.
Thanks

You can have 2 trucks same make, year, same fleet on with 600k and one with 440k. you would think the lower mileage would be best bet but.... Chances are the lower mileage was a local truck and has "city miles" and had different drivers etc on it while the 600 k ran the road. You only can figure that stuff out after you buy it...then you hit yourself in the head
or the reason it has low mileage was because it could never stay on the road because it was always breaking down....It used to take me weeks of heartburn to pick out a tractor(and don't even start with picking a trailer) I owned 7 tractors over the years and had 3 good ones and 1 really good one and 2 ugly. 1 very ugly (silver 6v92 detroit) Which is probably a good record for trucks.
So based on your experience, the chance of getting a good used to truck is around 55%...that's terrifying. The more I read people's experiences the more I think I should buy a truck that's at max 3 years old. That would make sure that a lot of the initial depreciation has already happened and the chances of significant repair will go down a lot.
 

Ranger_375

Well-Known Member
No matter what you're buying brand wise, you're buying parts with a finite lifetime given good care towards the parts.

All the sensors on trucks end up failing. If it moves in any manner, it WILL fail at some point. Pressure sensors on the brakes. ABS sensors usually don't move, but can get dirty and the wires do move, so they'll fail eventually or the housings go. DEF dosers have fluid go through them and have moving parts. EGR differential pressure sensors, DPF differential sensors, they all rely on gaskets and deal with hot gases. You'll have to replace all of these and more as you go along with ownership of a truck.

A new truck has depreciation, but all of these are NEW. The issue is, a brand new truck can be just as much of a lemon as any other truck. I know a guy who had a brand new truck and it nearly bankrupted him. He had to get out of it to keep afloat and keep his family fed.

An older truck, you know it works. You also know over the years that there's end of life components you'll be dealing with. The advantage is that something like say my 2011 with a million on it, that's a steady 125k miles a year on it. The idle hours I don't know off hand, but the math breaks down to about a 50mph average over it's lifetime. Not shabby.

Think about those miles for a minute. A truck running over 100k a year may be breaking, but it's getting fixed. It's out there making money. It's a good track record for a piece of equipment, but it also means that there's "experienced" equipment on the truck that's going to need replacement.

I would not buy an over the road use (long haul, not vocational/pto use) emissions truck that doesn't have an APU with a minimum hours runtime of 500-700 hours a year that the TRUCK has been off the production line, and a similar date of manufacture... and if there's a brand new APU, what's the story behind it.

The reason for wanting those hours on an APU is because that's commensurate to having an APU that saw some use on the truck and you have at least some metric to be able to determine that the truck's been RUN for the miles and not IDLED a crapton. Idling ends up doing lots more wear/tear to the emissions systems due to it either not being the right temperature right off the bat, or having to have MORE fuel than necessary burnt via 7th injector to get the gases temp up to get the system up to where it works. Basically you're talking a minimum level of heat with subsequent hydrocarbon production and passthru gases on the exhaust system for it to work, and it doesn't make it on its own at idle.

So, having that APU on for the lifetime of the truck, or at least seeming to be, in combination with hours to miles to years on the truck matching up to running, and a good lookthru of the truck in general, and you can have a good idea where you should be rolling the dice.

The other aspect is looking at your fiscals and what you're trying to do, and just focus on getting something good enough to do the job you need to do right off the bat. As you get further into running your own truck, you'll refine what you need equipment wise and be able to make further decisions regarding replacement of what you started with down the line. Keep that truck up though, it's an investment that you can leverage in the future either in a private sale or trading it in on something newer.

As for maintenance intervals? What's the manufacturer say, and when following that, what's the oil analysis saying? You'll see what's going on inside the bolted up big dollar bastage up in front of you with getting oil sampled, and be able to tell in combination with other things as to what the motor is going to end up needing in the future, and what you need to be doing right now to keep her going.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
We had a 2018 Cascadia throw a rod the first week it arrived. Had something like 800 miles on it.

Yeah I mean you get a warranty on a new truck but you're paying for it. You can't make money with it while it sits at the dealership being diagnosed and hopefully repaired. But that payment doesn't stop.

Hence my personal preference of 30k in the bank or don't bother.
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
ABS sensors usually don't move, but can get dirty and the wires do move, so they'll fail eventually or the housings go. DEF dosers have fluid go through them and have moving parts. EGR differential pressure sensors rely on gaskets and deal with hot gases.

An older truck, you know it works.
Agreed! The faster you can delete, turn off, unplug or somehow work around using these systems you will have a bulletproof truck that virtually eliminates breakdowns.

Sometimes like ABS or traction control it’s as simple as pulling the fuse and the warning light bulb. Others like EGR and DEF or DPF you need to get it tuned and deleted.

Depending on your motor you can delete the EGR cooler and leave it looking stock too. If you leave your EGR valve on the truck and run block off plates it should still pass a roadside stroke test.

My trucks ABS systems are on switches so that’s easy to fool them on a roadside test too.

The nicest thing about an older truck is if it’s running, barring something catastrophic, it’ll get you home. I don’t have to worry about derates, regens, DEF or clogged exhaust filters.

Older trucks FTW!
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Go price what having $30g in the bank will cost you vs financing a $24,000 engine rebuild. Then remember you have opportunity costs with holding $30g off to the side too. I was a single truck operation at the time.


While one person says you have to have $30g cash, another who's actually done it started with $2000 cash. Been doin it and has grown to 4 trucks and 6 trailers. 5 of those trailers brand new purchases.

If California is a deal breaker for you, then get a newer emissions truck made in 2015 or later. If California isn't a big deal, then get a much older truck without even EGR on it. The days of running a deleted truck are fast coming to an end.


I've come me to put money into a new trailer and keep plugging away at maintenance on an old truck. As it is, the oldest trucks we have both have the newest power trains. The 2003 even got a full inframe only to have a rod tossed out the block at 157 miles from the dealer after a full inframe from dropping a valve.

I've survived having an accident that put my truck in the body shop for 8 weeks not six months after goin back on the road from having a heart attack which took me off the road for 9 weeks. I didn't have $30,000 in the bank either.


@Mike was off for almost 12 weeks recently due to major mechanical issues.

I survived because of equity I built into the equipment. Not sure what Mike's strategy was.

Drive down the country highways. See where/what it is you can get fixed. Freightliner dealers are every where. Paccar (peterbilt and Kenworth) not as plentiful, Mack and Volvo's even less.

Brake shoes and tires are pretty basic and most truckstop can hook you up. Tires same thing.


In the end, it's the risk you feel comfortable taking. I had nothing to loose and everything to gain. Others are willing to put that much on the line.

I'd get an older truck and the newest trailer you can buy. Preferably brand new, never been used. If you think trucks are abused. Trailers are even more neglected.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Go price what having $30g in the bank will cost you vs financing a $24,000 engine rebuild. Then remember you have opportunity costs with holding $30g off to the side too. I was a single truck operation at the time.


While one person says you have to have $30g cash, another who's actually done it started with $2000 cash. Been doin it and has grown to 4 trucks and 6 trailers. 5 of those trailers brand new purchases.

If California is a deal breaker for you, then get a newer emissions truck made in 2015 or later. If California isn't a big deal, then get a much older truck without even EGR on it. The days of running a deleted truck are fast coming to an end.


I've come me to put money into a new trailer and keep plugging away at maintenance on an old truck. As it is, the oldest trucks we have both have the newest power trains. The 2003 even got a full inframe only to have a rod tossed out the block at 157 miles from the dealer after a full inframe from dropping a valve.

I've survived having an accident that put my truck in the body shop for 8 weeks not six months after goin back on the road from having a heart attack which took me off the road for 9 weeks. I didn't have $30,000 in the bank either.


@Mike was off for almost 12 weeks recently due to major mechanical issues.

I survived because of equity I built into the equipment. Not sure what Mike's strategy was.

Drive down the country highways. See where/what it is you can get fixed. Freightliner dealers are every where. Paccar (peterbilt and Kenworth) not as plentiful, Mack and Volvo's even less.

Brake shoes and tires are pretty basic and most truckstop can hook you up. Tires same thing.


In the end, it's the risk you feel comfortable taking. I had nothing to loose and everything to gain. Others are willing to put that much on the line.

I'd get an older truck and the newest trailer you can buy. Preferably brand new, never been used. If you think trucks are abused. Trailers are even more neglected.
I said I have to have 30k. Doesn't matter to me what the next person needs to have.

I do actually have a lot to lose and I'm already in a good job.

And no I'm not financing a truck repair. Hell no.
 

Ranger_375

Well-Known Member
We had a 2018 Cascadia throw a rod the first week it arrived. Had something like 800 miles on it.

Yeah I mean you get a warranty on a new truck but you're paying for it. You can't make money with it while it sits at the dealership being diagnosed and hopefully repaired. But that payment doesn't stop.

Hence my personal preference of 30k in the bank or don't bother.

All the money in the world isn't going to make them faster at fixing it. Downtime is going to happen and having a buffer is smart, but having 30k just sitting there earning consumer grade interest is not going to do you anywhere near as good as finishing your loan sooner, therefore reducing the overall interest COST on that piece of equipment.

@mndriver brings up a somewhat valid point about dealership availability, but the reality is that there's actually quite a lot that most places can do for all of them. It's when you're talking anything with computers or computer diagnostics, versus something you can tell is screwed up... like a bunch of hissing under the hood and you're slowly losing boost, yet can't find a blown boot. Chances are, something metal's gone and if it ain't smoking under the hood it's clean side. Tada, cracked outlet. I could have swapped it myself even with my piddly set of tools except that the turbo gets coolant run through it, and my choice at that point was wait a few days for the shop to be able to drain/replace/refill coolant, or drain it all myself and have to buy new. Price was the same, so why not have a tech throw it on.

FInancing a truck repair can be an intelligent move. I financed my first year's worth of major repairs through getting the aftermarket warranty. Surprise, I paid less than what the work's cost was. No surprise on them finding any reason to deny stuff now after the last one put them upside down, though.

Agreed! The faster you can delete, turn off, unplug or somehow work around using these systems you will have a bulletproof truck that virtually eliminates breakdowns.

Sometimes like ABS or traction control it’s as simple as pulling the fuse and the warning light bulb. Others like EGR and DEF or DPF you need to get it tuned and deleted.

Depending on your motor you can delete the EGR cooler and leave it looking stock too. If you leave your EGR valve on the truck and run block off plates it should still pass a roadside stroke test.

My trucks ABS systems are on switches so that’s easy to fool them on a roadside test too.

The nicest thing about an older truck is if it’s running, barring something catastrophic, it’ll get you home. I don’t have to worry about derates, regens, DEF or clogged exhaust filters.

Older trucks FTW!

Emissions deletion of a SCR system is asking for problems in the long run, as any level 1 you get... they're under the truck. Any bypass beyond EGR is going to be blatant unless you cored out the DPF and SCR, and at that point, why even bother carrying the weight?

Deletion of inherent safety systems is a brilliant thing to do. Cheaper to fix than bypass and barring it's function actually preventing you from getting in an accident, it'll be really fun to explain in a post-crash investigation as to why you had bypass switches on all those safety systems instead of oh, ya know, fixing them when they're required equipment.

You continue to highlight exactly how much you are the driver/operator that we should all aspire not to be.
 

Ranger_375

Well-Known Member
I said I have to have 30k. Doesn't matter to me what the next person needs to have.

I do actually have a lot to lose and I'm already in a good job.

And no I'm not financing a truck repair. Hell no.
If you need 30k to go O/O, your first step is going to be emptying that used car lot you call a front yard. 🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗💱💱💱
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
If you need 30k to go O/O, your first step is going to be emptying that used car lot you call a front yard. 🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗💱💱💱
Hey I started to. I'm down to three now.

By the way I'm not financing a damn truck either.
 
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