There are many business opportunities that open up when you buy your first truck. As an enterprise, this helps you start your own fleet, assuming control over your delivery system. As an individual looking for a career path, this gives you a chance to become an owner-operator, which gives you a plethora of job opportunities. Either way, that path that you’re getting ready to take always starts with buying a truck, so here are several considerations that you should bear in mind.
1. Know what you need
The first thing you need to consider is the type of truck you need for your business. Here, you have a plethora of popular options to choose from. Box trucks, refrigerator trucks, and dump trucks are the three most common types. However, tank trucks and semi-trailer trucks are just as common. The choice of the truck type will determine the amount of money that you need to spend on the trucks in question, as well as the industry that you can work in. All in all, this is definitely the first thing that you need to take into consideration.
2. Leasing vs. buying
The next issue that you need to face is whether you should buy or lease a vehicle. You see, the projected resale value of trucks drops sharply, especially when compared to the cost of the vehicle. Then, there’s the issue of depreciation to take into consideration, which will make the vehicle lose value drastically. Therefore, it’s mostly the issue of –how long do you intend to use the vehicle in question? If you plan for innovation, leasing is obviously the right choice, seeing as how it will allow you to change vehicles somewhat sooner.
3. Do your research
The next thing you need to do is identify the right place for your business to buy a truck from. Nowadays, it’s quite easy to find reliable online platforms specializing in trucks for sale. Other than the pragmatism of buying, one of the biggest advantages of this method is the ability to compare different trucks and see how the prices of various models compare in just a couple of clicks. Needless to say, buying trucks online can make this entire process a lot easier.
4. Have a trusted mechanic in your contacts
A truck is a major investment, which is why you need to find a reliable mechanic to inspect it before you make a purchase. The inspection itself is fairly routine. However, there are some elements that you won’t be able to perform on your own. It’s also the most reliable if you were to make a checklist and stick to it as much as possible. On your own, you can raise the hood and see what’s what, start the engine and see if there are knocks and thuds and check all the switches. Needless to say, the odometer is probably the single most important thing to check but some dealers tend to tamper with it in order to deceive buyers.
5. Financing a used commercial truck
In order to buy the truck in question, you might need to apply for a loan and find the lender that suits your needs. Either way, you need to start preparing the necessary documentation, which includes your credit record, proof of income and, in some scenarios, driving the history of people who are going to be behind a wheel. This last may sound a bit off, yet, it may provide you with a chance to get a better credit deal, as well as better insurance (something we’ll discuss later on). Once you have this out of the way, you should balance you will have to make a down payment, which is quite tricky and may temporarily hurt your cash flow.
6. Find an insurance company
The cost of truck insurance greatly varies based on a number of factors and circumstances. For instance, for leased owner-operators, the cost can range between $1,500 and $2,000 per year (for a semi-truck). As for owner-operators with authority, the price can sometimes go as high as $12,500 per year. Nonetheless, seeing as how it’s your living that’s in question, you can’t risk taking any chances.
While we’re at it, it’s important that we mention that just picking a truck isn’t enough for your fleet to be efficient. For this to work, you also need to have a reliable fleet management system, which consists of two elements A) a capable manager and B) decent fleet management software. The choice of a drive matters as well, which is why you might need to put some extra consideration into this topic.