In praise of Old Trucks

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by tnmtn, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. mlavin73

    mlavin73 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    I'm starting to think you guys are right. Even my mechanic told me to go with older vehicles. When I started my business in 2006 I went out and bought a brand new Ford F250. The reason behind this purchase was I don't have a back up truck and I want something I know is going to work for me. So far this brand new reliable truck has had the following repairs:

    *2 new exhaust manifolds
    *new AC system because something blew up in the compressor
    *brakes and rotors all the way around (thought my rotors should have lasted longer than 36K miles)
    *New transmission lines because the old rotted out
    *New Transmission dipstick tube because the old rusted out

    My truck has 49K miles on it now so I don't do a lot of driving. I do all the regular maintenance in hopes of making it last. The salt in the Northeast here is wreaking havoc on the whole undercarriage. I need to find some down time to wire wheel the frame and POR 15 it. I have been keeping my eyes open for something a little older that I can fix up and add as a back up. I wish Toyota or Nissan had a truck that could handle the weight I need. Not sure how they would do pulling a trailer, with a dump insert in the bed with a load of grass. All my former Toyota's and Nissans lasted forever (however I never worked them).
  2. jmacd

    jmacd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    When you buy used or older you know that you have to do repairs when you buy it.
    Sometimes the truck is just to far gone and you sell it. The key is to purchase them cheap enough so the repairs don't cost more that the truck is worth. The 1992 and 1997 we used for two years each for a salt truck and then sold for 1/2 of what we bought them for. The salt applications were 10 times worth the truck value. Just be smart about, its is about what you keep not what you spend.
  3. bearmtnmartin

    bearmtnmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I for some reason would never buy a used machine. I get them new and trade them in at 4 or 5 years old. But work trucks I always buy used.

    This is my 1994 Hino which I traded for some CAD drafting work. It came with a reefer unit that I sold for $700.00. That paid for the signage and the chrome wheel covers. I think it looks pretty sharp and being a Toyota it has been really reliable and has not cost me much. But it was totalled in an accident a couple weeks ago, so I had to move on.


    I bought this to replace it. Its even older (1986) but the owner is a Pepsi service facility and they have the maintenance records going back 20 years. Its pretty solid.


    Its going under the knife in the next couple weeks and I will post a couple pics when I am done.


  4. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    i do agree...buying brand new for no real reason is not something i would usually do...if a tax benefit justified it then sure...i bought my '08 for $35,000 in 2010...the guy bought it in late 2007 for $53, depreciated that much in 2-2.5 years...i think a truck right around 3 years old is perfect, most of the depreciation is gone by that point, then it's a slow steady decline from there...even this truck was a little too new really but it had everything i wanted, was in perfect condition, and i've only had one issue with starts every day and never gives me problems, which i can't say for my last truck, it was a '99 ram and had a problem every day...

    we have a '97 heady duty f-250 that i love, prob my favorite work truck so that really is what you are talking about rust, very reliable, has a dump, very maneuverable....we also have a '98 that we got fixed up, new cab bc of rust and now it looks clean, very presentable...i wouldn't buy any older than those tho

    i didn't mean to come off defensive, i agree with you...but i simply hate the companies that have terrible looking vehicles and compete against me, bc obviously they lowball me...and i know these aren't the vehicles u were talking about when u started this thread...i would buy that dump you have all day if i had a need for it, very clean looking
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Alot lawn guys that are low ballers around me drive old rusted out trucks, and i absolutely hate that look if i'm buying older and i try to stay with 95 or newer they need to be clean or have little rust, absolutely no rot holes though. I like clean old body style fords 93-97
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  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    I looked at a 78' chevy reg cab dually with flatbed the other day. Thing was in immaculate condition. I would have bought it if it would have been 4x4.
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  7. bearmtnmartin

    bearmtnmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Do you still have the spyder, or did that get moved on?
  8. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    There's room for both new and old in our fleet and while we do love our new cutting dump trucks and the 0 down time with them. I still keep and 89 gmc 3500 dump shes ugly I don't enjoy driving her I let the employees drive her where ever possible. I keep her very local I don't even like leaving the town with her but for brush and sticks and jobs where your going to get scratched and dinged its the perfect truck. I have my eye on some more land next to my home which will put me over 10 acres when I get it and even though I do intend to keep adding new trucks to the fleet I love the idea of keeping the old gmc as a dedicated dump truck to bring to the recycling place. Have the new trucks dump their grass loads each day at my place then use a loader and fill up the old truck. It will save taking 4-10 trips plus when it gets dirty I don't care and the yards are always either extreme dust or mud.
  9. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    Jmacd, I like that older Mack, The newer looks nice also. something about that extra bit of chrome on the bumper.
  10. jmacd

    jmacd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Thanks! I like it also. I haven't used it very much this year, haven't had a need to run two at the same time.

    I can go out and fire it up anytime and she will run like she did when I parked her.

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