New or used???

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    ****Mods, please leave in this forum, thanks****

    My trucks are getting about 10,000 miles per year, on average. I have been running through a lot of what should be free time this winter doing repairs as well as a lot of cash.

    Here is the deal. A new F-150 can be bought for $17,750, price includes TTL. I am guessing that if I use that truck for 12 years, I should have about 120,000 miles on it. During that 12 year period, I will probably not have to repair anything. Since the goal would be to sell the truck instead of drive it forever and ever, I could probably even get away with never changing any fluids other than engine oil. On average, a used F-150 with 120,000 miles and an automatic transmission is selling for about $4.5K-$6K. Individual sellers are getting the low end, dealers the high end. Over a 12 year period, I would lose about $1,100 per year, assuming a cash purchase.

    On other hand, I could probably find another 4-6 year old F-150 for about $5,000 + TTL. Then I would have to change all the fluids and probably make a minor repair or two. It would probably set me back $6,000. Then every year, I might be able to keep it running on $1,100 per year. Some years more, some less. Probably in that range, though. The problem is, I still have to worry about a crew calling me in the middle of the day with a break down and 20 lawns to mow.

    I am actually leaning real heavily towards a new F-150 instead of a used one.

    Anyone think that's a totally stupid idea?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I think you should get whichever you can afford to pay cash for. Instead of new though, I'd be looking for something 1 or 2 years old. Let someone else take the drive off depreciation hit.
  3. OnMyOwn

    OnMyOwn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    DFW - I always look at things from the accounting view and crew productivity. You nailed it on the head with breakdowns and productivity issues, leading to additional headaches for you. The benefit of new vs. old from an accounting perspective is that you can take the full cost of the new F150 as a
    Sec. 179 deduction in the first year, given that it does not force you into a loss situation. In other words, your tax basis is lowered in year (1), not year (1) thru (10). Better the $$$ in your pocket, than the gov't.
  4. cochino12

    cochino12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    couldnt agree more
  5. Green Edge

    Green Edge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    FORD!!!! there's your whole problem..... just kidding but in my opinion A year or two old with stll very low miles is your best bet as said earlier, you save money and get pretty much a new truck
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    :dizzy: :dizzy: I'm confused. You just said two totally different things and amounts about the exact same vehicle.:dizzy: :dizzy:

    >First you say a 12 year old F-150 with 120K miles still brings in $4.5-6K
    >Then you say you could get a 4-6 (half the age just stated) for $5K

    >Then you say you could drive in 12 years and 120K miles with no repairs
    >Then you say you would have to spend $1,100.00 a year in repairs on a 4-6 year old one.

    It can't be both ways.

    Also I doubt any 1/2 ton pickup that only cost $17K new is going to bring in $6K 12 years and 120K miles later either.

    10K miles a year is nothing for a commercial vehicle use. How old and raggidy is the one you are using now if it is breaking down? Is it the same one you complained about last year.

    In any event based on using it only 10K miles a year I'd say buy used new as you can while still paying cash.
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    I have often had this debate with myself and currently drive a $5,000 '94 f150 that costs about $1500 to maintain +/- each year. I'm still debating, but...

    My favorite thing about deciding to go with a used truck is...every time I scratch it, blow dirt around it, bash it with a shovel or rake, dump soil into it, have stink ass grass in it, or otherwise deface the beast, I smile and say to myself "Man I'm glad that wasn't a new truck, because if it was I'd be pissed and look like this :mad: and then say :realmad: ."

    Also, no need for collision insurance really. Much less stressful to drive a truck (or let others drive) that you can beat on!
  8. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 787

    Just because you buy new does not mean that you will not have any repair issues. My father in law bought a new Ford Explorer Limited and the dealer has had to put 6 rearends in the past 14 months. It's all under warranty but that is still time that he is without his vehicle.
  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116


    It can happen, but it is rare that a vehicle breaks down while still under warranty.


    Honestly, I have been trying like the dickens to buy a white F-150 with automatic and 100K to 125K miles for $5,000 and I am having no luck. Last year, I bought three of them in that range for $4K to $5K. But I think that was because TXU flooded the market with them last year and this year none of the large corporations are doing that.

    There are several 12 year old F-150's for sale with asking prices over $5K and there are some for $2K. I am guessing I will be able to sell a 2006 F-150 in November/December of 2017 for $4K to $5K if it has around $120K miles based on what I am seeing.

    Whether or not I can keep a truck running with $100K+ miles on it with a budget of $1,100 per year is a horse race. And that requires a lot of me driving around doing stuff when I should be focused on other things. Not to mention the "we're broke down and we have 20 lawns to mow" issue.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    DFW, have you tried your State Vehicle Surplus Auction? I have bought a couple trucks through NC's that were used by NCDOT and had between 75K-98K miles, were 1999's and 2000's and I got them for the $4K range. I have had no issues with them as generally State's keep their vehicles well maintained.

Share This Page