New Vs Used ? (or) Keep existing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scraper69, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    Cant make up my mind. My pick up is a 92 Gmc 3500. has 80k on it. Overall has been a nice truck. Just put a new oil pan on and now seems to be leaking in another spot? Front end has a small leak and i know soon i will have to replace the gas tank (rusted straps). This truck is used for basically plowing.
    We have a 1ton 3yd Chevy that usually does our lawns and install jobs.
    I am looking to expand this season and was going to use the pickup for the lawn cut division,and start off doing installs (seperate crew with 3yd dump) but should i put the money into it (3500GMC) or just get something new or even a better used. (remember i would need it to tow and plow). I am not sure what way to go. A new pick up would be nice. (also could be My personal drive around truck!) if i get a newer used - i am basically doing the same as fixing existing plus need to add a plow? New - man I hate to have a lawn crew destroy a new one. What would you do. If i sell it would be around $4500 ? good bad or what THANKS
  2. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    any comments are appreciated!!
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    My first impulse would be to have a mechanic give me an estimate on how much it would cost to get that 3500 whipped into shape. If it has 80,000 miles on it, the frame and engine are probably in great shape. Ditto the transaxle. The transmission will die sooner or later (or if it's a standard shift, the clutch), but that's part of the cost of doing business.

    If you have an accountant, take the figures for keeping your current truck up to snuff AND the figures for replacing it and see how each scenario influences your tax situation at the end of the year. Once you see how the tax and cash flow picutres play out, you'll probably have a good idea which way to go.

    As far as used versus my way of thinking, if you're paying $500 a month for a new truck, you might be better off spending $3,000 a year to keep a used truck on the job. That $500 a month payment comes out to $6,000 a year. Spend $6,000 in two years on your 3500 and you'll have replaced tranny, engine, transaxle and a few other things. New block and tranny should last five years at least, right?
  4. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    Check out my thread "how much is to much" i asked some of the same questions and you might find some of the answers i got helpful. :)
  5. mmacsek

    mmacsek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 547

    Take this for what it is worth. From what you describe there isn't a "major" problem lurking that you know about. i.e. trans.,engine replacement. I say assess what you know needs to be done and see what that number is. A few things to think about. First, if you buy a newer used truck there are no guarantees with what needs to be upgraded. The chances that another truck will be ready to tow are slim.i.e. brake controller, wiring, hitch. You will most likely have to do fluid changes, tune ups, etc. on another truck. A newer truck will most likely have higher insurance premiums. I say unless your present truck is a basket case ,fix it. I have a 96 Ford F250 pickup and a 1989 Ford F450 stakebody. Thet are obviously not new but in good repair and no rust. I have a real problem with spending 35K plus for a new truck to use for landscaping. It's not a new the truck is that makes you look professional, what does it look like and keep it clean. Hope this helped. Matt
  6. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    i agree, New is way too much to spend for a landscape truck. I just like the reiability factor. but i have a good mechanic who could take care of any existing problems. We (like i said before) only used for snow in the past. and for engine? sound/trans? ok/Problems are just age related..rust (not frame or body. just undercarrage parts.(fuel tank/lines/brakelines-and so on.) Also i made the mistake of having it painted to match the existing fleet.(at EARL SHEIB) paint shop like MAACO. poor finish and starting to chip off, although not real bad. Still looks pretty good. I think ill talk to my mechanic and see what repairs will cost and go from there. ANY OTHER COMMENT??
  7. bigdaddyspags

    bigdaddyspags LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    Do you need a 3500 to do you lawn care stuff? If you're just hauling around a small trailer, you could get away with a nice used 2wd 1500 for real cheap. For a couple grand who cares if it gets trashed, it could be didsopable.
  8. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    If that's all he'd use it for, why bother to switch trucks in the first place? As someone pointed out earlier, he may be buying someone else's mess. Used vehicles and equipment have a dicey reputation, deservedly so.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    80k is nothing... or it should be. I dunno, I don't currently use Chevy and I've never owned a 3500. But my advice to you is keep it and overhaul items as needed. That is unless lump sum cash costs pose a problem for your operation. Plowing and towing are hard on trucks, I don't care what model they are.

    I still have a '92 model truck in service with a lot more miles on it than that.
  10. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    I agree, with the last two posts. Buying used again just puts me backwards, you dont know what youre getting in to. At least I know this truck. And yes I somewhat agree, put the money in to this truck and make it work. Any used truck is always gonna need money in .. and Hey- its all paid for. I really dont like to have TRUCK payments . Since they are worthless as soon as you drive them off the line._ RESALE (worthless) But you do get RELIABILITY! That is peace of mind. OH well, ill take the stress of breakdowns for now I guess?
    -- even if i did sell this truck ? What do you think i could get for it?

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