Replacing trucks


LawnSite Senior Member
Portsmouth, VA
This post is generally aimed at the people who have many trucks or smaller outfits that have been doing this for a while.

I have a 97 GMC 1500, V-6, 44k miles. It's in good shape, and I don't need to trade it in. It will be paid for this season and I have some questions. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to keep the old truck for a while, or get a new truck for the tax write-off. How long should a truck be useful? Any helpful hints are appreciated.


LawnSite Member
Des Moines,IA
If you're truck only has 44,000 miles on it I would wait to trade it in. General rule of thumb for us is 6 years or 150,000 miles. Then you begin to see a decline in trade in value and mounting repair bills. I would check the truck though for wear and tear and go over the transmisson and joints since it is a 1500. On Chevy's the joints will be your first sign of wear and tear.


LawnSite Silver Member
I would not trade it in as capital stated. I would keep it on the list of vehicles I used for several reasons.

1. Fert Apps: This truck is the perfect size motor wise for maintaing your fert accounts wheter you are apllying, liming, or aerating.
2. Transport: This truck is also a good size for transporting say conatiner stock, soil ammendaments, or misc. items to a job site that may damage tree camber or other specimens on a flat bed.
3. Errands: with a 6 cyl. you still have the versatility of a truck without the mass fuel consumption of a larger engine.

My vote is to keep 'er around a while longer.


LawnSite Senior Member
Flint, Michigan
We had the same situation several years ago. We had a 1989 F-150 with the I-6. It is a great reliable truck to this day. We don't use it for any thing heavy but it makes a great service, delivery, backup, or any reason to drive truck. I'm glad that we decided to keep it.


LawnSite Senior Member
S. Jersey
Keep it. I just bought a new 2000 Stakebed dump for the heavy stuff and deliveries. I kept my 94 Sierra as a backup for mowing, fert, estimates and such. Just keep up the maint. 3k oil changes, ad fix any problems ASAP. Ive got 75k mile on it and it'll last another 75 before engines are traded or it is traded.


LawnSite Member
44 thousand miles and your already talking about trading your truck in!!!!!!!!!!!???? You haven't even broken that sucker in yet.

If you take poor care of your vehicle and don't abuse them you'll be able to get 120,000 to 150,000 miles before problems with the engine and transmission start to arise.

If you take excellent care of your truck, you'll be able to get 250,000 to 350,000 miles on the engine before rebuilding the engine is nessisary.

In my's generally better to keep a vehicle going until the thing rusts out and the engine drops out when your driving down the road. Even a huge business would benifit from running their trucks into the ground if a skilled mechanic was on hand.

As a business owner, you'll have to have a great deal of knowledge to stay in business. Having a solid background in auto mechanics will benefit anyone who drive a car somewhere along the line.