using work truck as personal vehicle

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DannyLot, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. DannyLot

    DannyLot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    What's everyone's advice on using the same vehicle for work an their primary personal vehicle ? Reason I ask is I was thinking of trading in my car to get a nice 1 ton vehicle for 20k used or just getting a used truck for 10k strictly for landscaping an plowing .. What ya guys think ?
  2. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    buy the work truck for 10k.....why would you want to trash your personal vehicle for work....if you get to the point you send out a crew you still have your car to follow up on them...that said if your a solo operator and wish to stay that way for a while it is nice to have a nicer truck even for work....:usflag:
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    pretty solid advice there, one other thing to consider. IF you use your work truck just for work, then you get to claim 100% deductions on the mileage during the year.
    If you have a vehicle that you use for both personal use and work - you honestly should be documenting mileage used between the two and only be able to deduct the work mileage. More of a pain in the tail paper work to keep it honest.
  4. Kelly's Landscaping

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

    Be interesting to know how many guys here do the mileage deduction method and how many use the actual cost method. In our case we drive very few miles a year 2000-8000 per vehicle so the deductions are much better doing the actual cost.
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    do what you can afford, my buddy started out back in 04 with an 92 non turbo diesel f350, used it for everything his whole first season, then summer of 05 he bought a left over 04 f350 turbo diesel and it came with a fisher mm2 plow, he sold the other truck and had one new nice truck for about 6 years before he decided he needed another truck, he bought a f250 gas truck for 2000 with a like new fisher mm2 plow thinking the truck was junk and it turned out to be a good truck so he ended up using it for lawns, then he found a someone that needed a starter in their f350 diesel and he traded straight up and kept the plow, then within the last year he bought an f450 crew cab dually for a "personal vehicle, and now that's what he drives around whenever he isn't working. and it has 10,000 dollar wheels and tires on do whatever you can afford to. having a separate vehicle is nice, but takes time to get to the point.

    I only have my one f350 diesel now, its a 96 regular cab, its a little tight, and definitely not very comfortable, but for the 3500 dollars i originally paid for it, I can't see myself selling it ever, Its far too reliable, it has done way too much for me to sell it, even if it got 6-7k for it i wouldn't be happy, I would just rather have the truck, its worth a lot more then that to me. I really would like a newer truck asap but its not something i need to buy so i just plug along with with my 1 old work truck. which is 100% reliable, and never fails to start. My friend and I both worked the ever living crap out of our f350's and it doesn't show, his 04 that he bought new has 160,000 miles on it, and has needed next to nothing for parts, just regular maintenance. my truck with 272,000 takes the biggest beating i can throw at it, and continues to ask for more day in and day out. I'm talking towing 12,000lbs wide open up hill for over a mile. I beat my truck like no other. I also maintain it too, so if it needs something it gets it. sometimes with a full load of oak, I've towed 12,000lbs then put another 150 jumbo cobble stones in the bed which isn't light by any means, and it does its job well. I'm not sure what the weight was but i had 2 full pallets of sod in the back of my truck before, seemed heavy. and overall the truck, still is excellent condition despite being a plow/landscaping truck for 16 years and having a 2 yard sander in the bed for 5 or 6 of them, it really doesn't show. so I wouldn't say you are going to trash your nice truck, It's up to you how you want your stuff to look, but I vacuum my truck out when it gets dirty, and i wash it after every storm i plow. actually that's about it, I really don't go easy when loading the bed with logs, I've loaded my bed with wood probably over 100 times this summer alone and hit the back window several times, no cracks only scratches, same with the bed, there's small dings on the outside of the bed, but no dents anywhere on my truck.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  6. DannyLot

    DannyLot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    The whole having another car for a crew thing I'm not worried about that the moment.. If they does happen down the line I'm sure I can then justify a another used vehicle.. I just know my budget now I can afford about 10k cash for a used truck or trade in my vehicle an get a truck for about 20k I figure for 20k I could get a truck that's pretty realiable, an decent. But I will be driving it during week to my day job about 50 miles a day .. Just thought it would be nice to have a good clean realiable truck for work looks professional an 99% know it won't be a. Problem. But was curious how many guys do this an the pros an cons because i value everyone's device here
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Keep a personal vehicle

    I use actual cost and depreciate.

    I do not believe I will take section 179 again even if the IRS does keep it.
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I use my truck for work only and deduct actual cost as well. The cost to use a 3/4 ton for personal use is just too high. I use a 20 year old Honda Accord wagon that was my wife's car 2 cars to run and it's pretty much fully depreciated at this point. In fact I use it for work-related errands as well but have never bothered trying to recover that cost from the company.
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Indeed sometimes it is better to use the family car than the work truck for work purposes.
  10. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    i will agree with you, but then I also disagree its all relative to what your business makes, for instance you may say the cost of running a 3/4-1 ton truck is high and only be grossing 80k, vs. someone who says its actually quite inexpensive and they take 80k home consistently. not saying that is what you make, it is just an example, or maybe you have a mortgage, a credit card or two, a line of credit and still gross the same 80k and the other guy makes a little more and has no line of credit, no mortgage, 2 credit cards, but because he profits alot more he just pays them in full each month. so to him spending the money to operate a 3/4 ton that may get used for business use once a month, is worth it and he has a nice personal vehicle that isn't lettered up or anything.

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