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What makes more sense new or used?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mrusk, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    What do you guys think makes more financial sense over time, new or used trucks?

    My dad always bought new vehicles. So when i went into business i bought a new 05 3/4 ton dodge cummins. My repairs/maintanence for all of last year was around 650 dollars. Basically thats just oil changes, differencial fluid changes, wipers, and thats about it.

    I know what people who spend upwards for 10k on one vehicle for maintenance some years.

    This year i need to add another truck. I do not know which way to go. It seems like most vehicles 2-3 years old are selling for almost the same price as new.

    I know any mason dump in the 15k price range will be beat to hell.

    Thinking long term what do you guys think really works out best? I am just alittle scared buying used since i have no experience with it and am not a great mechanic. Also being a 2 truck company, i can not afford the down time.

    Maybe i should just buy two used trucks.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If the 05 Dodge is your personal truck don't get rid of it. I spent many years dealing with used trucks and I'am done with fooling around with junk. The 2003 F-450 I bought only had 58,000kms (36,000 miles) on it and so far its the best truck I ever owned.

    Trying to find a mason dump is going to be nearly impossible your going to have to build your own. Try find a cab and chassis or a truck that had a 12' Van on it take the body off and put a dump box on it.

    Search for something that is about 4 years old it still should be in good shape anything older than that will be a money pit.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The trick with used is knowing the blue book (and refusing to pay more) and being able to determine, from condition, if it will need a lot of work done. A truck in fair condition will need a considerable amount of work done (anywhere from several hundred to 1,500 or so all DIY that's just parts), a vehicle in good condition should need some relatively minor basics (say several hundred in parts but not much more), and a vehicle in excellent condition should need nothing or almost nothing (maybe a fuse but really not).

    The problem is finding someone honest. Most likely you'd want to check into a reputable automotive dealership who sells only at Blue Book, has all of their vehicles completely gone over, and most are at least in good but really excellent condition.

    To get this combination, I'd recommend you go to Carmax.
    More than likely you won't find better for less, but I don't even think you'll find as good for same.
  4. Youngbeginner

    Youngbeginner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I am reading a financial book by Dave Ramsey right now. The chapter I read today talked about buying vehicles. If you are paying cash and have a discount through a relative in the automotive industry, then possibly buy new. But, if you are taking out a large loan to buy a new vehicle then don't. Instead, buy a dependable used truck that has depreciated, and save/invest the money in a high interest account that you would have been paying out each month for the loan/interest. After several years, you will have enough money saved up + the old truck as a trade in/ or sell in order to buy something newer with cash. I am no expert by any means, but I would suggest looking into Dave Ramsey's financial books, they help with getting out and staying out of debt. I guess the key is slow growth without debt at first will = quick growth in the long run.
  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    I know Dave Ramsey's book and it is on the money - however he is not taking into account the business side of things, such as the money lost while the vehicle is down, while you spend money on repairs.

    I am the worst person in the world to pick good used vehicles. And I cannot afford another season of "well, I'll get it done as soon as the truck is out of the shop - again this week."

    Sometimes it does pay to buy a truck even if you have to make payments.

  6. clay duncan

    clay duncan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    there are plenty of good used vehicles out there. new vehicles can and do break also. it really does not make any sense to buy a $35,000 or more truck to go and mow grass with. i drive a 2000 f-250 that everyone thinks is brand new. remember that new truck is considered a used truck as soon as you sign the dotted line..........
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    What mileage would you recommened to stay under for a domestic 1 ton?

    I think what David Ramsey says is good for most people, but makes almost no sense in the business world.
  8. clay duncan

    clay duncan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    it really all depends on the maintenance and if the truck has been abused or not. 200,000 miles is really not all that uncommon on a well kept vehicle. usually its the automatic transmission that will give you the most trouble and that is why i prefer a stick. that being said i would try and find a 5 or 6 year old truck with 60- 70,000 miles and go and make some money with it......good luck.....
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    People can't even giveaway a truck if it has 200,000 miles or 320,000kms. A 1 ton with that many kilometers. If a truck has more than 125,000 miles 200,000kms on it people usually expect to spend allot in repairs.

    In B.C. a truck with 200,000 miles or 320,000kms is considered worn out you may get 3000 dollars at the most for it. A truck with that many miles will probably need a engine rebuild, transmission replaced, a complete brake job.

    By the time you dump 10 grand into the truck you could have bought a newer truck. Dumping money into a dead horse doesn't make sense. I know many people that dump thousands into a old truck thinking they are saving money and essentially they are loosing money.

    Try find a truck with 100,000 miles then it will last you 100,000 miles or roughly 4 years if you put 25,000 miles on the truck in a year. I know with us here we don't expect to get any more than 187,000 miles out of a truck. Anymore than that then you have a money pit that is breaking down and letting you down.

    My 03 F-450 I will keep the truck for 6 years and sell it truck will have about 131,000 miles 210,000kms on it. After that I will see I may keep the truck but I don't expect to get much more than that out of the truck.
  10. clay duncan

    clay duncan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    hey gravel rat, no disrespect intended, but please re-read my post. i am not saying buy a truck with 200,000 miles on it. my main point is a new truck WILL cost more to own and operate. i am in business to make a profit. (aka) keep as much hard earned money as i can......clay

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