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When do you bite the bullet and buy new trucks

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by dmk395, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,942

    I was referring to your prejudice, not the possibility of a recession.
    Cam15 and hort101 like this.
  2. Mowing monkey.

    Mowing monkey. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    My work trucks get worked. I’d be afraid of scratching a new truck. With my 90s trucks anything goes. And they’ve proved reliable. If they were junk I’d get rid of them. I’ve had my 1 ton truck for about 3 years and it’s took the worst beating of any of my vehicles and keeps on going. It’s had a starter, alternator, water pump, new taillights, and heater motor. I’ve had my Topkick since May and I had to spend $500 fixing it up when I got it and it’s served flawlessly since then except a fuel pump about 2 weeks ago. I’d rather roll with a nice backhoe and junk trucks vs nicer trucks and no backhoe. I about wish I’d have bought a new trailer but I’m still in that one for about half of new price. I just added a 2500 suburban to my fleet and it’s had better days at 291,000 miles. I’ll probably buy a nicer one in the spring.


    Cam15 and hort101 like this.
  3. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,128

    I bought my current work truck a little over a year ago. It's a 2012 which was a nice jump from my old 2003. The 03 was getting up there in miles and was at the point it was nickel and dimeing me. It was payed off and still in good enough shape to get some money for it.
    The 03 sure was pretty.

    sjessen likes this.
  4. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 23,172

    Was it a King Ranch? I like 4 full doors but need the longer bed.
  5. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,512

    I run 10 year old trucks or better. My plow truck is a 2000 chevy HD 2500. The biggest thing my trucks pull is a 6x12 enclosed with 2500lbs total weight.

    My previous lawn care truck was a six banger 5 speed short bed regular cab 2005 silverado. Ran perfect, then it got totalled. Cost me $2500.

    My new truck is a 2008 Chevy 6 banger long bed WT. It's an auto, and i wish it wasn't, but the thing is solid, cost me just under $5,000 and has 130k miles and will work for years to come.

    My daily driver is not a truck, it's a jetta TDI. I only use my trucks for work or if i'm hauling....otherwise they're at home, that includes most of the winter unless I'm in the plow truck.
    old truck
    plow truck
    new truck
    hort101 likes this.
  6. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,128

    Yes, it was a king ranch.
    sjessen likes this.
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,375

    @gcbailey said it best...when your accountant tells you to. Assuming you have a good accountant. But you also have to take into account the revenue that a truck brings in.

    I've run all new, I've run that new into the ground thinking it was more economical to not have payments but spending as much in payments fixing\maintaining those trucks and still owning 15 year old trucks.

    Nickel and dime repairs are not only wasting money, but aggravating and stressful. It also doesn't help morale of employees. And when you add in true costs of repairs--bringing to a shop, picking up from a shop, downtime, lost revenue--actual repair costs are much higher than what you see on a bill from the mekanik.

    So I'm not saying run out and buy brand new. I did buy one new truck in the past couple years. I have also bought 5 used trucks that are in very good condition that were in my budget (kind of) and suit my needs.

    I have an '02 Dakota that is rusting out but will run it through this winter, bought an '04 GMC 1500 with 150K on it, but no rust. An older guy's truck.

    A '16 RAM 5500 with 46k to replace a '95 F800.

    An '07 F750 in great condition for the number of miles.

    Bought an '02 Sterling L9500 muni truck with front and underbody plows, spreader, dump box. 55K on it but they go for closer to $200K new, obviously can't justify that. It replaced a '93 L8000.

    Latest was a '10 GMC 3500 with a service body and 51K. Another municipal truck but in excellent condition. Had a front plow and aluminum service body...ready to go. Added a spreader to it and it's a very versatile truck.

    I need reliable trucks for plowing and salting. I can't afford to run older stuff that breaks down or nickel and dimes me to death while pissing off the employees because it's unreliable just because of age and use. If it was just mowing and landscaping, things would be different.

    What it comes down to is the use of the truck, revenue it produces, history of maintenance costs and tax situation.
    gcbailey, Mark Stark and hort101 like this.
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,515

    Good point on the employee morale
    A lot of people discount that
    But when you run old raggedy stuff, they tend to think they can rag on it more.
    The quality of the equipment shows up in the quality of their attitudes/work.

    double edged sword.
    Damned if you do , damned if you don’t.
    Mark Stark and hort101 like this.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,515

    Some large contracts require newer trucks/equipment too
    X percent of tier 4 complaint equipment
    Trucks no older than 8 years
    It’s not common, but I see it on contracts with more zeroes
  10. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,128

    I would like to get an older truck to have as a mow only ring. I think with the right paint and signage it would be an awesome rolling billboard.

    Only reason I haven't is the ones in the price range to fix and run as a work truck are to far gone. The one in good enough shape demand to much to want to scratch it up with a rake or tree branch.

    Mark Oomkes and hort101 like this.

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