Work truck

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by lone wolf, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. lone wolf

    lone wolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I been in business for 5 years. I have a 20' white/green enclosed trailer. I drive my green personal 3/4 ton.

    Question: I can buy a white 3/4 ton pick-up. I would like to keep my personal truck, personal. A white truck I think would make me look better. You can't think of the double maintenance costs. My truck now is going through a oil change a month. The only "extra" is licence tabs. All other maintenance is split inbetween both trucks.

    The bad is this white 1 is 2 wheel drive. I am kinda moving out of plowing anyway. I still plow, but I can take my green 4x4.

    Should I have 2 trucks? 1 personal, 1 work?
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    I wish I had two trucks. Always good to have a backup truck.

    Figure out your expenses and cash flow and go from there.
  3. mbrew

    mbrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    Are all of your savings goals met? Do you have money set aside for emergencies? Are you carrying debt that should really be retired? Is the maintenance on your house and equipment up to date? Is there money set aside to handle foreseeable replacements and repairs?

    Wanting a white truck for your business isn't a reason that I would use to spend several thousand dollars and I don't really see how you'll look any better in it. IMO you either need to be sitting on a boatload of money or find much better reasons for buying it.
  4. lone wolf

    lone wolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    It is not a color issue. It is a issue of keeping my personal truck, personal and having a dedicated work truck.

    I feel like I am sending my truck to a early grave by having it do double duty. That is the issue, not color. Matching the trailer is a plus, not a deciding factor.
  5. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    As stated before, if you can afford it do it. A man with a spare has no care. The real problem with a lot of people is they think of their vehicles as people. A truck is no more than a tool, use the tool and when it wears out get another tool. If you want a personal truck than buy one. Something to think about is maybe the 4x4 should be your work truck and buy another personal. Good LUCK!
  6. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    I know exactly what you're talking about. My truck has given me numerous problems this year. Before this year, I'd put on mostly highway or city miles with little to no load. It would be safe to say that I wasn't using it to it's full potential. However, this year, when my business took off more, I was towing almost every day, hauling stone or mulch, going off road more and more. I'd love to use my current truck as a personal or work truck, but it's not going to last much longer as both.

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I would definatly get a work truck. I have a personal truck that I would never use for work. I also have work trucks I would never use for personal use. That's the way to go IMO.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. lone wolf

    lone wolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Thanks Snapper Man, it is hard to find people that agree with me. My partner (Dad) does not. That creates some tension between us.
  9. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Unfortunately that's not all there is to it.

    1. Insurance on a 2nd vehicle would run maybe $1,000/year for decent coverage, but some pay much more than that. You will also need to insure both vehicles commercially if you ever want to use your personal truck for plowing. Crash or damage something costly when on a personal lines policy and at work and they will deny the coverage.

    2. You correctly thought of the tag/ad valorem taxes for the 2nd vehicle. Varies widely, maybe $150/year minimum.

    3. Maintenance/repairs. As you stated, not much additional here as you would be putting fewer miles on the personal truck.

    4. Fuel: probably unchanged as well

    5. Loan interest (or the opportunity cost of having $10K-$20K or so tied up in a second vehicle. $500 to $1,000/year if borrowing, maybe $300 to $600 in interest from a CD you'd be foregoing to buy a truck.

    6. Depreciation. Hard to calculate for sure, but both trucks will continue to depreciate as they age, independently of the mileage being put on them. You put fewer miles on the personal truck but more miles on the 2nd truck. But count on at least $1,000 more in total loss-of-value of those assets per year.


    $2450 minimum costs per year.

    The costs of vehicles are not only what most people think of (out of pocket expenses like payments, gas, insurance, etc). If you had $10,000 invested in the market and you withdraw that to buy a truck you have to include that ("opportunity cost" in economic speak) in your costs. Because you have forgone income from that money.

    I have a simple white HD work pickup now. I've used flashy red ones, black ones, green ones, and two tone ones. Nobody cares. They care that you are clean cut, your equipment and truck look well cared for, and that you know what you're doing and do it reliably. For years I used a truck that did double duty (personal and work use). I can use a "work truck' now because I'm married and have access to nice cars for that.

    Looking at the above costs I would say that if you must have a white truck buy one that suits you for personal use as well and sell the green one. Second vehicles may also run into issues with parking space, a little more personal maintenance to do (car washes, etc), but they do have the intangible advantage of being a backup for your main work truck. It's just a fairly expensive luxury for a small business.

    FYI, I bet those others with a dedicated personal use nicer "spare" truck also have a spouse and the second does family duty. A single guy with two trucks is a different matter. And as for wearing out your truck using it for work. Yes, it will depreciate faster. But not enough to outweigh the other costs. Trust me, I have a BBA and have done these calculations many times using historical resale data. And a large pickup is hardly an efficient personal use vehicle. Your dad is right on this one.

    If you are talking about a $4,000 old pickup for work (total beater) and paying cash and only carrying liability insurance and your other truck is an expensive one, it might start to make more sense. But then you're driving a worn out truck to earn a living with so you can 'save' your good truck to drive to the movies and grocery store in. Does that sound logical to you?
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  10. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Tax and IRS wise if your not married or have only one vehicle within your house hold you will need to have a lot of extra record keeping to show just what you drive for business and what you drive for your personal use.

    A "work truck" is much easy and less confusing at tax time, you take all the work truck expanses (tags, insurance, gas and repairs) off your taxes. If you only have one vehicle as your primary transportation with a business its a easy red flag for a audit.

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