When is it Time to Purchase a New Semi-Truck?

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With the amount of miles that most over the road drivers put on their on-highway trucks each year it’s safe to say that maintenance work is going to be required. A lot of drivers love to get under the hood and do the work themselves. Others need to take it to a mechanic. No matter which group you fall into, it means that you are not on the road making money.

Here are a few tips for helping you decide if it’s better to purchase a new semi-truck for sale or put work into your old one.

Maintenance

The first thing that you need to do is analyze exactly how much money you are spending each month on maintenance costs. If you find that it’s costing you more than $0.13 or $0.14 per mile then you are spending too much money to have things fixed on your semi-truck.

Below is an example of how it would be more beneficial for a driver to take on a higher truck payment with a new semi-truck because of the lower cost of maintenance.

Payment and Maintenance Cost Analysis
  USED TRUCK NEW TRUCK
Payment $1500/month $2500/month
Maintenance 15¢ / mile ($1650 total) 5¢ / mile ($550 total)
TOTAL $3150 $3050
*Based on driving 11,000 miles / month

Longevity

Are you planning to be in the industry for an extended period of time? Is this just a short-term career? Understanding your goals will help you better understand your semi-truck needs. If you are unsure of how long you might stay in the industry, but your truck is still turning a profit despite the high maintenance each month then it might be best to keep doing what you’re doing.

However, if this is something that you plan to do for the long term and your truck is costing you a lot each month in repairs then it’s probably more beneficial to take on the higher truck payment that comes with purchasing a new semi-truck for sale.

Regulations

Are you going to be required to replace the emission compliance filter on your truck so that you are abiding by CARB regulations? If you are then this will probably end up costing you $16,000 to $18,000 to install. If you were to buy a new truck with a compliant engine your overall cost would be less, but you would also get all the benefits that come with choosing a brand new semi-truck for sale.

When you are facing the decision to either continue paying high maintenance costs or purchase a new truck it’s important to consider all the facts. If you need any guidance reach out to your local Freightliner dealership or contact a reputable business services company who can help run the numbers for you.