When buying any large item, like a car or a house, you should always consider your return on investment. However, buying a used 18-wheeler can be a huge gamble if you don’t know how to shop for one. But, when done right, you can get a great, reliable vehicle that’ll last a decade.
How to Make Owning a Semi-Truck Profitable
All investments come with a healthy portion of risk, but you can minimize these potential pitfalls by doing your research. Here’s how you can purchase an 18-wheel and make it profitable.
Buy From a Reputable Company
It’s very important to find your Peterbilt 579 or other models of semi-trucks from a reputable dealer. If you’re buying a truck from a company that isn’t known for selling quality, you could spend thousands on repair or maintenance costs. Don’t ever buy the cheapest truck you find.
Why? Because there’s a possibility the truck is in disrepair and doesn’t come with a warranty. It’s better to buy a truck that’s a bit more expensive than risk breakdowns or engine failure.
Know What You Need in a Truck
Some used 18-wheelers are no longer used commercially, which is why they’re sold at a low cost. Make sure to purchase a truck that’s suited for the industry you’re in, or you may have to buy another semi. You should also know about truck maintenance for the inspection.
At the inspection, check the maintenance records and ask questions like how often the oil was changed or if the transmission works, as their answers can determine the truck’s condition.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
Budgeting for an 18-wheeler is a lot like budgeting for a car. You need to create a checklist of your needs and wants, then see if you can afford it. If you love a truck, but it’s out of your range, don’t buy it. An expensive truck may make it difficult for you to earn money on your investment.
The average used truck costs $45,000 to $100,000. It’s a good idea to stick to trucks that are $60,000 to $75,000, as trucks sold anything lower than that may cost you more in the long run.
Purchase a Truck With a Warranty
One of the reasons you should never buy a used semi-truck from a friend or another trucker is that they lack a warranty. A lot can go wrong when you own an 18-wheeler, so you’ll want a safety net in place. If you don’t, you’ll be paying out-of-pocket for any urgent repair you need.
Like when owning a car, you should save a bit of extra cash for maintenance and unexpected repairs. That way, you won’t experience any lost revenue while your truck is in the shop.
Understand Your Cost Per Mile
All large trucks use a significant amount of gas to run, but not all large trucks burn gas at the same rate. Sometimes a cheaper truck can end up costing you a fortune in gas, while a modern, expensive truck with better gas mileage will save you more money over the truck’s lifetime. Besides the cost of gas, consider how much your monthly payments will cost if you’re financing the vehicle. These costs should be added to your cost per mile calculation each month.
Buying an 18-wheeler can be a good investment, but you have to do your due diligence to make sure you see a profit.