Five Tips for Picking the Right Truck
Written by Phillip Gruppelaar
Trucks are an important part of your business operation. Whether you work in manufacturing, distribution or retail, many truck owners are also small business owners. When you need to expand your fleet, financing is always a good option. If you are just starting out, want to land a new contract or need to grow your business, financing can help you get the right truck for the job.
These are examples of just two very common reasons people look for truck finance.
We also hear from a lot of people who:
- have secured a contract and are starting out in the trucking game
- have secured a new contract, but their existing truck isn’t right for the job
- are growing their business and cashflow is tight, but they can’t secure new contracts without more trucks.
While truck financing options are going to vary from person to person, business to business, there are a couple of important things everyone should do:
- make sure you choose the right truck for the job.
- give yourself the best chance of getting your loan.
However, you have to know the best way to get financing to support your purchase. These are some tips for picking the right truck and ensuring that you get all the money you need to expand your business.
Buy What You Need
There are many types of trucks available for whatever job you need to do. You should consider what the correct type for you is, before you start looking into trucks. For example, you may want to invest in long haul, over the road (OTR) trucks or freight trucks. You should also consider that you need to start making money as fast as possible to pay back your loan, so your rig has to be ready to go on purchase.
New vs. Used Trucks
While used trucks may cost less, they could end up costing you more in the long run. They may have higher fuel costs, repairs and maintenance. When looking at trucks, you need to take into account its mileage, previous owner, type of engine and reviews before making any decisions.
If repairs are required, you will need to factor in the downtime as part of the costs to owning the truck. While the cost is higher upfront for a new truck, you will have less downtime to deal with for repairs for many years. New trucks generally come with a warranty. A good truck finance company can help you figure out these details.
Gas and maintenance aren't the only costs when it comes to running a trucking business. Trucks need insurance, registration, tools, repairs and technology to assist you on the road.
• Insurance – up to $10,000 per year
• Registration – between $4,000 and $8,000
• Fuel and oil – over $50,000 depending on amount of kilometres travelled
• Repairs and maintenance – over $30,000 if used
• Telephone – $3,500 or more per year
• Loan payments – $40,000 or more per year
• Tyres – $12,000
• Miscellaneous tools – $1,800
If you have other workers driving the truck, then you also have to consider worker's comp, wages and superannuation as well as payroll and banking fees. You should always look for options on trucks that will reduce costs and make it last for your business.
Get a non-guzzler
It's also important that you pick a truck that won't guzzle fuel and need a lot of repairs. Aerodynamics, light tare weight, tyre strength and other factors can mean that you won't guzzle as much fuel. This allows you to be able to do more jobs, which means greater profits.
Driver Comfort and Satisfaction
Trucks need some “creature comforts” to you happy on the job. You should purchase a truck that will satisfy your comforts and make your work easier. Some things to consider include:
• Lots of horsepower to handle the job
• Easily accessible driver controls
• Secure and quiet cabin
• Automated transmission
Once you've found the right rig with all of the features that you want, you'll need a good lender to help you with financing. If you have researched your truck and picked out all of the right features, you're likely to find a quick loan that will easily satisfy everything that you need.
Truck finance companies like to see that you have researched all of your options and presented the best ones related to your type of job, so you should be prepared to present all of your findings when you apply for a loan.