When it comes to trucking business and being an owner-operator, one of the most important decisions you can make is buying the right type of truck. Sure, it may not sound like a big deal, but buying the right rig often is the key to success for small companies and owner-operators. And if you make the wrong choice, you may find yourself in trouble.
The thing is, buying the right rig can be the difference between making a lot of money and paying a lot of money for repairs and maintenance. And if you are just starting your career as an owner-operator – this decision is even more vital. Especially if you don’t have enough experience.
So, our advice is – take your time, do prolonged research and find the truck that best suits your needs and the needs of your customers, because, let’s face it, there is no “one size fits all” truck.
What to consider before buying a truck
There are some questions you need to answer before deciding on what brand of truck you want to buy:
- Long-haul, short-haul or local?
- What type of loads will you be hauling?
- How heavy are the loads that you’ll be hauling?
- New or used?
After answering these basic questions, you will have enough information to pick at least 2 brands of trucks. But the right choice may still not be very clear…
In one of our previous articles, we shed a light on long-haul trucking and which are the best trucks that suit the job. You can read the article here - Searching for the best long-haul truck. However, for long-haul work, you will need a truck that fits to this description:
- Provides a smooth ride;
- Good tracking;
- Handles well in bad weather;
- The brand has a good dealership in USA;
The overall performance of the truck and its comfortability are very important if you are going to go on long-hauls. After all, you will be spending most of your time in the truck, you want it to be comfortable and performing above par at all times. But especially important factor is the dealership. If something happens to your truck, you will want to have a dealership near you, so your truck can be repaired faster and you can get back to work soon enough. Spare parts should be easy to obtain and shouldn’t take a lot of time to be replaced.
Some of the brands that fit this description are Kenworth and Peterbilt. Both have dependable dealership across USA.
If you are going to work short-haul, the truck’s brand won’t be of such importance. However, you should pick a rig based mainly on its performance. Your short-haul truck should be well maintained and mechanically sound.
Freightliner’s trucks are especially popular for short hauls, they don’t break up that easily and can be less expensive that Paccar trucks.
If you are dealing with construction or you want to operate a dump truck, you will need a rig with sturdier build and heavy frame. Such trucks are Western Star and Mack, for example.
Volvo trucks also can be a good choice for short-haul trucking. You can buy a good one fairly cheap, but their dealership is not a top one and you may find yourself waiting for parts for weeks.
If you are going to work locally, consider buying a truck from a dealership that is near you home or office. Sure, the truck should be sound mechanically and the brand isn’t that important. So, if you live or work near a Freightliner dealership – buy Freightliner. If a Volvo dealership is nearer – go with Volvo. When it comes to local trucking, you need a sturdy rig that won’t spend much time in the pit stop.
We hope these tips shed enough light on the rig buying part of your owner-operator business. But remember, even the best trucks break, so in order to avoid putting your business on pause, you should get that commercial truck insurance everyone is talking about.
If you strive for success and you want your business to be prepared – commercial truck insurance is one of the most important things to take care of. You can start by getting your FREE INSURANCE QUOTE from our website at bobtail.insure.