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Looking for 1st Truck

I'm currently working on the owner operator training system "Stop Holding the Steering Wheel & Start Driving Your Business. I did the living expense/networth calculation and determined I am a "9", which allots me a truck budget of $20 to $35,000. I really want to stick to the budget. However, while searching online I found what I believe to be a really nice specked truck. A 2014 freightliner cascadia 113 with detriot dd15 455 hp. It has a DT12 DA direct drive Transmission, drive axle cross lock, 22.5 LP wide singles, 2.50 rear axle ratio, predictive cruise control. Miles are at about 575,000. Asking price is $57,000.00. Go figure, its a bit steep, but it sounds like a serious money truck. I've been looking hard online trying to find trucks specked for fuel economy for the past few weeks and this one just seemed to take the cake......or maybe I still have a lot to learn. First, does this truck sound to you like it would be a great starter for fuel mileage running general dry van freight up to 80,000 lbs? .....and Second, would it be wise for me to go out of my budget range or even consider this truck. My gut is telling me that all the good stuff on this truck would be well worth it but I really want some input from some folks who have been there and done that. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

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Thanks for your insight. That is very good advice indeed and just what I needed to get my head out of the clouds and stick to the budget.

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A great relationship with your banker is most important for a start up business. Every used truck will need a $5000 to $10,000 repair early in your ownership, Will this break you? Try to keep a monthly truck payment of not more than $1400 to $1500. and dont finance used equipment for over 3 years. I searched for 1 1/2 years before buying my last truck. It's not fun. The truck mentioned seemed very high priced, it would have to have a fresh overhaul w/warranty to fetch that kind of money. Other than the price, nice specs if you need a dpf California truck. I noticed a lot a newer trucks with VERY high idle time. One had 15,000 hours in 280,000 miles. It was getting a new engine.

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Truck prices are on the way up right now. What may seem high in our minds might be a reflection of the current market price. If you are seriously considering this truck or any truck I would get an ECM Report first. For Detroit Diesel engines they are called DDEC Reports and they will give you the lifetime history of engine events. A good dealer/salesman will not charge you a penny for this report. I like to look at idle time, fuel mileage, forced regens (about 1 per 100,000 miles), etc. If this truck is part of a batch of identical trucks compare the reports and pick the best one of the bunch.

What does not excite me about this truck is the automatic transmission. This is a relatively new product for Detroit and you will be buying the tail end of the life span for this transmission. I would prefer a manual transmission for my first truck as they are very reliable and would probably go 1,000,000 miles without incident.

Finally, if your budget is in the 20 to 35 range try to stick to that. If you don't go to California try to find a 2003 or older truck. You are looking for that diamond in the rough. Maybe something around 850,000 miles or less in really good shape.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the advice. Any advice going into this is much appreciated. Your opinion on the automatic is probably a wise one. Currently sitting at a freightliner dealership with my auto shift company truck. Lol!

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I'm currently the owner of a non airodynamic long nosed wind catcher 1999 Condo Classic Freightliner. She's not the most fuel efficient truck, but she fits the bill of what I was looking for at the time for $18,000. I bring all of that up to say this, before you choose a truck you must first decided what you will be using it for, and where you will be running it for the most part. Just remember, the single most important decision you will make in this business involves your choice in equipment. Depending on your situation a 1999 or older, true Pre emissions truck may be perfect for you. But the question you have to ask yourself is, how much work am I willing to do on my equipment and where can I lease it onto until I'm ready to operate under my own authority, if that is an eventual goal for you. Older trucks need more TLC but, as Mr. Rutherford has often said, they tend to keep you out of the poor house. If California is a must, than you obviously have to consider emissions compliance. But, if California is a place that you only intend to visit by airport, and you aren't afraid to turn wrenches, why take on such a needless head ache. You have some research to do before you can answer those questions for yourself, but don't get discouraged and be realistic when making these decisions. God bless and keep us posted, we're all just here to motivate each other and feed our families while making a profit and having a little fun. “Always Cool" over and out.

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Thanks. Good advice no doubt. That is what I'm currently working on. Finding the right carrier. Still looking at trucks a bit on the side but I don't plan on moving on anything until I know where I am going to end up.

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This is just my opinion. I think the truck you found is a pretty nice truck with really good specs. Unfortunately it's a little out of your price range. I would stick to the budget that Kevin has laid out. I know exactly how you feel because the truck you found is such a nice truck and seems to be a good find. From experience I can tell you this. When I was younger I would always find something that I wanted to buy that was out of my price range and I would think I'll never find another truck like this, so I have to buy it now. From experience, I now know that when the time is right and the funds are right you will still be able to find that truck with those specs. You may have to look hard for it, but it will be there. I really like the idea of sticking to Kevin's budget getting into a truck that you can afford, running that truck, making money, and then when the time is right maybe you can upgrade to a newer truck or a truck with better specs. Again, this is just speculation, and is just my personal opinion. It sounds like your doing everything the right way and setting yourself up to be pretty successful. Your doing the hard work up front and I think that's going to pay off well for you. Good luck.

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Thanks for the confidence boost. I hope it all works out well. I'm sure you're right about sticking to the budget. Just have to keep looking.

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