Information provided by Trey Golden, Vice President – Used Trucks
This article is a continuation of our series answering many of the questions that a prospective commercial truck owner might have when considering a used truck purchase. In this fourth installment, we took a look at the top six benefits of considering a reliable used truck for your next vehicle purchase. Just straight facts and no fluff to help you make a solid, fact-based decision when buying your next commercial vehicle.
How do you know which truck to purchase for your particular need? While a new, shiny commercial truck might seem like a good investment for your company, there are many reasons you should consider a used truck for your next vehicle purchase. From faster availability and proven performance to better financing terms and lower price tags, here are the top six benefits of buying a reliable used truck.
- Availability: Most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are sold out of new trucks for all of 2023, and it is not certain when new trucks will be available for 2024 and beyond. Build dates provided by the OEMs for new trucks are just a rough estimate, and timing can change and get pushed back drastically. You are most likely looking for a truck because you need one now, not one to two years from now. At Rush Truck Centers, we have hundreds of used trucks in stock and ready for purchase at any given time and can help you find a used truck that fits your needs today.
- Pricing: Used truck prices have come down quite a bit in the last 12 months. However, new truck prices continue to increase and will keep doing so as more regulatory/emissions mandates are put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) between 2024 and 2027. The per-mile rate you receive will be the same whether you haul a load with a $250,000 new truck or a $100,000 (or less) used truck. This creates a great value proposition in the used truck market.
- Leverage Big Fleet Resources: Used fleet trucks were spec’d the way they are for a reason. Whether they were spec’d to optimize fuel mileage, driver comfort, ease of maintenance or something else, these attributes were studied by the big fleets and verified by factory engineers in order to provide the best possible driver experience and business benefit. Sitting down with a salesperson and picking options out of a data book for a new truck may not yield the same results.
- Financing: You are making a six-to-seven-year commitment when you finance a new truck. And worse yet, you will quickly be “upside down” on that loan since the truck’s value depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. Sometimes that “underwater” loan situation can last for the first several years of the finance contract. You know you have steady business today, but are you ready to make that type of financial commitment for the long term?
When you purchase a used truck, financing terms are typically 24–48 months and you can usually trade in the vehicle if you have made 12 payments on time and as agreed. This gives you a lot more flexibility in the early years of your business should your trucking needs change. Your type of haul/length of haul may change and you’ll want the flexibility to change with it.
- Proven Engine Platforms: The trucking industry has gone through a decade of relative certainty when it comes to engines. Engine manufacturers have made minor improvements over the last 10 years, but you can purchase a used truck that has a tried-and-true engine platform with lots of real-world miles behind it.
As we move into 2024 and beyond, new emissions requirements are forcing engine manufacturers to make changes to some of the engines that have years of proven performance. OEMs and engine makers will certainly navigate this process the best they can, but by buying a used truck now, you can take a wait-and-see approach and let these new technologies prove themselves out before committing your hard-earned money. Also, your local repair shop of choice will not be well-versed in working on these new technologies to the degree that they are for the engines that have been in service the over last 10 years.
- Reliability: Trucks perform to a much better degree than they did in the past and seeing 500,000 miles on a used truck’s odometer is no longer something you have to fear. Plus, terrific used truck warranties are available from OEMs, and Rush Truck Centers provides aftermarket solutions from Premium 2000 and American Guardian Warranty Services.
Buying a Used Truck from Rush Truck Centers
Before making a used truck purchase, sit down with a Rush Truck Centers sales representative and go over your present needs. What are you hauling and where? Who is driving the truck or will be in the future? Where will you get the service work and repairs done?
Consider adding telematics or a Contract Maintenance plan to your purchase and have your salesperson go over the used truck warranties available for the particular unit you’re interested in. Be honest and upfront about your credit history, how big of a down payment you can make, and what your optimal payment is for your particular business plan. This will help your representative work with you on finding the best truck with the best financing and maintenance solution for your needs.
And you should always ask your sales rep to show you the shop repair bills from the used truck make-ready process that shows that the oil has been changed, the diesel particulate filter has been cleaned and a fresh DOT inspection has been completed.
Now you are ready to purchase a used truck with confidence.
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