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The truck you buy is one of the biggest decisions you will make when you start your trucking company. Your truck has the biggest impact on your bottom line, which makes the truck-buying decision one of the most important. You really want to get it right. Here are some of my recommendations to make sure the process goes well and helps you purchase the truck that is right for you.

  • Be thorough. Look at and compare lots of trucks.
  • Have a system to ensure you can compare each truck. I used a spreadsheet.
  • Be patient. Don’t rush and buy the first truck you see.
  • When you get serious about a truck, learn everything you can about its history. Know who owned it, what their maintenance program was, if it was governed, etc.
  • Have an independent mechanic look it over and have a dyno done on it.

You can download a blank copy of the spreadsheet I used below. Here is what mine looked like after I was done.

A preview of the downloadable spreadsheet to help buy a truck.

If you set the print parameters correctly, it will print on two pages, or the front and back of one page. I would go into each dealership with this spreadsheet printed out and handwrite in the info for each truck I looked at. When I got home, I would enter the info into the spreadsheet on my computer so I could better compare one truck to the next.

Feel free to use my spreadsheet as is, make changes to it, or create your own. The important thing is that you find a truck that is going to do the job you need it to do without costing you an arm and a leg. Keep in mind, the biggest cost often is not how much you pay the dealer but how much it is going to cost you to operate and maintain. The $2,000 you get the dealer to drop the price is a drop in the bucket and in reality is not much in the long run. Good luck and happy shopping.

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