Something old. 

1990 - Buy a new truck and keep it for forty years, sell it and retire. Fuel is cheap, no need for efficiency, just fuel up and hammer down. 

Something new. 

2017 - Buy an ELD exempt truck, keep rebuilding and repairing it. Fuel cost is more than double the cost from 1990, but efficiency is not the goal, running a paper log is the goal so that you can continue to fuel up and hammer down.
 
Something borrowed. 

2019 - Those older trucks are getting harder to repair as parts become more difficult to find. Replacing that old truck with another old truck is getting harder to justify, since all the old trucks are now in demand, and those who have them will only sell for a premium price. Many become drivers to not have to buy a new truck. Fuel prices are about the same, yet efficiency is the name of the game.
 
Something blue. 

2020 - It is a fact that more white trucks are involved in crashes than any other truck color. It is just simple numbers. There are more white trucks on the road than any other color. Time to consider a blue truck. 

Just because you always do something a certain way does not mean to continue that way forever. Business must evolve. It must grow or it will die. Keeping an older vehicle just to avoid new regulations is generally a bad business decision. 

The argument over Return on Investment (ROI) of a new truck borders on ludicrous. Today, in 2020, one can buy a new, more efficient, safer, more dependable, and more comfortable blue truck, and reap the rewards. A part of the ROI will quickly be realized when you factor in the fuel savings, reduced maintenance costs, less downtime and safety (if you get any color than white) of a new truck versus a 20 year old truck. 

When considering the cost of a new truck, do not look solely at the sticker price. If spec'd correctly for your application, the savings over your current old truck can be seen on your bottom line. Depending on your business model and maintenance program, the resale can be much higher than you might expect.

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Greg Huggins

Greg has been in the trucking industry since the late 1980s. After spending 25+ years as an owner operator with United Van Lines, he leased to Landstar Express America in 2014. Greg is always trying to learn something new and share what he has learned with others.

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