Jan. 20, 2016
What is the best truck to buy? -We hear this question a lot.
There is no scientific answer to pin point the single make and model.
You want the most efficient work horse to make the most money.
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Fuel economy: Buy the most fuel efficient truck you can, diesel will be your biggest expense in owner operator business. Extra 0.5 miles with a gallon will have a major impact on your annual profits.
2. Sleeper truck: Sleeper truck will be easier to sell if needed, and will not limit you if you decide to switch from local to over the road or regional.
3. Tandem axle: Single axle truck will limit you to only very specific work. Do not force limitations on yourself.
4. Classic trucks: No doubt they’re the best looking trucks on the road, unfortunately most of them will burn more fuel (due to aerodynamics) and will cost more for parts. Usually they are heavier then other trucks. At the end of the day it is not chrome that gets you up the hill, the engine does.
5. Warranty: Do not count on it as “zero” repair cost shield, any truck with any warranty will cost you to repair. If you have a new truck some repairs will cost you nothing, but will take forever to get done, and you don’t want to loose two weeks for a small $350 dollar job. Some used truck dealers are selling extended warranty as bulletproof option, but most of the time it only covers the parts that never break. So plan your budget accordingly and be prepared.
6. Transmission: Manual transmission is a winner,with minor failures it might still bring you home or to a truck repair shop nearby. Automatic transmission will stop you for any minor issue and towing will not be cheap.
7. 10 speed vs. 13 speed: Both are equally good, 13 speed a bit softer on the engine and will offer smoother ride in the mountains.
8. Luck: We all need some. Sometimes two identical trucks might have very different issues.
As an author of this article, owner operator and driver for many years i give you the list of best money making trucks:
1. Volvo/ Cummins ISX/ Manual transmission.
2. Freightliner Cascadia/ Cummins ISX/ Manual transmission.
3. Freightliner Cascadia/ Detroit/ Manual transmission.
4. Volvo/ Volvo/ Manual transmission.
5. International ProStar/ Cummins ISX/ Manual transmission.
6. Older Freightliner and Volvo trucks with Cummins/Detroit/Volvo engines and Manual transmission.