One of the most important decisions you make as a new trucker is choosing the type of truck to purchase. The idea of owning your first truck is exciting and overwhelming. Several factors will go into your decision-making process. You need to consider your personal preferences and the type of trucking you plan on getting involved with. Fortunately, by researching and carefully weighing your pros and cons, you’ll discover the right truck to meet your needs.
There are several factors you need to consider when purchasing your first truck. Following are some of the most important things to think about:
While you may prefer buying a new truck, you might need to consider purchasing a used one based on your financial situation. We have an article here that will help you decide whether to buy, lease, or finance a truck. A particular truck may check all the right boxes off your list, but if you need to meet emissions standards and that truck isn’t able to, then you may need to look elsewhere. These are a few of several things to consider when purchasing your rig.
Every owner-operator has their personal preferences, and you’ll get many different answers across the board. Some truckers swear by a Peterbilt, while others prefer Kenworth, Freightliner, or Volvo. Your best bet for long-haul trucks is to look at companies that have built an extensive dealership network across the nation. Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks have the smoothest ride and handle well in inclement weather. For short hauls, you want to ensure your rig is mechanically sound, so the make is not as important. The best advice you’ll find when choosing your first rig is from experienced drivers who have been through the process. Click here, here, and here for excellent advice from truckers in the industry.
Dry van trailers are the best “go-to” option, especially for new owner-operators. Their shape and ability to back into loading docks make them convenient to transport a wide variety of goods across the country.
An owner-operator doesn’t necessarily need a trailer to start their career. Some companies may lease you the equipment you need to drive. However, it’s important to look at the fine print and do your research before leasing a truck from any company.
Are you an owner-operator who has spent some time in the industry and is certain this is your preferred career path? If so, then it is worth buying your semi-truck. A truck is a great asset if you plan on making trucking your career. However, if you are still unsure whether you want to stay in the trucking industry, you are better off leasing. Many new truckers make the mistake of purchasing their equipment only to realize they want to change their career several years later. Get a feel for the industry before you commit to purchasing your truck.
Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to semi-trucks. The most popular trucks are Freightliners. Not only are they the largest truck manufacturer in the country, but their trucks make up forty percent of all rigs on the market.
Most new drivers will start their careers by driving dry vans. Dry vans are used to reliably transport non-perishable goods like electronics, machinery, and other consumer goods.
Box trucks are for hauling large items and feature a box attached to the chassis that is non-detachable. You must have a valid driver’s license to drive a box truck. You must also ensure your equipment is in good working order if you intend to start your career driving box trucks.
Because box trucks can be smaller than traditional rigs, you don’t need a CDL if its gross vehicle weight rating is less than 26,000 pounds. Box trucks are highly maneuverable and have a lower center of gravity.
Flatbed trucks are versatile and can safely transport a variety of products like raw materials, machinery, vehicles, fresh produce, and frozen foods. Flatbed owner-operators must demonstrate they can safely handle heavy freight of different shapes.
If you have decided to become an owner-operator and you are ready to get your business set up right, we encourage you to work through the Start Your Trucking Company page.
At Pay4Freight we love supporting our partners to become successful owner operators and then grow from one truck to a multi-truck business. We invite you to sign up for our invoice factoring service (we are the only 4.9 stars Google-rated freight factoring company Pay4Freight Google review); you can also take advantage of our 7% better together factoring-dispatch deal and our special fuel card offering.