Are Used Trucks A Cost-Effective Fleet Strategy?

Setting financial targets for your trucking operations is no easy task. Numerous operation managers are likely to set vaccination restrictions on their drivers, ensuring they can keep COVID risks low in the fleets. As a result, the pool of truck drivers has considerably reduced compared to pre-pandemic times. Therefore, many fleets tend to work at tight capacity, facing high demand and high rates. A variety of costs can affect the operations:

  • Drivers wages 
  • Truck costs
  • Fuel costs
  • Truck insurance premiums

Fleet managers are considering whether the used trucks could reduce the overall operation costs. We consider the option below. 

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Age affects commercial trucking insurance premiums

While age is not the only factor that will influence the cost of your trucking insurance, newer vehicles are less likely to drain your budget. As a rule of thumb, experts recommend sticking to vehicles that are under 10-year old. In other words, if you consider the purchase of used trucks, you will need to take the condition of the vehicles into account. Well-maintained trucks with a servicing and repair history are unlikely to cause your insurance premiums to rise. Ideally, you also want to ensure the technology onboard the truck is up to standards. 

Effective truck maintenance and servicing

Ultimately, you can’t afford to skip service whether you operate with brand new trucks or used vehicles. Experts such as Ferguson Truck Center encourage fleet managers to arrange for PM service by mileage or calendar to keep vehicles safe on the road. Failure to keep up to date with essential service and maintenance appointments is a false economy that can lead to high operation costs, including repair and delays. More often than not, used trucks with dedicated periodic maintenance are unlikely to affect your costs if you work with a professional commercial truck servicing business. 

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Are repair costs more frequent with used trucks?

You would expect that age plays a significant role in repair requirements. However, there is more to truck repair than meets the eye. 

Truck vandalism, such as spraying paints on the surface or smashing into the windscreen, is one often overlooked cause for repair. Vandalism can be influenced by many factors, including the brand reputation and the type of goods carried. Fleet managers can prevent some issues by ensuring the truck drivers has safe and secured areas to park and rest along the journey. However, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of vandalism-related damages to the fleet completely. 

Additionally, commercial vehicle accidents are common in the U.S., with thousands occurring every year. Trucks play a role in over 9% of fatal collisions on the road, regardless of who is at fault. The size of the vehicle provides ample protection to the driver in many cases. Yet, after a collision with a smaller vehicle, trucks also need extensive repairs. So, it is fair to say that repair costs are not strictly determined by the age of your fleet. Driver’s experience, realistic itineraries with sufficient rest time, and reliable technology and features onboard can help reduce the risk of accidents. 

PIn conclusion, if you are considering used trucks as a cost-saving approach for your fleet operations, it is important to understand your savings. Buying a used fleet will save costs in terms of purchase. However, maintenance, insurance premiums, and repair costs tend to remain unchanged.

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