Movers Guide to Buying Moving Trucks

4 Great Options for Buying and Leasing Trucks

Buying trucks for your moving company can be very exciting but can also be overwhelming. There are so many options, it’s definitely not a one size fits all solution for all movers. In this episode, I share with you four options for buying moving trucks for your moving company. I’ll give you my recommendations and contacts for where to buy them.

When I started out, I rented two trucks from Penske and would dispatch them out of their yard every morning. Within a few months, I was able to order my first truck. It was a brand new 2001 International 4300 with a 26’ foot AM Hair moving body on it. It was beautiful!

As I continued to grow, I kept ordering new trucks. I would buy them new and finance or lease them depending on my tax strategy for that year. So even as I started buying my interstate fleet I bought new. In this episode, I share with you four great options for buying moving trucks.

4 options for buying moving trucks:

Option 1 – Brand New Truck

  • Freightliner M-2
  • Automatic Transmission
  • 26’ Kentucky Moving Body
  • 26,000 GVW (Non-CDL)
  • Price: $91,000 – $95,000
  • Payment: Approximately $1,500 per month
  • Where to buy: Tom Nehl Freightliner – Contact Jamie Smith

These are the trucks that we bought in recent years. These are the top of the line and are beautiful trucks! If you’re in the business for the long run and have the resources and credit to buy one of these trucks, I highly recommend them. Once I switched from buying International trucks to Freightliners, I started buying all my trucks from Jamie Smith. She’s amazing and knows everything there is to know about what movers need in a truck and has spec trucks or she can order you something custom from Kentucky Trailer. She can help you with your local trucks and also tractors for interstate moving.

Option 2 – New/Used Combo Truck

  • Used Chassis 150,000 – 200,000 miles (Kenworth, Hino)
  • Automatic Transmission
  • New 26’ Moving Body by All Van
  • 26,000 GVW (Non-CDL)
  • Price: $60,000 – $65,000
  • Payment: Approximately $1,200 per month
  • Where to buy: MHC Truck Source Atlanta – Contact “Diesel” Dan Parsons

These are great alternatives to buying moving trucks that are brand new. If you want that new moving truck look and don’t mind a chassis with some miles on it, this can be a great option. They basically take trucks that are off-lease with about 150,000 to 200,000 miles on them and put a brand new moving body from All Van. I’ve worked with clients of mine and referred them to “Diesel Dan” and they were happy with the product.

Option 3 – Used Truck

  • 26,000 GVW (max) Non-CDL
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Make sure it has good maintenance records
  • 24’-26’ moving body
  • Non-refrigerated
  • E-tracks in body for straps
  • Price: Varies
  • Where to buy: UsedMovingVans.com

If you are skilled at maintaining trucks yourself, or have a really good mechanic and would rather save money and buy a used truck that’s ok too. Above are some things you want to look for when buying a used truck. UsedMovingVans.com by Movers Supply House is the go-to site for buying and selling used moving trucks.

Option 4 – Full-Service Lease

  • Freightliner, Hino, Kenworth, International
  • 26,000 GVR (max) Non-CDL
  • Automatic Transmission
  • 24’-26’ moving body
  • Price: Lease payment vary based on terms
  • Where to buy: Penske Leasing & Ryder Leasing

This is another great option. You can get a brand new truck that these companies will buy and then lease it to you. The lease covers so much on the truck like maintenance and even trucks washes. Check with Penske and Ryder to see what type of deals they have. In most cases, if the truck breaks down they’ll give you a rental truck to use while the fix your truck. By leasing the trucks it’s also a tax write off.

Those are my recommendations for buying moving trucks. Don’t be afraid to rent trucks either. If you’re just starting out and aren’t ready to buy a truck or if you’re established and feel the need for more trucks, you can always rent.

After you buy your moving truck make sure you letter it up with your logo and keep it clean! That truck will act as a rolling billboard and bring you in a ton of business from people seeing your truck on the road.

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Full Transcript
[The following is the full transcript of this episode.]
Hey, my friend. It’s Louis Massaro, CEO of Moving Mastery and founder of Moving Sales Academy. I wanna welcome you to this week’s episode. I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails and comments lately about buying new trucks, and my opinion on what type of trucks people should buy. And I just wanted to address it because it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. Depending on where you are with your company, depending on the size of your company, depending on your accounting situation, and whether you’re gonna buy, whether you’re gonna finance, whether you wanna lease a truck, there’s many options. So, I want to give you a few of those options, and go over what my suggestions and recommendations are.

When I was opening up new locations, I always started with two trucks in each location, and then grew it from there. And each time I bought brand new trucks, I financed them, I didn’t pay cash for very expensive trucks, but I financed them and put two trucks to start in each location. And I prefer to buy brand new trucks when I need a truck, when I’m opening new locations, so I’ve never bought used trucks. But I’ve worked with many people who have, and I just wanna go over the different options.

First thing, first option is a brand new truck, this would be my recommendation today. If you have the ability to buy a brand new truck, I would go with a Freightliner M2 with a 26-foot Kentucky moving body on there, 26,000 GVW, which is a non-CDL truck, so 26,000 GVW’s gross vehicle weight. That basically allows you to have a standard driver in that truck that does not need a CDL. This is such a beautiful, beautiful truck. This is essentially what I bought for my company. Early on, we were buying Internationals, we were putting AM air boxes on them, this is what I would get today. This is a Freightliner M2, Kentucky, 26-foot, brand new moving body.

If you ever bought a brand new moving box and it arrives, because you have to order them in advance, they’re not just sitting around, so if you do wanna get a new moving body, if you do wanna get a new truck, start preparing in September, October and November to make sure that you have it for the next moving season. But, if when you get that truck, and you open up the back and you see those wood floors, and you smell that oak and the polyurethane, it’s just a beautiful thing, a brand new moving truck. And it’ll last you 10 years. So, a truck like this is gonna run you about $95,000. If you finance it, you’re probably looking at about $1,500 a month; that does not include insurance. You can get extended warranties on them. So, look into buying a brand new moving truck. I’m gonna put some resources in the show notes below, so that you can reach out and use who I buy my trucks from, and definitely, look into it.

Now, if $95,000’s too steep of a price tag, I understand. The next option is a new/used combo, a new/used combo. So, what this is, is this is a used chassis, so the truck itself is used, about 150,000 to 200,000 miles, and then, there’s a brand new moving body on it. I’m gonna give you some resources to find this as well. There’s not many people that do this, but I’m gonna share with you my resource and my connection for finding this truck. And essentially, what they do is they’ll take a Kenworth truck or a Hino truck that’s off lease, again about 150,000 to 200,000 miles, and then they’ll put a brand new, all van moving body on there. Again, brand new with the attic, 26-foot, 26,000 GVW, non-CDL truck. This truck’s gonna run you about $65,000. So, if you finance this, you’re probably looking somewhere in the range of about $1,200 a month. So, if you don’t wanna go brand new, you can do a new/used combo which still gives you that new look of having a brand new moving body, which is really important when you’re starting to build a brand and your image, and that billboard’s running around town, it looks really nice to have a new moving body.

Third option is straight up used trucks. A new truck’s too much money, the combo’s too much money, and you wanna go for a used truck. What you wanna do is you wanna look for a non-CDL, 26,000 GVW, so max 26,000 gross vehicle weight that will allow you to be a non-CDL truck. You want an automatic transmission. If you can find an automatic transmission, it’s gonna be much better. For any of you that have a manual transmission or have dealt with manual transmissions at your company, that’s what I bought in my first few years in business, and we burned through a bunch of clutches. Drivers will come in and they’ll just burn. They don’t know how to drive the truck properly, and they’re just gonna burn through your clutch, and you’re just gonna be spending money, after money, after money. So, it’s better to spend the money to get an automatic truck, upfront, and this way, there’s not as much skill needed to drive that truck. Make sure that when you’re buying a used truck, there’s maintenance records to show that they’ve being keeping that truck maintenanced over the course of time that they’ve had it, that they’ve had regular PMs, preventative maintenance on the truck, and they should have the records showing that.

And you also want a 24 to 26-foot truck. If you’re gonna buy a truck, don’t spend the money to get a 20-footer or a 15-footer. It’s about the same amount of fuel to run a 24 or 26-foot truck and it just gives you more ability to do larger moves. And make sure you get a non-refrigerated truck. If you’re looking for used trucks, and you’re not quite sure what to look for, these are the things that you wanna make sure that it has. A non-refrigerated truck, or a reefer truck, as they call it, has essentially a cooling system in it, you don’t want that, you don’t need that, you don’t wanna pay for it. So that’s going with the used truck. I’m also gonna put some links below where you could find some used trucks, usedmovingvans.com is a great, great source for finding used trucks, used trucks that were specifically from a moving company, so they have the moving box on them. And then, there’s also off-lease trucks that you can get from Ryder, Penske, Budget, but I would stick with going to usedmovingvans.com and start there, if you’re gonna be buying a used truck.

Fourth option, if you don’t wanna buy a brand new truck, if you don’t wanna buy a combo, new/used, so you have a used chassis in a brand new body, and your third options is to buy a used truck, is to do a full maintenance lease. Ryder and Penske offer these amongst other companies to where you can get a brand new truck. They’ll lease it to you, and it’s full maintenance, meaning they’ll take care of everything. Again, it has to do with the plan that you set up with them during the lease, so check with them as to what the details are and what’s offered. But if the truck breaks down, they’ll give you another truck to use. This is a great option, especially, talk to your accountant if you need the full write-off on a lease. When you buy a truck, you don’t write off the whole payment, so that could be a very steep payment to not get the write off, although, it goes on your balance sheet, a lease is a complete write off.

So, these are the four options. And listen, if you’re in it for the long haul, if you’re in this business and you’re building a brand and you’re building a company, don’t be afraid to spend money on your trucks. Just make sure that you service ’em, make sure you take care of ’em, make sure they’re clean, because you could have a brand new moving truck that you never clean, you never wash, and it looks like crap and that’s what people see when it’s rolling around town. So, make sure you’re doing preventive maintenance on the trucks every 6,000 miles, make sure you’re sending ’em in for a regular PM, make sure you’re washing them on a regular basis, and make sure you letter it up. Put your logo on the side, make sure people see it coming. If you get a brand new truck, if you get a brand new box, or even a good-looking used truck, you wanna make sure that it’s representing your company.

So listen, guys, I hope this was helpful. I’m getting this information and I’m doing these episodes based off the comments I’m receiving, based off the emails that you’re sending me, so if you have any questions, if there’s anything I could help you with, please, send me an email, leave a comment, I’ll be more than happy to get back to you. I know it’s moving season, I hope you’re busy, I hope you’re out there crushing it, I hope you’re thinking about buying some new trucks ’cause you’re that busy. I could tell you, if you’re gonna buy new, if you’re gonna buy a new/used combo, plan in advance. It takes months to build these new moving boxes. I made the mistake many years where March comes around and I’m like, “Oh, man, I need new trucks,” and I don’t get ’em until the end of season. So, it’s something that I want you to start thinking about now for next year. And I’m gonna put some resources, reach out to the truck dealers, talk to them, see what the deal is, see what works for you, see what financing options there are. And you know what, keep building, keep growing. Go out every day, profit in business, thrive in life. I’ll see you next week.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.