Solo: Van vs Straight Truck

geo

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looking at prices of equipment what i have found out is if you want a new straight truck your going to have to go with a team, as prices have gone sky high. Looking at the western star I had at $107,000 in 2001, now is about $175,000
If you go for used truck, if price is to low it's to old, for most companies, again 2 or 3 year's, still going to need a team in truck, same for E unit
if you want go sole, look's like van is going to be way to go , or drive for a owner, or husband wife team
keeping all money in family is the best way to go. Also being retired from some where also help's
most of companies under stand this , that is why their asking for team''s
that is my two cents
 

brokcanadian

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Geo I have a feeling you're right. Maybe all would not be golden with a $10,000 straight. Which is what I was planning. And a solo
 
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T270_Dreamin

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I see a $10,000 straight more of a local regional truck (I'm sure some that are well maintained are capable but your odds of breaking down are higher) you want something reliable with under 500k to start to make those long West Coast hauls. So to GEO's comment, how about a 12/13 yr model $30,000-35,000 straight as a solo?
 
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geo

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depend on company you want to put it on with, see a lot of dump truck's in Hampton Roads Va , that are 10 to 20 years running
if they are maintain I don't see a problem
one of longest running trucks at Land Star at one time was 1975, it pass dot insp, look good, they let it run
 

BIGTRAIN

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You can find a very nice Straight Truck for 50 - 60K . It doesn't have to have 450HP or a lifgate, or a tandem axle , or a reefer unit to be profitable .
 
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brokcanadian

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But...would the reefer be an asset...more so than the extra hassle...same with liftgate and tandem...is there enough for a Hino or do you go with every possible advantage and pay a little more

If anybody is looking to put 50k into a cargo van...why when you could get the straight, I agree

There's profitable, and there's killing it
 
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Greg

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A solo OO in a straight is doable. I did quite well for a few years in a single axle 22ft straight. Just last week I had a liftgate installed (been looking for one for some time). Found a good used liftgate to add to my straight truck. You don't have to get everything all at once. Get a good used or new straight and then add equipment as necessary. Adding the liftgate later gave me time to search for a good used one, save for it and not have it financed with the truck lowered to truck payment and eliminated some additional interest over financing the truck with all the extra equipment.
 

Mark989

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IYO what is the optimum ST length or truck 26'ft or less?
Opinions on trailers?
Doing research.
 

Greg

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IYO what is the optimum ST length or truck 26'ft or less?
Opinions on trailers?
Doing research.
40 ft from bumper to bumper. Larger cab and sleeper will reduce box size, thus reducing capacity.
 

zero3nine

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Think "Refrigerated Van"

The profit margin is incredible.

I've found that people think reefer units are too costly or maintenance intensive, but they're really not. If you keep up with the little things you can do extremely well. Expect going in that every 6 months or so you'll be putting another $1000 into it for broken coolant lines, clogged drains, belts, refrigerant, etc. Plan for it. Sprinters are famously expensive to maintain as well, but the hype behind that fame is way overblown. It's all about REGULAR maintenance, not waiting for things to break. Check Engine light must be dealt with that day, not a week from now.

We got this van in 2018 brand new for $62,000 out the door. The Thermo King V520 will achieve temperatures as low as -20F, and will also heat the load if it's colder outside than the expected temp range.
blurredsprinter.jpg

I run solo in this van all over the country. Here's what my Pandemic looked like:

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Where do I sleep, you might ask? Well, I generally camp for free or $5 - $10 per night at National Parks, State Parks, etc. I use this website to find campgrounds in the areas where I'm going and plan my travels around that.

I'm a hammock camper, don't like sleeping on the ground.

camped2.jpg
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My entire shelter system fits in a 70 liter backpack, including a folding camp chair, stove, everything I need. I shop mostly at Walmarts and Costcos along my route. This keeps costs way down.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that through detailed analysis and careful calculation I have determined that the cost to operate this vehicle is $0.50 per mile. This is after making the monthly payment $821.93 plus insurance $563.33, and all maintenance including wear items such as tires and brakes.

Ready for the punch line? We charge $2.50 per loaded mile with a $225 minimum, $54 per hour detention after one hour.

At $2.25 a mile, a full trailer load lasts about 3 minutes when I post it.
Cost to operate a brand new T680 with a leased trailer is 4 times more expensive, and has to stop every 11 hours.

If Wuhan Virus germs make you nervous, this is not for you. Reefer vans WILL be delivering to laboratories and other research facilities in the heart of the imaginary disease hotspots.
 

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geo

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Nice look sprinter van. you are right about maintenance . keep it up when it needs and it doing , not letting little things becoming big things
 
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