Zenith Finance Blog

Truck financing tips part one–how to pick the right truck.

One of our clients, George from Brisbane, has a pretty cool job. He transports, amongst other things, race cars around Australia, including HRT promo cars and pace cars for Bathurst. Recently, he needed to get a second truck because business is booming.

Meanwhile, Barry from Geelong has been driving a 2000 model truck with 1,400,000 km on the clock. Every month he’s been losing 2 -3 days, plus $6000, to keeping his rig maintained. To put it mildly, when Barry first called us he was not a happy chappy.

These are examples of just two very common reasons people look for truck finance.

We also hear from a lot of people who:

  • are starting out in the trucking game
  • have secured a new contract, but their existing truck isn’t right for the job
  • are growing their business and cashflow is tight, but they can’t secure new contracts without more trucks.

While truck financing options are going to vary from person to person, business to business, there are a couple of important things everyone should do:

  • Make sure you choose the right truck for the job.
  • Give yourself the best chance of getting your loan.

So I thought we’d take a quick look at the both:

Tips for picking the right truck

Buy what you need

What do you really need to get the job done? You want to start making money as fast as possible, remember you’ve got a loan to think about.

New or used trucks?

Sure, a second-hand truck is cheaper than a sparkling new rig, but it could cost you more to run due to things like:

  • higher fuel costs
  • repairs and maintenance
  • need to factor in the downtown for repairs

At the other end, there’s a much higher up-front cost when buying a new truck.

What’s going to work best for you, based on your current and projected financial situation? A good financer can help you work this out.

Will it show you the money?

Do you know how much a truck costs during its lifetime? Here’s a rough guide to the cost of running a $200,000 prime mover every year:

  • Insurance $6600 to $10,000
  • Registration $4000 – $8000
  • Fuel and Oil up to $80,000 depending on Km’s traveled
  • Repairs/maintenance up to $50,000 depending on age and condition of truck
  • Telephone $3600
  • Loan repayments $46,000
  • Tyres $12,000
  • Tools $1800

And if you have someone else driving the vehicle there’s superannuation, workers comp and driver’s wages – not to mention bank and accountancy fees.

Trucks are more expensive than kids. So look for features that can help reduce costs and increase the time the vehicle is actually making you money.

Get an unguzzler

Fuel economy is a great example of how to reduce your lifetime costs. Things like aerodynamics, matching tyres and lighter tare weight components can mean less guzzling. The bonus upside is that you might be able to carry more too.

A happy driver is a happy life

Being money smart doesn’t mean skimping on important things like driver comfort and satisfaction – especially if you, or your driver, are doing long haul journeys. This means buying a truck with:

  • automated transmission
  • enough horsepower for your work
  • easy access driver controls
  • a quiet cabin.

So let’s say you’ve found your perfect rig. Now you need to get the money to pay for it. Getting the loan you need often comes down to how well prepared you are for your meeting.

Take a look at part two, how to get truck finance and truck loans.

Or find out how we can help you with truck finance and loans.