When it’s Time to Trade Your Semi-Truck and Save Money

Truck drivers put a lot of miles on the highways each year. Since trucks are not immune to wear and tear, you need a lot of maintenance to keep your semi-truck up and running and keep making money on the road. You can take your semi-truck to the mechanic or you can get under the hood and do the work yourself. Either way, spending a lot of time fixing a broken-down truck can be costly and time-consuming, and you need to come with a better solution.

As a semi-truck owner, you are going to start questioning whether the problems with your truck and the repair costs outweigh the benefits of keeping it. It could be engine problems, fading paint, or rust that’s causing you trouble. No matter the reason, there comes a time when every truck owner needs to consider trading his old semi-truck for a newer, more efficient truck. Here are a few tips to help you decide whether it’s time to trade your old semi-truck and save money.

Maintenance Costs

The first and most important thing you need to do when trying to decide whether to trade your semi-truck is analyzing how much you are spending on repair and maintenance costs. Keeping a record of the amount of money you are spending on maintenance each month can help you decide whether to keep repairing your old faithful truck or trade it for a new one. Do the math after a few months to arrive at maintenance cost for every mile covered each month.

It could be time to consider your replacement options if you find that it’s costing too much money to have things fixed on your semi-truck. Repair and maintenance costs of your semi-truck should not exceed $0.13 or $0.14 per mile. Some repairs are due to faulty equipment or manufacturing, but others are a normal part of wear and tear. Regardless of the cause of the breakdown or inefficiency, the most important thing to consider when deciding whether to continue repairing your old semi-truck or replace it is the cost.

Environmental Compliance

Most diesel trucks manufactured before the year 2004 don’t have sufficient emission controls. These engines emit a massive amount of toxic soot and smog-forming nitrogen oxides into the environment. In an attempt to curb these toxic emissions and protect public health, local and state governments are coming up with new environmental regulatory policies. Depending on the state you are operating in, you might be required to retrofit your old truck with PM filters to cut down emissions.

If you operate in California, for instance, you need to comply with the state’s CARB regulations. These regulations require trucks, buses, and other large vehicles to be upgraded to reduce emissions. To comply, you need to install a compliance filter that can cost you $16,000 to $18,000. The overall cost would be less if you were to buy a new truck with a compliant engine. So, if you updating your old semi-truck to meet these regulations, you are better off trading it for a newer, compliant model.

For How Long Are You Planning to Be in The Industry?

If you are in the industry for the long haul and your truck is using a lot of money on repairs and maintenance, you are better off trading it for a newer, more efficient semi-truck. This will help you save on repairs and maintenance in the long run. However, if you are in the industry just for a short period and you are making a profit with your semi-truck despite the high maintenance costs, it makes more sense (financially) to keep it than trade it. Understanding your goals will help you make better decisions vis-à-vis your semi-truck needs.

Deciding whether to keep repairing an inefficient semi-truck or trade it for a newer version is an eternal struggle for every semi-truck driver/owner out there. However, there are some situations where you are better off choosing to trade than repair an old semi-truck. High servicing costs brought about by engine troubles or problems such as outdated safety features or environmental regulations should be enough justification to trade your old faithful for a newer, more efficient semi-truck. A new truck comes with all the safety features and an engine that meets compliance requirements.

Leave a Comment