Author Topic: When to buy a work vehicle  (Read 439 times)

Jon Bon

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When to buy a work vehicle
« on: October 08, 2018, 08:44:12 PM »
So I have been doing real estate for a few years now, acquired a few properties and now that the top is in* for real estate I see my self acquiring more in the next few years. I have been using my daily driver for everything, showings, handyman jobs, and heavy duty renovation.  That type of work is pretty hard on my van which is great for hauling around kids and an occasional job but I am wondering if I am approaching the point of full time work vehicle.

Estimated truck stuff usage:
Sheet goods 8x a year
Concrete bags, gravel ext 4x a year
Landscaping stuff 4x a year
Dimensional lumber 24x a year
Ladders 6x a year

So I realize my van does almost all of the above just fine thank you very much but stow and go seats plus car seats is rage inducing. I started looking at used trucks and frankly I was shocked at what 10k gets you, a beat to hell 10 year old truck. So I looked up brand spanking new ones for about 30k. So I was leaning new as I just dont want to deal with someone else mechanics special with rusted out fenders.

A few options.

1. Get another van - just accept the fact I will wear it out faster then your average user.
2. Utility trailer - not super convenient, nowhere to store it, making it even less useful. Probably just pay delivery charges and beat up my car see #1
3. Work SUV - Something used, depreciate faster then a truck, more utility than a van.
EDIT 4. Work van? New or used

What am I missing? Has anyone else been here, what would/did you do? Any wise tax advice here?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 05:17:26 AM by Jon Bon »

APowers

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Re: When to buy a work vehicle
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 09:40:37 PM »
I have no tax advice, but wanted to chime in to say that an SUV offers essentially zero more utility than a van (I'm assuming you mean either a minivan such as a Dodge Caravan or a full size van such as a Ford E-250). A van will give you more cargo space, easier access to that cargo space, AND the ability to double as a large-capacity people mover. Even a minivan will be able to haul boatloads of 4x8 sheets of plywood/drywall, which most SUVs can't. And a minivan will get better fuel economy and have a more comfortable ride while doing so. Yes, you'll wear it out faster than if you weren't hauling freight, but you won't wear it out faster than you'd wear out any other vehicle.

Also, IMO, it seems like your standard of "beat to hell" is pretty fancy. I'm not sure where in the midwest you're located, but pulled up the Indiana craigslist page, and there was no shortage of trucks in the ~$5k range that I would absolutely put on my "call and possibly test drive" list. They're more than 10 years old, but this is a work truck, right? Or is it a fancypantsmobile? Anyway, a serviceable $2k truck with an $8k "if it breaks" fund sounds like a WAY better deal financially than a $30k new truck (that STILL may break...).

Jon Bon

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Re: When to buy a work vehicle
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 05:16:24 AM »
I have no tax advice, but wanted to chime in to say that an SUV offers essentially zero more utility than a van (I'm assuming you mean either a minivan such as a Dodge Caravan or a full size van such as a Ford E-250). A van will give you more cargo space, easier access to that cargo space, AND the ability to double as a large-capacity people mover. Even a minivan will be able to haul boatloads of 4x8 sheets of plywood/drywall, which most SUVs can't. And a minivan will get better fuel economy and have a more comfortable ride while doing so. Yes, you'll wear it out faster than if you weren't hauling freight, but you won't wear it out faster than you'd wear out any other vehicle.

Also, IMO, it seems like your standard of "beat to hell" is pretty fancy. I'm not sure where in the midwest you're located, but pulled up the Indiana craigslist page, and there was no shortage of trucks in the ~$5k range that I would absolutely put on my "call and possibly test drive" list. They're more than 10 years old, but this is a work truck, right? Or is it a fancypantsmobile? Anyway, a serviceable $2k truck with an $8k "if it breaks" fund sounds like a WAY better deal financially than a $30k new truck (that STILL may break...).

Lots of good points here.

A van (dodge grand caravan) is an awesome vehicle. For doing repair work AND hauling around kids in car seats. Agree with everything you said.
I do however beat up the interior pretty good, sheets of drywall scrape the sides, stuff rolls around, and exterior scrapes from the job-site etc. Having concrete dust on the inside of your car is never fun! So if I could avoid some of that it would be nice.


Re: Work truck

In college I drove a rwd regular cab S10 and it was the worst car I have ever driven. Rode like shit, drove like shit, got stuck everywhere and was very uncomfortable to be in. SO as a result I was looking at extended cab and 4wd. I realize these raise the price but I am ok with that trade off. So now you see how I am in the 10k for a 2006 with 100k plus miles on it with who knows how much rust.  I am a used car guy all the way, ive never even considered buying something new, the deprecation curve is like my best friend I can buy yesterdays model for half the price! All except when it comes to trucks! The dang things dont deprecation its frankly amazing. So I was thinking new for that reason, throw in new tech/safety/fuel economy/rust proofing that all comes with a new truck versus a 12 year old one.

Yup some level of 'fancypantsness' here, and its something I want obviously not something I need. Also I believe I could deprecate the entire truck in 2-3 years which would be a nice side benny.

Papa bear

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Re: When to buy a work vehicle
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 06:53:49 AM »
A minivan had more interior capacity storage than a suburban. SUVs are stupid. 

Keep your van. Get a trailer. Or you know, don’t beat the crap out of your van.  They make things called moving blankets, Jonbon.  You aren’t careful.  You know better. Quit complaining. 

Dirka dirka.


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waltworks

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Re: When to buy a work vehicle
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 12:22:56 PM »
I'd just live with the van and maybe rent a truck every once in a while (it's like $15 an hour at home depot) if you need to haul a TON of stuff at once.

Funny, now that the top is in* I'm completely out of RE except for my basement apartment. If things crash I might reconsider, of course.

-W

Jon Bon

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Re: When to buy a work vehicle
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 12:32:28 PM »
I'd just live with the van and maybe rent a truck every once in a while (it's like $15 an hour at home depot) if you need to haul a TON of stuff at once.

Funny, now that the top is in* I'm completely out of RE except for my basement apartment. If things crash I might reconsider, of course.

-W

Yeah writing this out and thinking it all through I cant really justify a work specific vehicle, especially one that costs 30k or more.....

Also I looked up 'brand new' to me vans that have all the bells and whistles I want and would scratch my new car itch.... $15,000.

See I am a big fan of paying for delivery rather then renting a truck. I can get an entire kitchen and bathroom delivered for $75 bucks. When it would take me a day to pick all those items out, let alone load and unload them.

Damn it, I just want to buy a truck.... wrong website I guess!

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