Can you start hot shot trucking using an older truck?

Let’s say you have this certain truck. Maybe you bought it for a different business or you’ve had it for a while now. Is it a good truck to start? This question comes up a lot since trucks are one of the most widely sold vehicles in the United States.

Our Answer? It Depends.

For the most part, no. But there are exceptions to every rule. So we would say, it depends.

How old is the truck under consideration (hopefully, not as old as the truck in the photo above!)? If your truck is older than seven years — I mean give or take a few years — it’s probably too old to take the daily abuses of hotshot trucking. It is a fact that an older truck is less capable than a brand-new truck. Think of the problem this creates for the company, regardless of whether it’s your authority or you’re leased under someone.

3 Reasons Why You Might Not Want an Older Truck

  1. Older trucks have a harder time passing inspections. That ruins your safety score.
  2. Older trucks are more likely to break down. That might cause you to be late on your loads and that’s definitely a surefire way to have a broker never work with you again.
  3. Older trucks don’t look as good. When you’re pulling up to the shipper I highly doubt they’re thinking, “Hmm. You know what? We should definitely use this guy again.”

The Possible Exception to this Rule

You might be thinking, “Surely there’s an older truck that you’d recommend, right?” Well, as a matter of fact, there is. The only older truck we recommend is a paid-off truck. Why? Hopefully, you now have a little bit of money in your savings account. In case your older truck that’s now paid off breaks down, you could easily fix it or trade it in as is, cutting your losses. You could buy a new one or get a lease.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, if you really want to try this business, don’t use an old truck. Just go get yourself a lease or go trade it in for a brand new truck. It’s not worth it to start out with an older truck. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments if you think it’s okay to start with an older truck.