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6 Tips for Adding New Semi-Trucks to Your Fleet

If you’re a fleet manager, you know that adding new trucks to your fleet can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. But it doesn’t have to be! With a little careful planning, you can maximize efficiency and cut costs.

The key is to take your time sourcing and planning for the phase-out of existing units. In this blog post, we share six of our best tips for introducing new trucks to your fleet without creating a hardship for your company.  

1. Define Your Needs

Before you even start shopping for new trucks, take a step back and evaluate your needs. How many trucks do you need? What kind of loads will they be hauling? What are your budget constraints? Once you have a clear idea of what you need, you can start shopping around. 

Keep in mind that you may not need to buy all new trucks at once. In fact, if you’ve been operating on a vehicle replacement schedule, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have to. Vehicle replacement schedules are necessary in this business because you’re often sourcing units from a variety of vendors.

That means purchasing and start-of-service dates tend to be sporadic. Create an inventory of your existing trucks, set alerts when those vehicles are reaching certain milestones, and don’t wait too long to act!

2. Shop Around

Get quotes from multiple dealerships or truck manufacturers. Don’t just go with the first offer you get! Make them compete for you. By shopping around, you’ll be able to find the best deal on the trucks you need while retaining the upper hand during negotiations. 

3. Consider Used Trucks

Buying used trucks is a great way to save money. Just make sure that you’re buying from a reputable source and that the trucks are in good condition. Otherwise, you could end up spending more on repairs than you would have if you’d bought new trucks. 

One tip we suggest is to have a third-party fleet maintenance provider look at the trucks for you before moving ahead with the purchase. Be leery of any dealer that balks at the notion.

At J&A Fleet Maintenance, we’re happy to watch your back.

4. Financing Options 

There are a variety of financing options available for new trucks. Talk to your dealer or truck manufacturer about financing options so that you can find the best one for your needs.

Leasing is also an option worth considering. With leasing, you can get new trucks without having to put down a large upfront payment. You’ll make monthly payments for the term of the lease. At the end of the lease, you can either buy the trucks or return them. 

Whichever path you choose, try to come armed with data. You want realistic cash-flow projections, as well as the time until profitability to make the best decision.

5. Get Insurance 

You’ll need to make sure any new trucks are properly insured before putting them on the road. This will protect you in case of an accident or other damages. 

However, going one step further, buying new trucks is a good time to review your existing policy terms to see if bundling with another provider or negotiating better terms from your existing insurer is feasible.

6. Look at Green Options

Prices may be high on the front end for electric and hybrid trucks, but you will want to examine these units anyway when it is time to add a new vehicle to your fleet. Keep in mind the unpredictable and, lately, volatile prices of diesel.

It’s also advisable to keep an eye on national and world events. Politics has a direct impact on your bottom line, and there could be more incentives in the future that help defray the costs of going green. Regardless of which side of the political divide we’re on, fleet managers will have opportunities available to them.

Adding new semi-trucks to your fleet doesn’t have to be a headache! By following these simple tips, you can save time and money. Define your needs, shop around, consider used trucks, and take advantage of financing options. Also, explore insurance options and the possibility of adding more green trucks to the fleet.
Regardless of your future buying decisions, J&A Fleet Maintenance is ready to help you keep those trucks on the road and earning. Our mechanics have decades of combined experience and are here to serve your needs in any way that we can. Inquire today about our ongoing service plans.

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