Truck Agents?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    I have been thinking of buying a refrigerated truck.

    I know zero about refrigerated trucks.

    My experience with buying cars and regular trucks tells me that most salesmen see me as a sucker walking in the door. They have tried to rip me off in so many ways, but since I know a bit about what I'm buying they aren't usually successful.

    I can't afford to get ripped off on this truck.

    Is there such a thing as an agent that would help me to find a truck that fits my needs and budget? Like a realtor, only searching for a truck? Someone who could tell me honestly about the condition, etc of it.

    I see some on ebay that look good on paper, but I'm very, very reluctant to buy one in an unfamiliar city when I don't even know what questions to ask. I could find a local mechanic to look it over, but then I'd have to find a trustworthy local mechanic in a strange city too :(

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
    Jena
     
  2. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,143
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Jena,

    If it's critical for your operations I wouldn't buy it over ebay. You will want to have a mechanic do the normal checks (compression test on the engine, brakes, transmission, etc) as well as checks on the compressor for the refrigeration.

    you might want to consider onsite auctions (where you are physically present).

    You could also check with companies that lease trucks. I'm sure that they have sales operations to dispose of their slightly older ones.

    Just a few Sunday morning thoughts.

    Mike
     

  3. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Beasley, Tx
    I was pursuing this for a while, but decided it was premature for my business. Anyway, my suggestion is to get a hold of the fleet manager for any dairy/cheese/ice cream plants that may be in your area. They likely have units to dispose of every year. And they're not out to get your shirt, they usually just send these to auction anyway.
     
  4. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    What are you going to use it for? From what I've read of your posts, I'm assuming it's to transport your meat to customers, so wouldn't it be more cost effective to invest in a bunch of big coolers and perhaps a separate small deep freezer that can hold a bunch of those gel ice packs to keep them cool? Or maybe a small generator and a freezer that you can throw in the back of a pickup on delivery day? For about $1000, you can get set up really nicely, and if later on you don't need them for transport anymore, you can use them at home or sell them. Plus, there's no excise tax and insurance on appliances, but there are warranties. :D
    I may be way off base with what you need it for, though.
     
  5. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,165
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Jena
    Are you looking for something to store meat in frozen or something to diliver to customers? Could it be mounted on an existing trailer? Does it need to be able to run on gas or diesel as well as elec.? This changes the price range dramaticly!!!
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Actually...

    What I would really, really love to have is a small trailer (that I can pull with a one-ton truck) that is equipped with a cold plate unit. I can park that trailer, plug it in, use it as a freezer, then unplug and drive away for short trips. Throw a generator in the truck for longer ones.

    I have one big contract for chickens. They have their own transportation problems (the deal is they pick them up from me). They are interested in me delivering, but did tell me to let them know a cost before I buy anything to see if they can do it or not.

    I also have family in California. My mom and her friends are really interested in my meat and poultry. One of her friends lives in an upscale neighborhood and could probably help me find and establish more customers and perhaps some store or restaurant accounts. The problem is getting the stuff there. Her son is with a trucking company out here in Illinois, but they want a LOT of stuff to ship it, loading decks and all that. I can't fill a semi, nor can I sell that much!

    So...if I had transportation for my meat....I can haul it to California, sell it, and get to see my mom. I'm pretty sure with a little work, I could sell enough to fill a small truck.

    I have found a couple of trailers but they are more than some used trucks!

    I have seen some fairly reasonable trucks, but I don't know how good a deal they are since I don't know enough about them.

    I don't care if the truck or trailer actually makes more money, just that it pays for itself. I still make money off the meat and in CA I can charge enough to cover the cost of transportation. My insurance man already told me that they would not nail me on insurance, as I am hauling my own farm produce.

    So that's what I'm looking for. I don't know if I'll find it, but that's my idea at this point.

    Jena
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    You don't want to run a questionable truck to Ca.
    A generator large enough to keep two freezers running would keep 4 freezers cold by switching back and forth. A 16 foot stock trailer would haul 4 freezers with ease and have room for other things you want to take along. Pull into a campground at night and sleep on the freezers with foam pads over them which would also help insulate the top. You would not need more truck plates or insurance. and you would have something you could unhitch from and go places. A freezer on each side would leave space to move up between the freezers. in a 6' wide but would be better in a 7' wide
     
  8. pioneers

    pioneers Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    jena,

    Are you sure you want to buy a truck? Have you looked into LTL refigerated trucking. Its a lot cheaper and eaiser than running your own truck.
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Jena,
    Pioneers has the right idea. Interstate trucking has a high overhead cost. Insurance and repairs could eat all your profits and more. What would happen if the equipment broke down far from home and you were stranded. Look hard for a trucker with a fleet that has accounts in the cities you want to serve. You may find a company with regular deliveries that will give you a bargain because they already are driving the path and have room on the available one way or the other. Look in the yellow pages under "trucking transportation brokers." You could also look for businesses near you that use refrigerated transportation. You may want to protect yourself with contracts as well. You should have a clause with your customers that allows you to pass on increases from the trucking and a contract with the trucker that guarantees timely delivery and some cost control measures.