Is the hunt over?
I think we may have found a truck that will work for us. We haven’t worked out all the details yet but this is what we are looking at. For all you trucking gurus out there here are the specs:
2006 Freightliner CL12064ST-COLUMBIA 120
525,xxx to 545,xxx miles depending on the unit we pick
14.0L Detroit 515 horsepower
Ultrashift tranny (aka autoshift… hurrah!)
22.5LP tires on all aluminum wheels
air ride suspension
sliding 5th wheel
double bunks with pretty much basic interior blah blah blah
thermo-king tri pac apu installed (hurrah!)
some misc color to be determined later (whatever)
So there you have it, truck fans. That’s what we’re working with right now. They are asking around $24,500 depending on which model we end up picking. That’s about $5,000 less than they were asking for a similar truck without an APU back in November… Hurrah! We had figured out a brilliant scheme to get the truck without paying any interest at all on it but it’s not going to work out after all. See our thought was to pay $10,000 down and split the $15,000 remaining between two different credit cards that were offering 0% interest for a year. That way we could pay the vast majority of it off before any interest kicked in… hurrah! But in the end it wouldn’t work because they can’t accept credit cards. Oh well. Guess we’ll just have to finance it the old fashioned interest-paying way.
Also, if we end up leasing on with this tiny little company that we’re considering we will need to buy a trailer. Not a huge deal though since I think we can buy a good ’02 or ’03 trailer for around $5,000 or so. This little company is tiny — they only have six or seven O/O leased on with them. They are offering us 80% of the linehaul and right now they are averaging about $1.85 per mile fleet-wide. Not like we would be getting rich on that or anything but in the current state of the trucking industry it really isn’t a terribly bad deal.
Well that’s the current state of affairs. We’re working on all the paperwork and taking things one step at a time. There is just so much to do and it all has to be done at the exact right point in the process. It can get confusing. For example we have to be signed on with the carrier before we apply for financing for the truck… but the carrier wants to know what truck we have before they want to sign us on with them. Sigh. Also, we have to actually go and check out the trucks and pick one and have it put on the dyno and have the fluids tested and hire an independent mechanic to go over every square inch of the truck to see exactly what we’re getting. Some drivers also say you should get a complete dump of the ECM but to be honest I’m not sure that I would understand all the info I would be getting so I don’t know how helpful that would be to us.
Oh well, we’re slowly inching our way forward. Hopefully good things come to those who take baby steps. Tiny, confused, bumbling, stumbling baby steps.