Five Things To Consider When Buying A Used Semi For Your Moving Business

Posted on: 9 January 2017

If you plan to start your own moving company and you're buying your first semi, you may want to purchase a used one. The features you need, however, vary based on several factors. Here's a look at some of the elements you should consider:

1. Size of Trailer

As the owner of a moving company, you need a truck that can easily tote a houseful of possessions. If you're experienced in the moving field, you should be able to eyeball the right size of truck based on the types of moves you anticipate doing.

However, if you're new to the moving industry, you may want to check for dimensions on a moving company's website. Most companies have a chart that lets you know how much you can move with different sizes of trucks, and these charts are usually broken up by number of rooms in the house.

2. Flat Bed or Trailer

Once you've narrowed in on the right size, you need to decide if you want a flat bed or an enclosed semi trailer. A trailer is ideal if you plan to provide full-service moves. With a trailer, you and your crew can load it up at the client's old house, drive the truck to the new house, and then unload everything.

If you prefer to offer temporary storage as part of your moving package, you may want to skip the enclosed trailer and look for a flat bed. With a flat bed, you also need some shipping containers or pods. This setup can also work for partial DIY moves.

Basically, you drop off the shipping container, and the clients pack it. Then, you pick it up, put it on the flatbed, and take it to their new home. From there, the clients can unload their own gear, and you can pick up the pod eventually.

3. Horsepower and Towing Capacity

Whether you opt for an enclosed trailer or some removable pods and a flatbed, you need to check out the truck's motor. Ideally, you want to estimate how much a full trailer is going to weigh, and you want to ensure the semi's motor has adequate horsepower to tow those weights.

If you also plan to tow client's cars, boats, or other items, you have to make sure your semi can handle that extra weight as well.

4. Fuel Economy

Also, pay attention to fuel economy. Paying too much for fuel can drive up your costs, and that can potentially cause you to lose profits.  Great fuel economy is especially important if you plan to help clients with long distance or cross country moves.

If one used semi is cheaper than another but its fuel economy is worse, you should try to crunch the numbers. Estimate how much you're likely to drive in a year. Then, figure out how much money you would save driving the more efficient truck. Finally, compare these savings with the cost difference of the two trucks, and figure out which is the most cost efficient in the long run.

You may want to take into account potential gasoline savings over a number of years, rather than just one year. However, it depends on how long you anticipate using the truck.

5. Sleeping Area

If you only plan to offer local moves, you don't need a berth. However, if you plan to do interstate or cross-country moves, a sleeping berth can be helpful. It allows you to stay comfortably in the truck when you need a break from driving, and that saves money compared to paying for hotel rooms.

If you're ready to start shopping or if you want more information on choosing a used semi for your new moving business, contact a semi salesperson today at a dealership like Arrow Truck Sales.