A stock photo of several tractors lined up in a parking lot.

Avoid potentially dangerous mistake when buying your first truck

How do I pick out my first tractor as an owner/operator?

If you’re considering jumping into the world of being your own boss and running a transportation company, your top priority is going to be picking out a truck. One of the biggest mistakes a new owner/operator can make is to approach buying their first truck the same way they pick out a personal vehicle. Answering the question, ‘How do I pick out my first tractor as an owner/operator,’ is easily in the top five most common conversations we have with people at Patriot Truck Sales. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a truck including how much you can spend, what kind of cargo you’ll be hauling and where you’ll be hauling that cargo. This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, these are good places to start a conversation.

READ MORE: Learn to love paperwork when becoming an owner/operator

You’ll need to shop for a dealer before you shop for a truck

Because you’re gambling on yourself and this truck is going to be responsible for your livelihood, you have to work with a sales professional that you can trust with your life. Patriot Truck Sales is staffed by a team of experts with many years of experience working with people who are just starting out in the trucking industry.

We can help you identify the kind of trucking business you want to run and guide you on your journey to picking out the truck that will best fit your future needs. While we certainly want to work with you, we also want you to look at other pre-owned tractor dealers and go with the team that makes you feel the most comfortable.

Don’t get pigeon holed

Unlike other jobs, self-employed truck drivers are only earning money when the wheels on the truck are going ‘round-and-’round. A common mistake a first-time truck buyer makes is choosing a truck that paints them into a corner in terms of capability. It’s hard to know what the future may hold, and successful owner/operators are able to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. Our experts can help you find a platform that will be suitable for a lot of cargo without the need for too much retrofitting or downtime.

Performance is important, but it’s not everything

There is definitely a ‘Goldilocks Zone’ when it comes to buying a tractor. If a truck is underpowered, it will limit the amount of cargo it can pull, which can eat into already narrow profit margins. Conversely, picking out a truck with too much power is tantamount to just setting money of fire. Paying for performance you don’t need is a waste of money.

Patriot Truck Sales is ready to help you with whatever you need to get your business off the ground and headed toward success.