New purchase: Trucking under warranty until retirement

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Previously in this series: Used purchase: Lower costs ease risks of expansion for small-fleet owner

Jerry Boyd (right), with Landmark International rep Corey Price and Boyd’s 2016 ProStar, leased to Bennett Motor Express. Last month, Boyd on the verge of trading the ProStar for a new truck to close his trucking career under a five-year 500,000-mile warranty.Jerry Boyd (right), with Landmark International rep Corey Price and Boyd’s 2016 ProStar, leased to Bennett Motor Express. Last month, Boyd on the verge of trading the ProStar for a new truck to close his trucking career under a five-year 500,000-mile warranty.

Leased to Georgia-based Bennett Motor Express, owner-operator Jerry Boyd of Spencer, Tennessee, has been pondering a purchase from the same dealer as small-fleet owner William Howard. Sales representative Corey Price of Landmark International says both operators are part of an influx of prospective buyers as sales activity has been “wide open … the last two to three months.”

The improved economy has spurred a lot of it, Price says, in addition to tax changes that present a windfall to fleets. Changes to the rules around expensing equipment haven’t hurt matters, particularly for small fleets and owner-ops looking for short-term savings.

Boyd, who’s been leased to Bennett almost 20 years and has been trucking 35 years, is in a 2016 ProStar that pulls a step deck. He bought it new a few years ago but is laying plans to trade one more time and finish his career. Boyd, 60, says if he can “get a truck with a five-year warranty on it, I can quit at 66.”

Boyd says he was among the owner-operators who wanted nothing to do with post-2007 emissions equipment before investing in his ProStar. His prior truck was a 2000 International that he put 1.8 million miles under, but as it turns out, the 2016 has “been totally trouble-free” 356,000 miles in. “I’ve never had to do a parked regen” to clear soot from the DPF, he says. “I’ve got no complaints.”

With a new International LT he’s considering, he appreciates the security of the five-year 500,000-mile warranty in addition to the ability to avoid “having to go home for the weekend and work on the truck” during his time off, he says.

Boyd purchased the 2016 ProStar for around $120,000, with $15,000 down in addition to the $10,000 he got for the trade on his 2000 International. Like other operators quoted in this story, he financed it with a loan from his local bank, his at 5 percent on a four-year term, very good for a new-truck loan.

Boyd’s got around $30,000 in equity now to put toward a trade for a new truck. He believes he could pay the rig off well under warranty and call it all a day.

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