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Costs to Run a Semi?

Discussion in 'Equipment Moving Questions' started by alskdjfhg, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

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    I've been thinking recently, what would it take to stop playing around, get serious and buy a semi. I saw some nice looking old trucks that went cheap at the last RB auction, so I'm wondering mainly about insurance and DOT related stuff. Not afraid of older equipment, turning wrenches or lack of creature comforts.

    My Dad and I would be the drivers, I don't have a CDL, but Dad's got a class B. Anyone have a rough estimate how long it takes to get a class A? Is it required to complete a class/go to trucker's school or can you just show up with your truck/trailer and do the test?

    And lastly any rough ranges on the cost of insurance? Would not be for hire, just for hauling iron to the farm.

    Asking the guys that run real trucks. Thanks guys.:notworthy
     
  2. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    Here getting your class A takes 2 weeks. Written test, then driving test has to be 14 days later. The written test with general, air brakes, combination (Class A), tanker and doubles/triples took me roughly 30 minutes.

    Insurance depends on how they have you classified. My rear mount grapple truck costs $1650/year for $500k CSL. ~$120k value between the truck and trailer. A dump truck would be ~3x that.
     
  3. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    Here in ND you need a Class A permit for 6 months?? before you can take a road test. After that, you just show up at a location with your truck and trailer and get in line. If you're not commercial, insurance should be fairly cheap. Depending on how fancy a truck/trailer you get, maybe a couple thousand a year for insurance. The license might be more than insurance, I have no idea about TX, but here in ND a farm truck would be about $500 per year for 80,000.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  4. bam1968

    bam1968 Senior Member

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    To answer a couple of your questions... You can use your own truck and trailer for the tests. As far as the DOT related stuff you will need a USDOT number if you don't already have one. It is required even if you are not hauling for hire. I can't really help you with insurance because our trucks are permitted/ insured to haul for hire. You are required to pay a heavy use tax if the truck is going to run more than 7500 ???? (can't remember if that number is correct.. If not it's close) miles per year. Hope that helps a little. Others will chime in on things I forgot. Basically, buying the truck is the easiest part of owning one. Just my $.02
     
  5. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    There are long waiting lists to get on the CDL test driving schedule, at most Texas DPS offices. Right now, your easiest way to get a CDL is through one of the CDL driving schools. They get you scheduled, take you out for practice in their truck, then drive you over to the CDL test site. Their truck will be a short wheelbase tractor with a short trailer and an automatic trans. It WILL pass the pretrip test, which is important.
    If you show up in your own truck, and a light bulb burns out just before the test, or they see a minor oil drip they don't like, you will not be allowed to take the road test. Then, you have to go reschedule, which could mean another 2 or 3 week wait.
    Jeff
     
  6. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    Heavy Use Tax (HUT) is for vehicles or combinations over 55klbs. 5k miles commercial, 7.5k miles ag are the tipping points requiring it. HUT costs $550/$412.50 (lessor is for logging)for over 75klbs.

    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2290.pdf


    The tag for my grapple truck, 80klbs commercial is $1700/year. Farm tag is $1k.
     
  7. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    That's pretty close to what we pay for 94k commercial here in ND.
     
  8. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    I'm in the county, in the city it would cost more. Different counties would cost differently. 80klbs is as high as MS goes intrastate. Apportioned tags can go higher, for instance 88klbs for logging in AL. Mississippi has a Harvest Permit that adds 4klbs to the limit, up to 84klbs. The harvest permit is $25/year.
     
  9. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    For occasional playing and no commercial work at all you can go with classic registration and plates if the truck is over 30 years old. Plates are a one time purchase, ($50.00 plate and $100 one time fee in Minnesota) no DOT annual inspections required, and insurance is much cheaper. The restrictions are you can drive them on Sundays or any day if traveling to or from a special event, and you can not haul for hire. You can haul your old iron home if you do it on Sunday. Collector vehicle full coverage ($10,000 comp & medical and liability, etc.)can be purchased for about $600 a year here good in all 50 states, limited to 12,000 miles a year. They do require you to send in a picture showing new paint for the coverage. No DOT number required bit must have "Not For Hire" sign on it. I asked our local DOT and they told me that my collector plates are good in all states if I am going to a show. Going to test it this summer when I haul one of my small Cats to an out of state show with my 1979 Titan.
     
  10. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

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    I like the sound of the classic plates, but I'd need to run more than what it sounds like it would allow me to.

    So it sounds like I'll need a CDL, DOT number and insurance/taxes. Am I overlooking anything?

    How hard is it to get the DOT number?
     
  11. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    I don't believe you'd need a DOT number unless you plan on going out of state. Texas may be different.
     
  12. jaluhn

    jaluhn Well-Known Member

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    Here in CA they have a number of services that rent trucks specifically for the drive test for about $500-800. You can use your own, but have to show up with a properly licensed driver - I'm told they check this.

    Same deal with using a school or rental truck for the exam in regards to light bulbs or whatever - no less likely to happen there than a personal truck, and will have to reschedule just the same though may actually be worse because it's the rental place and the DMV schedule you have to find an opening in.
     
  13. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    The schools here have there own trucks and you "practice" with them and they also are licensed to give you the driving test. I believe Wisconsin is the same. You don't even go the DMV to take the test. A friend got his CDL in California and it was the same. The DMV here have recently been telling people to go to a driving school and take the test.
     
  14. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    As an OTR driver, only thing more I'm going to comment on this subject is I wish these schools could train more "drivers" than "steering wheel holders". Just sayin'.
     
  15. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

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    I'm at U of H full time during the week so going to a truck driving school is probably out. May be easier to pass the test with a smaller truck with an auto trans, but that's not going to be what I'd be owing/driving.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  16. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    One point when buying a used truck, ask if it has had a dyno test and percentage blow-by test done. If not
    i would get one done, It's around $220 bucks of well spent money. A good engine will hover around 2%.

    Truck Shop
     
  17. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    Yes, Texas is different, even if only running in-state. You will need a DOT number first. Then, you need to go online and get a Texas DMV number. (Used to be called a TXDOT number). You can not get the TXDMV number until you have both the Federal DOT number and the proof of liability insurance. I think the minimum liability required is now $500,000. It used to be just $300,000, but I was told it was going up.
     
  18. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    It does not matter what you will be driving. Use the small tractor trailer with auto trans and make it easy on yourself. Believe me, you will be glad you did when it is all said and done.
     
  19. Wes J

    Wes J Senior Member

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    This is hard to answer because it totally depends on your use. Here in IL, it's about $6000 before you can get it on the road with registration, HUT, IFTA, IRP, MC, DOT, etc. Liability insurance is $2-300/month. Cargo insurance is much more, but you won't need that.

    In my area, I can hire a Landoll or lowboy for $100/hr with about 2 days notice. They supply the chains and binders. They help me load and go anywhere I want while the clock runs.

    Figuring that the cheapest I could buy a semi truck and trailer would be $20-30,000 + say $7,500/year to keep it legal, I think I'll keep hiring it done. I can't see how it could make sense to own a semi unless you were using it more than 200 hours/year.

    Remember too that a semi is a rolling, 18 wheeled, cash register. You might fly under a lot of radars in your pickup and gooseneck, but when a cop pulls over a semi, he isn't writing a warning.

    All that said, you seem to have a bottomless supply of money for worthless toys, so I say go for it.
     
  20. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    What is it with you, Wes? You were kind of in a pi$$ing match on another thread, and now you're starting it here. Take your crap somewhere else if you can't be a civilized human being. Bye.