In today’s economy, start up and seasoned businesses have an unique opportunity to acquire an attractive deal for semi trucks, big rigs and over the road trucks. The first option, for the buyer, is to visit their local dealer and find his truck there. This is great place to start and obtain pertinent information that will be used later in the data gathering process. From there, it is recommended searching the internet and its mass volume of data that is available. The potential buyer can visit such sites as truck paper and truck trader etc to view thousands of listings of trucks available across the United States. He is able to sort and sift through this vast data and should be able to find a truck, in any city and/or state across the U.S, that meets his acquisition requirements. Once he has located a source of trucks available to him, he is able to contact these sellers and negotiate a deal that might be able to meet his needs. Once he is agreed to a price and its particulars, his next hurdle is to find adequate financing in today’s complex lending world of this commodity.
Today, the financing arena for semi trucks has become much smaller. Lenders, in the past, that use to finance this niche market have either pulled their portfolio funds out of this area or have modified its’ lending requirements. It is not unheard of today that a start up business must commit to a down payment of between 10% – 30% of the acquisition cost of the truck to enter this market. The seasoned business with good credit might be able to get in as little as one payment down plus documents fees but must have either A or B Credit. Other seasoned businesses that don’t meet these credit requirements, may be required to put up 10-20% down or either put up additional collateral as their credit scores fall below 600. Most buyers don’t enjoy these tightening financial requirements, are locked out of this market, and will start looking for alternatives that are available due to market conditions. In addition to the market requirements of substantial monies due upfront, the conventional lender has modified his risk/reward factor for the failure and possible repossession of these trucks. Therefore, the rate and/or interest factor that the lender charges has gone up making it a bigger challenge to complete the financing end once the want to be buyer locates his acquisition….
As the economy has weakened due to market conditions, including diesel gas reaching $5.00 or more per gallon in certain states, the route of conventional financing has changed as we know it. The lender has acquired another problem that makes their equation a little more complicated. In the past year as the price of food has gone up, the real estate markets have taken a toll for the worse and other world factors have caused the banks to be more unstable, the trucking industry has become more volatile. As the increase of defaults on the payments of over the road trucks, semis etc have risen to all time highs, the lenders have been taking back these trucks by the droves that are earmarked as repossessions. This has caused a problem with normal lending practices and trying to balance it with a non producing income portfolio. If these lenders don’t act swiftly and prudently, the combination of these two type of portfolios can be devastating to the lenders’ bottom line. A third factor to consider is the off lease truck. These trucks are being returned to the lender and they must act accordingly with this third factor.
By definition, an off lease semi truck, over the road truck, big rig etc has been returned to the lender as the lease has expired. The lessee has made a decision to return the item in lieu of exercising the buyout option. A repossession is different than an off lease because it has arisen due to a default of the lessee for non payment terms or a violation of the terms of the lease. Either way, the lender has taken these trucks back and/and now must recondition these trucks and either sell these trucks or re-lease them.
The lender can either advertise their off lease and repo inventories through their internal sales force, trade journals such as truck paper, truck trader etc or utilize outside professionals such as brokers to move their inventories as quick as possible. Sometimes, as these inventories either sit or whatever reasons aren’t moving, the lender will put these items up for auction.
At the present time, the lenders have two different types of financing portfolios to consider and must act accordingly. Normal lending on new business deals still require stringent lending practices based upon the credit markets and the risk/reward factors lenders perceive out there in the financial markets. The second type of portfolio, for the off lease and repos, require possibility a more lenient approach to liquidating their inventories prudently and recreating the income stream for the lenders. This will be discussed below.
Today, some of the lenders in the financial market have advertised personal credit qualifications as low as 575, prior bankruptcy rules amended or ignored, and start up businesses welcome. Additionally, the front money to commence a lease can start as low as first payment only to whatever you might able to negotiate. Some of the lenders have application only programs up to $250,000. There are no financial statements, income tax returns or bank statements required. Additionally, some lenders may defer some of payments to get the semi trucks financed. The buyout clauses on these over the road trucks can range from a $1.00 buyout to 10% to 20%, Trac leases to possible fair market value buyouts. One should understand these clauses because they have an impact on the passing of title.
These favorable financial arrangements by the lender has stimulated the buyers wants and needs to either enter the trucking industry as an owner operator and/or possibility an expansion of a existing business. First Time buyers, whom were locked out of this market in the past, now has an unique opportunity to earn more revenue by acquiring a truck for himself. A $50,000 over the road truck might require as little as $1400 down to commence the financial obligation. Other lenders that might have required up to 30% down in the past might accept as little as 10% to acquire one of their repos and/or off leases…Additionally, some lenders may offer favorable monthly payment terms vs standard lending to acquire their off lease and repos vs. the buyer looking to acquire a truck at a dealership..
For this article, potential deals for over the road trucks, semi trucks and big rigs for the customers relate to the following manufacturers: Petebilt, Mack, Kenworth, International, Freightliner, and Volvo.
In conclusion, this is a buyer’s market for semi trucks, big rigs and over the road trucks. One should evaluate all the factors relating to this acquisition including gas costs, air emissions, environmental type requirements., buyout clauses acquisition costs and its related financing. Additionally, there are two distinct financing markets out there, one for the normal acquisition from the dealership and the possibility of acquiring a repo and off lease from a lender at favorable market and financing terms. As always it is advisable, if possible, to locate financing prior to truck shopping, it could save a lot of time and stress.