Is your lawn care business growing and are you finding that your old lawn truck just isn’t performing the way you need it to. This tends to happen to most new lawn care businesses after their first year but usually it’s a bad financial time to be out looking for a new truck. What options does he have? That’s the situations a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum found himself in when he told us about his current lawn care equipment situation.
He wrote “I’m currently using a Dodge Ram 1500 with a 6 foot bed. It only has 50k on it but it’s got a 4.7 engine and I haul a trailer with my lawn mowing equipment which is too much for that truck to haul up and down my route. I have a 6×12 open landscape trailer packed with my mowers. Plus what ever else I carry on my 6 foot bed, usually clippings. Those grass clippings are heavy at times and I hate unloading the truck by hand. This year my lawn care accounts doubled due to word of mouth. Because of this I am going to do a lot more leaf hauling this year.
Another downside is that I’m in debt up to my eyeballs. I still owe 16k on the truck. I know I won’t get that much as a trade in. So I don’t know wether to go new or used or wether i’m ready or not to switch. I just can’t afford to pay more than what I pay now on my truck if I switch. All I know is that I better come up with a plan for the Fall cleaning season coming up or I will be in serious trouble.”
Another member wrote his suggestion and said “I was in the auto sales business for years before I started my lawn care business. With the economy like it is now, the auto industry is really hurting for sales, or as we called it, units moved. I am sure you could trade for new and get the same or within $30 or $50 of the payment you have now with no money down.
However there is a trick to it I want to share with you. First you want to go to the largest auto dealer you can find in your area. They deal in volume not individual units. What this means is that there goal is to get a certain number of units out each month to get what is known in the industry as unit bucks from the manufacture. On averge they get about 1,400 to 2,700 per unit if they hit there goal set buy the manufacturer. This is above and beyond the hold back and mark-up to the sticker price. So even if they sell a unit as a loss up to $1,700, they still make money, so don’t be fooled.
They have so many programs going on right now. Forget the free gas offers, oil for life , tires for life and all that junk. It’s all included in the price nothing, is free in the car business.
Here is what you can do. Just go in, get a salesman, and find what you want within reason of course to hit your payment. You can expect to figure your monthly payments like this. For every 5k of price, with average credit you will pay approximately $80 a month in car payment. So if the truck you look at is 20k the payment would be $320 a month. If your credit score is above 700 you could get as good as 60 or 65 per 5k.
Tell the salesman this after you pick a truck. ‘Let me fill out a credit application. Then give him your card and say this is my only offer to you. If you can hit my monthly payment I will buy this truck with no money down, with my trade.’ Then leave and tell him to call you with the answer. They will try to get you to stay while they say they will try. All they will try to do is bump you, so don’t fall into that trap. Just leave after signing the credit application and wait for call. It won’t take long and probably will be a manager telling you why they cant do it. Just say thank you no matter what they say and tell him it’s not negotiable. Just the best you can do, then they may say come back and we will try. Tell them you will come back but for them not to try, but if you can say ok its a deal, you will get the sale. Just stay firm, you will get it. Remember how to figure payment to know if you are in the ball park.”