How Much Do Old Dump Trucks Cost?

white dump truck at a dusty road

No matter what business and industry you’re in, there will be at least one thing that’s a big investment. Because it’s a significant purchase, you’d need to spend some time checking your finances, working out current and future expenses, and then examining and weighing your options. It could be a second physical store, a new piece of equipment, or a new company vehicle. So it’s no surprise that people who own businesses in the trucking industry will make the same effort before buying any additional trucks. 

Of course, the same holds true for when you’re buying a dump truck, whether you’re expanding your fleet of dump trucks, or you need one to free up your other heavy-duty trucks for different jobs. Much like deciding on the right semi-truck for you and your needs, you’ll want to look at the different features of the dump trucks you’re thinking of buying. You’ll also have to take several factors into account that can affect the overall cost. That said, here’s what you need to know.

Acquiring A Dump Truck

A quick online search will tell you that a new dump truck can cost anywhere between $100,000 to $150,000, depending on the make and model. Some of the newer ones can cost at least $180,000 because they’re built more sturdily compared to the older ones, and they’re designed to need less overall maintenance even when on the road practically the whole day. 

That’s not to say that older models aren’t desirable or won’t last as long. Depending on the size, age, and wear and tear, a used dump truck can cost as little as $15,000 or as much as $100,000. As you can tell, this is the more affordable and ultimately more appealing option if your budget is tight. 

If the truck is heavily used but has also had regular maintenance, then there’s nothing wrong in paying at least $30,000. On the other hand, if you find out that maintenance was only semi-regular, or there have been a few major repairs, then you can negotiate for a lower price since you’ll be paying to have it fixed once you acquire the truck.

Owning and Maintaining a Dump Truck

The cost of a dump truck doesn’t stop at just the purchase price. You need to also look at how much it will cost you to keep and maintain it. This includes any trips to a repair shop for tune-ups and the like plus any repairs, as well as the cost of fuel. If you’re hiring someone to drive it, you’ll also need to factor in their salary. 

When it comes to the annual cost of owning a dump truck, you can expect to spend an average of $100,000. Here’s a rough breakdown.

Insurance alone can cost at least $7000 a year, while fuel can be anywhere from $1000 to $1500 a week, or at most $78,000 a year. If you hire a driver, their salary could start from $600 a week on average, or a little over $31,000 a year depending on which state you’re in. That still doesn’t include the cost of routine maintenance, let alone major replacement or repairs. So as you can see, $100,000 a year may well be on the low end of how much it costs to own and maintain a dump truck. 

Fortunately, you can try and lower the annual cost of owning a dump truck, starting with fuel consumption. It’s important to note that dump trucks are notorious for using a lot of gas; typically, they get only five to six miles per gallon. So if you limit how often you use it, as well as plan routes so that you get more dumping or hauling jobs done without driving too far each time, that could help with your cost of fuel, and therefore the overall cost of the dump truck. 

Overall Cost of an Old Dump Truck

Looking at the numbers given earlier, you can see that purchasing and owning a newer dump truck can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $350,000 the first year. Meanwhile, older ones will cost about $115,000 to $200,000 in the first year.

Why the big difference? As you can tell from the information above, the amount an old dump truck will cost you in the long run will depend on a number of factors, most notably its age and condition. These will affect both the initial cost, or how much you’d have to pay to get the dump truck in the first place, and how much you’ll spend on fuel and maintenance and repairs each year. The thing is, how affordable a truck is at the beginning won’t guarantee it’s the best choice.

If you’ll be using the dump truck quite often, it may be a good idea to find one that’s somewhere between the two extremes when it comes to price of acquisition and ownership. That is, a truck that’s not too cheap at the beginning but won’t cost as much as one of the newer trucks to own and maintain.

This is particularly true if this is the first truck you’ll be buying as an owner-operator. So look at all your options carefully, take note of the initial and ongoing costs, weigh those against your other expenses and your finances. Then you’ll be able to make a properly informed decision.