Introduction: Within these pages I will attempt to explain the differences in the buying habits of truck drivers and their preferences when purchasing a commercial semi truck for day to day work compared to everyone else who is not a professional truck driver.
During my brief career as a commercial truck driver I could never get a definite answer from truck drivers on which truck is the best to buy. Almost every truck driver I ask this question to each one has a different opinion. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been in just about every truck stop in the United States large and small and any time IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in the shop getting my oil changed or else next to a diesel mechanic I always ask the mechanic which truck is the best truck to buy and about twenty eight out of thirty mechanics always reply with the same old message that explains they are all the same regardless of which manufacturer makes the truck. The reason the mechanics has this opinion is because mechanics only work on the engine and the mechanical parts of the truck and there are very few manufactures of the engines that go into these trucks. So, whether the buyer purchases a Freightliner or else a Peterbilt its going to have one of the four engines that usually goes into the truck. As for the suspension of the truck and the chassis it is generally the same regardless of which manufacturer pumps out the massive machine. The reason diesel mechanics tend to output the same statement is because they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drive nor live in the truck.
When you ask a truck driver which truck to buy the most routine answer is if you want the best truck buy a Peterbilt or Kenworth. If you want a simple truck that you can get parts for buy a Freightliner.
Buyer Behavior: IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to expand on this subject. If a business person who has the cash and is in the mode to buy trucks in order to start his own trucking operation and depending on the background of the buying individual you will always almost get the same result whether you have a diesel mechanic buying trucks or someone who is not a diesel mechanic nor a truck driver. According to my survey of asking several participants I found out that mechanics will buy anything that has a engine with the chassis to pull a 80,000 pound load, I also would like to point out that anyone who is not a truck driver and has money to invest in a trucking company will always take sides with the diesel mechanic on which truck to purchase because they have no idea which truck is really most profitable they simply want to keep the truck running.
A former and current truck driver who starts a trucking company will realize that there is currently a driver shortage and to be profitable and successful a truck owner will have to make his driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comfortable and happy if they drive local. If the driver has to drive long distances and spends a night in the truck it is extremely important that the driver has a top of the line truck to justify to his peers on the open road why he is out there. Peer pressure among drivers on the open road is enormous and out in the middle of the desolate areaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s of Wyoming and Nebraska in the dead heat of winter at night the only other companions a driver really has is the other drivers on the C.B radio and they talk about everything simply to stay awake. So if a driver is driving a piece of junk truck that he is not proud of he will eventually move on to another company to drive or else go into business for himself. The trucks with the big nose and big cabs that are livable and new with a great ride and futuristic seating are the trucks ninety percent of the commercial truck drivers want to drive.
The Peterbilt and Kenworth alongside with the compact Volvo is usually the top of the line trucks with the majority of truck drivers. Everyone that drives a truck for a living knows that the Freightliner is the line of trucks which are pure junk because the door handles usually fall off first, sometimes it costs up to $700.00 to fix the door handle in a Freightliner dealership. But the parts are always available and that sometimes justifies buying Freightliner alongside with easy financing and an enormous amount of used trucks always for sale.
Coming off the national road and working locally in Arizona I ran across a truck owner who owns fifteen trucks and employees the equal amount of truck drivers. This small fleet owner has been in business for the last twenty years and has always bought Freightliners but recently during the truck driver shortage this owner has started purchasing more exotic trucks which cost an additional eight thousand dollars more than what he normally pays for a truck. Reason being there is a shortage of truck drivers and he wants to make what truck drivers he has left stay.
The target market: Truck manufactures are now focusing on driver comfort versus the fleet owners who were previously more concerned with driver profit. Reality is without driver comfort there is no driver profit for fleet owners. The manufactures are slowly starting to realize that fleet owners are spending more money on quality trucks to satisfy the immediate needs of truck drivers which is a species which is currently becoming extinct alongside any other endangered species on the list of extinction. Bottom line is the trucking industry is becoming more complex every day and parking places for drivers is becoming less available. In addition the laws of the United States are becoming stricter when the national population tends to increase upwards into the millions per year. America is currently failing at meeting the needs of the American truck driver which is openly visible in your local newspaper when you look in the employment section under commercial truck drivers wanted.
Conclusions: The summary of my findings loudly demonstrates over the road truck drivers have similar needs of local truck drivers and truck manufactures need to focus more on the driver instead of the slave driver who has no experience driving a truck seventy hours a week. Overall demographics has no meaning to this business since the need is the same nation wide and the opinions of the people working in the business is the same nation wide when it comes to the equipment and the needs of the American truck driver.
Gabriel De La Vega Jr. (2005).
Pains and gains compiled on life experiences of Gabriel De La Vega Jr. who has traveled forty eight states in an over the road commercial semi truck to reveal this information to you the reader in the format you now see in this document.
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