What is your equipment buying strategy for 2002?

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“We’re an up and moving company, but I don’t really have any plans right now besides the two trucks we have on order. I also plan on buying two more by the end of the year.”
– Bill Meuse, vice president of operations
Melba Express Inc., Woburn, Mass.

“Right now I don’t plan on buying, at least not until I find out how the economy is going to shape up. I’m going to put a stop on everything. It’s just too iffy at this point. There’s too much going on, and I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I think we’ll know by March, though. I usually buy late-model used trucks – just like I do when I buy a car.”
– Max Burditt, owner
Burditt Trucking Inc., Phenix City, Ala.

“With fuel prices coming back down, we are trying to get the right perspective on what to do. We intend to purchase new trucks – we always buy new. With fuel coming down, it helps tremendously, but now the insurance costs are doing what fuel prices did a year or two ago. Insurance companies are taking our profit right back out again. We’re watching fuel and insurance costs closely and trying to stay competitive but increasing our rates slightly.”
– Jim Peter, vice president of traffic and co-owner
E.J. Peter Trucking Inc., Wausau, Wis.

“That’s a good question, but I don’t know if we’re going to do anything differently because of how the economy is performing. We’re evaluating our buying strategy like we do every year. We’ll continue to buy new trucks. It’s business as usual.”
– Justin Poss, human resources director
Earth Transport Company, San Antonio
“We’re not going to buy any right now. We’ll just keep running what we’ve got. Right now with the economy the way it is, and not knowing where it’s going to go, we’re just going to sit tight.”
– Dale Linton, transportation manager
Great Dane Trucking, Greenville, Mich.

“We will probably purchase a couple fairly new pre-owned pieces. We have some new business opportunities, so we might get more equipment than usual, but until we get that nailed down, we’ll stay conservative.”
– Kim Parrott, president
K.O. Express Inc., Bessemer, Pa.

“I’m planning on buying used tractors and new trailers this year. I have been buying new tractors in the past, but the price of fairly new tractors is really good right now. If you can buy a 1999 tractor for half the price of a new tractor, why buy new?”
– Robert Biggs, president
R.D. Biggs Transportation Inc., Wilson, N.C.

“Basically, we’re taking a wait-and-see approach. First, we’re waiting to see what the economy does. It should get moving at the end of the second quarter. In conjunction with the state of the economy, we’ll see what the used vehicle market is like (after the second quarter) and then make our buying decisions.”
– Richard Ahrens, president
Peet Frate Line Inc., Woodstock, Ill.

“At this point, we’re maintaining our current fleet. We’re not looking to purchase new equipment. Our growth will be through owner-operators.”
– Chris Collins, office manager
Novak Trucking Service LLC, Laona, Wis.

“We transport building materials throughout the Northeast. Our customers are projecting a strong demand for their products for the coming year. Based on the projections of our customers and the low interest rate environment, we are proceeding with our plans to replace older equipment and add additional capacity to our fleet.”
– Alfred L. Bartolotta, owner
George Hildebrandt Inc., Hudson, N.Y.

“We’re an international company. In the United States, the country is in a recession. We’re keeping the trucks we have right now. We’re not in a buying mode. Maybe by the second quarter of next year things will turn around. In the Mexican side of our business we’re actually growing – you wouldn’t believe it. We’re buying new Kenworth T800s and T600s.”
– Sergio Lopez, Jr., director of operations
Jonick-Lopez S.A. de C.V., Brownsville, Texas

Question: lease vs. buying: which is better for you and why? Respond by e-mail to ahuff@eTrucker.com or fax to (205) 248-1046.