Friday, September 11, 2009

I have a new truck

I've been using my Jeep Liberty CRD for my handyman business for the last year. I love the Jeep, but it stinks for a handyman business because you have to have ALL the tools you might need for any job with because you don't know what people think a handyman does, and have to be ready for anything. And I hate that a used paint brush tumbled out of a can and landed paint-side down on the back seat a while back, turning my good seats a shade of primer red.

So I decided to get a pickup. As I researched prices I noticed a "utility bed" pickup and decided it is for me. They come in various sizes, but most are on the big pickups. They have steel boxes on the sides and a smaller bed . Many have ladder racks, generators, etc. permanently mounted. I researched them a lot and got pre-approved for an auto loan of up to $16k to get a used one. I found that the ones I like are available for around $12k from truck dealers. But then I noticed one that said the truck had been a government truck so it was well maintained. No comment on the well-maintained thing, but it suddenly struck me, "Where do they get a government truck?" Then it hit me, they get them from government auctions, and anybody can bid in those auctions, unlike the dealer-controlled used car auctions where they only let dealers in.

The fed. gov. auctions their cars off in live auctions and there is one scheduled in Dallas next week. Sadly, there aren't any utility bed trucks in that auction. Joe learned what I was doing and he sent me links to some other auctions, including one where they do internet auctions of city and utility company surplus items. That's where I noticed a util. bed truck being sold by the city of Allen, which is just down the road from us. I got myself signed up for the auction and bid on a 2001 F-250 truck and I won the auction! I got this beauty for $5605.00 :

My plan is to spend a couple hundred to install cruise control, a couple hundred to re-upholster the front seat, and $3-400 to paint the back, which is older than the rest of the truck. I may also have to do some repairs, but I won't know about that until next week some time. After all that, I'll get it titled, licensed, and taxed, and have a nice truck for thousands less than I'd have paid for it retail.

On the plus side, those safety light bars are of no use to me, so I'll sell them to offset some of my expense.

This auction thing is fun! It makes me want to get another one and make some money.