Blue Truck, which I've had for 13 years, has been an awesome vehicle. We bought it in 2000. It was somewhat of a custom job as Ford didn't have the F250 Super Duty readily available on the lot back then. We custom ordered each element of the truck. We exchanged the carpet in favor of rubber flooring, eliminated the rear split window (back before there was power to the window), and even made sure the 4X4 stickers were not added (too flashy for this girl). We upgraded the differentials, chose the V10 Triton engine, and added a hefty tow package.
We pretty much chose elements from the interior packages that we liked: no leather seats as we had two big dogs with big claws, but we wanted cruise control and power options. The sales guy scratched his head over our choices. I know he wanted us to just stay with one interior package, but it was our/my truck and we/I knew exactly what we/I wanted. And that's what we got.
Even back in 2000 the payment was big. We paid $670 a month for 60 months for a Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4X4. Back then, that amount of money paid rent for an apartment. It was worth it to me though as I really wanted/needed a horse trailer. Within six months, we had the gooseneck hitch installed and the trailer was purchased.
For the first 5 years we owned the truck, my husband and I alternated who drove it to work. He had a much farther commute so we tried to minimize the miles we were putting on it as our plan was to make the truck last for ten years. By 2005, both hubby and I had "regular" vehicles for driving so Blue Truck's only job was to pull the horse trailer.
Over the last eight years, I've only put about 13,000 miles on it, and it only has 113,000 total miles. I use it almost exclusively for hauling the horse trailer, but occasionally, I use it to pick up heavy loads, most often related to the horses (bedding, feed, hay cubes, etc.). Blue Truck runs great. I've replaced a fuel pump and a hose. I've put on a few sets of tires and gone through a few batteries. Aside from annual oil changes, that's all that I've had to do in 13 years. I'd say we've gotten our money's worth.
And yet ... For the past 6 months, I've been thinking about replacing Blue Truck.
Let's face it, Blue Truck, you're getting old, and you're starting to show your age. You're paint is starting to peel, you're developing a little rust, and frankly, I just don't trust you not to leave me stranded somewhere.
That's what I told Blue Truck. That's what I told Hubby. That's even what I told my dad, my mom, my barn owner, and even the dealers at Dodge and Ford. They all looked me and asked what was actually wrong with Blue Truck. I couldn't find anything except being oldish. Mature. Well loved. Comfortable.
- Ford F250 (what I already have)
- no need for 4 wheel drive (although I have it now)
- cloth interior with power stuff (what I already have)
- V8 gas engine (smaller than what I already have)
- Extended Cab (smaller than what I already have)
- Long Bed (bigger than I already have)
- $650 - $750 a month for 60 months (way bigger than what I already have which is a zero payment)
So then we actually pounded the pavement and started looking at used F250s and Ram 2500s. I say we because Hubby got tired of me calling him from various locations asking him what he thought. We found quite a few trucks with quite a few miles and most of them were in the $500 a month for 48 months range. Hmmm ... Blue Truck started looking down right glamorous. What sense did it make to buy another truck with high mileage? I already have that for free.
I put a temporary kibosh on a new or used truck. I needed to rethink this thing. I took a deep breath and wrote a new budget with a truck payment added to the vehicle category. Immediately my contribution to my savings account plummeted and my show budget shrank. Just how much did I distrust Blue Truck?
Ultimately, I just couldn't justify spending $650 a month for the next 60 months to drive 20 times a year for maybe 2,000 miles. I am pretty sure Blue Truck can can make it another 5,000 miles. By then, I'll have "saved" almost $20,000 in payments. If anything breaks before then, I think I can afford the repairs.
Speaking of which, I think Blue Truck might like a day at the spa ... oil change, radiator coolant exchange, transmission fluid replacement ...