Let’s be clear I’m not Red Viking Trucker. I’m someone Red has asked to be his “expert” on dry van trucking. Red may have a different opinion on the matter. I understand he is eventually going to be an Owner-Operator. Personally, I’m not sure I would be an Owner-Operator. My dad was one for a few years back in the 1980s. It’s about 100% more work to own and operate a truck than just driving. It pay’s more if you do it right, but it will bankrupt you if you don’t do it right.
There is no way around the costs of trucking by getting an older truck. You give up modern fuel economy (pay high fuel bills) in exchange for having cheaper maintenance. With a newer truck you get higher reliability and better fuel economy (sometimes as high as 8-10 mpg) along with higher purchase price. You will also get some sort of warranty. At the end of the process you have resale value of the truck. With an older truck you get lower purchase price, higher fuel costs, and little resale value. With older trucks you likely are not permitted to run loads into/out of California.
The key is to be very focused at exactly what kind of trucking and what is required to do that and make a profit. If you want to haul intermodal containers or haul logs you don’t need anything new. If you are running OTR fuel economy and high reliability are most important. Most of the people making YouTube videos about buying their first truck fail, but they don’t post videos explaining how they failed. They often fail to pay taxes, taxes their first year may be due in a lump some almost 1 year after starting. They spend their trucking revenue like it’s a paycheck, only learning their taxes are due when they file their taxes. They have nothing saved. Most of the YouTube videos by new “owner-ops” are actually Lease_operators where a trucking company has talked them into “being your own boss” by transferring the cost of operating the truck to the Lease-Op.
Jeffery Like is someone Red and I agree has the inside scoop on how to own and operate a truck. He has many videos on specific trucking topics. His info is reliable. Lately he has been posting live stream videos that can be an hour or more long and cover several topics. It’s a little hard to find one particular topic in those videos. But before I risked by savings and bankruptcy I would watch those videos. You should also look at the Owner-Op section of The Truckers Report