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How Can I Finance Equipment To Start A Trucking Business?

Interested in starting your own trucking business, but not sure how to finance equipment for your startup? Keep reading to learn about the steps to financing your trucking business and which options are available.

What does it mean to finance equipment?

Financing equipment occurs when you enter into a contract with a bank or lending institution for a loan to cover the costs of the equipment over a set term. The bank will keep possession of the title of the equipment (truck, trailer, etc.) until the last term payment is made. If you are unable to make payments against the loan, you could end up defaulting on the loan and the bank could repossess the equipment.

What are the different ways to finance equipment?

There are financing options that are tailored to specific business needs, so business owners need to understand what will work best for their organization.

Conventional loans, SBA loans, commercial loans, and manufacturer financing are common options for financing equipment. Some financial institutions even offer Trucking Business Loans specifically for equipment purchases. Credit history can significantly impact the interest rates lenders set for loans. Therefore, your personal credit score plays a crucial role in financing your trucking company and small business. Read more about how you can build and improve your credit score to secure a business loan here.

What are the steps for financing equipment?

  1. Find the equipment you want to purchase. The type of equipment you are looking for can be a factor for financing terms. For instance, a lender may have vehicle age or mileage requirements to determine the financing terms.

  2. Determine your down payment. It is important to know how much you can afford when searching for equipment, especially expensive options that may reach up to 6 figures. Some lenders may require you to provide a down payment of 20%, while other lenders may not require a down payment, though this option will require the borrower to have a good credit history. Additionally, not providing a down payment will lead to borrowers paying more overall because they financed the entire purchase.

  3. Compare loans. The loan terms of each lender may vary and it is beneficial to compare loans to determine which terms are best for your operation. Additionally, you can use multiple types of business loans to finance a semi-truck. For instance, a business line of credit could be used to gain quick cash to repair a semi-truck, while a commercial truck loan will allow you to use your capital for other expenses like payroll. It is important to weigh the options and select the best loan that fits your company's needs. You can narrow down a list of potential loans by using a variety of sites as well as paying attention to a loan’s unique price parameters. The annual percentage rate (APR), average monthly payment, total cost of capital, and the return on investment are all to be considered when determining if a loan fits the needs of your business.

  4. Gather paperwork, prepare a business plan, and apply. Be prepared to provide information such as annual revenue, the type of business you run, the equipment you are aiming to purchase, and information about yourself. Shopping around, even if you are in a rush, is a good idea for companies seeking the best financing terms.

What are the benefits and challenges of financing equipment?


  • Equipment is owned by your company.

  • Equipment is considered a depreciable asset.

  • Lifetime cost is usually cheaper.

  • Can use equipment however you want.

  • Can sell equipment after no longer needed.


  • More cash or credit is required up front.

  • Responsible for maintenance and repairs.

  • Can not always test equipment before purchase.

  • Equipment will become worn or possibly outdated.

  • Payment is due regardless if equipment is operational.

To secure funding for your trucking business you will need a business plan. Our Trucking Business Plan Starter Bundle is a comprehensive bundle that serves as your roadmap, offering the tools needed to secure financing with a detailed business plan, define and accomplish business goals, make informed decisions on your business structure, become fluent in trucking industry lingo, and establish an effective budget. The Starter Bundle includes seven essential documents, featuring The Business Plan Guide (including four guiding documents), the SWOT Analysis Template, the SMART Goals Template, and the Business Structure Guide. Enjoy two BONUS items: a 160+ Word Glossary for the Trucking Industry and the Trucking Business Budget Template with Estimated Startup Costs. Make your trucking business dreams a reality with strategic planning and informed decision-making using this definitive bundle! A regular $80 value for ONLY $37! Learn more about the bundle HERE.


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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. Contents may not be relied upon as a substitute for the FMCSA's published regulations. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.


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