To own or not to own a truck – that is the question that grain growers often contemplate.

While growers may be tempted to buy their own truck based on convenience, they are advised that any decision around purchasing a truck for transport of grain should consider a multitude of factors including economics, lifestyle and resourcing.

To assist growers with this analysis, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has produced a Farm Business Fact Sheet on truck ownership.

“The fact sheet is a useful resource to help growers decide whether they should purchase a truck or use freight contractors,” GRDC grower relations manager Randall Wilksch said

“As a grain grower, I know the question around truck ownership can be complex, as so many factors need to be taken into account. 

“The new fact sheet provides guidance as to what growers should consider when weighing up the pros and cons of purchasing a truck.”

Available at, the fact sheet details a grower case study and contains a five-step guide to aid in growers’ decision making. Those five steps are:

  • Collate a list of the potential uses of a truck.
  • Estimate the amount of time it will be used and the distance it will travel per year.
  • Assess the financial costs/benefits. This will establish if it is economically viable to own a truck, the type of truck required, and how much it will be used.
  • Document the cost of employing a freight contractor to complete the listed tasks.
  • Compare the full cost of purchasing a truck versus using a freight contractor.

The fact sheet includes tables for estimating truck operating expenses for a low, medium and high capital investment, and for calculating total per kilometre loaded cost to compare with freight contracting rates.

In conclusion, the publication advises that all machinery purchases should fit the whole farm production and labour plan.