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Trucks

One of our goals over the next several years is to purchase several Ford F-250 or F-350 diesel pickups to assist in our distribution trips. If trucks are donated, those funds can be put to use for other projects. If you are in the area of central Maryland, you can help us achieve this goal early by donating your running diesel Ford F-250 or F-350.

 

 

Some of the communities are impossible to reach without fording a river or tackling steep, muddy roads. This river crossing on our first donation t...

LARN volunteers cross Rio Grande on the way to a remote village called La Sabana. Credit: LARN

Why do we want trucks?

Building a small fleet of trucks for our use in Panama is just part of LARN's goal to apply even more of our fundraising dollars directly into our projects rather than the associated administrative costs. The truck rental, rental insurance, and diesel for the typical three trucks used on our donation trips costs upwards of $3,000 each trip. Reducing the recurring cost of transportation for donation trips to just the cost of diesel and ongoing car insurance will help us put more of our fundraising dollars back into our projects in the long-term. Even if we had to purchase a used truck at a reasonable price, the total cost would be less than the cost of renting trucks for two donation trips. Over a period of just five years, the savings would be significant. Each truck we add to our fleet means less money spent on rental trucks during future donation trips. The ultimate goal is that we build a fleet large enough to transport donations and volunteers during our donation trips. Based upon our initial donation trip, we believe a fleet of three trucks will serve our needs. As we grow, we can reassess whether we need to grow our fleet to accommodate a larger volume of donations being distributed during donation trips.

In addition, many of the communities we serve are in remote areas. Getting to these communities involves fording rivers and tackling muddy mountain roads; things not covered by most rental insurance. If we were to cause damage to a rental truck from these activities, we would have to pay for the repairs out of pocket; costs that would reduce the funds available to complete our projects. If we were to damage a truck in our own fleet, our volunteer mechanic in Panama will provide his services for the cost of materials and parts.

 

Why look for trucks in the US?

Counterintuitive as it may seem, our research has shown it is actually cost effective to ship trucks to Panama if the trucks are donated or sold to LARN at low prices.

The cost to ship a used Ford F250 or F350 to Panama is less expensive than to purchase one in Panama. If the truck is donated to LARN in the US, then the total cost is significantly less. Should LARN need to purchase trucks for our fleet, we would make the decision whether to purchase in the US or Panama based upon where the total associated cost is least expensive at the time of purchase.

For approximately what we pay to rent three trucks, purchase rental insurance and buy diesel for one donation trip, we could ship a donated truck to Panama and have it registered there. Combined with shipping, our recurring annual expenditures on diesel and car insurance for our own fleet would be lower in the long run than the cost of renting three trucks for each donation trip.

In addition, the American versions of Ford trucks are significantly larger than their Panamanian counterparts. Larger cab space and truck beds allow us to conduct our donation trips with fewer vehicles. Ford parts are easier to come by in Panama and cost less than parts for other comparable brands. Amongst our dedicated Panamanian volunteers, we have a mechanic who will donate his labor to maintain our future fleet for the cost of materials and parts.

 

How To Donate Your Truck

If you have a running diesel Ford F-250 or F-350 you would like to donate, please contact us to see if your truck meets our requirements. Please be prepared to provide information such as proof of ownership, mileage, history and current condition.

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