When you're looking for a used semi-truck, you don't want to cut any corners. The last thing you want to do is buy someone else's problem. If that happens, you're out of money, out of a truck, and out of a way to earn a living. Don't get stuck with a truck that's got problems. If this is your first truck purchase, you might not be fully prepared for the process. Here are four steps you should take to make sure you buy a used truck that's worth every dime you're going to spend:
Know the History
When it comes to buying a used truck, the first thing you need to do is ask about the history. A reputable seller will be able to give you all the details about the truck their selling. If you're buying from a private party, ask to see the maintenance records. Check to make sure that the numbers on the maintenance records and registration papers match the numbers on the truck. Finally, ask for a DMV printout to see if the truck has been involved in any accidents. If the seller isn't willing to provide you with those documents, you might want to look elsewhere for a used truck.
Look for Rust
Trucks are subjected to all types of weather and road conditions. However, a truck that is well-cared for won't show signs of weather-related damage, especially rust. That's because the owner will have provided proper maintenance to prevent rust damage. Before you agree to purchase a used semi-truck, inspect it for signs of rust damage. Look closely at the body, especially along the bottom edges near the wheel-wells. It's also important for you to lean down and take a look under the truck. If you can see visible rust damage, the truck has not been properly cared for.
Spend Some Time on the Engine
Once you've identified the history of the truck, and checked for rust damage, you'll need to spend some time on the engine. First, check the engine for signs of leaks. Next, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Listen for knocks and pings that might point to an engine problem. Finally, check the tailpipe for signs of smoke. If you see issues that concern you, ask to have a mechanic take a look at it before you agree to purchase it.
Take it for a Spin
After you've checked out the truck, it will be time to take it for a spin. Don't just take it on the city streets though. Get it out on the highway so you can open it up and really see how it drives. If the seller isn't willing to let you take it on the highway, it's time to look for another truck.
Contact a company like Arrow Truck Sales for more information and assistance.