What To Look For When Buying a Used Freight Truck

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For any business owner who does a lot of shipping, it can be an excellent idea to acquire a freight truck. While it is not exactly cheap to buy a truck, gas it up, and pay someone to drive it, it can save you a lot of money on shipping costs in the long run. 

So, if you are running a multi-million-dollar company that ships products all over the world, this article is unlikely to help you. This article is written for the less affluent business owner who can’t afford to do things in the same way that giant companies do. 

If you are one of those people, the last thing you want to do is go out and buy a brand-new freightliner. This is not only too expensive, but also unnecessary. There are many companies out there that have used freightliner trucks for sale. But, as with any purchase, one should bear in mind the old Latin saying, “caveat emptor”. For those who don’t know, that means “let the buyer beware”. 

The first step is the obvious visual inspection. If there is anything really bad about the truck, it will probably be obvious even to someone who is not an expert. However, it takes an expert to see the small things. So, my first recommendation is to make sure you take a qualified mechanic with you when you evaluate a used truck. 

The most important thing by far is the engine. Without this, you go nowhere, and it is probably the most expensive part to replace. Your mechanic should be allowed to take a close look at the engine and inspect it thoroughly. If the dealer does not allow this, I would walk away. They should also allow you to inspect the interior of the cargo area. 

Another thing to inspect is the interior. Bear in mind that your employee will be sitting in this truck and practically living out of it for days or even weeks at a time. Furthermore, the interior will give you a good idea of how diligently this truck has been cared for. 

Don’t be squeamish about crawling under the truck to inspect the frame itself for damage. Remember that these parts are relatively close to the road, and are subject to all the harsh conditions thereof. A few little spots of rust are to be expected, but if you find a rust hole big enough to put your finger into, there might be cause for concern. 

Two other things that you must inspect are mileage and tire tread. Both of these will give you a fair idea of how much this truck has been used. Obviously, you don’t want to buy something that is approaching the end of its lifespan. 

Brakes are another key issue. The dealer should allow you a test drive so that you can get a feel for any problems that might exist. 

Bear in mind that a used vehicle often will have small problems. That’s why it is cheaper. But the important thing is evaluate the vehicle as a whole. Don’t pass up a good deal because of one small problem!


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