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How to Buy a Semi Truck and Get Your Money’s Worth

When you step onto a lot to buy a semi-truck, what do you look for? Maybe there’s a certain brand you prefer or a few specifications you want, but what about everything else on that truck? Ignoring minor flaws can lead to big problems down the road, and choosing the wrong truck can be an investment you don’t want to be making. How can you make the right choice when thinking about how to buy a semi-truck? We’ve compiled all of the information you need to get the most of your money before you dive into your next semi-truck purchase.

What do I need to know?

Before you even begin to seek out semi-trucks, you should start with several important questions:
  • What are you using the truck for?You should have an idea of the purpose of your truck before buying. Are you going to be taking this truck across the country with heavy loads or only working a regional route with lighter loads? Are you going to buy a new or used semi-truck? This can impact factors you would want in a truck.
  • What is my budget/price range? The last thing you want is to fall in love with a certain truck only to find out it’s outside of your price range. By establishing a budget or price range early on you can prevent yourself from paying more for a truck than you want to.
  • Where are you looking? There are several options for buying a semi-truck, including buying from someone else or buying from a dealer. Buying from a dealer may mean more options available, whereas buying from another person may be more convenient for you.

What should I look for?

Once you’re in front of a truck, you should be asking for several key pieces of information. First, ask for information regarding the history of the truck:
  • Why is this truck for sale?
  • How often did the truck have oil changes?
  • Has the truck been in any accidents?
  • Does anything currently need to be replaced?
  • Has the truck had any major issues?
  • Do you have any documents listing the owners of this truck?
Once you’ve established the history of the truck, it’s important to get down to the more nitty-gritty of the truck’s technical issues. Examine the truck and ask yourself these questions:
  • Is there any rust on the body of the truck?
  • Are there any cracks on the tires?
  • Does the engine smoke or make any strange noises?
  • Are the brakes fully functional?
  • Will the axle properly support your load?
  • Are the truck seats in good condition?
  • Do all of the lights work?

What are my next steps?

Once you’ve settled on a truck, the process isn’t over yet. Before making the commitment to purchase, ask any possible last-minute questions you may have. No matter how minor you think a concern is, it’s a concern you take on when you purchase a semi-truck. You also want to prepare for any costs that will come after you purchase the truck. This can include any replacement parts that may be needed down the road or work that may need to be done. Also investigate how much insurance is going to cost you prior to the purchase as this could be a key influencer in your decision as well. You may find a truck that matches all of your specifications, but it may not be the truck that works best for you. There might be problems with the truck you aren’t willing to pay for, insuring the truck may be too costly, or the semi-truck may not be built to deal with the loads you carry. If this is the case, understand you may have to walk away from the purchase to find the truck that is best suited for you. Do you know the specifications you want for your next truck? Contact us at Pedigree. With our large inventory including trucks from brands like Freightliner, we can make sure we match you with a quality used semi-truck that matches all of your needs and wants.