The Four Key Things You Must Check When Buying A Used Truck

Automotive Articles

If you're the proud owner of a successful haulage firm, or a startup aspiring to be one, you have to know how to source a great deal. Trucks aren't cheap, so if you're scouring the market for a new vehicle, it's best to opt for second-hand. These trucks will have depreciated in price greatly, but if they've had a good owner they should still run as smoothly as ever. Here's how to tell the difference between a real road monster and a monster headache: 

1) The Exterior's Condition You don't want your company's logo plastered across the back of a mobile junkyard, so checking the exterior's general aesthetics is the best place to start. It may seem like common sense, but there are a few things in particular you should look out for: 

  • Inspect the entire truck's body for waves in the paintwork and/or on the front grill. Usually, this means the lorry has had a nasty accident. Although this can be tidied up, it may suggest the previous owner didn't take care of the vehicle. 
  • Check underneath each wheel for signs of rust. Rust is extremely common in vehicles of this size; however, excessive degradation can be an expensive repair given the wheel's size. 
  • Make sure there are no signs of damage on the truck's trailer. For safety purposes, you have to fully inspect this area to ensure your truck can carry its haul without the need for extra reinforcement. 

2) Make Sure the Suspension is in Tip-Top Condition

Considering the amount of pressure you'll be putting your truck under, you have to ensure the suspension in the vehicle is working properly. Not only will faulty suspension make your driver's job a nightmare (think healthy and safety audits!), but your haulage could easily be damaged if the suspension isn't up to scratch. 

Another thing worth considering is how easily you can source spare parts for the suspension. As mentioned, you'll be putting some serious stress on your truck so you don't want to be forking out for costly repairs every other month. A little bit of planning now will save you a lot of dollars down the road! 

3) Check the Interior

You or your employee is a pilot whilst in the truck, so you have to make sure the cabin is in ample condition for hitting the open road. This doesn't mean your cockpit has to look like a mobile home; however, you have to make sure the space is in good condition and isn't showing any obvious signs of ageing. A few things to look out for are:

  • Damage to upholstery (rips, tears etc.).
  • Scratches/stains on dashboard.
  • Check that all of the electrics are in working order and the appropriate warning lights are functioning as intended.

4) Check the Oil

Checking the oil of your new purchase is a great way gauge how it has been driven. You may think it doesn't matter too much whether or not the oil is full, as you top it up yourself. However, if your truck has been driven a significant distance on a low fuel supply, then your engine is at risk of seizing. Additionally, the quality of your truck's oil is vitally important — when you check the filter it should contain a golden brown color of oil as opposed to jet black. 

Adding a new vehicle to your fleet or purchasing your first truck is an exciting time. However, it's important to keep your head whilst shopping around. If you're uncertain about how to check a used vehicle, you should source a local mechanic who can carry out the inspection on your behalf. This may cost a few extra dollars, but it's worth it to ensure your new truck is fighting fit. 

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7 January 2015

Climbing the Mountain with a New Set of Brakes

Every year, my husband and I vacation for a few days at a mountain resort. This year, we encountered numerous obstacles that might have prevented us from enjoying this special time together. My spouse’s father needed surgery. I suffered an unexpected brief illness as well. When we were finally ready to go on our trip, my husband took our car for a tune-up. The mechanic informed us that we needed a new set of brakes. Without them, we might end up in danger while driving up and down steep mountains. Thankfully, our brakes were replaced and we enjoyed our time away from home. On this blog, you will learn why it’s important to check your brakes before taking a long trip in your vehicle. Drive safe!