A semi truck isn’t cheap so it’s important that you do your research before buying. Here are the main things you should check for when buying a semi truck.
Buying new is much easier as you won’t have as many doubts about what works and what doesn’t, but in a lot of cases people are choosing to buy used as it’s cheaper.
It’s best to buy from a reputable location such as an international truck dealer.
Check for surface rust
Always view the truck in the daylight. Conduct a thorough inspection of the bottom and underside of the truck so that you can see if there’s any rust and how bad it is. Sometimes surface rust is an indicator that there might be something worse underneath it.
Look out for defective tyres
Truck tyres can be expensive, you don’t want to have to replace your tyres having just spent most of your money on a truck.
Look out for cracks and splits in the tyres, particularly in the sidewalls. If you see any these can be a sign that the truck was overloaded or that the tyres have been underinflated for a while.
Spend some time checking over the engine. Ideally take a mechanic or a friend who knows what to look for. Run the engine for a good while and listen for odd noises or any smoke. If there’s smoke it could be a sign of an oil leak. Some oil leaks are easily fixable while others aren’t, if it’s leaking during the sale why hasn’t it been fixed? Chances are it could be an awkward and expensive repair.
Obviously you’ll want to test drive the truck. Don’t ever buy without a proper test drive that gives you time to test out all of the functions and controls on the truck. Pay special attention to the gearbox as those types of faults can be a pain to get fixed.
Is the truck pulling away as you expected? Does it feel underpowered? If the engine doesn’t feel right it could be a turbo or electrical problem, which you won’t want to have to pay for! An international truck dealer will be able to give you a test drive.
The oil is the lifeblood of the engine and if it isn’t changed and flushed through regularly then it can damage the engine. Diesel engines need regular oil changes to keep them in tip top condition. When was the oil last changed?
Check the oil level and open up the oil filler cap to see what the oil condition is like. If it is extremely black chances are it hasn’t been changed in a while or wasn’t flushed properly. As oil gets older and is used more it turns very black. Ideally it should be a very dark translucent brown.
Has the truck been in an accident? This could affect the safety of the truck and potentially lower it’s value. Any accident repairs should be properly logged and the seller should tell you if there have been any repairs. Do an HPI check just to be sure.