Top Tips for Buying a Used Truck

November 8, 2022

With costs rising your business may benefit from entering the used truck market. There are gems to be had, and a good choice is a cost effective choice. Given the fact a truck is a capital expense and rental costs heading towards the sky, whether you’re looking for American or European trucks for sale, providing you buy one in good condition, you should be good to go.

So what to check to make sure your Navistar International or Iveco Daily tippers are up to the job? Read on to find out.

Identify the Role of Your Truck

It is a good idea to do a little research and determine what exactly you want your truck to do. From here, you can determine what it needs to do and you can narrow down your search for certain makes and models. Imagine you’re buying a car. You know what you need it for, whether it is a luxury purchase or something more practical, you’ll have an idea in mind of what you want. It is the same with trucks.

So do your research and identify the type of truck you need.

Check the Dealer

Presumably, you’ll be buying from a dealer, so it is good practice to check the dealer’s reputation. Online reviews are one way to check the dealer and remember that any review that sounds too good or too bad is probably fake.

As well as online you can also contact the American Truck Dealers Association (ATD) which is part of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to make sure the dealer is legit.

If you’re based in Europe there will be similar bodies to investigate.

Service History

Ensure that the truck has been serviced and has been certificated for roadworthiness. If anything feels wrong here, trust your instincts and move on to another model.

Areas to concentrate on include oil changes, have they been done regularly? And the engine make where you need to ensure it does not have a history of malfunctioning.

Check the Exterior and Interior for Signs of Damage

Once you’ve checked the documentation and are happy move on to inspect the outside of the truck. Also, pay attention to the following areas:

  • Signs of rust – You want a vehicle as rust free as possible. Check to see if some rust has been painted over.
  • Windscreen & mirrors – Look for cracks and other signs of wear and tear.
  • Wheel rims and Tires – Check the tire tread depth and for any swellings or lumps on the tires and damage to the wheel rims.
  • Water and header tank – You’re looking for a truck where these are in good working condition.
  • Engine – if the injectors and components look too clean it could be because the oil has been removed to make it look more pristine. If the engine is warm on inspection, it could be because the vendor is trying to disguise a problem.
  • Check for oil leaks, check the sump, battery, and fuel tanks - If there is a problem with the engine it might be connected to various leaks and or the battery.
  • Start the engine – Any strange noises? If so could be one to avoid.

Test Drive

If you’re happy with everything so far take it for a test drive and don’t be afraid to ask questions of the dealer.



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