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7 Tips For Inspecting A Semi Truck Before Purchase

by Cherly Fowler

Although an used semi truck is less expensive than a new one, it is still a pricey investment. To ensure you get your money's worth, it is important that you do a complete and thorough inspection of the truck you are considering. Here are some tips for conducting the inspection before purchase. 

  1. Check the records. Your inspection does not necessarily need to start with the truck itself. You should start with its records. Ask the dealer for maintenance logs and records of repairs. The records can help you determine how well the truck has been cared for and how much more time is left in it. 
  2. Visually inspect the body panels. Every opening and body panel need to fit together well. Look for signs of corrosion. If you suspect that a panel is not composed of metal, use a magnet. If it is plastic, the magnet will not stick.
  3. Avoid modifications. A well-done modification can add to the value of a semi truck. However, a poorly completed modification can lead to problems with the truck. Ask for information about the modifications, who did them, and when they were done. 
  4. Inspect the coolant. The coolant does more than keep the truck from overheating. It can help you determine whether or not you are making a sound investment. If the coolant is any color but green, there is a chance it overheats. 
  5. Listen to the truck. Sounds from the truck can help determine how well the engine functions. If you hear knocks or thuds when you crank the truck, there is a chance that there is an issue, such as a bad crankshaft.
  6. Drain the air tanks. As a trucker, you know the important role that air tanks play. Problems with the tank could lead the truck to be out of control. Drain the tanks and look for signs of moisture. If there is moisture, the tanks could be damaged.
  7. Test drive the truck. Driving the truck gives you an idea of how well the transmission works. Drive a few miles and then shut off the truck. Wait a minute and then restart the truck. If the truck seems to hesitate when you attempt to shift it into gear, there might be some transmission problems. 

There are other aspects of a semi truck you need to consider before making an inspection. Work with a dealer you trust (such as Arrow Truck Sales) and have the vehicle professionally inspected to ensure you get the best deal.