Purchasing any used truck to add to your fleet is a major investment. The last thing any company wants to do is make a large purchase of numerous used vehicles only to end up wasting time and money on repairs and increased downtime. What types of things do you need to consider when making your next used truck purchase?
Any reputable company or seller should be able to provide you with detailed maintenance and repair records. Has the truck been in any accidents before? How often was preventative maintenance performed? Are there long gaps in maintenance that don’t have a logical explanation? What major repairs have been done over the years? Are there repairs that will need to be made soon after you take possession of the commercial vehicle?
If the seller is reluctant to answer any of your questions or provide you with maintenance records, it’s a sign that you should look elsewhere. Additionally, ask whether or not the truck has been serviced recently. It can cost a few hundred dollars to have new filters and oil placed once you take possession of the truck, so having it done ahead of time can save you money.
Know Your Engines
Next, the engine in the truck makes a big difference in terms of how the vehicle performs and how much it can haul. How are you going to be using the vehicle? What types of loads will be carried? Do your research on the type of engine, as well as the make and model. Aside from telling you whether or not the truck is suited to your needs, this will give you an idea of how challenging it will be to obtain parts in the future when repairs are needed.
Check the Mileage
Aside from examining the total mileage on the engine, you should also inquire about idle time. If the engine has a surprisingly low amount of mileage but has experienced a great deal of idle time, it could have similar wear and tear when compared to an engine with much higher mileage. This can particularly come into play in trucks that are heavily used in major metropolitan areas where heavy traffic is common.
Look Under the Hood
There are many things that you can learn from the exterior of a truck, including whether or not there is damage from past accidents and whether or not exterior maintenance has been performed. Some of the most critical exterior things you should consider include what the wheels are made of, the age of the tires, door and window seals, and signs of rust on the frame.
However, what’s underneath the hood can be even more important. What types of things should you examine?
- Engine oil, which can show you how often the oil is being changed and whether or not the truck has adhered to a good oil change schedule in the past
- Engine coolant, which provides you with a glimpse at how well the truck has been maintained and whether or not there could be damage or rust present in the radiator, heater core, or engine
- Air filter, which is another simple indicator of vehicle maintenance
- Engine surface, which should not be covered in grime and grease
Buy from a Trustworthy Source
Whether you’re purchasing a handful of vehicles to add to your existing fleet or looking to start a new fleet from scratch, working with the right company is critical. Any company that you are purchasing from should be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with any information you might need, including maintenance records and vehicle history reports.
Looking to grow your fleet in 2023? Let Efficiency help you through the whole process as your fleet management partner. Contact us today to learn more.