If you run a small- or medium-sized business (SMB), you might cut corners here and there to save money. One common thing SMB business owners do is to buy used semi-trucks instead of new ones for their fleet. Although nothing is wrong with doing this, you should take the process of buying a used truck cautiously. After all, the safety of your drivers relies on that.
Here are several tips to help make sure that the truck you’re looking into is actually safe.
Inspect & Test Drive the Rig
If you’re investing in a semi-truck, then your business most likely relies on your fleet to keep the company running — in terms of shipping out and retrieving product or transporting certain equipment.
Because of how much you will be relying on the truck you’re looking at, it’s critical that you check it out in person and test drive it before purchasing. If the truck isn’t local and you can’t check it out yourself, send a trusted driver to do so.
While inspecting the truck, make sure to look at and test everything. Listen to the engine. Is it making noises that it shouldn’t? Test how the brakes work at different speeds. Do you hear any squealing? Look for rust and significant damage that could compromise its use. Can any of the damage be easily fixed without much cost?
Take a good look at the tires for any deformities or uneven tire wear. Are you willing to replace all of the tires on the truck (the typical semi-truck has 18 wheels)?
You have many things to consider when buying a used truck for your business. However, it’s important to pay attention to every single detail. Otherwise, a negligent purchase could result in a catastrophic accident.
Have a Third-Party Mechanic Inspect the Vehicle
Although the person or company that you’re buying the truck from might have paperwork guaranteeing that the truck is in good condition, find out for yourself. Hire a mechanic who has no dealings with the seller to inspect the truck. Trust their judgment. The mechanic should be able to help assure you whether or not the truck is safe to buy.
If they say that the brakes need replacing, for example, negotiate with the seller and have them get the truck’s brake service done — or, at the very least, knock down the price because of it — before you buy the vehicle. If the seller isn’t willing to negotiate with you on repairs or you think that paying for the repairs yourself would be too costly, it might be best to walk away and start looking at other trucks.
Replace Any Worn-Out Parts ASAP
If you end up buying a used semi-truck that has worn out parts, don’t take too long to have them replaced after you purchase the vehicle. You don’t want your drivers driving a truck that has wheels that could go out at any moment — this could be dangerous to them and drivers around them on the road.
Unless you’re a professional mechanic, don’t try to install the replacement parts yourself. Get a certified mechanic who has experience working on semi-trucks. Also, ask about the brands of the parts that they’re replacing the worn-out ones with. This will give you and your drivers more assurance that the vehicle is safe to drive.
As you go about the buying process, be cautious. You can never be too careful. If you end up needing to have your rig’s brakes replaced, look no further than Godfrey Brake Service & Supply. We will work to ensure that your truck is on the road and running safely in no time.