The Secret to Hassle-Free Used Truck & Equipment Sales

June 15, 2022
  • What are some reliable used truck brands?
  • What’s the used truck’s maintenance history?
  • Why is the used truck for sale?
  • Is the asking price too good to be true?
  • What are your financing options for a used truck?

Purchasing or financing a commercial truck is a huge investment. From compiling research on its specs to actually making a downpayment with a reputable dealer, it’s not a quick process. Purchasing a used truck or preowned piece of heavy equipment can significantly reduce the upfront cost of the asset. However, like purchasing less substantial used items, there are numerous aspects to be wary of.  Here are some key questions you should consider when you hunt for your next big rig. 

What are some Reliable Used Truck Brands?

Reliability is an attribute that’s synonymous with a number of used truck brands. Since the trucking industry is still transporting nearly 70% of goods in North America, it’s important that goods are delivered safely and reliably every time with few mishaps. 

What are some great name brands for used trucks? Freightliner is a big name in the commercial trucking industry. They are renowned for their Detroit Powertrain, which helps coordinate the engine, transmission and axels in an efficient and integrated manner. With over seven decades of experience and current R&D in hydrogen fuel cells to reduce emissions, a Freightliner is a solid choice.  International Trucks has been a quality name since 1902. With over one-third of the market share for Class 7 vehicles and improved aerodynamics for 2020 vehicles, International Trucks can be a desirable brand. 

Volvo owns a smaller market share in North America, but they’ve been steadily growing. Volvo is innovating with autonomous trucks and electric vehicles. Newer models will have telematics data to communicate with each other on the road, which could be valuable if you’re considering a fleet. Peterbilt is known for massive diesel-powered trucks. The company has been experimenting with sales of electric vehicles. The brand is a favorite for long-distance or over-the-road trucking, keeping drivers comfortable for extended periods of time with SmartAir. They’re also implementing remote diagnostics to keep drivers moving and safe on the road. 

Other honorable mentions include but are not limited to: Kenworth, Mack, Western Star and OTT. 

What’s the Used Truck’s Maintenance History? 

After selecting an interesting model and brand, taking a look at maintenance records will arm you with the information needed to make a purchase decision. If a seller cannot produce accurate records, it’s immediately a red flag. Like purchasing a home without a proper inspection, you’re missing key information and knowledge in regards to past vehicle problems and care. After obtaining a maintenance record, you’ll be able to gather insights of possible unforeseen expenses and damages to the used truck.

Why is the Used Truck for Sale?

Tying into the previous question about maintenance records, make sure to ask why the seller is parting with the used truck. Depending on the truck’s condition and the seller themselves, there may not be anything of note here. If you did some research into the brand, ask about some known maintenance issues and see how the seller answers the question. The owner may just be selling off their business assets or in need of a more modern upgrade, which shouldn’t raise the alarm. 

Is the Asking Price too Good to be True? 

Compared to other listings of used trucks, what’s the relative price for the desired make and model? This is where buyers’ intuition and instincts come into play. On the market, there are throw-away trucks, which are commercial trucks that have little to no resale value. Some truckers call these ‘disposable trucks’. This again ties into brand and company research because some manufacturers won’t be known for their longevity or reliability. Ask yourself if there are tons of used trucks of this particular make and model for a drastically low price? If yes, then buyer beware, this is not a good sign. 

What are your Financing Options for a Used Truck? 

Buying from a reputable dealer can save headaches from buying privately. Unless the individual is trusted and you know the maintenance history, it’s recommended to purchase a used truck from a dealer. 

There are several advantages of doing so. Namely, there are various methods of financing available to you. As a buyer, you can retain a large proportion of your cash while making simple and predictable payments. This way, you can allocate your resources for other business or personal expenses. You may not make the correct purchase decision the first time. Refunds and exchanges is a smoother process, as most dealers will work alongside you to find the correct used truck. Most dealerships also can include a short to mid-term warranty to help absorb the cost, unexpected breakdowns, parts and labour. Make sure to talk to the dealer openly about financing options, their refund policy and warranty packages available.