Whether your company plans to deliver large numbers of goods locally or across state lines, you may be in a position where you need to purchase a semi-truck. Because of budget limitations, you may decide to buy a used one online.
Once you narrow down your choices and are ready to see the truck in person, you may be wondering what areas you need to look at when trying to determine the overall condition of the truck. If so, use the tips below while performing your inspection.
1. Check the Truck's Body for Rust and Damage
One area you should pay attention to when looking over a used semi that you are thinking about buying is the body. This includes checking the condition of the body panels and looking for signs of damage on the frame.
Unlike a regular-sized vehicle, a semi's body is under an extreme amount of strain, especially when it is hauling a full load in the trailer. If the frame or panels have excessive cracks or are bent, the damage can cause sudden warping while you're driving. This, in turn, can cause uneven hauling, which could lead to unexpected shifts that could cause the trailer to tip.
Also, look for any rust on the body. While a small dot or two are not a cause of concern, excess oxidation means that the truck's structural integrity is likely compromised.
2. Start the Truck and Observe the Exhaust Smoke's Color
Another thing that you should look at before buying a used semi is the color of the smoke coming out of the stacks. The color can give you an idea of what is going on with the diesel engine.
Normally, the smoke should be light gray in color. You may see a puff of black smoke when the engine first starts, but this should dissipate fairly quickly.
However, if the smoke stays black, there may be an oil leak in the engine. Or, the engine may not be burning the fuel correctly. Either way, consistent black smoke indicates a problem with the engine.
Taking the time to check the body for rust and damage and observing the color of the exhaust smoke can help give you an idea of the truck's overall condition. For further assistance with choosing and purchasing a used semi for your business, speak with a representative with a company that offers pre-owned commercial trucks for sale online, like Arrow Truck Sales.