At one point in your life, you are going to find yourself in need of a truck. It could be because you need some heavy lifting or you need the extra space it affords so you can get the entire family to a camp or out in the countryside. Either way, a truck is hardy and versatile, making it a very useful resource to have. What’s more, the easy maintenance demand of a truck means ownership is less likely to cause a dent in your savings.
The only financial issue that may arise would be when you want to make the purchase. By going for a used model you can save at least half the price you would have spent on a new truck. In a way, this is actually a good thing as it saves you from making an error in judgment based on the hype and biased reviews which typically follows new models. When you buy a used model, you have access to honest reviews by previous owners of the model. Also, the money saved from opting for a used model can be of help when going for higher trim models or can be used to customize the truck according to the buyer’s needs. Before you make the purchase there are a couple of things that you must put into consideration, this would assist you to make a more informed decision;
Ascertain the condition of the vehicle from the previous owner:
Before you buy a used truck it is important that you have a good idea of how it was used by the previous owner. This would help you to understand the condition of the truck. Basically, you want to know if the truck had been used for personal or for commercial purposes.
Generally, trucks which were previously used by individuals would not do as much heavy lifting compared to commercially-used trucks which must have done a good amount of hauling and towing. Conversely, trucks which are owned by individuals are less likely to have been properly maintained compared to commercial-use trucks which most likely would have been maintained properly for optimum performance.
So, if it is possible, have a conversation with the prior owner to ascertain the way the truck had been used in the past. This would give you a fair idea of what to be on the lookout for when inspecting.
History of repair and maintenance:
Quite often, it is impossible to find and converse with the previous owners of the truck, particularly when you are buying at a dealership. The second best thing to do to get a good idea of the truck history is to get the truck maintenance and repair report. This report will help you to know if the truck was properly maintained in the past, the truck’s overall condition, and what is left by way of miles in the truck.
If you don’t have access to the maintenance history, you can visit a website like CarProof to check major accidents or repairs that involve the vehicle. You could also make use of a third-party inspection by asking your mechanic to assess the condition of the truck.
The integrity of the bed and towing hitch:
The bed and towing hitch of a truck are the areas that can give you the best idea of the type of life a truck has endured. Intense use of the bed and hitch are an indication that the truck has had a pretty tough life. You should inspect the truck’s bed for signs of corrosion and rust or heavy dings or scratches. These are indications that the truck has been used heavily but it has not properly cared for. You may also be on the lookout for indications of recent painting, this is often done to shield vital structural damage or flaw.
The condition of the towing hitch would also give you a good idea of how the truck had been used. Is the hitch scratched or heavily worn?
It is important to know the extent of towing a truck has been engaged in and this cannot be accurately confirmed by checking the mileage. This is because the mechanical system of a truck which has traveled 200,000km while hauling light cargo will be in a more favorable condition than one which has traveled just 100,00 kilometers hauling an RV or a trailer.
Evidence of intense off-road use:
Although trucks are built for on and off-road activities, it is quite important not to buy a used truck that has seen too many off-road actions. This is because an extreme off-road activity is very demanding on the structural and mechanical systems of trucks.
Some of the evidence of intense off-road activities that you must be observant of includes dings on the truck’s underside and deep scratches on the truck and unusually bent parts. The consequences of this is that it leads to intense wear on the transmission, chassis, and/or suspension of the truck.
The condition of the frame:
The frame is an essential part of the truck, it is on it that the truck is basically built. It is what links the body of the truck to its mechanical components. Therefore, you must be on the lookout for a truck with good frame.
A truck with a bent frame is bad news, it could mean that the truck has been in some serious accident or has been used for some heavy duty tasks such as pulling heavy trailers.
Searching for a used truck to buy can seem daunting, it may seem impossible to find a truck that is of high quality and would be a good investment for many years. But when you are armed with the right information, the possibility of making the right choice is far higher.