First Four Ways to Save When You Buy a Semi

Posted in: advice, Trucking News- Feb 28, 2014 No Comments

If you’re new to the industry, going into business for yourself, or just looking for an upgrade, don’t sign the papers on that local semi for sale until you consider these tips:

1Know what you want but focus on what you need. What are you hauling and where are you headed with that load? Answer these two questions before you start looking for your new truck. You’ll need a GVWR that complies with the regulations in your service area and a rig that won’t struggle to haul your maximum payload. It’s your job to go the distance, and you have to choose a truck that gets the job done on time.

2Follow the paper trail. If you’re considering used equipment, you need to know you’re making a good investment and not acquiring a money pit. Look for original paperwork, detailed service records and any receipts from repairs or upgrades. The records should be from reputable service providers and have identifiable information that corresponds to the truck you’re purchasing.

3Find the real deal from an experienced truck dealer. Good brokers don’t stay in business by passing off substandard merchandise at premium prices. They can buy wholesale and still have plenty of room after markup to give you a good price on a good truck. It’s a more reliable transaction than buying from an individual you don’t know, and it’s a lot more cost effective than paying regular retail.

4C-H-E-A-P spells expensive in the long run. Yes, you may save $8,000 on the front-end, but, if you haven’t done your due diligence, you could spend it all and more on repairs in the first year of operation. And every load you don’t deliver is the truck payment you may miss. So, study that paper trail. Has the same part been replaced over and over in the past year? Or does it have a new transmission and AC? If you’re getting a solid, dependable unit you can work with, you can afford to spend a little more to safeguard your professional reputation.