If you would like to add to the hauling capacity of your business, a box truck can make a good addition.
Unfortunately, box trucks don’t come cheap, and buying a new one may be out of reach for many. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider buying a used truck.
But before you choose to go with this option, you will need to carry out extensive research.
This is important as you will only be able to buy a quality truck if you understand what it takes to get one. Here is everything you need to know about buying a used box truck.
Benefits of used boxes trucks
There are several reasons why you should consider buying a used box truck. These include:
- Cost-saving. You can get the same model of your favorite truck at a cheaper price by choosing a used one.
- Lower rate of depreciation. When new units are driven a lot, they depreciate at a very fast rate as compared to the old trucks.
- Rolling billboard. You can use the box truck as a billboard where you advertise on its exterior.
Factors to consider before buying a used box truck
Before you buy a used truck, here are a few factors you need to consider. These are:
You will want to ensure that you get a truck that meets your need. This will help you determine the floor space, type of chassis, special modification, or if you will need a rear door. If you will haul perishables, you will want to consider a refrigerated or truck with freezer installed.
You will want to choose a box truck that is a good fit for more than just your deliveries. Consider how well it functions around the docking area and other facilities.
Be sure to choose a truck with the right size of wheels, type of rear door, and forklift package. This will ensure that the whole loading and unloading process is easy and safe.
Perform a historical check
Before getting into the small details of the condition and quality of the truck, you will want to have a background of the truck.
You should ask for the records on maintenance and oil change, accidental history, and if there have been any recent upgrades. Understanding the history of the truck can help save you money in the future.
Reason for selling
Understand why the owner is selling the box truck is very important as it can be an indication of whether you should expect any potential problems with the truck.
If the owner is selling the truck because they have decided to upgrade, then you are likely to get a good truck.
However, if there is something wrong with the truck, you need to be aware right off the bat so that you will not be inhering problems.
Once you have determined that the truck has no glaring problems that resulted in its sale, it’s time to carry out due diligence. You will want to check the maintenance record of the truck.
Was the previous owner doing regular tune-ups?
Were there certain parts that need to be replaced?
Are there parts that are due for replacement or upgrade especially the transmission and engine?
If there are parts that are wearing out and due for replacement, this could require a major investment.
But if there are major parts that have been replaced in the recent past, it could make a good investment decision buying the truck. By getting an idea of the overall history of the truck, you can decide if it’s worth the purchase.
To get a clear picture of the truck, you will want to consider its history. Has the truck been involved in accidents or collisions?
If it has an accident history, how extensive was the damage? Are there any parts that need to be replaced due to the damage? When you understand the accident history, you can prepare for potential damage in the future.
Track record of the engine
What is the engine model of the truck you are considering buying? Certain engine models have a history of regular problems.
Some engines tend to wear out after reaching a certain mileage. Ensure that you research the different engine models before you commit to buying the truck.
The mileage of the truck can be a good indicator of its truck. By checking the engine model, you can easily tell the age at which an engine rebuild will be necessary.
If you will be driving the truck for long distances, find one with low mileage. However, when checking the truck’s age and the engine, check if the mileage looks extremely low.
Avoid buying such a truck. Also, the truck can still be worth buying if it has been well taken care of despite its high mileage.
Things to check for in a truck
Before you buy the box truck, there are several mechanical issues you need to check. This is important as many potential problems come with buying a used vehicle. These are:
By looking at the tires, you can have an idea of how the previous owner treated the car. Check if the tires have tread.
Consider how many miles the tires have gone. When are those tires due for replacement? If they need to be changed soon, this can mean another upcoming investment when buying a truck.
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You should consider the kind of axle and its layout. Depending on the load that you will be carrying, different layouts can be good for different scenarios.
Will you be hauling cargo for long distances, and through a wide range of terrains? Will you be making shorter but more frequent trips? If you are unsure, you can seek the help of an expert in picking a good choice that will meet your need.
There are two types of transmission in box trucks. These are manual and automatic. The choice to pick will depend on your personal preference. Consider which of these two transmissions you will be comfortable with.
Horsepower and towing capacity
This is another key consideration. If you will be towing construction equipment such as excavators, you will need different horsepower than when doing long-distance commercial trailer towing. Therefore, find out the capacity of the truck to determine if it will meet your need.
Check the condition of the engine fluid by checking under the vehicle’s hood. Are there are rusts and deposits in the car’s radiator and heat core? Does the engine look like there is a brown or rust-like color in the coolant?
Engine surface and air filters. In case you see a lot of grease, oil, and trapped dirt on the filters, you can tell that the box truck hasn’t been well maintained.
You will want to consider the truck’s history of oil chance. Has this been done consistently through the lifetime of the truck? Check the inside of the car to see if there are any leaking grease or brake fluids.
Sludge and debris can harm the engine. You can recognize them with sticky and dirty oil. This is an indication that the truck badly needs an oil change.
You can check the oil change record to confirm this. If there are no records, you should be careful as this can be a sign of brewing trouble.
You should check if there are any signs of rust on the truck’s body. Check all areas of the body including the roof and the interior of the box truck. Look at the doorframes and other parts to see if there are any signs of structural rust.
Any rust can be an indication that the maintenance of the vehicle has been poor and the lifespan of the vehicle is low.
When checking the surface for rust, see if there are raised spots on the paint. If you notice ant patches particularly on the roof, this could be an indication of rust underneath.
Doors & window seals
Check if the doors and window seals are in good condition. If the seals are poorly maintained, water can easily into the truck. Faulty doors will compromise your safety and security.
Check if all the lights of the truck are working well. If there are any electrical problems on a truck, these can be serious. Fortunately, you can easily notice them in the truck light.
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What to do after finding a used truck to buy
On top of the mechanical checklist, there are a few things you need to do. These are:
Talk to an expert
If you are uncomfortable checking the quality and mechanical of the truck on your own, you can seek the help of a certified mechanic.
The professional will be in a better position to pinpoint something that you may have easily overlooked. They can also recommend the specification of the truck that meets your needs.
When you come across a good truck that meets your need, consider the long-term investment such as the ongoing costs, insurance, and other upgrades. Consider also the finance options and ensure that you plan.
Repairs and upgrades
Once you have determined the parts that need to be replaced, you will need a good supplier of parts. Ensure that you add the cost of spares to your total cost.
This will give you a clear picture of your complete budget. You will not be blindsided or unprepared for unforeseen expenses.
Consider the financing options
As you draw closer to finding a truck that you love, you will want to consider your financing options. Certain lenders have different criteria for their financing plans.
Some will not finance a used truck. Others will require an inspection to be done before the deal can be completed.
Choose a good insurance option
When shopping for a good truck, you will also need to find good insurance. The insurance rates usually differ depending on the insurance provider. Therefore, you should find an option that is within your budget.
Find out if the truck has a warranty as trucks often have an extended warranty as compared to other vehicles. If this is available, it can alleviate the financial burden that is often associated with buying a used truck.
Work with a reputable seller
Buying a truck is usually a big undertaking. There are lots of things to consider such as the operating status, quality, and history of the vehicle. Will all these factors to consider, it’s advisable to ensure that you only work with a reputable seller.
FAQs on buying used trucks
Here are some of the frequently asked questions in buying used trucks.
What is good mileage for a used truck?
Generally the lower the mileage of a used truck, the better. If you are going for a gas engine, find a truck that has a mileage of fewer than 100,000 miles. If it’s a diesel truck, a truck with less than 200,000 miles is good.
What truck models should I avoid?
Even though Dodge trucks are very popular, there are a few models that you should avoid as they have been proven to be prone to various mechanical issues. These are especially 2006 to 2007 and the 2012 to 2015 RAM 2500 and 3500.
What is the average lifespan of a box truck?
On average, the useful lifespan of a truck is usually 7 to 10 years. However, this depends on how well it is taken care of.
Buying a used truck can be more truck than buying a new one as you can fall into the hands of a poorly maintained truck. Fortunately, you can follow the above tips and tricks to ensure that you get a used box truck in good condition.
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