It is a good decision to purchase a used semi truck for your new business, as these trucks are very expensive. If you have never purchased this type of truck before, you may find it difficult to know what to look for when purchasing. To help you get started, below are two things you need to check before you make this purchase.
New semi truck tires may cost anywhere from $300 to $1,200 per tire. Depending on the type of semi truck you are purchasing, it may have up to 18 wheels, which means you can pay quite a bit for new tires.
Ask the owner how new the tires are and if they have had to recently replace any due to damage. Inspect each tire to ensure the belt or body-ply material is not exposed through the sidewall or tread. There should be no sidewall or tread separation or any type of cuts. Check the tread on the tires, which can tell you a lot about the age of them. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the tread depth for the steer tire must be 4/32 of an inch on every tread groove.
You need to check the surface of the semi truck for rust. Make sure you check it in full daylight to allow you to see better. You may also see rust under the surface of the truck so make sure you look under there. Run your hand over the surface and see if you feel any raised spots. If so, it is possible that rust is hiding beneath these spots. If you are not able to see well use a mirror to view the surface. If you do see rust spots on the truck, carefully scratch them. If you see paint after a few scratches, the rust is not deep yet, but if you do not see any paint this means the rust is much worse.
A lot of rust on a semi truck can be a safety issue, and depending on where the rust is, may make the truck unreliable. Seeing a lot of rust also tells you how well the truck has been taken care of by the owner.
Hire a mechanic to inspect the semi truck for you, as there are many more things you need to look for, such as the engine, transmission, brakes, and more. This will ensure you purchase a semi truck that will last you a long time.