In everyone’s life there comes a time when they need to buy a used truck. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve never bought a used truck before. This is a serious problem, because without a point of reference in one’s life to look back on, it is difficult to make these sorts of decisions. But you have to buy a used truck, and you have to make these decisions now. So I have done the relevant research, and compiled a brief list of important tips for buying used trucks. A used truck buying guide, if you will. Hopefully you will find it as helpful as I found writing it was enjoyable.
Who buys old trucks? Plenty of people! Buying a second hand truck is not unlike buying a second hand car. So do what you would do in that situation and check that oil. The engine’s general health correlates with the condition of the oil. Make sure it is clean looking. See that it doesn’t have any contaminants or bits and pieces of anything other than clean oil. Ask the owner if they have maintained the truck well by conducting tests for contaminants in the oil.
Rust is the scourge of all automobiles. It destroys metal, literally, via the process of oxidation. So make sure the truck you are looking at doesn’t have any. Especially structural rust. You don’t want your purchase falling apart on you, forcing you to sell it to the local scrap truck buyers.
Make sure the seller has all the relevant documentation from all the times the truck has been serviced. This will make the life of the truck up to this point transparent. You will know what has gone wrong in the past, and therefore know what to expect in the future. This could be certain parts that seem to be needing regular replacements, or emerging patterns in particular problems that are causing breakdowns. All of this information is indispensable when looking into purchasing any specific used vehicle of any kind, but especially when you want to buy a truck.
If you have just purchased the second hand truck of your dreams, and you have discovered that there are no places to buy the parts you will need if need be, you will be in need of serious counseling for a few years to treat the emotional trauma. You will have to sell the truck to a scrap yard. Hunt down a couple of places where you will easily be able to purchase parts that can be used in your specific make of truck, and save yourself a lot of grief!
There are some fairly dishonest people in this world who want to pull the wool over the eyes of all the law abiding citizens like you and me. And tampering with odometers is one way of doing this. Mostly we only hear of this being done to cars, but they do when they sell trucks for cash too. If the truck is an early model, the pedals look worn and the clock has a number on it that looks a little low, it probably is too low. Beware!