Becoming an owner-operator is an exciting transition, but it can be costly. Buying a used semi helps keep your spending in check. As with any used vehicle, though, you need to check out the semi thoroughly. In addition to the normal stuff like mileage and maintenance records, here are some items you should check on each semi you are considering.
The Sleeping Compartment
If you're looking at a semi with a sleeping compartment, inspect the storage, the refrigerator (if the compartment has a mini fridge), the amount of power available, the lighting type, and so on. You can change light bulbs, but if the fixture itself doesn't let out much light, you'll have to take into consideration the cost of using brighter lights that draw more power. If the mattress on the bed is old, you'll have to take the cost of a new mattress into account. Think ahead about what you would need to do to the sleeping compartment to turn it into someplace that you'd actually want to be in.
Room for One or Two
Related to the sleeping compartment is the amount of room in the cab and compartment. If you're going to be traveling with your spouse, is there enough room for two people to move around in the cab, or would you have to stop the semi and get out so that the other person could retrieve something?
Trucks are made to haul a variety of items, but you must get a truck that will perform best when you're hauling what you plan to take most of the time. It's nice to have a very powerful truck that can climb through the Rockies, but if you're going to spend your time hauling items around the southeastern United States, you might not want to pay extra for all that power.
You've checked the maintenance records and the mileage; now, do you know what was previously hauled in the truck? Do you know if there are liens you'll have to deal with (this shouldn't be a problem if you're buying from a dealership)? You don't want to buy a truck to haul food, for example, if it turns out the truck was last used to haul corrosive chemicals. Try to find out as much about the truck's past as you can.
If you buy a truck from a dealership, though, a lot of these issues won't be problems because the dealer would have fixed up the truck and cleared any legal issues. They're still good to know about, though, so you have a better idea of what you'll be driving.
Learn more by contacting companies like Arrow Truck Sales.