Buying a new dump truck is a straightforward task; the only thing buyers need to know is the right specifications and then go find a dealer for that desired truck. Actually, buying used equipment requires a much more cautious attitude because unlike new vehicles, it is difficult to tell at first glance about the quality and reliability of a used dump truck. Buyers must rely on instinct and knowledge to ensure that the purchased truck is worth the investment.
Possessing a “buyer’s instinct” can be developed over a period of time and after a few purchases. In all honesty, not every buyer knows as much as they should about these vehicles, which makes buying one a difficult task for many people. The following are some helpful tips when shopping for a used dump truck.
- Reputable Dealer – The thing that should be at the top of every buyer’s mind is to find a reputable dealer. In any type of industry, there are a few dealers who may not be totally honest and such a trait can be very difficult to detect. To avoid buying a poor quality vehicle, the wisest choice is to buy from a dealer who has been in the business a long time and has good client reviews. The Better Business Bureau is a great resource for consumers to learn about any dealer.
- Obvious Signs – There are obvious signs that can indicate that a used truck may not be all that it appears to be. One immediate indicator is a ridiculously low price. A used dump truck is priced according to its condition; in most cases, an inexpensive one can mean poor quality. The odometer reading is also a good indicator of a truck’s condition. Ones that have a mileage reading of 300,000 miles or more most likely indicates that the vehicle may only have a small amount of service life remaining.
- Supporting Documentation – Sellers can easily make claims about the condition of a truck and if the claims are true, they should be able to show a buyer the truck’s maintenance record to back up this statement. These records document every repair that has been made to the vehicle as well as maintenance that has been performed by the previous owner. It should be determined that maintenance has been done according to the manufacturer’s recommendation and that no major repairs have been done to the vehicle, as that could indicate involvement in a major accident.
- Inspect the Vehicle – Checking the maintenance records is one thing; seeing the actual truck’s performance is another matter. How the truck appears during a visual examination is a good indication of its condition. It certainly looks good when a truck has received a fresh coat of paint and the interior has been cleaned; what is more important is a well-running vehicle. A mechanic can provide the most reliable opinion regarding the vehicle’s actual condition.
- Test Drive – Confirm a truck’s condition through a test drive. Any hidden problems with the vehicle should show up during such a test run. Lift the dump bed to see if any there are any defects that may be lying underneath its mechanism. A post-inspection should also be done after the test drive, as problems such as leaks, excessive heat, and unusual engine noises will be more evident at that point.
- Warranty – After all is said and done, the last thing that every buyer should secure is a warranty. Most dealers will not hesitate to provide a thirty-day or 3,000 mile warranty which is a clear sign that they back the vehicles that they sell. A warranty will protect the buyer from expensive repairs in case the equipment does encounter a problem.
Buying a used dump truck is often a much better alternative than one that is new, very expensive, and immediately depreciable in value. The most important aspect to remember when buying any used truck is to take the time to learn about the vehicle and be sure it is in good condition. Take an investigative approach about such a purchase and don’t be fooled when buying one!