You may have worked with a trucking company for a few years and have decided you want to buy your own semi truck and become a broker. New owner/operators need to think about what to look for when buying their first truck and most often opt for a used vehicle. Here are some tips on what to look for when buying a used semi truck.

Axles and Horsepower

Depending on the type of hauling you will be doing, you need to choose a truck with the right axle configuration. For example, if you are driving long-haul through hills, then a truck with the capacity to make those hills is in order such as a 6x4 configuration. Also, check the horsepower of the truck's engine. If you are pulling heavier weights, you are going to want an engine capable of going the distance.

Engine and Oil

Like with a car, check the engine as carefully as possible. Always look for signs of leaks and any damage to vital parts. Turn the truck on and let it run for a while and look for signs of either blue or white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. This could indicate that the truck is burning oil. While you are checking the engine, listen for sounds like knocking coming from it. Finally, check the emissions sticker to ensure it meets the standards for your state.

You also need to check the oil, not only the levels but the condition of the oil itself. Look for any signs of contamination within the oil to ensure the truck has been well maintained.

Truck Body and Cab

Take a walk around the truck and check out the body and connectors for any sign of damage or of repairs to be completed. Look inside the cab itself and look for wear of the seats, look at the odometer for the mileage and ensure all lights and signals are in working order. When you are doing your inspection of the truck body, look for rust and if there is some, how bad is it? There are times that rust will not prove too big of an issue and there are others when it could seriously harm the structure of the vehicle.


It is very important to check the brakes and brake pads on a semi truck before buying it. There are usually maintenance logs for commercial vehicles and the last time the brakes were fixed or changed should be included. You should inspect the brake pads for any sign of wear and consider replacing them if you deem them too worn for the truck to operate safely.

For used semi trucks for sale, contact a company such as Arrow Truck Sales.