How To Purchase Used Trucks

Photo: IsuzuPhoto: Isuzu

When it comes to buying a used truck, landscapers need to know there’s more to look for than just a working engine.

According to our sister site, Hard Working Trucks, doing the homework when it comes to buying a used truck is essential.

Bob Glenn, director of remarketing at Penske Truck leasing, says the savings can be between $40,000 and $50,000 between new and used medium-duty trucks.

When buying a used vehicle, landscapers always have the fear of having to do never-ending maintenance.

Glenn says the healthy lifespan of modern, medium-duty trucks can get up to approximately 350,000 miles.

Glenn offers the following tips as a guide for used truck purchases:

Determine which truck fits. Understand the application: City driving, highway or even some off-road? Conventional vs. cabover? Are you running dock-to-dock, or do you need a lift gate? A good truck reseller should help match your needs with the appropriate equipment. Large resellers will likely have more variety to chose from, or even a group of trucks spec’d alike if you’re shopping for multiple units.

Comparison shop. Determine the price range and decide if the truck you need is within your budget. Can you afford the capital outlay, or will you need financing?

“If you need financing, I would stop the search at that point and find out how much you can get financed for,” Glenn says. “You may have aspirations of buying a truck for $30,000, only to find out you’re approved for $20,000. If that’s the case, you’re going to have change the truck spec.”

Of course, the Internet can be a very handy tool in any search.

Narrow the search. Do you have a mileage maximum, or a model year preference? Do you need a truck that meets recent emissions standards, or would you prefer an older model with a less complex exhaust system?

“There’s no question there’s a movement eastward right now of equipment that does not meet California standards,” Glenn notes.

Once you’ve selected your vehicle, inspect it. Make sure it shapes up as advertised. Do the research. Ask for ownership and maintenance records, and find out how the truck was used. Was the truck ever involved in an accident or a flood? 

Seriously consider extended warranties. Make sure you’re protected.

“I certainly would encourage anyone who’s purchasing a vehicle to go ahead and secure that type of insurance,” Glenn says. “Be careful you’re not being oversold on what that warranty will cover, but it’s a wise investment. You certainly want to have some peace of mind. Again, do your research.” Similarly, make sure there’s an original equipment dealer and service network where you’re located.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover