red semi-truck driving on a road during sunset

Everything You Need to Know When Buying Semi Trucks

There may be several reasons why you may want to buy your own semi truck. For some, this kind of vehicle is perfect in carrying and delivering the goods and materials that they need for their business. For others, a semi truck is the perfect vehicle to transport massive and heavy objects. 

Regardless of the reason why you are pondering on buying a semi truck, below are some of the things that you should know.

Different Types of Semi Trucks

Day Cab

Day cab semi trucks are ideal for quick hauls that can be accomplished in a day because of their compact design. But because these vehicles are smaller, they also have less room for the drivers in the cab and in general, lesser axles. This also means that you need to sacrifice some of the basic amenities like insulation. But the great news is that a day cab carries a cheaper price tag.

Sleeper

A sleeper is a semi truck that is designed for a long haul. More often than not, they are equipped with a kitchen area, a bathroom, a bedroom, and even a walking space. Because of these amenities, you can expect these sleepers to also carry a more expensive price tag compared to a day cab.

Semi trucks can also be categorized into two, based on its front design. One is the slope-nosed truck which is shorter and rounder, while another is the conventional nosed-truck that has a traditional hood length. In terms of the roof, semi trucks can be categorized as mid-roof which is lowered for a more aerodynamic design, as well as a raised roof that boasts of more storage space.

Semi Truck Limits

Weight. To be able to travel on a highway, a semi truck must not weigh more than 80000 pounds. 

Length. A semi truck with a single semi-trailer can have a length of 48 feet, while a semi truck with a couple of semi-trailers connected together can have a length of 28 feet. 

Width. The maximum width acceptable for a semi truck is 102 inches.

What You Need to Think About When Buying a Semi Truck

General Considerations

One of the general considerations that you need to list down when buying a semi truck is whether you would go for a new one or a used truck. A new truck comes with a warranty, but it can be expensive. On the other hand, a used truck can be cheaper, but you need to gamble when it comes to its gears. 

Another thing that you need to consider is the type of hauling that you intend to perform. This will dictate the right specifications of the truck that you need. For instance, you may not need a double frame in case you will be hauling general freight. In addition to this, you won’t find the need for an overpowered engine if your payload capacity won’t necessarily go over, or even reach 80,000 pounds.

Technical Specifications

In terms of the technical specifications, you need to determine the number of axles that you need based on the type of haul that you will be carrying. The more axles that your semi truck possesses, the more weight you will be able to carry. But the drawback of more axles is that it can be more difficult to maneuver the truck, and the cost increases as well.

Apart from the number of axles, you also need to consider the horsepower and capacity. A heavier haul entails the need for more horsepower. In terms of capacity, choose a semi truck that has enough room to carry your haul.

Features

Aside from the general and technical considerations, you also need to think about some of the optional features that you want your semi truck to have. For one, consider fairings, which are the metal or plastic fixtures that increase the efficiency of the truck by reducing its drag. There are also semi-trucks that come with side skirts that keep wind resistance at a minimum, thereby speeding up the truck or those that come with mud flaps that can increase fuel efficiency.

Wider tires can also improve your ride while lightweight wheels can take some of the strain off your axles. The latter will allow you to transport heavier loads. In addition to this, tires with low roll resistance will help you reduce your fuel consumption. Digital sensors can also help you control the transmission to yield better mileage.

Financing and Leasing

You have the option of paying for the cost of a semi truck on the upfront. However, you may find that financing or leasing can be more manageable. For some, this is a more practical way of getting the truck that they need because all they have to do is to earn the money they need to make monthly payments for their loan. The key is in thinking about your current financial situation to come up with a better decision on your financing option.

What to Check in a Used Semi Truck 

In case you are going for a used truck, there are several other things that you need to check and think about. One of these is the maintenance logs of the truck for you to have a clear picture of how well it was maintained. Additionally, also check for rust as well as loose seals in the windows and doors. The former will put your payload at risk while the latter will slow you down on the road.

Final Word

In buying a semi truck, make sure to exert the extra effort to learn about the different types of this kind of vehicle. It is also a good idea to explore its various limits in terms of its weight, length, and width. 

Aside from this, you also need to think about the general considerations, as well as the technical specifications of the truck. Also, consider the features and your financing options when it comes to buying a semi truck.