Choosing the right semi-truck trailer is very important for the trucker’s safety. Your main consideration when going for a secondhand trailer may be saving cost.

However, your safety as a trucker is important. People sell their semi tractor trailer for different reasons. If you are not careful, you may buy a non-functional trailer.

When a low boy trailer develops mechanical problems, the next thing the owner thinks of is to sell it. You must do your background check when looking for heavy equipment transport solutions.

It helps to buy trailers from established dealers. You can go back to the dealer and ask question if the trailer develops problems. Here are some tips to help you pick the right commercial truck trailer for your business.

  • Consider the capacity

trailers load capability

The capacity of the trailer should meet the transport needs in your business. The axle configuration should fit the type of cargo that you intend to transport.

In addition, you must consider the transport regulations in your state. You must comply with the regulations to operate the semi-truck trailer in your area.

Another important reason for checking the capacity is the terrain. Where do you intend to use the trailers? Are the roads smooth or rough? Will you be going for distances or to hilly places?

The trailer you buy should adapt to the road conditions in your routes.

  • Check if all parts are functional

It goes without saying that you must inspect all parts of the trailer. However, trailer air suspensionssometimes sellers are in a hurry to close the deal.

The seller may talk too much until you forget to check some parts.

It helps to go with your mechanic so that you do not miss any malfunction. Inspect the wheels, brakes, steering. Check if all the lights are functional.

Inspect the wires and other electrical connections.

Ensure that the tires do not have any dents or any other irregularities on the tread.

The condition of the tires will determine how long the trailer will stay on the road without breaking down.

  • Do a compatibility check

If you already have a semi-truck, check if the structure of the trailer is compatible with your truck. Check the manufacturer’s specifications on your truck to determine the right trailer to buy.

You do not want to buy a trailer that is too heavy for your truck or tractor to pull. In addition, you should get the best semi tractor trailer with the highest capacity that your truck can pull.

semi trailer compatibility

Hence, you must check the number of axle lines and their dimensions. If you are unsure about this decision, ask a professional technician to help you.

  • Check for rust

You must inspect the trailer thoroughly for rust. Old truck trailer tend to have rust on the surface. If the truck has been used for a long time, most of the surface may be rusted.

rusty semi trailer

You can easily deal with rust on the surface. It is easy and cheap to replace the rusted parts. In addition, it will not affect the function of the truck. However, you should be worried if the structure has rust.

Check if the frame has any rust. It is expensive to replace structural parts. It also shows the truck has been used for long and so it might not last long. You do not want to incur another high expense immediately after buying a trailer.

  • Do a road test

If you want to end up with the right truck trailer, do not go shopping when in a hurry. You need enough time to inspect the trailer and then do a road test.

You can get all the details about the trailer from the dealer or seller. The seller can even tell that the trailer works efficiently. However, you still need to see the trailer in real use.

semi trailer test

Sometimes an item looks good on paper and on the outside but functions differently. If you are buying your first trailer, you may not know how a good trailer functions. Ask an experienced driver or a mechanic to do the road test for you.

  • Check the registration documents

Whenever you are buying a second hand item, you must check the source of the items. You do not want to end up with a stolen trailer. The authorities will catch up with you.

Be very cautious if a dealer offers a truck trailer that is as good as new for a very low price. It could be stolen. Most people selling stolen goods want a quick sale to get rid of the goods before they are caught.

registration documents

Be careful if the dealer insists that you need to get the trailer immediately. Ask the dealer for the registration documents and confirm that they are authentic. 

  • Compare different trailers

It is possible that the first commercial truck trailer you inspect meet your requirements. If the price is fair, it is tempting to close the deal immediately. You may be thinking that someone will buy it if you delay.

end dump trailer

However, the best approach is to compare different trailers before settling on one. You may be surprised to find a better truck at a lower price than the one you saw first.

Check advertisements and sales to know the current prices of the trailer you need. Dealers may take advantage of your lack of knowledge and exaggerate the price.

  • Confirm that spare parts are available

The purpose of inspecting the semi-truck trailer before buying is to confirm that all parts are functional. However, the parts will still break down in the future after using the truck for some time.

trailer axle alignment

Hence, you need to determine if the spare parts are readily available before you take the trailer home. If you buy a popular brand, you are likely to find the spare parts easily.

That does not mean that you should settle for a cheap or dysfunctional brand. Go for the best as long as the spare parts are available. Consider the prices of the parts as well. You do not want to buy trailer whose parts are very expensive.

  • Conclusion

The most important consideration when buying secondhand semi-truck trailer is your safety. Thorough inspections and a road test are necessary to ensure that all parts are functional.

You also need to consider the final use of the trailer. The capacity, horsepower, and structure should handle you heavy transport needs efficiently.

It is advisable to go shopping with your mechanic or another experienced driver. Your mechanic can advise you if all parts of the trailer are in good condition.

Take time to compare different trailers and their prices before making the final decision. Your goal should be to get the best truck trailer within your budget.

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