Talk to us: +1-587-215-5555


23 Questions to Ask a Used Heavy-Duty Truck Dealership Before You Buy

owner operator inspecting heavy duty truck with mechanic

Are you in the market for a used heavy-duty truck? Do you need help with all the options and help to figure out where to start your search? Buying a vehicle is a significant investment that should not be taken lightly.

To help make sure you are getting the best value for your money, we have compiled 23 essential questions to ask any used heavy-duty truck dealership before making a purchase.

From understanding warranties and payment plans to closely inspecting available vehicles, these questions will ensure that everything goes smoothly during the buying process. So if you’re looking to invest in an honest-to-goodness reliable workhorse of a truck, check out our top ten tips!


What is the truck’s weight capacity?

Weight capacity is an important factor to consider when purchasing a used heavy-duty truck. It’s essential to know precisely how much weight the vehicle can handle, so you don’t have to buy another truck sooner than expected due to its weight limit. 


What is the size of the truck’s engine, and what are its horsepower and torque?

Pay attention to the size of the truck’s engine, as this will determine its power and capabilities. A larger engine will have more horsepower and torque, which means it can handle heavier loads, go faster, and require less fuel overall than a smaller engine. Knowing these specifications can help you decide if the used heavy-duty truck suits your needs.


Has the truck undergone any major repairs or significant mechanical issues?

If so, you’ll want to ensure the repairs have been done correctly and are up to current industry standards. In addition, you should also research the truck’s service history to ensure that all regular maintenance has been completed on schedule. This information can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or previous inspection reports

Look for strange noises and vibrations from the engine, transmission, and other components. If there are any issues, you should investigate and address them before buying the truck.  

Finally, take the truck for a test drive to ensure it works as expected and that you are comfortable driving it. This will give you a better idea of the vehicle’s overall condition. 


Are there any signs of exterior damage or rust on the body of the truck?

Check the condition of the paint job, including chips and scratches. If there are any significant issues with the bodywork or paint, you should factor this into your decision before buying. Also, check for signs of rust or corrosion that could lead to more expensive repairs. Finally, be aware that older trucks may require frequent maintenance, so be sure to factor in these costs when budgeting for a purchase.

Additionally, ensure all the lights, indicators, and gauges work correctly. Also, check that all safety features like seatbelts and airbags are in good condition and fully operational.


What are the safety features of the truck?

As per National Safety Council, 4,842 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash in 2020 – which is 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes. You must ask the dealer about all the safety features the truck may have, such as anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control and rollover protection systems. It is also important to inquire about maintenance records for the commercial trucks you are considering. A well-maintained vehicle can help ensure it runs properly and is unlikely to require costly repairs or a breakdown. 


What are the reviews and ratings of the truck you are considering buying?

When researching the truck you are considering, learn what other owners think. Several websites are dedicated to collecting reviews and ratings from consumers who have purchased or rented the commercial truck you are considering buying. Read these reviews carefully to better understand owners’ experiences with their good and bad purchases. 


What type of transmission does the truck have, and is it manual or automatic?

Depending on the work you plan to do with the truck, some transmissions are better suited than others. For example, manual transmissions may be better for hauling heavy loads as they offer more control and power than automatic transmissions. 

Automatic transmissions, however, typically require less maintenance and are easier to use than manual ones. If a vehicle has an automatic transmission, ensure it is in good working order and has correct fluid levels. 

It’s also essential to check for any signs of wear or damage. You should also look at the brakes, as they will be crucial for stopping the truck safely. 

Finally, pay attention to the ride quality and engine noise. Poorly maintained engines can produce excess noise that may require repair or maintenance. Also, listen for any strange or unusual noises coming from the engine area when driving. If you hear anything abnormal, it could be a sign of potential issues that require attention.


What is the truck’s fuel efficiency and range? 

This is one of the most important factors to consider. Since you plan to drive long distances in the truck, look for one with good fuel economy and a more extensive range. If the truck is powered by diesel fuel, consider looking into additional modifications to improve its economy. Fuel efficiency and environmental impact are also important factors to consider. Look for trucks with green technologies like turbo-charged engines, idle stop/start systems, and advanced aerodynamics. Pay attention to the vehicle’s carbon footprint as well.


What type of cab does the truck have, and how many passengers can it accommodate?

The cab size is essential to determine the truck’s usability. If you plan on taking passengers often, ensure it has space for everyone comfortably. Be aware of how much cargo the truck can carry as well since it will affect its performance. Lastly, check that the interior features are in good condition


Is the truck equipped with additional features or upgrades, such as air conditioning or power windows?

These features can add to the vehicle’s comfort level and increase its resale value. First, however, ensure they are in good working condition before making a purchase. 

Other features, such as cruise control, an upgraded sound system, or additional safety features, should be considered when deciding which truck is the best for your needs. You are in it for the long haul, so you need a reliable truck that will keep up with the demands of your lifestyle. The heating and cooling system, lighting, and refrigerator should work well. The interior should be comfortable and not over-worn. 


What type of cargo has it hauled in the past? Has the truck been used to haul hazardous materials?

 If so, there could be additional costs associated with cleaning or decontaminating the vehicle to ensure it is safe. Be sure to find out more about any past cargo the truck has hauled before making a purchase. Safety must always be a priority. 


Can the truck be inspected by a mechanic before purchase, and are there any known issues or concerns with the vehicle?

Ensuring the truck is in good working order before signing the agreement to purchase can save you money and stress later. Ask if a mechanic inspection is available, or look into reviews of the truck online to make an informed decision. 

Remember to look at the warranty coverage that comes with the truck. Some warranties may cover certain parts for some time, while others may not cover anything. Knowing what the warranty covers and how long it will last can help you determine if buying the truck is worth it. 

Also, ask about the availability of spare parts. For example, suppose something goes wrong with the vehicle while driving on a remote highway. In that case, you need to know that replacement parts are available to avoid getting stuck with a truck that can’t be fixed. 


What is the truck’s axle configuration, and is it suitable for the type of work you plan to do?

Different axles have different advantages, and you must ensure the truck is suited for the particular terrain you plan on driving in. 

Finally, find out if there are any recalls associated with the model. If so, consider looking into alternative options that do not have recall issues. This will help ensure your safety while using the truck and prevent unexpected costs associated with recalls.


Does the truck have any emissions equipment, such as a diesel particulate filter, and has it been adequately maintained?

Emissions equipment must be maintained regularly to ensure proper function and meet environmental regulations. It is also essential to determine if the truck meets local noise ordinances and other applicable laws for your jurisdiction. Knowing these details can help you decide about purchasing the truck. 


What is the truck’s suspension system, and is it designed for heavy-duty use?

Heavy-duty suspensions are designed for increased load handling and durability. Additionally, it is essential to check the brakes and other components of the suspension system for proper functioning. This can help ensure the safety of you and others on the road by providing that your truck can safely stop when necessary. 


Has the truck been involved in any accidents, and if so, what was the extent of the damage, and how was it repaired?

Accidents can cause significant damage to a vehicle, and it is essential to know the extent of this damage and how it was repaired. In addition, properly assessing any prior accidents can help you understand the truck’s condition and make an informed decision about purchasing it. 

Additionally, knowing whether or not all repairs were addressed appropriately could save you from costly further repairs. Finally, it is essential to remember that no matter how well-maintained a truck has been, accidents can still occur. 

Knowing the truck’s maintenance history and previous accident records will help you be aware of any potential risks when operating it. 


What type of tires does the truck have, and how much life do they have left?

The tires are an essential safety factor in any vehicle, and proper maintenance can ensure the truck’s longevity. However, tires are a heavy investment, so knowing what type you are buying and how long they will last is necessary. 

Knowing the condition of the tires before a purchase can help save money in the long run. 


Has the truck undergone any modifications or customizations, and if so, were they professionally installed?

Modifications and customizations to a truck can increase its performance, but they should always be professionally installed. An improperly installed modification could cause damage to the vehicle or lead to an accident in certain circumstances. Therefore, inspecting the truck for any signs of modification is essential before purchasing. 


Does the truck have any documentation, such as maintenance records or a title history report?

Documentation of the truck’s service history can save time and money in the long run as it provides information about what work has been done to the vehicle. Additionally, a title report will reveal if any liens or ownership disputes must be addressed before finalizing a purchase. Knowing this information beforehand is essential for ensuring a successful transaction.


Find out the truck’s asking price, financing availability, insurance and warranties.

The asking price should be based on the truck’s condition, mileage and any additional features. Additionally, you should know what financing options are available to purchase the vehicle. Finally, insurance for a commercial truck is essential as it can protect against any damage or liability in an accident. You want to ensure they are all within your budget and that you can get easy financing and insurance.


What are the terms of financing and insurance?

It is essential to understand the terms of financing and insurance when buying a commercial truck. Depending on the lender, some may offer lower interest rates or extended repayment terms for qualified buyers. 

Additionally, most lenders will require comprehensive insurance coverage for the vehicle. The amount of coverage often depends on the age and value of the vehicle as well as any additional features such as specialized equipment or modifications. Understanding the terms of financing and insurance can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a commercial truck. 


What type of warranty or guarantee, if any, is offered by the seller or manufacturer?

Knowing this will give you peace of mind knowing your investment is protected. Finally, ask for a history report to ensure that any prior incidents on the truck are known.


Is the seller reputable, and can they provide references or testimonials from previous customers?

 A seller’s reputation can be a great indicator of the vehicle’s quality and customer service. In addition, the dealership should be able to provide references or reviews from previous customers. Researching the commercial truck dealer and checking for customer complaints or negative feedback is also essential. A dealer with a stellar record is vital to ensure that you have a pleasant purchasing and ownership experience.



In conclusion, buying a pre-owned heavy truck is an important process that requires plenty of research to ensure you have the best understanding of what you are potentially investing in. It’s essential to ask the used heavy-duty truck dealership plenty of questions before purchasing. The ones we have discussed today – from access to service records, financing options, safety and maintenance checks, financing, insurance and warranties – are some of the key factors to consider when purchasing a pre-owned model.

With these and any additional questions that may be important for your specific situation, in mind, you can confidently walk away knowing you now have some insights into making your next investment.



Sonic Truck & Trailer Sales

Looking for help buying your next pre-owned heavy truck?

A qualified team of professionals will walk you through all the steps necessary to drive away happy with the correct vehicle for your individual needs!

Related Posts

Trucks for Sale Alberta

How to Finance Your Used Truck Purchase in Canada?

Looking to buy a used trucks for sale Alberta on finance? Becoming an owner of a used truck through a financing facility can be a smart way. But to implement this informed decision it is important to understand the financing process.    At Sonic Truck & Trailer Sales Ltd we

Read More »