There’s always been a demand for pickup trucks. And now it’s steadily increasing for both new and used ones. If you’re in the market for a used or a classic truck, here are things you need to keep in mind.
Check the cabin for a brake controller. If you find one, the truck has probably done a fair share of heavy hauling in its life. It’s not a bad thing, but you know that this truck was worked hard. And extended periods of strain can do a lot of invisible damage to the drivetrain and trailer hitch.
Lifted and slammed trucks always bottom out. If you’re checking an off-road-ready truck, crawl underneath it to see if it’s been off-road recently. Check the top of the skid plates for signs of mud. Carefully examine slammed trucks because skid plates, frame rails, and bump stops don’t hide scratches well. If the underside looks like it was repainted, undercoated recently, or if fresh skid plates were installed, it may be hiding something.
Accidents happen when trucks are at work, especially if they haul lumber, livestock, or anything else. Check places like the connection between the fender and the hood for a line of overspray to see if the truck was involved in a collision. Check the space between the bed and cab and the fender wells for the same.
Full-size trucks have differentials meant to handle heavy loads. Check them carefully for any noise or leaks from the front and rear differentials. Put the truck in gear often to detect inconsistencies. Take it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection too.
If you intend to use a used heavy-duty truck for towing, ensure that the driveshaft isn’t compromised. Check the rear differential to see if it’s crimped, twisted, or warped in any way too.
Check the couplings to ensure that the bed isn’t damaged or was removed, wrenched on, repainted, or cleaned. You don’t want the bed to bounce when you’re driving.
Frames should always be straight and rock solid. Check if it’s ever done snow plowing, heavy hauling, or off-roading. If it’s bent in any way, walk away.