If you’re looking to improve your truck body – or upgrade your fleet – buying used semi-trailers can be an excellent way to increase your capacity without breaking the budget. There are plenty of used trailers on the market that still have many more years of service in them and can be a great value – if you choose wisely. Because, of course, there are also plenty of used trailers that aren’t worth your time.
We proudly carry a wide range of excellent used semi-trailers and know a bit about picking the good ones from all the rest. Here are a few tips when you’re buying.
Ways to Pick High Quality Used Semi Trailers
1. Has it been inspected recently?
Is the trailer street legal? This should be one of the first questions you ask. If the trailer hasn’t been inspected or has been off the road for too long, this could mean a lot of extra costs down the line.
Also, if it’s a reefer, the refrigeration unit should have been inspected in the past year.
2. Look at the undercarriage
A lot of sellers will do their best to dress up the visible parts of the trailer, but they often neglect the underside – and that’s where rust could be hiding. Get under the trailer with a flashlight and check the undercarriage for rust or any other damage.
3. Check the tires
Bad tires on a trailer aren’t a dealbreaker – they’re fairly cheap to replace, after all – but they can point towards how well the trailer has been treated by its previous owner. If it’s sitting on bald tires or ones which have clearly been repaired multiple times, you’ll want to look extra hard for other damage.
4. Test the electrical system
Never take the seller’s word about the wiring – check it for yourself. Make sure all the lights and signals are working properly and, if possible, inspect as much of the wiring as you can for any signs of damage.
5. Check the brakes
If possible, you want a test drive to make sure the brakes are functional. If nothing else, however, be sure to manually inspect the brake drums and linings for signs of damage or neglect.