Heavy Truck VIN Search - see VIN History for Heavy and Semi Trucks
VIN history search for trucks is as important as for any other vehicle type. Below we'll outline a few points that should be paid attention to when purchasing and checking the history of a used truck.
First of all, there are different types of trucks but the most popular searches are pickup trucks and heavy trucks. A few points for buyers of older trucks. What all trucks have in common is frame. The frame allows heavier load of a vehicle and is rigid enough to provide a certain level of safety for the driver in a crash. At it's the frame that takes the load and is distorted by improper exploitation.
When you run VIN history search:
Keep in mind the folling: fixing a heavy truck is not just expensive but also may take a lot of time which means downtime for your bisiness.
Engine replacement or overhaul, or using a rebuilt engine does not mean that the vehicle gets a savlage or rebuilt status. All trucks undergo this procedure in decades of their exploitation period, normally once in 5-7 years. If you see a salvage / rebuilt title on a vehicle with a rebilt engine check for other issues, custom rebuilding or total loss records.
Heavy trucks specs should be well fitted for the type of work they will be used for, otherwise wear and breakage increase. For this reason trucks are often rebuilt by owners to their current needs. This is normal. So if you see a Rebuilt/ Reconstructed/ Restored record of the title it is not always a sign of a damge. Check the history. For example, a semitruck may undergo frame extention procedure. In the process the frame is being cut and altered and so loses its integrity and the vehicle becomes permanently branded. Such trucks may run then for years without issues. But you need to make sure the frame was reinforced in the place where it was cut if you a consiering such a truck.
Heavy trucks are often sold or traded when the engine needs an overhaul. Pay attention to emission inspection records if the VIN search report has them. Failed emission inspections may be a sign of issues with the engine, other problems or poor maintenance.
You should avoid any new trucks with water or fire damage in their history because of their dependence on computer and electric systems. The effects of fire and water on electric systems are often postponed and can reveal themselves at any moment in different kinds of failrues. Nailing and fixing them will me much more expensive than with a car. Water or fire damage are among the worst damage types, older trucks have less components the workof which can be affected by water.
The newer the truck the more severe the damage it was exposed to if it was deemed total loss and got a salvage / rebuilt title. Vehicles are totaled based on the cost of repair works to their actual cash value ratio exceeding around 75%. The more expensive the truck, the more severe the damage and the greater cost of repairing.
359, 379, 77 and 84 Peterbilts and 74 Kenworth may have a custom aluminum frame. It is lighter in weight but less rigid. A frame damage history record may be a big concern as aluminum frames may be more expensive to fix. Truckers report that aluminum frames do not combine well with steel bolts and develop corrosion at meeting-points.
Old vs New Trucks
Heavy trucks are the most durable. But they are also are among the most expensive vehicle types, not just to buy but also to maintain and repair. Today, the most popular heavy trucks are Peterbilt, Freightliner and Kenworth.
One benefit of buying a brand new truck is the ability to customize it to your needs and pre-order some specs as it really is important that the truck suit the work it will be performing. Fuel economy and low emissions is another bonus even if you buy a used modern truck. In addition, a modern 500,000 to 600,000 miles truck is still a low-mileage truck, where on older models that will be 150,000 to 300,000 miles. However, many truckers stick not just to used but older truck models, for a good reason. While in a cars' world driving a 20-year-old vehicle is getting very uncommon, unless one loves vintage cars, in trucking business a 20-year-old truck or even older is quite normal. Such vehicles may have a really long history of events.
If you are planning to buy a new heavy truck you should be aware of the following: modern trucks are very expensive to repair and service due to being computerized and controlled by electronics. This means that even an experienced trucker who used to diagnose and do some repairs on his own can no longer access anything in this own vehicle. Many of the works and diagnogtics need special equipment and trained personnel. The certified services doing these works are not so numerous and the costs are high. An attept to access anything on your own truck may void the warranty. However, truckers working in regions with high-density population may be forced to shift to used trucks by local emisstion laws.
Small businesses often prefer older trucks for a number of reasons: they are not computerized, they are not so dependent on numerous electric systems, they are easier and cheaper to repair, and, which is also important, there is a great repair knowledgebase compiled over decades of repair statictics and practices for certain models and a wide choice of major replacement parts which may even be mounted in different combinations (Peterbilt 359, 379). A trucker with some experience can do some repairs on his own. For the rest or the works a mechanic or a service can be hired at at affordable cost. The downside is that you won't be able to get full coverage for a 25-year-old truck and you may not be able to use it in densely populated areas. In addtion, Peterbilt 359, 379 have a large part of their bodies performed in aluminum which makes then lighter and prevents overheating and corrosion.