The Wheels On The Truck Go Round And Round: 5 Things To Look For With High Mileage Semis

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The Wheels On The Truck Go Round And Round: 5 Things To Look For With High Mileage Semis

8 October 2015
 Categories: Automotive, Articles

One of the key factors when considering the purchase of commercial trucks for sale is the mileage on a truck. The wear and tear on the road can make a huge difference in the life of a truck. It's not as simple as looking at a number and accepting it at face value. As you browse through sales and listings, the mileage on the truck can be broken down into a number of different factors. By understanding what you're looking for, you can make a purchase that makes sense for your trucking needs and budget. The following five things should be considered when you're seriously considering a semi truck purchase.

Total Mileage

As you read mileage listings for used trucks you may notice a lot higher numbers than typical automobiles. A standard automobile typically has a life of around 250,000 miles. For trucks, reaching 250,000 miles is nothing. This is because trucks were built to run at high speeds and last for numerous years. This means that if you see a used truck with over 500,000 miles, you should not have the same concern as if it was a regular automobile.

The diesel engines in these trucks can also help them run cleaner and smoother than traditional gasoline engines. It's important to compare truck mileage to truck mileage and not to the mileage for your regular automobile at home.

Long Haulers & City Haulers

Every mile that the truck puts on the engine is also a factor in determining the quality and age. Many semi trucks are used as long haulers. This means that the trucks will travel on long stretches of highway with minimal braking or speed changes. This does little to the wear and tear of the engine as miles are racked up. If the truck was primarily a city hauler, then you may be concerned about the stop and go traffic that it encountered during its life on the road.

By requesting a truck history report, you can decide the risk you take on purchasing a 500,000 mile truck that has been used as a long hauler versus a city hauler. The engine life and performance will be a lot different.

Engine Rebuilds

Diesel semi truck engines are made for easy repairs and rebuilding. Instead of removing the whole engine block and replacing it, separate components can be properly maintained through the years. When looking at the mileage for the truck, it's also a good idea to consider the number of engine rebuilds and maintenance that it has gone through. For example, a semi truck with 750,000 miles and two engine rebuilds may be better suited than a truck with 450,000 and no engine maintenance. You could end up paying for more repairs and replacement parts in the long run.

A trucking log should give detailed information about the exact repairs that were done. This can also help you keep with the same repairs on the same time schedule if you choose to purchase the truck.

Driver Safety History

Two of the exact same trucks with 500,000 driver miles may seem the same on the surface until you look into the driver safety history. Trucking accident history could have a dramatic effect on the performance of a truck. In some cases, it could be a good thing if everything was repaired, cleaned out, and replaced as needed. The truck may have the miles, but could be performing longer due to the new parts.


Another important factor of the mileage on a used truck is the tires that it has driven on. To ensure that you don't end up paying extra in the future, you should check out the condition of truck tires. Not only should you see how the current tires are, but you should examine any spare tires attached to the truck.

A driver history may also showcase any tire accidents that have occurred. This includes blown tires, leaking tires, tie alignment, or damaged truck rims. As you invest in a truck, you want the tires to last as long as possible without any costly problems.

A little research can go a long way when purchasing a used semi truck. Understanding how to break down truck mileage will help you have the best success with your purchase.

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