8 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Used Semi Truck

Buying a used semi-truck is a big investment.  Whether you are purchasing your semi from Pedigree Truck & Trailer Sales or someone else, make sure you ask the following questions before purchase.  These questions could prevent you from purchasing a piece of equipment that doesn’t meet your trucking business needs.

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Has the truck been involved in any accidents?

At Pedigree Truck Sales, every truck purchase comes with a comprehensive history including a copy of the service records. We provide detailed information on whether the truck has been involved in any accidents, alongside the dates of every oil change and other vital maintenance details.


It’s crucial to know about any past accidents because they can lead to hidden damage that might not be immediately apparent. This damage can affect the truck’s performance and reliability in the long term, potentially leading to costly repairs or unsafe driving conditions. By understanding the full history of your semi-truck, you can make a more informed purchasing decision and ensure your vehicle remains reliable and efficient.

buying a used semi truck

Are there any outstanding recalls?

The most direct way to check for recalls is by using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the truck. You can enter the VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website in the United States. This service will tell you whether the truck has been subject to any recalls.


At Pedigree, we have long standing relationships with the original equipment manufacturers and quickly take steps to resolve any issues as soon as there is a recall announcement.

Can I have my mechanic inspect the truck?

All Pedigree equipment has been serviced and inspected by our own general maintenance shops and by the original equipment manufacturer.  On occasion, we do have customers who want to go the extra step and have their own mechanic inspect the truck for them before purchase.  If you want to take this extra step, we encourage you to let your salesman know.  You can set up an appointment for your mechanic to come look the truck over.

If you purchase your truck from a private seller or a different dealer, you aren’t guaranteed the same level of care.  Make sure you have someone you trust look it over for you.  You will also need to look the truck over before you purchase it.  Here is our Semi Truck Inspection Checklist to help.

How many engine hours does this semi have?

When buying a used semi truck, knowing the engine hours of a semi-truck is essential for understanding its overall wear and tear. It is also crucial for effective maintenance and valuation. Engine hours provide a more accurate measure of how much work the engine has done, as opposed to just mileage, which doesn’t account for the hours spent idling or operating under different stress levels. This information helps in scheduling timely maintenance checks, predicting potential failures, and ensuring that the truck remains in optimal working condition. Additionally, when buying or selling a semi-truck, the engine hours can significantly influence the price, as they give a clearer picture of the engine’s condition and the remaining lifespan of the truck.


At Pedigree, every truck comes with an APU which saves money and the life of the engine by cutting down on idle time.

blue 2020 freightliner

What is the life of the brakes?

Evaluating the life of your brakes provides essential insights into both the safety readiness of the truck and the potential upcoming maintenance costs.

At Pedigree, all brakes are replaced if they have less than 75% of life left in them.  When you roll off our lot with your truck, you have the reassurance of knowing you are driving away with new or like new brakes.


How much life is left on the tires?

Tires are a huge expense.  In fact, purchasing good quality, name brand tires could cost and addition $6000-7000.  If there isn’t much life left on the tires, you will soon be facing the additional charge of replacing them.

Here at Pedigree, we only sell trucks with name brand, virgin tires.  You also get to decide if you want super singles or duals.

freightliner for sale springfield mo

Has it been DOT Inspected?

We take care of this step for you at Pedigree!  Each truck comes with a fresh DOT inspection.  One less thing for you to worry about!

Your semi will need to be DOT inspected to ensure it is road legal. Having a semi-truck undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection is crucial for ensuring that it meets all safety regulations and standards. This inspection assesses various components of the truck, including brakes, lights, tires, exhaust systems, and steering mechanisms, to confirm they are in optimal working condition. By ensuring DOT compliance, truck owners and operators protect not only their own safety but also that of other road users.

Are there any warranties?

When purchasing a used semi-truck, a warranty can be a key factor in protecting your investment. Warranties on used semis provide assurance against potential mechanical failures and defects that may not be immediately apparent at the time of purchase. They can cover critical components such as the engine, transmission, and differential, which are expensive to repair or replace.

At Pedigree, the warranty option is going to vary from truck to truck.  Check out our inventory and let our Truck Experts know if you have any questions.

buying a 2021 freightliner

Ask the Experts:

I have purchased two Freightliners.  I was most interested in hearing about warranty information, financing options, and seeing the maintenance records. -Chris Ewing, Former Driver/Prime Inc. Driver’s Line Up


I would ask about financing options, and I would ask for a list of trucks that meet my business needs. -JR Cuevas, Pedigree Truck Expert

Ready to Buy a Used Semi Truck?

We have over 50 years of experience in the industry.  The trucks and trailers you purchase from our fleet helped build Prime Inc., the largest reefer company in the United States, and now they are ready to make money for your business.  We know every penny counts in the trucking industry, so we only buy and sell equipment that has been specced to keep more money in your wallet. If you are buying a used semi-truck, give us a call today!  We would love to help you!

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