If you’re in a search for a new semi truck, then you’ve probably considered getting your hands on a used option. While new semis haven’t been through the ringer yet and have fresh parts, used alternatives come with experience that can help you decide whether they can meet your specific objectives.

However, research and preparation always help before buying any new product, and current and potential truck owners should take certain precautions to get the most out of their purchases. Here are three things that you should know before purchasing a used semi so that you get the one that best suits you.

Need for Replacements

Used trucks come with plenty of wear and tear from traveling across the country for years, and that means that the parts you see in the semi you’re considering were most likely not the original. Whether or not the truck has every original part, you’ll want to make sure that they all function well enough to perform the tasks you have planned. This includes seeing whether the undercarriage parts have had any issues, checking if the truck’s surface has any rust, and finding out how many times the oil in the engine and transmission had to be changed.

Today’s technology has allowed different aspects of our lives to advance, and that includes driving trucks, both professionally and recreation ally. It helps to check if the used semi that you’re looking at has been updated with the latest tech for these vehicles, such as asset and fleet maintenance software with VMRS coding. Finding a used semi with such improvements will save you a great deal on having to add them yourself after you make the purchase.

Accurate Documents

Paperwork places a major role in deciding which purchases are worth making. For trucks, you need to ask for the semi’s vehicle records so that you get a good idea of how it has been performing over the years. The person you’re looking to buy the truck from may sound like a trustworthy person, but documents can go a long way in proving the value in their words, especially if it’s a dealer that you haven’t done business with before.

The papers should be able to tell you how certain parts have been performing and whether they will need to be replaced down the line. This includes whether the windows and doors have a problem shutting and if certain weather conditions affect the truck’s ability to perform. They may also describe scratches and dents that you might have missed in your initial look at the semi. VIN numbers and other bits of information help determine whether the documents that you’re provided are giving you all of the facts, so be sure to research them before you meet with the seller and ask for them right away.

Expert Opinions

Getting ripped off can be easy, especially when people are new to buying certain products and the salesman can make the pitch sound good. If you’ve never owned a semi before, then it’s best to talk to someone who owns a used one so that you know the best one to get and where to buy it. This may include finding a friend who owns a used semi and finding out where they got it and for what purpose. They may be using theirs for the same reasons you have. You may even be lucky enough to have a friend who is trying to get rid of it and can sell it to you for cheaper than what you would have to fork over at a dealership.

Family members and co-workers who own a used semi might also be able to give you reliable information on where to buy one and what types will best suit your objectives. They may also be able to tell you what places to avoid so that you don’t get ripped off. If that option isn’t available, then you can always check out online platforms. With these platforms, you’ll be supplied with hundreds of trucks and valuable information such as mileage, capacity and engine power.

However, it’s still smart to hire a professional to check over the semi before making the purchase so that the semi matches up with what was advertised online.

Keep these factors in mind so that you buy the semi that fits you best and works for a long time.