September 2013

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/165354

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Page 23 of 109

Business Tips for buying a used truck W hen you're shopping for a used truck, in addition to checking local dealerships, try a Google search and other online resources. Once you have found three to five trucks, run a VIN check through an online service. RigDig.com, for example, provides ownership history, insurance claims, accidents, mileage history and more. When you find a clear reason not to buy a truck, move to the next choice. EVALUATE FOR FUEL EFFICIENCY AND APPLICATION. Nine out of 10 used trucks were not spec'd for optimal fuel mileage, so dig deep to find a fuel-efficient one that's matched to your application. Keep in mind body style, engine, transmission, rear-end ratio, tire sizes, weight, accessories, etc. RESEARCH IN DEPTH. Call the dealer and get as much information as possible: maintenance history, full ECM reports, pictures – even video. If a dealer says he doesn't have this information or otherwise puts you off, move on. Find out what operation the truck was used in, whether it's been parked for extended periods of time and what preventive maintenance has been done. If the truck came from a large fleet, chances are its maintenance records are available. SCHEDULE INSPECTIONS. It's ideal to get these three inspections, preferably by shops other than the selling dealer: • Engine inspection by an Don't forget that negotiations with a dealer can include matters other than price, such as repairs and future service work. original equipment manufacturer dealer. This should include tests for dyno, engine blow-by, oil analysis and charge air cooler. • Front-end inspection. This provides a good indication of the truck's maintenance. • Finally, a bumper-to-mudflap inspection by a well-qualified mechanic. Gauges Spot market rates for dry van and reefer began a strong climb in March and fell in July after a June peak, according to online load board Internet Truckstop. Flatbed rates, after being relatively flat through the winter, rose modestly into the summer. Manufacturing at high point Manufacturing – as measured by the Institute for Supply Management's composite index of manufacturing activity, known as the PMI – in July hit its highest level since mid2011. The PMI rose 4.5 points from June to July, to 55.4 percent. Any reading above 50 percent indicates growth. Even better news for trucking was the strong growth in the PMI component indexes linked most directly to freight shipments: production and new orders, noted TruckGauge.com. FLATBED REEFER $2.25 Internet Truckstop Rates down after long surge DRY VAN $2.50 $2.00 $1.75 $1.50 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July ISM Manufacturing Index 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 June 2010 July 2011 June 2012 July 2013 22 | Overdrive | September 2013 Business_Lead_0913.indd 22 8/27/13 9:11 PM

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