Whether you are an owner operator or you are building a fleet of your own freightliner trucks for your trucking business, buying used is a wise financial decision for a lot of reasons. However, buying used for business purposes also should take careful consideration and specific attention to the condition of the truck. While most buyers will spend a lot of time investigating engine components, wheels, and brakes (which is definitely necessary), it is also a good idea to spend a fair amount of time surveying the interior or cab of the vehicle because this is where drivers will spend most of their time. Here is a simple checklist to help you out.
Interior Lights - Carefully turn on all interior lights, both from dash controls and switches on the lights themselves, in the interior of the truck. If the freightliner has a sleeper area, make sure you check the lights here as well. While in some cases a non-functional light will be something as simple as a blown bulb or fuse, if there are multiple light problems, you could have a wiring issue. Likewise, make sure you examine the area around the lights for signs of overheating or melting.
Flooring - Specifically in the sleeper area of the freightliner, the flooring can be prone to damage and this is not a repair that you can just throw a little money at and fix most of the time. Because some sleeper floors are covered in carpeting, trapped moisture from spills can cause the metal beneath to rust and deteriorate. This is especially a problem with older vehicles, so make sure you take the time to climb into the truck and weight test the flooring for signs of weakness. It is even a good idea to have the owner pull back the carpeting so you can take a look at the underlying structure.
Water Damage - If there is one thing you do not want to deal with in a used freightliner it is water damage. Water damage may come from a truck's exposure to flood waters, windows being left open, or other situations. Unfortunately, when left inside of the truck, excessive amounts of moisture can cause problems with mold and mildew in the seats and other cloth furnishings and can even create problems with wiring. Water damage will usually be visible on the floor of the truck cab, especially under the seats.
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