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Around the Industry | Used Trucks

April 27, 2022


What to Look Out for When Buying a Used Truck

Edward Lindsay, PacLease Used Equipment Wholesale Manager

The market for used commercial trucks is moving quickly. You’re broadening your search and working with a number of vendors, but are there other things you can do to find the right used trucks for your business needs?

Here are the top things to look out for while you are shopping for your next used truck.

Mileage / Engine Control Module

The chip shortage of recent years caused more and more trucking companies to extend their leases, resulting in increased mileage on potential used truck inventory. As the units are returned, the mileage can be as much as 100,000 to 200,000 miles more than expected. “600,000 miles is the new 500,000 miles”, is becoming a saying amongst buyers.

Make it a point to verify the odometer mileage against the Engine Control Module (ECM) mileage. They should match up. If not, be sure to understand why they don’t. There are times when the ECM may have needed replacement. In those instances, be sure you obtain any supporting documents showing the miles at the time of replacement.


Overall condition and age are important factors when buying a pre-owned commercial vehicle. However, the location of a truck can impact its condition. Trucks running in the northeast may have more rust than expected, due to salt and de-icer to maintain safe roads during the winter months. If you are a buyer familiar with the area, the rust is something that is common and will probably not be as big of an issue as it might be for someone in the south or west.

In addition, as the economy continues to fluctuate, the location of the truck becomes more important. The pricing can depend on location, the same truck can vary in price between the west coast and the east coast. Diesel prices are continuing to climb which will add to the transportation cost of getting the truck to you.


In today’s market, price is a big consideration and something to consider as the used truck market continues to be hot. Always keep in mind you may have to pay more than you expect, due to inventory shortages.

Brakes, Tires, and Accessories

Another consideration is DOT compliance. Tires and brakes are two large investment areas you do not want slowing down business. Be sure you “stick” all 10 tires to confirm they are within minimum requirements. If the truck has a Power Take Off (PTO), does it run? How many hours are on the PTO? On a reefer unit, what are the hours on the reefer itself, does it run?

As you continue your search for a used truck that meets your qualifications, keep the top four things to look out for in mind. Gather the information, and decrease your chances of buyer’s remorse, by making a better-informed decision.

To learn more about PacLease Used Trucks visit

Get in touch with a PacLease Used Truck Expert and let them know what type of Used Truck you are looking for by emailing

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Tags: Insights | Quality | Fleet Management

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