If you are in the market for a semi truck, then you may find yourself visiting and revisiting certain heavy duty truck lots for just the right truck. Before you jump the gun and make an offer on a truck that appears to be attractive and functional, you may want to perform some operational tests of your own. This is typically allowed by law, but more commonly performed by a mechanic. However, if you have already done some of these tests yourself, and you have the tools to do them, you can and should do all of the following.
Tire Pressure Meter and Tread Depth
These two tests check the health and wellness of the tires on the truck you want to buy. Tire pressure and tread are essential to these massive trucks as they help bear the weight of the truck over the ground and the tires can easily blow out if the tread and/or the pressure is not right. A tire pressure meter looks like a little stick with an air hose decompression head. When pressed over the top of each valve of tire, a little bit of air is released and a metering stick inside this tool springs out with several lines and numbers on it. You have to read the number that lines up with the opposite end of the stick to see if the pressure in the tires is adequate. Tire tread on semi tires can be tested with a simple quarter. When the quarter is placed into the tread lines, most of the quarter should disappear into the tire treads.
Basic, Portable Diagnostic Machine
A basic diagnostic machine, preferably one that is portable, can be hooked up to the truck's battery and on-board computer systems. This handy device can tell you a lot about the truck's engine and whether or not the dealer's asking price is fair or you need to haggle the price down before purchasing this semi truck. Sometimes it helps to show the dealer what the portable diagnostic device says about the truck so that he or she understands why you are going to haggle the price down. Since you have the proof right there that the truck may need some repairs, you can either bargain to have those repairs made before you purchase the truck, or ask for the costs of those repairs to be knocked off the price of the truck.
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