8 Key Things to Consider When Buying a Used Truck – Corsicana, TX
Buying a used truck is much like any other big purchase: the more research you do beforehand, the better chance you have to pick the right one. Research is not everyone’s strong suit, however, and it can be intimidating or just plain boring for a lot of people. Knowing where to start with your research when looking at used trucks for sale can make the process a lot easier and help you buy with confidence.
To be fair, no one list or short blog post can possibly include everything you should think about and decide on before making a big purchase like buying a used truck. This is simply a guideline that should highlight some specific things you want to keep in mind and look into before making a decision. Figuring out what you want and need before going to a dealership or looking at an inventory online can help save you a lot of time and frustration later on.
Only you can actually know what you need, however, and you might have special circumstances or considerations that go beyond the scope of these key things. That’s fine – this will give you a place to start and you can easily build upon it to figure out exactly what you need. If this is your first time buying a truck, then this should be particularly helpful for you because some of these things are unique to trucks and the features they have. Let’s get started!
Thing 1: Payload
Payload is a great place to start when looking at used trucks for sale because it has a clear numerical value. You will see payload indicated as a maximum weight, typically in hundreds or thousands of pounds. The term “payload” specifically refers to the amount of weight that you can load up onto the frame of the truck itself.
This value includes the weight of the driver and any passengers, as well as anything else placed inside the cab of the truck. So payload will indicate just how much weight you can load up onto the bed of the truck itself – and is usually determined based on the design and materials used in the truck’s suspension, frame, and other components. There is really no way to increase this amount after a truck is built, so make sure you pick a truck with a high enough payload to handle whatever you need to load into it.
Thing 2: Towing Capacity
Towing capacity usually goes hand-in-hand with payload when you look at specs for different used trucks for sale, but do not get them confused. While payload indicates how much you can load up on the truck itself, towing capacity indicates how much weight the truck can pull behind it. This is also indicated in hundreds or thousands of pounds and has nothing to do with the weight of a driver, passengers, or anything physically on the truck itself, just be sure to note the truck’s GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) before loading up both the truck and the trailer.
You will typically tow a trailer or camper behind a truck and the weight of this object is included in total towing capacity, so keep that in mind. In some cases there might be more than one towing capacity listed. This is most common for heavy-duty trucks designed to be able to pull even more weight when using something like a gooseneck connected to the bed of the pickup.
Thing 3: Engine – Horsepower and Torque
The engine is the beating heart of a truck, so looking at what it can do in terms of power and performance is important. There are two main numbers to look for with engines in used trucks for sale: horsepower and torque. Both are important for different reasons, but overall know that more is better.
Horsepower indicates the sustained power of the engine that keeps it moving and going fast on a highway. Torque, on the other hand, is the power that gets a truck going and keeps it going in rough conditions like uphill and while hauling a lot of weight behind you. If you commonly drive uphill or need to pull a lot of weight, then look for more torque.
Thing 4: Full-Size vs. Mid-Size
These are terms you will commonly see when looking at different used trucks for sale and they indicate the overall size of the truck. There is no set standard for what they mean, however, so you will need to look at the dimensions of individual trucks to see just how long and wide they really are. In general, just keep in mind that full-size trucks are larger than mid-size trucks, usually significantly longer and wider.
Thing 5: Light-Duty vs. Heavy-Duty
These terms are often used as short-hand to indicate how powerful different pickups are in terms of horsepower, torque, and both payload and towing capacities. If you are looking at all these specs individually, then these terms don’t have a lot of meaning for you. However, when browsing different used trucks for sale, it can be helpful to keep an eye out for these descriptors. If you know you want a lot of torque and high towing capacity, then look for trucks described as “heavy-duty” or with “HD” in the name since these are more likely to meet your needs.
Thing 6: Bed Length
This indicates the actual length of the truck bed behind the cab. You will often see this indicated through descriptive terms such as “long bed” or “short bed,” which can vary in meaning from one manufacturer to another. As the names suggest, however, long beds are longer than standard beds, which are longer than short beds. Sometimes the “standard” bed may be either the long or short bed-size so if you have specific needs, then look at the actual dimensions of the truck, which should indicate the actual length.
Thing 7: Cab Size
The cab of a truck is where the driver and passengers are seated – and different trucks can have widely different cab sizes. Certain terms are often used to describe these sizes, such as “standard,” “extended cab,” and “crew cab.” Some manufacturers can use other terms, but these three are quite common.
A standard cab on a pickup truck is usually the smallest option, has two doors, and only a single row of seats with little space behind it. An extended cab, sometimes called a double cab, is longer and usually has two or four doors, with a second row of seating. Crew cabs are quite a bit longer than extended cabs, with standard four doors and a second row of seating with significant leg room.
Thing 8: Used vs. Pre-Owned
As you look at different used trucks for sale, you will quickly notice that some are advertised as “used” and others are marked as “pre-owned.” What’s the difference between these two things? Nothing; used and pre-owned vehicles are essentially the same.
The term “pre-owned” is often used for marketing because it sounds better to a lot of customers than “used,” but they are the same thing. One big exception to this, however, is if you see the term “certified pre-owned.” Used trucks for sale that are certified pre-owned have been inspected by the original manufacturer and serviced as needed to be in the best condition possible. These vehicles have warranties on them from the manufacturer beyond the original warranty offered when brand new and are a great value in terms of reliability and performance.
Come Explore Frank Kent Country
At Frank Kent Country in Corsicana, TX we have a large selection of used trucks for sale to meet just about every customer need. All of our used vehicles include fair, upfront haggle-free pricing so you always know exactly what a truck is worth and how much it costs. We also provide our own Frank Kent Certified Pre-Owned Warranty, which includes a two-year or 100,000-mile warranty and a one-year membership in Road America’s Auto Assist Program. At Frank Kent Country, we value your time and patronage; we are not happy unless you drive away completely satisfied and thrilled with your vehicle.