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Things to Look Out for When Buying a Commercial Truck

By: Grant King, IndustrySearch Writer
07 October, 2015

Whether you're looking for a small delivery truck for around town or a hulking road train for across country, the considerations are basically the same. Buying a new truck is a big decision for the long term and a major investment.

To help you choose the right truck, you need to ask some pretty specific questions. We'll provide the questions checklist. All you need to do is come up with the answers based on your circumstances. So here we go.

Load and weight

What kinds of things will you be carrying – perishables, durables, long, short, pallet loads, cartons? How heavy is your average load? Also factor in the heaviest and lightest loads.

Power and fuel

Do you need long distance, high speed staying power and aerodynamics or stop-start around town acceleration? Is your usual route generally hilly or flat? Is there a lot of traffic? Is your route more suited to an automatic or manual transmission? What fuel capacity is ideal? Petrol or diesel?


How many people will be travelling on average? Just the driver? Driver and helper, or more?  How much gear do they need? What creature comforts – air conditioning, sound system, drink holders – are appropriate? Do long haul sleeps need to be factored in?


What kinds of roads will you be driving on – sealed freeways, winding back roads, dirt roads, construction sites? What sort of tyres will you need?


Who will be maintaining your truck? Do you need full service capabilities from the vendor or do you have your own service facilities?

Brand preference

Do you have a specific truck manufacturer in mind? Are there any brands you should avoid? Will a lesser known brand offer the same specifications without the premium price?

New or used?

What can you afford? How drastic is the depreciation if you buy new? How well has the truck been maintained if used? Does it have a full service record?

Buy or lease?

How often will you be using the truck? How long for? Is it a long term need or a one off project? If you buy, what's the likely resale value? If you lease, what does the truck end up costing you in the long term?

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