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How to Buy a Used Commercial Truck

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Buying a used commercial truck is a great way to start your business, or upgrade the equipment you have in your existing business. Every commercial truck is different when it comes to features, safety and price, so you will have to decide what kind of truck will work best for your business. While used trucks are more affordable than new trucks, you will also have to set a budget and decide how to finance your purchase. Buy a used commercial truck by finding the one you want, having it inspected and deciding how to finance it.

1   Look for used commercial trucks online.

•    Search local advertisements online as well. You might find private sellers who have commercial trucks on Craigslist or through the sites run by local car and truck dealers.

2   Check the inventory at local truck dealers. Your newspaper or community directory will provide a list of car and truck dealers in your city or town.

•    Talk to the dealer about what you are looking for and be sure to explain that you are interested in a used truck. Test drive anything that you like.

3   Inquire about commercial trucks for sale with truck rental companies.

4   Go to an auction. Automobile auctions will often include commercial trucks. Dealers in your area will know when auctions are scheduled.

5   Choose a truck that meets your business needs and has a good safety record. The dealer you buy it from is required to provide you with information on whether it has been in accidents or had extensive mechanical work done.

6   Determine the value. Once you choose a truck to buy, research what it is worth before you make an offer.

•    Find value estimates through Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides. Use their websites to search for value by make, model and year. You can also use these resources to get information and customer reviews on the used truck you are buying.

7   Get the truck inspected by a professional mechanic before you buy. You want to make sure it is safe and in good working order.

•    Reconsider the purchase if significant repairs are needed or safety issues are indicated.

8   Negotiate a price with the dealer or seller. Use the estimated value and the inspection results to get the best price for the used commercial truck you want to buy. 

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Extend The Life Of Your Beloved Truck

The Long Haul: 10 Tips to Help Your Truck Run Well Into Old Agesemi1A truck is like most things in life: You get out what you put in. And for those who depend on their vehicle day-in and day-out to deliver results, a bit of care and maintenance goes a long way. While each make and model will have its own special needs (yes that means consulting the owner's manual) with these simple maintenance tips, your truck can continue running like it's fresh off the lot for years to come.

We compiled these things any man can do to help keep his truck running smoothly.

1. Never Miss an Oil ChangeoilThis one's easy, but no doubt one of the most important things you can do to ensure a long life for your truck (or any vehicle for that matter). Ford recommends you do this every 7,500 miles or six months (whichever comes first) for 2008 model year trucks and newer. For older, higher mileage trucks, always change your oil filter when you change your oil. Be sure to pick up the best oil for your needs. There are dozens of varieties of oil and a wide range of high mileage options tailored to increasing the life of older engines, so be sure to consult your owner's manual to ensure you pick the right viscosity-index for your truck. And then double check before you buy—having to visit the same auto shop twice in one day for a single item is both embarrassing and a waste of time.

2. Rotate Your TyrestyresChanging your oil is a good time to check up on other types of routine maintenance too. Rotating your tyres each time you change your oil helps ensure an even wear—because tyres wear unevenly according to the drivetrain of your truck. "Tyre rotation is very important,"customers often think, 'Oh I just need to change the oil at the prescribed interval, but we recommend that you rotate your tyres every time you have your oil changed, so that your tyres are wearing evenly." While it depends on how you use your truck, the front tyres will typically see the most wear. Rotating them can not only extend the life of the tyres themselves, it can make for a smoother ride and reduce the burden on your truck's suspension that can come from unevenly worn tires. If there are any alignment issues you should be able to spot them when the tyres are rotated. Check your owner's manual for the recommended tyre rotation pattern.

3. Keep Your Tyres BalancedbalancingWhen getting your tyres rotated, it's also worth having them balanced. A tyre is balanced when the weight of the tyre is equally distributed around the axle. With each bump, pothole and off-road mission, your tyres get more and more out of balance. An unbalanced set of tyres can lead to vibrations on the road and cause increased wear on your suspension as well as uneven wear on your tyres. If you need to have a tyre replaced or patched, that's also a good time to get them balanced.

4. Alignment is Key

alignmentIf around the time of your oil change, your truck is pulling to one side or the other it's probably time for a wheel alignment. Driving over rough roads at high speeds and aggressive driving can both increase the likelihood of misalignment. If your wheels are out of whack, you'll cause higher wear and tear on tyres, generally get worse fuel mileage, and experience poor handling on the road. Getting your wheels aligned pays off big in the long run. Vehicle pulling can also happen when your tyres are unevenly inflated or you've got your truck bed weighed down heavily on one side. Inflate all of your tyres to the designated pressure and keep your load evenly secured and spread across your bed to reduce pull.

5. Check Your Lights

lightsIt's easy to get complacent, so that you're only thinking about maintenance around oil changes, but monthly checks on a few basic components are worth the minimal time investment they require. That way, if there are any issues with your vehicle, they'll be on your radar before they become bigger problems. For instance, check that all of your interior and exterior lights are working properly. A dim light can indicate an electrical problem, while a burned out light can be dangerous and lead to a hefty fine. And while you're at it, ensure your glove box is stocked with spare fuses—few things are as embarrassing as calling a tow truck when all you really need is a replacement fuse.

6. Make Sure Fluid Levels are Up

fluidNext, check out your essential fluid levels. The most important one to check is the engine oil. Just make sure it's cool first, in order to get an accurate reading. Also, check the oil itself. If it's dirty or smells like gasoline, it's time for a change. Next, engine coolant. Truck engines make a lot of heat; this is what keeps them from overheating. Check the levels by popping the cap (generally identifiable by a warning and matching illustration indicating you should never open when engine is hot). Refill as needed with the coolant specified in your owner's manual. Finally, check out your windshield washer fluid. It's a good idea to keep an extra jug of the blue stuff somewhere onboard, especially in winter, when salt and sand are on the road.

7. Give Your Engine a Breath of Fresh Air

filter

In order to function at it's best, engines need clean air. Over time, air filters become clogged with dust, debris, and chemical contaminants. Swap in a fresh engine air filter every 20,000 to 40,000 km or even more often if you're frequently driving on dirt roads. A clean air filter will not only help your engine last longer, it can optimize your engine's efficiency and acceleration.

8. Know Your Driving ConditionsriverRoutine maintenance and checklists can only get your truck so far down the road. One of the most important aspects of long term care is keeping in mind what kind of wear and tear you're putting on your truck. Whether you're carrying heavy loads, driving off road, or making multiple short trips daily, the way you use your truck will determine the exact type of maintenance you'll need. Some driving conditions require special maintenance, such as if you're in a high idle situation or dusty conditions, the vehicle can't sense that, so it changes the scheduled maintenance.   Talk to your local mechanic about the best ways to care for your truck given the roads you're driving on each day.

9. Stop in for an InspectioninspectionIf there's one thing that can help keep your truck going longest, it's knowing when to bring an expert in. Most automakers offer specified checks at dealerships. Everything from your batteries to spark plugs to brake pads is analyzed for issues. Technicians should spot potential problem areas early, based on wear, helping keep you safe and your truck running longer.

10. Read UpmanuelEverything you need to know about keeping your truck running well is in the owner's manual. From cleaning, to optimal fluids, to maintenance checklists — it's all in the book.  Too many times customers only refer to the owner's manual when they have a question about how something might work, but there is a lot of good information with regards to fuel, oil, and how they should maintain their vehicles

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Your Business Is Your Most Valuable Asset

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You need to be free to concentrate on running your Trucking Business

You don’t have the knowhow or time to spend doing the advertising too

Contact us for more information on how we can manage that important task for you by clicking the link below

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Repairing Scratched Headlights

headlights

step1   step2

Step 1

Do one headlight at a time. Start by washing the lens and surrounding area completely using dish detergent. Normally you would avoid harsh detergent because it strips your car’s wax and dries out the paint, but that's what you need in this case. Rinse and allow to dry completely.
  Step 2

Apply painter's tape to the car's body around the headlight, making sure to cover the rubber seal around the headlight (if there is one). Apply more tape for a wider margin of safety. Use a rubber spatula to press the tape down and work it into the crevices around the light. Use a razor to trim away excess tape where the rubber seal meets the lens.

step3   step4

Step 3

Wrap a strip of 500-grit sandpaper around a foam sanding block or large sponge. The foam helps distribute pressure on the sandpaper so you don’t leave deep gouges in the lens.

 

Step 4

Press the sandpaper-wrapped block to the headlight lens, and start sanding the lens in a back-and-forth motion. Every 10 seconds or so, switch the direction of sanding. This straight-line, alternating-stroke method avoids putting circular swirls in the plastic, which will show in the finished product.

step5   step6

Step 5

Keep sanding until the surface is uniformly frosty and completely opaque. Keep sanding until it feels as silky smooth as sanded pinewood.
 

Step 6

Wipe the headlight down with a microfiber cloth to check your work. Be sure you adequately sanded edges and corners. When you're satisfied, rinse the headlight with clean water.

step7   step8 

Step 7

Fill a 5L container with water. Add dish detergent and drop in a few pieces of 1000- and 2000-grit sandpaper to soak.

  Step 8

Fill a spray bottle with soapy water from the container and heavily mist your headlight. Wrap the foam block 1000-grit sandpaper and sand the headlight just as you did with the 500-grit. Keeping the spray bottle in your other hand, give the lens a fresh spray every time you change sanding directions. Keep it wet and slippery.

step9   step10 

Step 9

Sand until the paper slides smoothly over the headlight lens and you can't feel any rough spots. Rinse and dry the lens, preferably with compressed air. Look at the lens from an angle. If you see irregularities, re-wet the lens and keep sanding with a fresh piece of wet sandpaper.

 

Step 10

Wash, rinse, and repeat with 2000-grit paper. Rinse and dry the lens completely when you're finished. The lens should be almost uniformly clear (with some slight hazing).

step11   step12
Step 11

Fold a microfiber polishing rag into quarters. If you're using liquid headlight polish, run a thick line of polish along the top of the headlight. If you're using a paste-type plastic polish, load your rag up with about an ounce and smear it all over the lens.

 

Step 12

Work the polish all over the lens until it’s covered uniformly, then add a bit more polish to your rag. Polish the lens with medium pressure, using the same method you used while sanding. Make complete passes over the lens, polishing in one direction; then flip the rag over to a cleaner side for another pass. The longer you polish, the better the result will be. Keep going until the surface feels completely smooth and uniform. Note: This will take much longer than you expect it to.

step13   step14 

Step 13

Wash the headlight with detergent water, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry completely. Wipe the lens down with rubbing alcohol and a clean, lint-free towel. Spray with lens sealer and wipe it with a lint-free towel as directed by the sealer packaging.

  Step 14

Step back to admire your work. With the lens completely clear and smooth, and the sealer filling in any minor imperfections to form a perfect, glass-like sheen, your headlight should glitter, jewel-like, in the sun. Now repeat all of these steps on the other headlight.

Get two microfiber cloths—one to wash, one to dry. Microfiber cloths can be purchased at most supermarkets, auto supply stores and home centers. They are machine washable and reusable.

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Use Toothpaste For Clean Headlights

before   after
Before   After
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For the longest time I have thought that my headlights looked very dim and that I could probably clean my headlight covers to remedy this.  Yesterday I decided to do something about it.

There are many products you can buy to do this. I am cheap and lazy so I decided to do it another way.

This is actually super easy and relatively quick to do.  Searching on Google, I found people using toothpaste doing the same thing here and here and here and here and here and here.  So I figured it would be worth a shot.

Get a rag or two you don't mind getting dirty, and some cheap toothpaste.  This is what we will use as our abrasive.  If you have a buffer, go ahead and use it to get faster and better results.

My vehicle is about 13 years old. I don't know if the headlights have ever been properly cleaned.

Apply the toothpaste and vigorously rub the toothpaste over what needs to be cleaned.  Then wipe off the toothpaste with a clean rag (or clean part of the rag).

The results should come pretty fast and easy!

Warning:

Toothpaste is an abrasive.  You are essentially sanding away the haziness.  If you have a lens protectant, you will be sanding this away as well and may want to replace it after doing this. 

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Top Sales Tricks for Truck Sales Reps

Selling heavy trucks requires a high level of product knowledge.

salestruckSelling heavy trucks is different than selling cars and pickup trucks to customers for personal use. Your heavy truck customer is buying a new truck to use it to earn money for his business. The trick to successful heavy truck sales is to understand buying a truck for the commercial truck buyer is a process and not an on-the-spot decision.

Be The Expert

Heavy truck specifications are complicated. Truck buyers must decide on engines, transmissions, wheelbase lengths and tyre sizes. Different regions of the country feature trucks to conform with local laws and weight restrictions. Added to a basic truck can be equipment such as truck bodies or specialty equipment. Become the truck salesman who can show a customer which choices among all of these options will provide the right truck to meet his requirements.

Be a Partner

handshake

A benefit of selling heavy trucks is your customers will be regular buyers. Think of yourself as a partner in a customer's trucking business. You will be his resource for information concerning service and parts through your dealership. Make regular sales calls and visits to your customer's places of business. Learn how their business works, and when the time comes for a new truck, you will be the first and only phone call.

Ask and Ask Again

salescallOther truck salesmen may not take as much care staying in contact with their customers. Those customers are your prospects for new truck sales business. Do not be afraid to ask for a company's future business or the opportunity to put in a quote for the next truck purchase. Regular contact with potential customers will have them pulling out your phone number when it is time for a new truck.

Features and Benefits

The specification printout for a new heavy truck is long and detailed. Do not use this printout as your main price quote literature. Write up a separate quote letter with the specification highlights that will allow the truck to perform the tasks the buyer needs. The selling tactic of highlighting a feature, then explaining the benefit to your customer will allow him to see how your truck proposal is the right choice for his business.

New Customer Questions

When you start talking to a prospective customer looking for a new truck, you can take the lead in the discussion by asking a couple of questions. The first question: "What are you going to use the truck for?" will allow you to show how your trucks will meet his needs. The question: "How are you going to pay for it?" will allow you to close the sale by recommending financing sources and plans that will fit the customer's budget.

questions

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The Pros and Cons of Tanker Trucks

One of the best things about being a truck driver is there are many options within the industry for drivers to do what they want. Tanker truck driving is a great example. While it might seem similar to other types of driving, tanker drivers need their own special skill sets and knowledge to do their jobs well.

tanker

Many drivers get extra training driving a tank truck due to the special challenges they pose. Driving a tanker isn’t like driving a dry van or reefer, and not all drivers like driving tanks. Before you jump in, you may want to take some time to get trained on food-grade trucks and see if tanker driving is right for you.

The Pros and Cons of Tanker Truck Driving

The most important thing to understand about driving a tank truck is it’s not like any other kind of load. Tankers are challenging and tough to drive.

That said, they also have some advantages that make them a great choice for some drivers.

Advantages of Tanker Trucks

Pay

One of the biggest advantages of driving a tanker truck is that it pays well, especially if you want to pull hazardous materials.

Wait Times

Another advantage to being a tanker truck driver is there’s generally less waiting than with other loads. Unlike dry van and reefer driving, tanker drivers can usually load and unload their trailers themselves. This reduces their downtime and lets them get back on the road faster.

Along with this, tanker drivers also don’t have to deal nearly as much with equipment. With tank driving there are no pallets, straps, or loading or unloading equipment. You’ll still need your regular tools to perform small maintenance tasks. However, you won’t need to wait at a loading dock for workers to secure your load (or break your back doing it yourself).

Scales

One thing many drivers enjoy about driving tanker trucks is they are easier to balance. Tank drivers don’t need to worry as much about balancing their loads across their axles or staying under their GVWR. It is possible to overload a tanker truck, but it’s much less common than with dry vans. And since liquid loads tend to move while you drive, balancing it across your axles doesn’t make much difference.

Less Physical Work

Finally, many tanker drivers appreciate that loading and unloading tanks is less physical than loading a flatbed or dry van. You’ll still have to crank landing gear and hook up air hoses, but you won’t need to strap or tarp loads on a windy day. Many tanker drivers have been driving for decades and still enjoy the work as much as they did when they started.

Disadvantages of Tanker Trucks

Surge

One of the biggest downsides to driving a tanker truck is that they’re not easy to drive. Unlike a dry van or flatbed, a tanker’s load moves and shifts with every turn, stop, and lane change. Many drivers refer to this as “surge” - the feeling of the liquid in the tank sloshing when the truck moves.

Surge can make it feel like your truck is accelerating too slowly or like it won’t stop fast enough. It can also throw your whole truck off balance if you take a turn too quickly.

The key to driving a tanker safely is patience and control. You need to keep your speed low in order to drive safely, and you need to practice in order to learn how to beat the surge. These are skills that you’ll get better with over time, but training and experienced help can also make it easier.

Protective Measures

Another disadvantage of driving tanker trucks, at least with hazardous materials, is the need to take special safety precautions when loading, unloading, or driving. Depending on the materials these can vary considerably. You may need to wear a respirator while pumping product in or out or even wear a full PVC protective suit.

safetywear

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Tips for Conserving Fuel

truckredYou may not realize it, but of all the variable costs for a truck owner-operator—such as maintenance, insurance, permits, licenses, and tolls—fuel is your most controllable expense, but also the easiest to waste. So how do you accomplish good fuel economy? Your truck must overcome three things: air resistance, rolling resistance, and gravity. Here are some driving tips to address these issues and avoid wasting fuel.

Don’t speed. Did you know it takes about 40-50 more horsepower to drive at 120 kmh than at 100 kph? Higher speed requires more horsepower, which in turn requires more fuel. Experts agree that every km per hour driven over 96 kph reduces fuel economy by one-tenth of a km per gallon.
    
Perform regular preventative maintenance. Along with sticking to your preventative maintenance schedule, check your kilometers per litre each time you fill your tank. If it ever falls, determine the reason.
    
Check your tyre pressure. Once a week, check the air pressure in all 18 of your tyres and air them up to the manufacturer’s specifications.

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Accelerate slowly. Slower acceleration consumes less fuel and is easier on your equipment. Quick acceleration may get you a few extra seconds, but it creates premature wear on your engine, driveline, and tyres, in addition to increasing your fuel costs.
    
De-accelerate slowly. Slow braking avoids precious fuel from being converted to wasted energy. With hard braking, a lot of the fuel you’ve used to get up to speed is wasted when you apply the brakes. Watch ahead a distance of 12 seconds, and you should rarely have to react at the last split second.
    
Limit your idle time. Idling requires about a 5 litres of fuel per hour. That’s a tidy sum a week if your truck idles for eight hours a day. An extra blanket for when it’s cold outside and window screens for when it’s warm can help limit your idle time.
    
Make sure your trailer is snug to the tractor. Although your ride may not be as good, when your trailer is snug tight to the tractor, you cut down on wind resistance. The fuel savings are worth the trade-off.
    
Buy through the company fuel network. If you work for a trucking company (about 30% of all truck drivers are employed by the trucking industry), buy fuel through your company’s fuel network to control the cost and quality of fuel.

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Marketing Strategies Letting You Down?

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No matter how hard you try, are your marketing strategies letting you down?

You need to contact us at Truk to assess your marketing needs, and put strategies in place to produce Positive Results for your Company today.

You need to concentrate on your business, free from the hassles of bad or inefficient marketing which is NOT benefitting your Company.   

Truk is professional and effecient and will assist you to get your business out there. 

Good marketing results in more sales.                                                                                                                                                               

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Do You Want to Follow Your Dream?

Building a “Successful Business” is every true Business man’s dream.

There are many aspects to a Successful Business, and many important decisions to make daily, but none more so than getting the best professionals to handle your marketing for your business.

Make that important decision today, click below and follow your dreams with a smile on your face.

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