CRTS Insights

Top Questions To Ask A Dealer When Buying A Used Semi-trailer

Posted by David Shepherd on Sep 28, 2021 2:22:16 PM

Used Reefers When buying a used semi-trailer, the big question on everyone’s mind is how much it’ll cost. While it might be your biggest question, it should also be your last question. The cost of a trailer depends on several factors, and you won’t know if you’re getting a good deal until you get all the information first.

At CRTS, we want to help you get the best trailer for your needs. If you start your conversation about the price, you’re more likely to get a cheap trailer that doesn’t serve your needs. While it’s important to protect your bottom line, purchasing the right trailer will be more economical in the long run. And you have our promise to help you find the trailer you need for your application. 

Let’s take a look at the most important questions you should ask your dealer when buying a used semi-trailer.

Related: Questions To Ask Yourself As A Owner-operator

General Questions

A very good place to start your information journey is to let the dealer know what kinds of freight you will be hauling. This can have a big impact on finding the ideal trailer for your needs.

What condition is the trailer in?

This is the most important question about any trailer. No matter what the price is, you need to have a good understanding of its condition before you make a buying decision. Specifically, ask about:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • General appearance
  • Need for cosmetic repair
  • Need for structural repair

The trailer’s condition weighs heavily on its value and cost. 

If you’re calling in first, CRTS will let you know exactly what you’ll see when you come to the lot. We’ll be as honest as we can be about the trailer’s condition because we want to help you make the right decision about purchasing a used semi-trailer.Used Semi Trailer

What are the specs?

Find out what the trailer’s specifications are. Does it have dock lock capabilities or a lift axle? Does it have E-Track? What kind of a roof does it have? Are the wheels aluminum or steel? You should learn early on how the trailer is equipped.

Will it pass a current Federal inspection?

Generally speaking, if a trailer will pass Federal inspection, it’s in good enough condition to be bought. Typically at CRTS, every over-the-road trailer we run through the dealership gets a new Federal inspection — usually as soon as we receive the trailer into inventory. So, ideally, by the time you talk with us about the trailer, it has already passed inspection.

Dry Van Trailers

If you’re looking for a used dry van, your most important questions will be about the specs. Make sure to find out exactly what kind of specs the trailer has.

Reefer Trailers

Refrigerated trailers warrant more specific questions because you have a refrigeration unit to consider, in addition to the trailer itself. 

  • How many hours does the unit have?
  • When was the unit serviced last?
  • What is the unit capability? 

Some units are specifically designed for deep-frozen, some are designed for produce. It’s important to know what they’re designed for.

Flatbed Trailers

With used flatbed trailers, it’s important to know the condition of its structure. Is it an all-steel with a wood floor? Is it a combination trailer with a steel frame and aluminum deck? Is it all aluminum? The structure has a major influence on the weight of the trailer. Some types will avoid corrosion better than others, and some types will be less expensive than others.

The Right Trailer for the Right Job

It’s our mission to help you get more value out of your purchase in the long run. We look out for your best interests. We’ll talk about the positives and negatives (if there are any) to every piece of equipment we sell because we want to make sure you get the best trailer for your needs.

That’s what we’re known for. We’ve been in business for 50 years, and we’ve built a reputation throughout the region for looking out for our customers’ best interests.

Find the right trailer to fit your needs. Start searching here.


owner-operator buying guide

Behind You Since 1971


For 50 years, CRTS, Inc. has been a trusted partner to hundreds of transportation firms. We accomplished this by putting our customers first, providing unequaled service, and offering the best semi-trailer products available. 

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