Choosing the Right Semi-Truck for Your Business
If you own or manage a commercial hauling business, you’ll likely consider many factors before choosing which semi-truck to buy. After all, semi-trucks and trailers are each intended for specific jobs.
Types of Semi-Trucks
Day cabs: This commercial vehicle is best for short, easy hauls that do not require overnight trips. The cab includes a driver and passenger seat, but no room for sleeping or storage. Day cabs can haul almost any type of trailer and are good for driving in tighter spaces.
Sleeper trucks: There are three types of sleeper trucks: flat-roof sleepers, mid-roof sleepers and raised-roof sleepers. Each model has sleep and storage space to accommodate the driver’s comfort on long, overnight hauls. Sleeper trucks may have simple bunk spaces or RV-style amenities. They can pull lots of different trailers.
Slope-nosed trucks: The shorter, rounded front end of sloped-nose trucks accommodates a longer trailer that holds more cargo. They’re a good option for hauling heavier freight, like machinery and equipment, and can endure rough terrain.
Custom haul semi-trucks: While more expensive, custom haul semi-trucks are designed to meet your unique specifications and hauling requirements. You can include a wide variety of towing, monitoring and safety features that improve vehicle performance.
Consider What You’re Hauling
The cargo you’re transporting will determine the type of trailer you use and the semi-truck you need. You may require more muscle when puling heavy or bulky cargo, especially if you travel over rough terrain. However, short day trips likely won’t require a heavy-duty sleeper truck with all the fixings.
Here are some common types of semi-trailers:
- Flatbed: This trailer is used to haul cargo of various sizes and weight and is good for long-haul operations.
- Lowboy: A lowboy trailer has a lower vertical profile and is necessary for transporting taller, oversized loads like cars.
- Belt: These trailers have conveyor belts that automatically load and unload cargo without the driver leaving the cab.
- Drop deck: Also called step deck, the drop deck trailer has a lower platform that is best for cargo that exceeds the standard height limit.
- Tankers: This type of trailer is used to haul liquids like milk and fertilizers.
- Grain hopper: These trailers store and haul grain and are easy to load and unload.
The price tag on a semi-truck will reflect all its included bells and whistles. It’s important to think about the comfort and safety of your drivers when determining which features are must-haves and which you can do without.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do your drivers prefer a manual or automatic transmission?
- Does the commercial vehicle come with tire pressure monitoring or other automated components to keep it operating smoothly?
- Do you prefer a specific manufacturer?
Choose Your Dealer Wisely
There are advantages to buying from commercial and private dealers, so doing your research is essential. Buying a new or used semi-truck from a certified dealership means you’ll have access to reliable documentation and incident reports. Private dealers might not have records of all repairs, so you may run into unexpected issues. You may also have less recourse if there’s a problem with your purchase.
While new semi-trucks usually cost more upfront, you’re less likely to run into repairs and can rely on the vehicle warranty to help cover expenses. Used commercial vehicles are less expensive upfront and often have lower monthly payments, but they might not have a warranty.Bauer Built Blog