Steel Deals - Semi Trucks

Many farmers have their own semi-trucks for hauling grain, livestock, and other products. It’s a huge purchase, but buying a used 18-wheeler will save you money.

Dave Mowitz is the machinery and technology editor for Successful Farming magazine. He says before you visit the dealer or an auction, go online and investigate current prices. It’ll give you a lot more bargaining power.

"You download the prices that are being asked for or being bid at auction. You also then look at the miles. That’s crucial on these trucks because they can range enormously depending on how they were used," says Mowit. "And then, very importantly, look at the specifications of the truck, and then you can go in and develop your own price range. Then you can bid or buy with more authority and feel like you got a good deal."

When you buy, say, a specific model of tractor, they all come with the exact same equipment and specifications. This is not true when it comes to semi-trucks.

"You will find some manufacturers had sold these trucks with as many as three different engines in them. For example, it’s not uncommon to find that Freightliner sold trucks with a Detroit, Caterpillar, and a Mercedes engine in them," he says. "For some reason people love the Cat engine, or they love that Detroit 455 hp engine, and they’ll pay a premium for that."

The gross vehicle weight rating, gear ratios, tires, suspension, and transmission will also have an impact on the price.

Learn more about deals on semi-trucks and learn how to get two free appraisals of your own equipment