When you run a big rig and need to have a truck appraisals conducted, how do you know what will come into consideration during the process? Knowing what the equipment appraiser is looking for helps you know how to judge equipment values, whether you're considering making a new purchase or figuring out when to upgrade from your old standby. Here are a few things to keep in mind when having your semi tractor appraised:
Valuing a Semi Part 1: Truck Appraisals
- Show us the paper. Though it seems like it wouldn't have as much to do with your truck's machinery valuation, having proof of maintenance and repairs is vital to the process. Whether you keep a regular maintenance and repair log, have an envelope with all the repair receipts in it or can get a copy of the records from the shop you always use, documentation helps prove good care of your truck.
- In good condition. Though it's normal to have some average wear and tear on your truck, it should show that it has been keep up, whether that's through regular washing, a clean interior or an engine compartment that is well kept and in good repair. Much like documentation, this step also proves that your truck has been well maintained.
- Mileage matches wear. Though most people wouldn't dream of messing with the odometer, some shady shops will try to tamper with it to gain a few dollars in the sale price. Equipment appraisals will take a good look at the wear and tear of the entire vehicle, and if it appears to have much more wear and tear than the odometer would support, you may want to have documentation on hand in the form of mileage logs or similar paperwork to back up your claim. Excessive wear is often related to early failure of a variety of systems, lowering the final appraised value.
- Free from signs of abuse. Much like the mileage concern above, this step is to ensure that the truck will continue to operate for an expected period of time. Abuse can include repairs that have not been seen to, too much play in steering, suspension, brakes and similar systems, poorly made repairs, cracks or dents, bends in the frame and similar concerns. Trucks that have been hard used and not cared for often have much earlier failure rates than trucks that have been well maintained.
- Manufacturer-added or -approved features. Everyone can buy a basic truck, but one that has a few more bells and whistles will demand a higher price in the market, which is reflected in the appraised value. But what about additions that were manufactured by third parties or part of customization outside the manufacturer's specifications? You may actually end up lowering your truck's value. Why? If a feature was added that causes additional wear and tear on a particular system or circumvents a safety feature, it can actually cause the truck to fail sooner instead of adding value to a normal life cycle.
Knowing what to expect during a machine appraisal helps you get through the process quickly and easily by allowing you to have everything you need on hand and accessible for the process. But now that you know what to expect in truck appraisals, what about the trailer? Tune in next time for the second part of this series, dealing with trailer appraisals, and don't forget to contact us for all your appraisal needs.