Download our mobile app to browse the latest inventory and be the first to know about deals. Download Now

What to Expect During a Used Semi Truck Inspection

Truck inspection

Purchasing a used semi truck is a substantial investment, whether you’re a seasoned trucker looking to expand your fleet or driver becoming a semi truck owner operator. To ensure that you’re making a sound investment, it’s important to have the truck thoroughly inspected.

A used semi truck inspection begins with a look at the cosmetic elements of the truck before a thorough assessment of the engine and mechanical components.

Cosmetic Inspection

Exterior Semi Truck Inspection

The inspection process typically begins with a visual examination of the truck’s exterior. This involves looking for any signs of damage, rust, or corrosion on the body, frame, and undercarriage. The inspector pays particular attention to the condition of the tires, looking for tread wear and checking for any irregular tire wear patterns, which could indicate alignment or suspension issues.

Interior and Cab Inspection

The next step of the cosmetic assessment focuses on the interior of the driver’s cab, making sure the seats and upholstery are not too damaged or broken down.

Once the cosmetics of the used semi truck are reviewed, the engine and mechanical components are thoroughly inspected.

Mechanical Semi Truck Inspection


The heart of any vehicle is its engine, and this is especially true for a used semi truck. A comprehensive engine inspection involves checking for the following:

  • Oil leaks
  • The condition of belts and hoses
  • The overall cleanliness of the engine bay
  • Any signs of coolant, exhaust. or air leaks.

During this portion of the truck inspection process, the air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems are particularly scrutinized, ensuring the driver’s comfort during long hauls.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The transmission is another critical component to assess. During truck inspection, the inspector will evaluate the shifting quality, listen for any unusual noises, and check for signs of transmission fluid leaks. Additionally, they’ll examine the drivetrain, which includes the driveshaft, axles, and differential.

Brakes and Suspension

The brakes and suspension system are paramount for the safety of both the semi truck owner operator and other road users. Inspecting the brakes involves checking the condition of shoes, drums and brake chambers. The suspension components, such as shock absorbers and bushings, are also to be examined for wear and damage.

Frame and Chassis

A semi-truck’s frame and chassis provide its structural integrity. The used semi truck inspector will check for any signs of damage, rust, or frame bending. The frame should be straight and free from any visible cracks.

Electrical Systems

Modern semi-trucks come equipped with a multitude of electrical systems, from lighting to navigation and communication devices. During the truck inspection, all lights, indicators, and other electrical components are examined to assess whether these systems are functioning correctly.

Fluids and Leaks

Fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and hydraulic fluids are examined for contaminants and proper levels. Leaks of these fluids can indicate underlying issues, enabling the used semi truck inspector to identify critical issues that might require immediate attention.

Exhaust System

The exhaust system is also thoroughly examined for rust, holes, or damage. A damaged exhaust can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and harmful emissions. Any exhaust leaks forward or directly below the cab are safety violations.

Buy a Used Semi Truck with Confidence

A used semi truck inspection is a vital step in the purchasing process. At Ohio Truck Sales and OTS Truck Centers, we inspect each used semi truck in accordance with the FMCSA Annual Vehicle Inspection Report for safe operations and handling to ensure the safe transport of containers, trailers, and other heavy cargo.

Learn more about our truck inspection process, a key component of our promise to ensure that all our used semi trucks undergo extensive testing and reconditioning so that they are up to our highest safety, mechanical, electrical, and cosmetic standards.


Buy a Truck

Looking to jump start your career or upgrade your current truck?

Find a Truck
Dollar bill

Apply For Financing

We offer an easy application process with approval in 24–48 hours.

Apply Now

Download our App

Download Ohio Truck Sales’ mobile app today for exclusive specials.

Learn More
Back to Top