10 Secret Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck

Today I’m going to briefly cover the basic of a custom truck. Before I do, keep in mind the commercial trucking industry covers so many aspects. It isn’t just transportation. Many organizations have need of commercially rated vehicles.

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These range from work trucks to buses to construction vehicles to farm equipment and even military trucks. And there are many variations in between. It all depends on the actual type of work your organization does. Unlike yoga pants, one size doesn’t fit all.

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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Many companies need to have a custom truck for their business needs. Customization of vehicles has been done for as long as cars and trucks have been on the road. Most of these are done by aftermarket shops, businesses that specialize in turning factory production vehicles into something more.

1. What is Meant by a Custom Truck, What Does it Look Like

A custom truck is simply any truck (or other vehicle) that has been modified from the original manufacturer. They can be:

  • Hook lift Truck Bodies and body parts
  • Van Bodies & Box Trucks
  • Dump Truck Bodies
  • Service Truck Bodies
  • Utility Truck Bodies
  • Big Rigs (Semi)

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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People customize them for a couple of reasons such as; to improve performance, to better meet business needs, and to personalize their truck. Sometimes the customization can be simple things like aftermarket rims, grill, stacks, truck mirrors, fuel tanks, seats; basically anything to improve the look and feel of the vehicle. Other times it is to meet a specific need, like creating specialty boxes found on most commercial utility vehicles.

These nova days with the growing and developing technology in every single industry, the trucks of the future have not only been computerized and modified to respond to our comfort; they actually look like spaceships and you can find pretty much everything, from self driving trucks to special custom made trucks.

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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2. What are the Licenses and Permits Needed to Operate a Custom Truck?

Just like most other industries the federal government regulates the requirements for obtaining your CDL and permits needed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the responsibility of overseeing all this. Then of course each state has its own rules.

In this case where we are speaking about custom trucks, this will all depend on the weight class of your truck. The larger ones, in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, will require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Also depending on what you’re hauling you may require additional truck driving school training and endorsements. You may need to get a DOT physical, depending on legal and company requirements.

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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This is all dependent on, not only your state, but any state you will be operating in. Speaking of additional requirements, many of your additions may not be legal in all areas. An example might be window tinting, local ordinances tend to change from community to community. Same can be said for some air horns, and even specialty rims. So just make sure you are up on the various laws of the area(s) you’ll be operating in.

3. A Few Tips on Operating a Custom Truck

Well now you have a heads up on some legal issues and concerns with a custom truck, let’s touch on some other issues. What other concerns are there?  If you aren’t used to driving larger vehicles it can be quite different than your personal car. (Duh!) Besides getting in some good practice, here are some other issues to concern yourself with when driving your custom truck:

  • Blind spots (having trailers or boxes reduces visibility)
  • Turning radius (normally they can’t turn as sharp)
  • Width and Height (typically they are larger than other vehicles)
  • Braking time (usually takes added distance, especially when loaded)

Custom trucks are designed for trucking business, but as you can see there are some considerations, actually these are just a few. A less experienced driver might not realize some of these issues and not being careful can cause an accident, but best drivers will know what I am speaking about. Remember all accidents are reportable and can have a negative effect on your safety rating. Just be careful, regardless how long you’ve been driving or how good you are, you still need to watch out for the other drivers on the road.

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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4. Where Can One Find a Custom Truck?

Though you can find them at many locations, it won’t be as easy as finding a factory truck. It will depend on your needs, most likely though; you won’t be able to shop around the regular dealerships. You’ll have to look for lots that handle both factory direct and custom trucks.

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But, you can go online, check out the auto auctions, swing by the commercial truck dealerships, checkout magazines about truck and trucker fashion and newspapers; there are several options. However, it does really depend on why you want it customized. Just for personal reasons, you can shop around. But if the need is directly related to your business you may need to go to a specialty shop and have them fabricate the custom truck. They can tailor every detail to your exact specifications.

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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5. Buying a New Custom Truck Verses Used One

Once again there are several considerations when shopping around for a custom truck. One of the key considerations is cost. How much can you afford? Then you need to consider the miles and the abuse the custom truck might have had. Not everyone drives as smoothly as they should, especially when it isn’t their personal vehicle. Then again, wearing and tearing it also depends on the roads you are traveling; there are many dangerous roads for truck drivers out there!

If you are looking for a custom truck that is already setup and can shop around, wait until they are having sales. Most holiday weekends and at the end of the year are the best times. This is true whether you’re in the market for new or used. Though you might find a cheaper deal buying from an individual, it is best to buy from a dealership, because dealers will offer some kind of warranty, where a private seller won’t.

10 Things to Know Before Buying Custom Truck
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