Shopping for trucks online

You can’t kick the tires while shopping online, but in a short time on the Internet, you can “view” hundreds of trucks – new and used – in search of one that fits your budget and hauling needs. Websites devoted to buying and selling trucks are numerous and varied. Bottom line: these Internet marketplaces help truck sellers and buyers find each other. Buyers can save time and money, especially when shopping for used equipment.

In surfing the Web in search of your next truck, you’ll find manufacturers’ and dealers’ sites with information about new and used products, classified ad sites listing used equipment for sale by individuals at set prices and auction sites that sell equipment to the highest bidders. You can submit a credit application to finance or lease a truck online – and get an answer back in a matter of hours. You can apply for insurance coverage online, too, anytime at your convenience.

Even if you don’t plan to actually buy a truck online, you can use the information-gathering power of the Internet to compare specs, pricing and resale value of different makes and models of trucks to help you make an informed purchase decision before you enter a dealership. Manufacturers’ websites can help you locate dealers, providing links to dealer websites, where new and used inventories are posted along with photos of the equipment, detailed descriptions, major specs and pricing information.

Other sites offer classified listings of trucks for sale along with phone numbers and e-mail addresses of sellers, enabling buyers to make offers directly to sellers. Most sites offer a used-truck search function that allows you to input the make, model, age, mileage, specs, price and other factors that are important to you. Listings of trucks matching your requirements are quickly found and presented for your consideration.

A recent survey of visitors to, Randall Publishing’s electronic trucking news magazine and information site, asked visitors to indicate what they think is the best source for used trucks. The results show that 41 percent feel the Internet is the best source. Classifieds came next at 31 percent, while 16 percent said word of mouth was best, and 12 percent indicated “other.” A buy and sell service on offers free classified ads both to buyers and sellers.

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Randall’s TruckMarketplace is an electronic version of the paper publication that is distributed through Randall’s existing circulation of Overdrive, Truckers News, CCJ, and Equipment World magazines. A search function enables you to find trucks by price range, make, model, type, engine hp, price under a certain amount and state.

Truck TraderOnline is one of a network of 20 websites specializing in the sale of various types of vehicles, boats, aircraft and other merchandise.

The company, the Electronic Media Division of Trader Publishing Co., claims to have the largest trucking classified ad site on the Web. You can search by year range, make, price range, region, state or area code.

Electronic Truck Brochures
Freightliner’s corporate website provides a wealth of information and links to other sites, including Freightliner Trucks, Freightliner SelecTrucks for used trucks, Sterling Trucks, Western Star and Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp..

The sites offer electronic brochures with features and benefits, standard specs, optional equipment and warranty coverages for each model. Freightliner Trucks’ site has QuickTime video programs that let you do a “walk-around” of the trucks, showing full interior and exterior views. Extensive dealer information is also provided, including hours for sales, parts and service departments, maps and driving directions.

The Freightliner SelecTrucks website, which welcomes you with an animated introduction and symphonic prelude, lists hundreds of fully inspected, premium-spec’d, fleet-maintained trucks. Each vehicle undergoes a 150-point inspection and is serviced, certified and detailed before it is listed. A used-truck locator lets you search the entire inventory. Also listed are factory-refurbished, used trucks that carry a 36-month/250,000-mile warranty and factory-reconfigured trucks that can be custom spec’d to meet your specific requirements.

The SelecTrucks site outlines a special used-truck program for first-time buyers and owner-operators. Called the Road to Success, the program offers a used tractor and package of benefits for a down payment of $999. The package includes 24-month/200,000-mile limited warranty coverage, 10 new tires, new batteries, and a coupon good for a new set of brake shoes, along with other benefits.

By financing through Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp. and Acceleron Financial, a division of Associates Commercial Corp., the buyer is offered a variety of flexible down payment and interest rate combinations tailored to meet the individual needs of truck buyers. At the MBCC site, a calculator enables you to figure monthly payments for leases and loans. A reverse calculator function lets you figure how much truck you can buy on your budget.

Volvo Trucks North America operates a very slick, sophisticated website that enables you to spec your own Volvo truck right on your computer. You select the model, wheelbase, engine, driveline components, rear axle/ratio, fifth wheel and other specs to arrive at the selling price and truck weight. Change the specs, click the “recalculate” button and watch the price and weight numbers change, making it easy to explore the range of options. To buy or lease the truck you spec’d, give the spec number to a Volvo dealer, who will order it from the factory.

Kenworth and Peterbilt websites provide virtual showrooms for new products, as well as new- and used-truck locators to search for trucks at dealerships. Details and photos of used trucks at the sites are supplied by dealers. A link to Paccar Financial is provided, and credit applications can be submitted online. Kenworth also has a site for locating used and rebuilt cabs, hoods, sleeper units and other parts for most truck makes at The service was previously only available to dealer personnel, but now anyone can use the parts site.

The International Truck and Engine offers extensive product information and photos. A link to a searchable used-truck locator takes you to, providing the name of the dealership where you can buy or lease the vehicle you select. The System One one-year/100,000-mile warranty is available on qualifying Class 8 tractors sold through the International Used Truck System.

Other links take you to International Finance Group and Harco National Insurance Company, where you can apply for financing and physical damage insurance coverage. Both can be included in the truck purchase payment. You can list specifics about the truck you plan to use as a trade-in for your used truck purchase and submit the form for consideration.

At Mack Trucks’ site, you find full product particulars, a new- and used-truck locator, and a customer profile form that you can submit online to Mack Leasing System. You can order gifts and accessories online with a credit card at Mack Shop, even a Mack Bulldog hood ornament.

Used Fleet Equipment
Used truck specialist Arrow Truck Sales lists more than 2,000 reconditioned and clean used medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers for sale at its website. You can quickly search the complete inventory for a specific truck you want, or you can browse through the listings. Arrow, with 18 locations across the United States and Canada, also offers a Truckwatch service that notifies you when a truck with the specs, mileage, price and other factors you stipulate becomes available through the company.

A recent Internet promotion at the Arrow site offered 1998 Kenworth T2000 tractors starting at $41,950, with $5,000 down and payments as low as $1,095 a month. Specs included 75-inch raised roof sleeper, 430/470 hp Detroit 12.7, Jake Brake, air-ride and full fairing package.
If you find a truck you are interested in buying at the site, you can go to the Arrow center where the truck is located and drive it away, or you can pay to have it delivered to you. The going rate for delivery is 90 cents or $1.00/mile.

Ryder lists its used trucks for sale at Vehicles are drawn from Ryder’s commercial lease and rental fleets and carry a Road Ready warranty that certifies they have been maintained to the highest standards. Each truck must pass a 43-point performance check to qualify and comes with a 30-day powertrain warranty. Detailed maintenance records, extended warranties, and flexible financing and payment terms are available.

Penske Corp. also sells, leases and rents trucks online. Used trucks are offered at All used vehicles are inspected and well-maintained, the company says. You can search separate databases for trucks, tractors and trailers or browse the entire inventory.

The Associates, a leading trucking industry lender, offers financing, leasing and insurance services for truckers at its website. As part of its refinancing service, the company provides a no-cost evaluation of terms on your current equipment vs. terms it can offer. You can apply online for preapproved financing for your next truck or trailer before you start shopping. The Associates also offers a variety of insurance plans and finance options that you can learn about at the site.

At the very least, the Internet provides an excellent tool for researching and gathering information on equipment you plan to purchase, whether you buy it online or at a local truck dealership. Preshopping for a truck online can save you a lot of time and effort in learning how certain makes, models and specs stand up against the competition in the used truck marketplace.

If you are buying new, you will have a better idea of how to spec for resale. The more informed you are before you sign on the dotted line, the better your purchase decision will be and, very likely, the happier you will be with your smart choice.

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