Before purchasing a used truck chassis, potential buyers should look for signs of rust to make sure the integrity isn't compromised. Most chassis also come with the cab, so buyers should check the engine, transmission and other core components.
Commercial chassis are designed with durability in mind, so used units can often provide years or even decades of reliable service. However, engines require regular service, and even though engines can last for one million miles or more, they eventually need to be rebuilt. By checking into the engine's service history, prospective buyers can better estimate how much service the engine is likely to need.
It's also important to look for signs of wear or rust, which can threaten the integrity of a chassis. Mechanics can remove rust from a used chassis, but doing so weakens the structure a bit. However, buyers willing to pay for some service might be able to save a significant amount of money when buying a chassis that hasn't been used in a while.
Buyers also need to ask about the service history of the chassis. Chassis designed for medium-duty work that have been used in a heavy-duty capacity might have more damage than one used within standard operating parameters. However, it can be difficult to learn the history of a chassis that has several previous owners.