We all know how or at least know someone who knows how to buy a car. To buy and sell cars seems to be half the business of television commercials these days, and often we feel overwhelmed with the ad plugs.
There is less help available when you need to buy a specialized vehicle, such as heavy equipment for construction, horse trailers, bulldozers, etc. Googling “refrigerated trailers for sale” is also proving counterproductive. Below we have a few tips for narrowing your search for these specialized vehicles as well as how to identify their most important characteristics:
Step One: Know Your Industry
This seems ambiguous, but it might be the most important thing you take away from this article. For example, currently there are 4 million operational trucks with refrigeration capacity, but not all are created equal. New ones are probably up to code, but they cost upwards of $60,000, and so chances are you’r exploring used options. Be careful in this, because restaurant refrigeration trucks might have to have different capacities and cooling levels than ice cream trucks or recreational vehicles as a matter of law.
Step Two: Understand What Good Actually Means
It’s also important that whenever you vet a new vehicle you take a good long look at its construction. Sure the paint might be new, but how’s the transmission or the freon line? How many miles are on it, and if it’s a specialized vehicle, how long did it work in its field, so to speak? For especially large vehicles, such as construction equipment, or vehicles that fulfill a specific niche, it’s also good to literally get on your hands and knees with a tape measure. Horse trailers for example require a certain amount of head room for the horse, about 75 centimeters in fact, and so oftentimes converted trucks masquerading as horse trailers aren’t going to cut it, regulation-wise.
Step Three: Master The Haggle
At the end of the day, you’re buying something weird and used. There are definite downsides to this, but one major upside is the ability to advocate for the lowest price. A lot of the times, buyers of niche vehicles have a lot of negotiating power simply because the demand for these large purpose-driven products is low. The seller is probably dying to get rid of his wood-paneled ice cream truck or his Volkswagen horse trailer, so research fair prices and advocate for yourself.
Step Four: Show Us Pictures!
Okay, this isn’t really step four, but we really like to see what strange things you guys are buying. Our favorite to date was a Bobcat that someone converted into a mini-trailer for their pet rabbits. So upload your weird vehicles in the comments section.