Buying a used vehicle? Great price? STOP.
Are you sure you gain more than you lose? Check its history for hidden problems first.

Enter VIN here:

All vehicle types

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Airbag deployment Salvage Rebuilt Theft Junk Water damage Frame damage Fire damage Odometer rollback Title washing Title washing Lemon ...and other hidden problems

Truck VIN Check - VIN History report for all Trucks

Trucks are prone to all the same issues like cars and every used truck needs running a VIN report and an independent mechanic's eye before being pruchased. If you are not an experienced trucker you should not venture without an expert inspection. However, there are few points regarding vehicle history events specific for trucks.

There are different types of trucks used for different purposes and different price ranges. Small, Light, Medium, Heavy trucks Very heavy trucks and transporters, but all trucks have a frame, the basis that bears the vehicle's body and to which the powertrain is attached. Most often, the checks are requested for pickup trucks and heavy trucks (Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth). Will talk about each type separately and on this page are just some important points.

  • Heavy trucks are less prone to theft due to lower demand, large size and other properties that would otherwise makes them a prey. Theft records are rare. Which is not the case with pickup trucks, for instance, due to their wide usage.

  • Heavy truck engines are more prone to wear due to the specifics of their exploitations. Truck engine replacement or overhaul is a very expensive procedure. Buying a truck with a worn engine many cost you a fortune. This is one of the reasons why many truckers still prefer Peterbilt 359, 379 - multiple engine replacement options combinded with lower price, the same for transmisstions.

  • For classic Peterbilts with non-standard VINs manufactured before 1981 it is still possible to find some history data if they were involved in a severe accident or damaged, or sold at salvage auction.

  • Frame damage. On a new truck a frame damage won't necessarity total the vehicle. But your want to know about that damage events before you buy. A bent or twisted frame creates issues with alignment, tire and even part wear. Some truckers complain they get their tires torn, which also increases the risk of an accident and puts the driver's life in jeopardy. With heavy trucks its also a huge risk for other vehicles on the road. The cost of fixing a bent frame starts from $2000, depending on the method used and damage severity. In certain cases entire frame sections or rails are replaced. The good news is that, unlike with car unibodies, truck frames can fe successfully fixed and the truck won't have issues, including safety isses entailed by a unibody damage.

  • Heavy trucks are designed to sustain wear and heay load, they are durable and heavy. Being totaled in a crash means that the damage was really severe or the vehicle was really old. You want to know when the total loss event occurred to estimate the damage amount.

  • Engine overhaul or replacement does not mean that the vehicle should be totaled and get a salvage/rebuilt title. Engine replacement is a normal procedure for heavy trucks and in some makes/models, like Peterbilt 359, 379, engine, as well as transmission replacement choices, are very wide. An overhaul of a diesel engine is done every 500,000 - 1.000,000 miles with an average 100,000 miles per year, and most trucks serve for decades. If a truck has a branded title check VIN history for a big issue elswhere, not in engine replacement.

  • Frame damage on semi-trucks not always occurs due to an accident or misuse. Sometimes, the problem is caused by driver mistakes during exploitation or over-loading. The VIN plate on Pete trucks states openly that overloading voids the warranty.

New trucks alert

Generally, the newer the vehicle the worse the damage it need to receive to get totaled. But even if it still has a clean title you want to know about any kind of damage it might have sustained. Especially for new trucks. But this is not the only concern.

  • Be partucularly cautions about modern heavy turcks. Modern trucks are heavily computerized. Such a truck receiving a flood or fire damage is a worse pig in a poke that a normal modern car because the cost of maintaining and repairing a new truck (even new trucks need repairs) is very high as it requires special equipment for computerized systems, special qualification from mechanics and special facilities. The number of facilities providing such services is relatively small and the prices are high and the time diagnotics and repairs might take may be really long. Truckers cannot do any repairs on such vehicles on their own. Only really large businesses can afford maintaining such trucks. For a small trucker such a breakage may bring the entire business to a halt permanently or ruin him financially. That is the a reason why experienced truckers running small businesses or limited in finances prefer older models, like Peterbilts 359 or 379. It's not just just a matter loyalty and affection to classic trucks. Drivers / truckers can maintain or repair these trucks on their own simply because they are not computerized. Or find a shop or rebuiltder who can fix the truck relatively cheap because theses truck have a long mainteinance and repair history, a solid experience base, trouble and troubleshooting statictics has been accumulated and an abundance of replacement parts is available, as well as possibilities to vary and combine major parts, like transmission and the engine.

  • The same concerns pre-purchase inspections. For an older truck you can easily find an expert who will be able to actually check the entire vehicle for you with widely available diagnostic tools and for lower price.

  • Buying a damaged new heavy truck means that you will have to do repairs on your own and you cannot predict how much you will have to invest. Only an expert can tell that.

  • A semi truck VIN check may return a rebuilt title because it underwent frame stretching procedure. Truckers do so to customize the vehicle to their needs. It is important to make sure the frame was strengthened at the cut spots.

Finding VIN on a Truck

A VIN on a truck is generally located on a fixed part, you can optionally see the plate on the driver's side door but this one should not be relied upon.

  • On a semi-truck the VIN is generally found on the driver's side on a fixed body part on the front half. On Peterbilt trucks the VIN plate in often marked with a red Peterbilt logo.
  • Kenworth : right side frame rail about near the steer axle.
  • Right/front frame rail, can be seen if you open the hood
Buying a used vehicle? Great price? STOP.
Are you sure you gain more than you lose? Check its history for hidden problems first.

Enter VIN here:

All vehicle types

Free decoding provided by decodeall.com
Airbag deployment Salvage Rebuilt Theft Junk Water damage Frame damage Fire damage Odometer rollback Title washing Title washing Lemon ...and other hidden problems

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