Buying Used Pickup Trucks - What To Look For

Buying Used Pickup Trucks: What Should You Look For?

Buying a used pickup truck is a lot harder than buying a used car. Used pickup trucks have often lived a harder workhorse-style life, which means there’s more to consider when you’re buying a truck than when you’re buying a normal family sedan or minivan. So just what should you look for? We have some answers that can help you when you’re checking out a used truck.

Towing and Hauling

One thing you’ll have to consider when buying a used truck is just how much towing and hauling the previous owner has done. Obviously, this isn’t something you’ll need to think about if you’re buying a hatchback or a convertible, but trucks are different. If a truck has spent 50,000 miles hooked up to a trailer, it may have caused more than normal wear on the truck’s mechanical components.

Of course, one way to find out just how much towing and hauling a truck has done is to simply ask the owner. But since you can’t always count on the truth from someone selling a used car — and since you can’t always count on a dealer to know the whole story — we recommend taking the truck for a mechanical inspection before you buy it. We especially recommend this if you see evidence of a lot of towing, such as a well-worn tow hitch, a severely bent rear license plate or a cable for wiring a trailer’s brake lights.

Off-Road Use

Another thing you’ll need to consider when buying a truck is exactly how it’s been used. Many used pickup trucks lead pampered in-town lives, but some are used in fields, on farms or on ranches — exactly as they were intended to be. The problem with this sort of use, however, is that it can cause a lot of wear to a truck’s suspension, chassis and other components. To check for off-road use, get under the truck and take a look around. If you see a lot of scratches, scrapes and bent parts on the truck’s underside, it may have had a rough life off-road. While this isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid a truck, it’s certainly a red flag that may warrant a mechanical inspection by a professional.

Commercial Use?

Many trucks are bought by businesses and used as workhorses in a wide variety of applications, including shuttling around the foreman and hauling serious debris and heavy goods. Because so many trucks are used by businesses, we wouldn’t tell you to avoid a truck that’s had commercial use, but we do suggest paying a mechanic to check it over before you buy it. Businesses aren’t always as careful with maintenance as private owners, and you’ll want to be sure that no important services were skipped. Buying a used pickup truck is hard, since used trucks have often had a rough life. But if you follow our suggestions and thoroughly check out any truck before you buy it, you’ll probably end up with a used pickup that serves you well for years to come.

This article by Doug Demuro was originally published on

Diesel vs. Gas Trucks

Diesel vs. Gas

If you're searching for a Diesel or a Gas Truck in the Columbiana, Ohio area, Cornerstone Trucks is the place to start your search. We offer one of the largest selections of HD trucks in the area.
One of the questions we get the most, which is better Diesel or Gas?
We figured we would take some time and answer that question here, while you are looking at our site and viewing trucks.


When comparing a Gas and a Diesel truck with similar engine displacement, the gas engine will generally offer more horsepower. But as the technology in these engines change over the years it is getting closer and closer to being the same. The gas truck used to offer up to 50 horsepower more but it is closer to 25 horsepower now. Horsepower is not what everyone thinks it is. These trucks are not sports cars. You are buying these trucks to haul things- Boats,Campers,Trailers. You are buying them to get work done not race each other. Torque is the real factor. Diesel trucks have a big advantage here. Diesel's have significantly more torque. Unlike the horsepower, the gap between torque is growing. That is why you see so many people out there hauling things with diesels and not gas due to this. Torque is important. Torque determines how much stuff or how heavy items can be that you can pull. Customers considering heavy duty hauling or towing should lean towards a diesel vs gas.

Fuel Economy  

It is true that diesel trucks offer superior fuel economy then their HD counterparts with gas engines. Up to 30 percent in examples over the last two decades. But the gas engines are starting to catch up with technology borrowed from diesel engines. Some manufactures are starting to use turbochargers, this boosts horsepower while keeping displacement lower resulting in better fuel economy. Transmissions and transmission technology also have an effect on fuel economy. Because it takes a heavy duty transmission to handle the trucks workload fuel economy has suffered. Now with new designs and technology such as eight and nine speed transmissions, fuel economy is on the up swing. Even with all of this being said, the diesel trucks still have a small advantage but that gap is closing.

Cost and Resale Value   

As everyone knows, the diesel engine has a higher initial cost over a gas truck. Normally in the used market there will be a difference of a thousand dollars from gas to diesel. The difference in the upfront cost plays out as you own the diesel truck. The fuel will generally be cheaper and the fuel economy is better. The other difference is a HD gas motor is rated for up to 250,000 mile service life. A diesel motor service life is 500,000 so the longevity is almost double. So in the long run diesels will win the cost battle over the life time of ownership. On the subject of resale, due to supply and demand, there are far more gas trucks produced than diesel trucks. Due to that, the market is always higher on a diesel truck. In the end, if you try to sell or trade one in, the value is always higher on a diesel. So, if you are a customer who trades vehicles frequently this will benefit you. This is also why diesel trucks justify the money when being resold. Dealers pay more at auction and from customers to take in trades. 

As you can see, diesel trucks offer many benefits to customers. Come talk to our expert sales team at Cornerstone Trucks to find out more about the advantages of diesel vs. gas. We would like to extend an offer to all customers that read this, to come in and ask us questions, take some trucks for a ride and let us help you find your next truck. Give us a call 330-482-3115 or stop by and talk to us in person.
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