If you are an independent truck driver, there are some things that you will need to know before purchasing a new or used semi truck. Even though you have experience driving these monstrous vehicles, you will need to take some important factors into account before making a purchase. Below are some of these considerations that you will need to make in order to make an informed decision on a new or used semi truck.

Power Versus Fuel Economy

Since hybrid-engine semi trucks are still a thing of the future, you will have to make some compromise about the power-to-fuel ratio of your new truck. While extra power under the hood is always nice, you will need to make sure that your truck's fuel economy is not burning a hole in your finances. As an independent truck driver, you need to ensure that you can always maximize profit in any circumstance.

These days, semi trucks run on diesel fuel. This is largely beneficial, since diesel engines have greater fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts. However, even though your truck's diesel engine will be relatively fuel-efficient, you can still end up wasting fuel by running an engine that is too large for your needs.

To select the right truck engine, consider the following engine factors:

  • Cylinder count
    • A higher cylinder count typically correlates to greater power output at the cost of increased fuel consumption.
  • Engine displacement
    • The engine's "displacement" is measured by how much volume (in cubic centimeters) is present in all of the cylinders combined.
    • The displacement will read something like: "10.1L V8"
      • This simply means that there are 8 cylinders in the engine that have a total volume of 10.1 liters.
    • Higher displacement engines consume more fuel than engines with smaller displacements.

Once you have found a truck with an engine that supplies ample power without chugging too much fuel, you will be one step closer to making a purchase.

Handling All That Power

Even though your truck's engine will be powerful enough to carry impressively large loads of cargo, all that power will go to waste if the engine's supporting components are weak or underpowered. One of these extremely vital components is the transmission. Without a strong transmission, your engine's power will go to waste.

To explain, here's how a transmission works:

  1. Fuel and air are added to the cylinders in the engine.
    • This mixture is heavily and rapidly compressed, creating an explosion in each of the engine's cylinders.
  2. The cylinders rotate the crankshaft.
    • These explosions force the crankshaft to rotate by putting pressure on the engine's pistons.
  3. The crankshaft powers the transmission.
    • The rotational energy of the crankshaft is sent into the transmission, where the energy is converted into energy that can turn the wheels of the car.
    • This is done using several complex gears, switches, and mechanical pressure plates.

If the truck's transmission is too weak to handle the power generated by the engine, the transmission's internal parts could easily shatter from all the excess energy. This problem is exacerbated when the truck is carrying heavy cargo, as the increased weight on the tires makes them harder to rotate. A weak transmission should be avoided at all costs, since even the weakest of transmissions could cost thousands of dollars to replace.

To avoid this unfortunate scenario, you will want to make sure that your truck's transmission is more than capable of handling any amount of force the engine could generate. Even more importantly, you will want to make sure that the truck's transmission can handle the stress of carrying heavy cargo across great distances.

Making A Decision

While there are many more factors that can be considered when purchasing a new or used semi truck, none are more important than the truck's ability to haul cargo as efficiently as possible. This ability hinges upon the truck's engine and transmission configuration, and should not be taken lightly. Using the information outlined above, you should be able to select a truck that will work for you for many miles to come. 

Be sure to visit http://www.arrowtruck.com/ for additional information.