Why California Trucks Outlast the Competition and Provide the Most Value

When it’s time to get a new heavy duty truck, you want something that will perform. Whether you need a day cab, sleeper, van, or dump truck, you want to buy something that’s best in class.

But many can’t afford to throw down hundreds of thousands of dollars on a brand new truck. That’s why so many opt to buy pre-owned trucks. Pre-owned trucks are often lightly used and well taken care of, especially if they’re from California, and they’re significantly less expensive than a brand new rig.

Some worry that buying pre-owned means they won’t get a quality truck or trailer, but if you rent or buy a pre-owned vehicle, you won’t sacrifice quality for price. There are so many pre-owned rigs out there that are nearly brand new.

You should consider trucks from California if you’re in the market for a sleeper, day cab, cab and chassis, roll off, service, flatbed, dump, rollback, vocational, van, trailer, or general trucking equipment. California trucks outlast and outperform trucks from other states. Here’s why California trucks are the best choice:

Buying a Truck from Out-of-State Can Result in Better Deals

If you live in East Coast and Midwest, why would you buy a truck from California, another state? Isn’t it simplest to buy locally? Is it expensive to get a vehicle across state lines?

Yes, often it’s simplest and easiest to buy in your own state. But when it comes to finding the best deal– a truck or trailer that’s affordable but also pristine– other states may be able to offer you a lot more.

The sheer amount of inventory in California trumps other areas, such as New York, Idaho, and Iowa. These states do have inventory, but California’s massive population and large amount of farmland means there are a ton of trucks, of all types, to choose from.

Pride in Equipment

There’s a reason that California is home to Hollywood. If there’s anywhere in the country that cares deeply about appearances, it’s the Golden State. Where else would the Hollywood elite fit in?

But caring about appearances goes far beyond celebrities. Those who own heavy-duty vehicles in California care deeply about their equipment and how it looks. California has 38.8 million people, containing 12% of the U.S. population, making it the most populated state in the country. There’s fierce competition for business with thousands of trucks on the road.

Californians who rely on heavy-duty trucks to do business want their equipment to look professional and polished. A good-looking truck can make or break a business deal.

Weight and Stress

California’s weight limit of 80,000 pounds helps reduce stress on a trucks engine, transmission and other vital components. In many states trucks are pulling up to 105,000 pounds. Just imagine what that extra 25,000 pounds does to a truck over time.

Miles and Miles of Paved Roads

California may not seem like it’d have the best roads in the country, but what sets it apart is how much of its roads are paved. California has 2,335,424 miles of paved roads.

Why do paved roads matter? Paved roads spell out less road damage from rocks or other hazards that chew up truck bodies and components. California doesn’t have nearly as many bumpy, dirt roads as other states. Unpaved roads are hard on heavy duty trucks.

If you’ve driven around California, you may feel bumps and potholes in paved roads. Yes, California roads are not always perfectly smooth. These bumps, however, are much kinder to heavy duty trucks than lack of pavement.

California State Truck Laws

California can be an annoying place to live due to its laws and regulations. But if you’re in the market for a heavy duty truck, the state truck laws can work to your advantage.

In California, any commercial vehicle over 10,000 pounds must have a DOT inspection once a year, but they must also have a BIT inspection every 90 days. This ensures that the trucks on the road are always in tip-top shape, and encourages owners to take good care of their vehicles.

Additionally, California truck owners are subjected to random inspections at the scales. More inspections result in more repairs. Therefore, to avoid costly downtime, California truck owners usually make sure their trucks are in prime running condition.

Sunny Climate Limits Corrosion and Rust

California’s sunny, Mediterranean climate is one of the best reasons to buy a pre-owned truck from the state. Although there are mountainous areas that receive snow and rain, most of the state is relatively sunny, seeing temps in the 60s, and sees very little or no snow at all.

In the driest part of California, El Centro, there are 2.9 inches of rainfall per year. In the wettest, San Rafael, there are 35.2 inches of rain per year. But in New York, the driest part sees 34.3 inches, and the wettest part sees 62.8 inches.

The climate lacks humidity, which means trucks aren’t as susceptible to corrosion and rust. In general, the state is relatively corrosion-free and rust-free zone, resulting in pristine heavy duty trucks. Let’s explain:

What’s Corrision?

Corrosion is damage to metal, stone, or other materials. While rust is a form of corrosion, the term also applies to wiring and other components.

What Corrosion Does to a Truck

Today’s trucks are full of electronics and parts that are extremely sensitive to corrosion. Corrosion in your wiring or electronics can be costly, if they can be fixed at all.

What’s Rust?

Rust is the product of corrosion, and it happens when an anode (a positively charged electrode), a cathode (a negatively charged electrode), and an electrolyte (electrolyte) come together. Rust looks dirty, but also leads to safety and equipment issues.

What Rust Does to a Truck

While you can find rust on almost all equipment there are varying degrees of severity. In California there are trucks that run in the mountains or strictly along the coast that can accumulate rust, but most rust you find on California trucks is simple surface rust. This is the type of rust that can be removed with a little sandpaper and elbow grease. Engine, chassis, frame, exhaust are all susceptible to rust.

Rust looks dirty, but it also weakens metals, creates holes, prevents proper conduction of electricity, causes issues in engines, and makes rough surfaces causing moving parts to stick or grate.

Lack of Salt on Roads

The lack of snow and ice means no salt on the roads, and coastal mountains prevent salty air from reaching inland areas. Salt can be incredibly corrosive to vehicles, and is very common in other parts of the country, but not in California.

Salt speeds up the process of corrosion because it acts as an electrolyte. Water is also an electrolyte which is a necessary ingredient for rust, but salt makes the process happen even faster.

No Damaging Frost Heaves

Unlike New Englanders, Californians don’t know what frost heaves are. A frost heave is an upward selling of soil due to freezing conditions, and it can cause breaks and bumps in the pavement that result in a bumpy, potentially damaging ride.

Riding on a road with frost heaves is like going on a rollercoaster ride, and they’re especially common in northern New England, where it’s often below freezing in winter, and there is a substantial amount of snow and ice.

California’s mild weather prevents frost heaves from affecting paved roads. Although frost heaves aren’t particularly dangerous, these bumps and heaves can be hard on a truck body.

Rigid Smog Laws Force Great Trucks Out of State

California has very stringent smog laws, and trucks have to be tested to make sure they meet the emission standards. Although this legislation is environmentally-friendly, it can make it difficult to keep certain vehicles in the state.

But these laws are so strict that they force pristine low mileage trucks out of the state because they don’t meet California’s high standards. Even cars are subjected to these rigid tests. Any vehicle, besides those built before 1975 as well as electric vehicles and motorcycles, is subjected to these checks once per year.

For Californians, this is frustrating, but for out of state buyers, this means great deals on trucks that are still in their prime.

Trailers, Too

It’s not just pre-owned trucks that are worth exploring, but also trailers and other trucking equipment. Trailers don’t have engines that are susceptible to corrosion, but they do have costly components that can be damaged.

For all the reasons listed above, trailers from California are durable, less likely to rust, and are well cared for. If you buy your trailer from a dealer you trust, you’re likely to end up with a trailer that’s the right choice for you, even if it’s sight unseen.

Buying anything used can be a significant risk, but the right dealer can reduce that risk by making sure that every trailer is the right piece of equipment for you and your company.

How to Ensure You Get a Great Truck from California

Purchasing a truck is a big decision, no matter where you buy it from. Just like anything else, buying in California is not risk-free.

There are a few things you should be aware of before buying a California truck:

  • Traffic. California has a lot of it, and it can put stress on your equipment. When asking for specs, you might want to include engine hours. Depending on what application the truck had in its previous life, engine hours give you a good indication of the true wear and tear of the vehicle.
  • Taxes. Everyone knows California is the land of taxes, but if you understand the tax laws, you can save thousands of dollars on how you take delivery. Ask your dealer for the best options. They will be glad to help.
  • Mileage. This one’s obvious. After all, who would buy a vehicle without knowing the mileage? But California trucks are on the road all the time. How many miles does the heavy duty truck have on it? Make sure you know.
  • Reasons Owner is Selling. It may be beneficial to learn why the owner is selling the vehicle, if possible. Perhaps they simply added another vehicle to the fleet or are selling the truck because it didn’t pass emissions tests. Whatever the reason, it can be helpful to know.
  • Dealership. The right dealership can help make the process as smooth as possible. When you’re buying a truck from out of state, there can be some extra administrative steps to jump through to make sure everything works out. The right dealer can make the process easy.

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