Using Age to Determine Truck Overhaul Status

Key Takeaways for Decision Makers
BUYERS: The larger the truck the more important it is to pay attention to hours and mileage. Requesting any maintenance records might also be beneficial before purchasing in order to determine what, if any, overhaul has been completed.

Looking at the economic life hours of on-highway flatbed trucks as well as the annual use hours makes it easy to determine the years a truck will have before needing overhaul. Generally speaking, the larger the truck, the longer it will last before needing any major maintenance like rebuilding an engine or replacing a transmission. Comparing years before overhaul with the average age of trucks on the market can give you a good idea of what to expect when purchasing different sizes of flatbed trucks.

Trucks from 6,000 to 14,000 pounds are usually considered light duty, and those on the market tend to have an average age less than 5 years. You can expect light duty flatbed trucks to last 4.5 to 5.5 years on average before needing overhaul, meaning those on the market probably haven’t undergone any major maintenance yet.

Trucks over 14,000 pounds and under 26,000 pounds are generally classified as medium duty trucks, and will last around 5.5 years before needing any overhaul. The average age on market for medium duty flatbed trucks is around 6 to 7 years which is obviously past the age at which overhaul is likely to occur.

Flatbed trucks over 26,000 pounds are considered to be heavy duty, and have the longest life before needing major maintenance, lasting almost 6 years. Like medium duty flatbeds, the average age on market, 6 to 9 years old, is higher than when we would expect overhaul to occur.

Overall, people appear to be selling their lighter duty trucks at a younger age before overhaul occurs, most likely because they are much cheaper and easier to replace. Due to medium and heavy duty flatbeds having a higher price tag as well as being used for different purposes than light duty, people tend to hold on to them longer which means major maintenance has probably already been taken care of by the time it hits the market.