'Low-Mileage' Trucks Not What You Might Think

June 8, 1999

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While technology has dramatically increased the life and durability of today's heavy trucks, used truck buyers' perceptions about "high-mileage" trucks have remained the same.
Most used truck buyers still think of a truck with 400,000-500,000 miles as a high-mileage truck, say officials of the Used Truck Assn.
Years ago, when warranties were 1-year/100,000 miles, the rule of thumb was that a truck with three times the warranty mileage was a high-mileage truck, and probably would require an overhaul in another 100,000 miles or so. Today, however, a used truck with 400,000-500,000 miles probably still has factory-offered extended warranties.
The fact is, the number of miles on a used heavy truck has very little to do with its dependability and roadworthiness, says UTA board member Eddie Walker of Rush Truck Centers of Colorado. Because of the major improvements made over the last few years to engines, drivelines, suspensions, electrical systems, brakes, lubricants, coolants, etc., the operating life of Class 8 trucks has been extended considerably.
To help used truck buyers understand how mileage as an indicator of a heavy truck's reliability and usefulness has changed, the UTA has produced an educational pamphlet entitled, "What Is A Low-Mileage Truck? . . . It's Not What You Might Think." Among the subjects addressed in the publication are used truck buyers' perceptions, the theory and reality of mileage and used truck worthiness, and technological advances of major truck components and their impact on trucks and trucking.
The pamphlet is available free from the UTA. Visit the UTA's web site at

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