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What is a Good Mileage for a Used Box Truck?

According to experts, good mileage for a used gas engine box truck should be less than 100,000 miles, while a good mileage for a diesel engine box truck should be under 200,000. If you choose to go for a box truck with higher mileage, then you should note the overall condition of the box truck and ask to see receipts and proof of any major work that has been carried out to make sure the vehicle is in good health.

Truth be told, purchasing a box truck is a massive financial investment, and if you intend to acquire one, it is pertinent you carry out thorough research on the vehicle. To get a quality box truck, you must get equipped with certain information to make a good purchase.

While the mileage can help you determine if the truck is worth the purchase, it is recommended that you consider the engine to figure out when to rebuild it. Under normal conditions, diesel engines last longer than gas engines because diesel engines are designed to have higher compression ratios and higher cylinder pressures than gas engines.

Another vital design element in diesel engines is their crankshaft and camshaft. According to experts, they are larger and this entails that they require larger bearings and sturdier bolts which offer increased clearance and allows for better oil flow.

This guarantees better lubrication on the engine to reduce wear and tear and improve the lifespan of your diesel engine. All this entails that a diesel engine can last up to 30 years or 1,000,000 miles before needing any major work.

However, gasoline engines are not gear-driven and tend to depend on the use of timing belts, chains, and pumps which can fail and possibly even damage your engine. Also, note that they struggle with oil and fuel temperature regulation when compared to a diesel engine. However, more modern gasoline engines are gradually catching up with the achievable mileage of diesel engines.

Other Things to Check for in a Used Box Truck

Aside from checking for good mileage, there are other mechanical issues you need to check when purchasing a used box truck. They include;

  1. Rust

It is very important you check if there are any signs of rust on the box truck’s body. Take your time to check all areas of the body including the roof and the interior of the truck. Also, take a look at the doorframes and other parts to note if there are any signs of structural rust.

Note that any rust can be a sign that the maintenance of the vehicle has been poor and the lifespan of the vehicle is low. When checking the surface for rust, also check to see if there are raised spots on the paint. If you find ant patches, especially on the roof, this could be an indication of rust underneath.

  1. Tires

You should also take a look at the tires as it will give you an idea of how the previous owner handled the box truck. Take a concise look at the tires to see if it has tread. Also take into consideration how many miles the tires have gone, when they should be due for replacement, and if they will have to be changed soon. Note that this can mean other expenses or investments when buying a box truck.

  1. Transmission Type

There are two types of transmission in box trucks. These are manual and automatic. However, the choice you choose to go with will depend on your personal preference. Ensure to take into consideration which of these two transmissions you will be more comfortable with.

  1. Engine Oil

You will need to check if the engine oil has been changed consistently throughout the lifetime of the box truck. Take your time to look inside the car to see if there are any leaking grease or brake fluids. Don’t forget that sludge and debris can harm the engine.

You can recognize bad oil because they tend to be sticky, and this is a sign that the box truck badly needs an oil change. Ensure to go through the oil change record to confirm this. If there are no records, you should be careful as this can be an indication of a forthcoming issue.

  1. Horsepower and Towing Capacity

Another important thing to take into consideration is the horsepower and towing capacity of the box truck. If you intend to be towing construction equipment such as excavators, have in mind you will need different horsepower than when carrying out long-distance commercial trailer Towing. Owing to that, find out the capacity of the box truck to check if it will meet your need.

  1. Axle Layout

It is also necessary you check the kind of axle and its layout. While this will most often depend on the load you will be carrying, note that different layouts can be good for different scenarios. Will you be transporting cargo for long distances, and via a varying range of terrains? Do you intend to make shorter but more frequent trips? If you are not certain, you can ask for help from an expert in choosing a more suitable option that will meet your need.

  1. Doors & Window Seals

You should also consider checking to see if the doors and window seals are in premium condition. If the seals are not properly maintained, water can easily get into the box truck. Have in mind that faulty doors will affect your safety and security.

  1. Lights

This is also very important especially when looking to purchase a used box truck. Take your time to check if all the lights of the box truck are working properly. If there are any electrical problems, you can easily notice them in the box truck light.

  1. Engine Coolant

It is recommended that you also evaluate the condition of the engine fluid by checking under the vehicle’s hood. Take a look at the coolant. Coolant that looks rusty or brownish is a sign that rust or other deposits are present in the engine, heater core, and radiator.

  1. Engine Surface and Air Filters

This is another important consideration and one you should take very seriously. Note that if excessive dirt is trapped in the air filter and large amounts of grease and oil are accumulated on the engine, it is a clear sign that the truck did not have a good maintenance program and this may cause future issues for the truck.


Most often, the price of used box trucks can be so enticingly low that we ignore the potential side effects of purchasing one. Owing to that, it is always recommended that you approach deals that seem too good to be true with some skepticism to avoid making mistakes that will cost you in the future.