New Truck Driver Guide: Tips on Buying a Used Semi-Trailer in Calgary

used semi-trailer

Canada is in the middle of a trucking shortage, one that shows no signs of slowing. It is an ideal time to help fill that gap.

Whether you are a new truck driver looking to join the industry or simply want to replace an existing semi-trailer, there are many factors to consider. Purchasing a commercial trailer is a significant investment, and you want to make sure you’re making a sound decision.

Fortunately, you can follow a few simple steps to identify a good deal on a used semi-trailer. The information below will make trailer buying simple, so you can find one that meets your business needs and your budget.

Identifying Prospective Deals

There are a few preliminary steps you can take. With so much inventory available online, do a thorough search for used trailers in your area. This will also give you a sense of what is a reasonable price for the trailer you need.

Make a list of your “must-haves” and one for features you could live without. This will depend on your intended uses for the trailer, including what kind of freight you will be hauling.

For instance, spring-ride suspensions are cheaper than air-ride ones, but they provide less stability and are harder on your tires. Depending on what you are transporting, you will have to decide which features are worth the money and which ones you can pass on.

Have a list of several trailers you would like to investigate further. Always leave yourself options. The “dream trailer” at the “unbelievable price” you spot online may turn out to have flaws that were not readily noticeable.


There are a few more things you can do before going in person to look at a trailer. For an older used semi-trailer, you may want to double-check that you can still get parts for it.

Do a little homework on the dealer’s reputation. Read online reviews and see what other people are saying. Going with a reputable seller will give you the peace of mind that you will be getting a quality trailer in the advertised condition.

Reach out to the prospective seller. Ask about any technical issues or past mechanical problems with the trailer. Get them to send you a detailed service record before you go any further.


If you have an employee or an acquaintance who is a trained mechanic, have them join you for the inspection. They will be able to identify any warning signs.

Check the surface of the trailer, including underneath. Keep an eye out for signs of rust, cracks, and any unusual welds or signs of repair. You can correct things like minor surface rust but look for major structural issues.

Test all the electric components of the trailer, including the brake lights and turn signals. This also includes the braking system. Although you may not be in a position to test it, ensure that the wires are not frayed or otherwise damaged.

Inspect the tires. If they are older, they may need replacing. Look for uneven wear, which can result from issues with the axle, suspension, wheels, hubs, or other components.

Finally, be sure the trailer comes with documentation, including proof of a recent safety inspection. It’s a good idea to ensure the VIN corresponds with all paperwork.

Find a Used Semi-Trailer Today

Now that you have an idea of the processes for identifying and inspecting a used semi-trailer, you can find one that suits your hauling needs and your budget.

If you are looking for used semi-trailers in Calgary or surrounding areas, in Alberta and British Columbia, our staff can help you identify the right one for your business. We have an extensive inventory of new and used products. Please take a look at our inventory online or set up an appointment to speak with one of our trained customer service personnel today.

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