Learn How to Spec a Truck

March 12, 2020

Trucker's Corner

Improve your experience on the road with these tips to keep your truck healthy.

When you spend so much time driving through and , it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for anything you could need on the road. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to spec a truck properly. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the evaluation process to ensure that you find the best truck for your needs and business.


From renting vs. leasing, diesel vs. gas, slope nose vs. long hood, medium vs. heavy duty, it may feel like there’s no end to the decisions when you learn how to spec a semi truck. One of the top tips is to find an expert who can steer you in the right direction. If you’re starting from scratch, a knowledgeable representative can save you tons of time, effort, and money when combing through our used truck inventory.


Whether you choose a consultant or spec a truck on your own, start thinking about what you need out of your vehicle.

  • Engine: LNG engines are more and more common in the fleet world, but diesel is still king with robust engines like Cummins powering many trucks. Look into horsepower, torque, and engine displacement to see if potential vehicles can handle the heavy-duty tasks that you need.
  • Transmission: Automatic transmissions are convenient and easy to handle, while manual is great for skilled drivers. Common configurations include 10-, 13-, and 18-speed transmission and options like skip-shift and power-takeoff are worth a look.
  • Axles: Drive axle configurations, axle ratios, and Gross Combined Weight Ratings all impact your towing abilities and payloads. Think about your towing needs when considering these components.
  • Exterior Shape: Factors like slope nose design, side skirts, fairings, and low-rolling resistance super single tires can boost your aerodynamics and fuel economy.
  • Wheelbase: Longer wheelbases are smoother and more stable. If optimized properly, your wheelbase can even decrease the amount of drag on your trailer’s headboard.
  • Resale Value: If you want to upgrade your fleet regularly, resale value is an important consideration. Think about factors like maintenance, amenities, and sleeper components and how they affect your truck’s appeal.

Find Your Next Truck at International Used Truck Centers

Learning how to spec a semi truck can be tricky, but International Used Truck Centers is here to help. Stop by for more information about what constitutes a semi truck, our current inventory, including the International SBA interior dimensions, or contact us for recommendations.

And More

International Used Truck Centers 41.776180, -88.200918.