If your heavy duty truck has been in a bad wreck, you're likely looking at all your options before giving up on your damaged truck. After all, purchasing a new hauling vehicle is expensive, and if you can get your one back on the road for less money, why not? There are some things that you should consider before you decide to replace or repair. Sometimes, repairs may not be worth it, while in other cases, they could save your truck.
How old is your truck?
If you've already been driving your truck for a decade or longer, you'll want to investigate the advantages of just scrapping the wreck for a newer set of wheels. Replacing engine components and paying for frame straightening on a truck that may only have a few years left on the road may not be as good of an investment as paying a little more for another truck that will definitely last longer. Have a mechanic look at the mileage and at the condition of the parts that were not damaged in your accident. If the whole vehicle is in poor condition, don't bother getting it back on the road.
Do you have access to a reliable frame straightening company?
A basic mechanic will not be able to fix your truck to the point where you couldn't tell an accident happened in the first place. Your truck may pull to one side, drive roughly, or simply "feel different" on the road. Not only can this be annoying, but it can also cause additional wear on your tires, costing you more in maintenance. These are signs that the straightening was not done correctly.
If you take your truck to experienced auto-body specialist before any other repairs are made, you can avoid this problem. When done right, frame straightening should restore your truck to factory specifications without any consequences. If the vehicle doesn't drive right after this repair, talk to the body shop about the problem. Also, frame straightening should come before any other repairs, as putting new parts on a bent frame can be costly and inaccurate.
If you somehow do not have access to quality frame straightening services, you might consider replacing your vehicle, as a new investment would be better than driving a truck that will never be the same as it was before, though check out sites of local professionals, such as http://www.autobodyomaha.com, before you make a decision.
Does the frame require welding?
Sometimes, if a frame has received too much damage in the accident, it cannot be properly straightened to perfection. The other option is cutting the frame and replacing these pieces with new ones by welding them onto the existing frame. This can be a less costly options that vehicle replacement, but it is not as desirable as straightening is, because the welded joints reduce the structural integrity of the frame. If your truck were to get into another accident, the frame would have greater chance of buckling or breaking at the point of the weld.
Welding new pieces is only a viable option if done professionally by a welder who has experience in frame straightening. Talk to them about the locations of the welded joints and how those points would react to different types of collision scenarios. If the joints pose no real threat to passenger safety because they are located in a non-critical area, this could be a cheaper, viable option for heavy duty truck frame repair.
If, between welding and quality straightening, you are not able to restore the quality of your vehicle, it's best to move on to a worthier set of wheels. However, if frame straightening will work for you, then it can save you from making a huge purchase unnecessarily. Talk to repair and straightening specialists in your area about whether or not your truck is worth the repairs.