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What is a Glider Kit on a Semi-Truck?

What is a Glider Kit on a Semi-Truck?

All vehicles have a certain lifespan by which they can work efficiently. After this, its parts start malfunctioning. However, semi-truck manufacturers can detach the working parts and use them to construct another vehicle. From this came the idea of glider kits.

What is a Glider Kit on a Semi-Truck? A glider kit is an incomplete vehicle without an engine and transmission. It is used to construct glider semi-trucks, and it is cheaper than newer trucks. It helps in recycling the metals and requires less maintenance. It has shorter warranties and poor resale values. A glider is considered used if two or more components are used.

However, these vehicles still struggle to gain recognition from different authorities like the EPA.

What is the purpose of a glider kit on a semi-truck?

A glider kit is an incomplete vehicle that does not include powertrains like a transmission, engine, and rear axle. Glider kit in semi-trucks is a new truck manufactured by a company that comprises a new chassis body frame and cab.

It also contains some minor components like wire harness brakes and steering axles. These kits assemble new and used components to build a new truck.

The engine transmission and rear axle are taken from one or two donor vehicles. These components should be of the same model or some new model.

You cannot take these components from different donors. Two of these components should come from the same donor truck. The semi constructed using this kit is known as a glider semi-truck.

What are the benefits of glider kits?

Glider kits have gained enormous popularity due to their advantages. Here is a brief description of all the benefits of these kits.


These are a cost-effective option for new buyers. If you are looking for a good semi-trailer at lower prices, the glider kits are here to solve the problems. The engine transmission and axles are taken from some old vehicles.

Reusing old components directly impacts the price of a new vehicle. The manufacturer itself has to spend less money on its construction. The cost of this vehicle is expected to be approximately 25% lower than that of new semi-trucks.

These kits are also expected to save fuel and increase the mileage. These trucks’ fuel economy benefits trucking companies and fleet owners. You are saving money by paying the price and spending less on fuel.

Environment-friendly vehicle

It helps recycle old materials besides saving money and fuel. On average, 4,000 to 4,500 pounds of steel is used to construct new vehicles. Steel and iron casting are the main reasons for carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

The enormous carbon emissions are deadly for all living beings on Earth. By using glider kits, we are helping to recycle old but better vehicle components. Dumping old vehicles also creates the problem of metal garbage. It is challenging to dump or treat metal garbage.

Recycling old components to construct new trucks saves us from all such troubles. These kits are also efficient, with the lowest atmospheric nitrogen oxide emission. Many old vehicles are polluting the environment due to their highest NOX emission.

Low maintenance

The glider vehicle has a new chassis cab and front wheels. All of these components have more than 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.

You do not have to spend a lot of money on repairing and replacing different components. The powertrains like engine and transmission are also taken from newer model vehicles that require less maintenance.

Careful handling and avoiding rash driving on rough terrains can keep these trucks in good condition for a long time.

What are the cons of glider kits?

Besides all the benefits, these kits also have some disadvantages. Here is a brief description of all of them.

Shorter warranties

The warranties of glider trucks are shorter than new ones. You can expect it to be nearly 12 to 14 months from the manufacturer. After this, you can not claim to repair or replace any faulty parts.

On the other hand, newer semi-trucks have higher warranties. The warranties depend upon the manufacturer and model of the vehicle. On average, new trucks can have up to 4 years of warranty for their different parts.

The reused parts in the glider are working smoothly, but they are not new. They can malfunction unexpectedly and can cost you a lot of money.

Poor resale value

These trucks are cheaper to buy than new vehicles. But they do not have any resale value. Many people prefer to invest in new semi-trucks rather than old ones. You can not expect to make a handsome amount by reselling these trucks.

Old components used in engine and transmission and lesser warranties negatively impact its resale value. These vehicles do not grab the attention of the buyers in the market.

The regulations regarding these vehicles also change frequently. Different states keep changing rules and laws regarding the registration of these vehicles. These aspects have also dropped its resale value.

Are glider semi-trucks considered new vehicles?

We all wonder about the identity of these glider trucks. Are they considered a new vehicle or a used entity? Well, there are certain rules to classify them.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is considered a used truck if it has a new engine and transmission. If one or two of these components come from the same donor, it is considered used. You do not need a new certification for such a vehicle.

However, the manufacturer considers it a new asset and gives it a new VIV and model year number.

NHSTA also considers it new if these semi-trucks have new engines and transmissions. You need to register it by creating new registration documents for such vehicles.

How to tell if a semi-truck is a glider kit?

The glider trucks look just like other trucks. There are no specific ways to differentiate between them by looking at them.

However, these kits have a Manufacturer statement of origin (MSO) and a seventeen-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) given by the manufacturer. You can check these numbers to tell if a truck is a glider vehicle.

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