No matter what you’re buying in your construction business, two factors always dominate the criteria list. The first is that you want a quality machine that can provide hours of use. The second is that you should get value for money in terms of ability, technology and general upkeep.
Achieving both of these criteria can be challenging when you’re buying used machinery. When you search for used excavators for sale, it’s important to keep a few industry-recommended tips in mind to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Simple Factors to Keep in Mind When Buying Used Machinery
For anyone buying used construction machinery, our experts have created a few tips that will help first-time buyers get the best value for money.
1. Assess Your Business Needs
Buying any type of construction machinery is an enormous investment. With that in mind, it’s always an excellent idea to start with an accurate assessment of how much you need the machine. Will the work that needs to be done justify the amount that you’ll be spending?
Keep in mind that you don’t want a machine that’s going to spend a considerable amount of time idle while you wait for jobs to come in. Wouldn’t it be more economical to hire a machine on the days you need it? Answer these questions before you invest.
2. Research the Reputation of the Seller
Our experts recommend that you always investigate the reputation of the potential seller. Take the time to check online reviews or speak to colleagues who have dealt with them already. You need to ensure that you will be dealing with a credible agent.
For example, their customer service and helpfulness are essential if you have any queries regarding the machine after the sale is processed. You also want to make sure that you’re not being sold a dud disguised as a decent machine.
3. Request a Maintenance History Check
Whether you’re buying a skid steer for sale or a used cherry picker, it’s crucial to request a maintenance history check for the machine. The seller—whether private or an agency—should be able to provide relevant documentation that highlights the machine’s maintenance records.
Check the type of maintenance they performed as well as how regularly it has been done.
A bonus tip from our experts is that you ensure that a service isn’t due because this could be the reason the owner is trying to sell the machine. Buying a machine that has a service due might end up costing you a lot of money immediately after purchase. If there is upcoming work due in the next service, you can request a discount on the purchase price.
4. Check the Machine’s Basic Indicators
If you’re not too clued up on the basic checks that need to be done on heavy-duty machines before purchase, it’s essential to take an expert with you.
A few of the basic indicators to check:
- Brakes and tires: These should be in working order as well as functional and safe. The brakes should be in accordance with regulations.
- Fluids: When it comes to fluids, always check the engine oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid and coolant to make sure that they aren’t cloudy or dirty. This could be an indication of poor maintenance.
- Rust or cracks: While older machines may have some cracks or peeling paint, ensure that these aren’t indicators of more serious problems.
- Bushings and pins: Ensure that the bushings and pins are strong and firmly secured. Loose components can be a sign of neglect or poor maintenance. It may also be a sign that there may be additional service costs in the machine’s near future.
- Welding: Substandard welding on the machine can be an indication that a previous problem was repaired haphazardly. It can also indicate a potential weakness, which could lead to future breakage and additional costs.
5. Request Operating Hours Information
Another easy way to get an idea of the quality of the machine you’re looking at is to request the operating hours. That is, how long has it worked since it was bought for the first time?
On modern machines, this can be seen by accessing the onboard computers that log hours. However, it may be slightly trickier to establish this on older machines. You’ll need to ask for paperwork if it’s available.
Assessing this as accurately as possible will give you an idea of whether or not the machine has been overused. This will also give you an idea of the lifespan that may be left on the machine.
Doing the right types of checks on the used machine you’re considering will give you an accurate assessment of the quality of your new equipment. Keep in mind that spending extra money on a machine that’s well-maintained with lower operating hours is much better than a cheap machine with a poor maintenance record. Always choose the option that will give you the best value for money in the long run.