Tips for Buying Used Heavy Equipment

January 23, 2018 by No Comments

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The United States construction industry is an important one. It has a market share of 10%, which makes it the second largest construction market on the planet. If you own or manage a construction company, you know how important it is to get the best equipment for the projects you are working on. If you are looking to buy it used, whether you are looking for wheel loaders or other construction equipment, there are things you can do to make the process go better and to get the heavy equipment you need.

1. Start with the right seller. It is very easy to buy just about anything you need with a few clicks of a mouse. You can get everything from wheel loaders to exotic pets. That does not mean that all of the suppliers who sell on the internet are reputable. It can be a real challenge to get the information you need to make a qualified decision. Before you make any commitments to buy something online, you need to do some sleuth work on the seller.

  • Ask people you know. You know other people in the construction industry. The chances are also good that you know people who have made similar purchases online. Talk to your friends and contacts and see who they used when they needed to buy their heavy equipment. This can get you started on the right path.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau. Before you make any large purchases, make sure the company you are buying from has a good reputation with them.
  • Look online. There are a lot of sources for reviews online. In many areas, Facebook groups and pages have been set up to rate local businesses. Check those out. You can also look to Yelp, Google and Angie’s List to get an idea of how satisfied a company’s customers have been with the experience of buying from them.

2. Get as much information about the equipment you are buying.If you are buying a used wheel loader, there are some things you need to find out. As with any used equipment, you need to know that the seller has the legal right to do so. That means you need to make sure it has not been stolen. If they do not own it outright you need to find who does and double check to make sure the sale is legal. Talk to your bank about getting this taken care of.

3. Next, try to look at the heavy equipment in person. If you are, for example, buying a wheel loader, you should go in and check it out for yourself. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Look for physical damage to the equipment. Walk around it and look for dents, large scratches, and rust spots. Remember, if this is a used piece of equipment, it may have some small scratches and wear/tear. Those are fine. Large dents or cracks are not.
  • Look at the undercarriage. You should take a look at the tires. Look to see how much wear and tear the equipment has and if it still has enough life left in it to make it worth buying.
  • Look at the fluid levels. You can learn a lot about some equipment from the condition of its coolant, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid and oil. This can give you a better idea of how well the piece of equipment in question has been cared for.
  • Try the machine out. If this is a tractor, take it for a spin. You should have a good understanding of how a properly maintained piece of equipment sounds when it is running well. Listen for knocks or other noises that may indicate it is not running well.
  • Look at the exhaust. Just like you can learn a lot about how well an engine is running from the state of the fluids, you can learn about it from the color of the exhaust. If it is white, it is not picking the next Pope, it means the fuel is not burning the way it should. If it is black, the air to fuel ratio may be off.

Whether you are buying a used wheel loader or something else, putting in the work in advance will pay off.

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