There are plenty of compelling reasons why you should consider buying used machinery. However, finding reliable used equipment can be hard and stressful. This is why we have provided a list of useful tips to help guide you through the process.

1. Do Your Research

It goes without saying that buying used equipment is riskier than buying a new machine from an established dealer. It is therefore crucial that you do some proper research. Besides researching the right type of industrial surplus for your operation, you also need to look into the seller. You want to ensure that you are buying from a legit and trusted business. The internet is always a good place to start when doing your research. 

Be sure to find out whether the seller owns the machine outright, or possesses the legal authority to sell the equipment on behalf of the owner. If they can’t confirm this, take a hard pass. 

Another crucial thing you need to look at is the status of the title. Ownership of the equipment can’t be transferred to you (the buyer) if the equipment was used as collateral for an unpaid existing loan by the seller. Thus, before proceeding further, you need to ensure that the title of the used equipment is clear of any liens. 

2. Check the Operating Hours

After looking into the legal history of the used equipment, you will also need to check its work history. While the operating hours are not always an immediate indicator of the condition of the machine, they play a big role. 

Investigate the machine’s maintenance history and find out whether it was serviced regularly. A used machine with 1,200 operating hours but with a poor maintenance record can prove to be a bad investment. It is better to choose a machine with 8 times more operating hours but with a stronger maintenance history. Request to be provided with a condition report to find out about the condition of various parts. This will help give you an idea of what kind of maintenance the equipment will need in the future. 

3. Look out for Signs of Wear

After all, what you are going for is used machinery. Expectedly, there might be some signs of wear on the machine. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the equipment is a bad investment, what you want is one with the least signs of use. The last thing you want is to invest in something that will turn out to be a money pit. In case a used skid steer attachment has signs of rust or has a hairline crack, it is not a wise investment. 

This is why it is important that you buy from a trusted and reliable used equipment dealer. With such a dealer, you should be able to get affordable and well-maintained equipment that has already been inspected and repaired by their team. 

4. Check the Fluids

Checking the used equipment’s fluids will help give you a better idea of its condition. Ensure to have the transmission fluid, engine oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluid examined. This will tell you more about the machine’s fitness and maintenance history. 

Properly maintained used machinery will return a satisfactory report. 

5. Check the Tires

Many buyers tend to pay more attention to the technical aspects of the equipment and overlook some other equally important components like the tires. Keep in mind that the tires of construction equipment are quite costly. The last thing you want after budgeting for and buying a piece of used equipment is to discover that you have to fork out a large sum for new tires just after a few months of use. 

Inspect the tires for any indications that the tires have been patched or retreaded. In case you come across cuts in the tires, try to determine whether they are serious or benign. Be wary of any damage bigger than a quarter of an inch. 

Also, check for signs of uneven wear on the tread. This can be due to a problem with the machine’s alignment. 

6. Go for a Test Drive

When buying construction equipment, especially a used piece of equipment, it is crucial that you take it out for a test run to gauge its performance. If you are not familiar with the specific brand or machine, ask for a demonstration. 

Mark Thomas, Equipment Manager at Sonsray Machinery, points out that as the industry and world start to recover from the pandemic, a shortage of new equipment can be expected. As a result, the procurement rate of reliable used equipment is set to increase.