Welcome to the second post in our two-part series on buying used earthmoving equipment. Making a second-hand purchase can seem daunting, but it’s certainly possible to secure some incredible deals, as long as you know what to look for. If you haven’t read part one, check out top tips for buying used earth moving equipment: part 1.
Know the warning signs
When a piece of gear has had its day, it usually sends out a few warning signs. Here’s a few that you should look out for:
- Engine trouble: an engine that doesn’t start or blows loads of smoke is bad news. If you can’t test a piece of equipment, then you shouldn’t buy it, unless it’s protected by a warranty.
- Oil and coolant mixed up.
- Welding, especially on the buckets, arms or backhoe: a welded joint is hardly ever as strong as the original.
- Weird noises, particularly coming from the brakes: if it’s just discs, they can be replaced cheaply, but if it’s anything more serious, it could prove rather expensive – or even not worth repairing.
- Signs of poor maintenance: these might include seized components, loose pins and any other repairs that haven’t been completed thoroughly. When used earthmoving equipment isn’t maintained properly, its life is usually shortened considerably.
Opt for popular brands
Even if an unknown brand seems like an amazing buy, it’s usually best to stick with popular brands when buying heavy earth moving equipment. Parts will be much easier to come by and cheaper, there’ll be plenty of technical support, and you’ll be able to find mechanics who know your machinery inside-out.