How to Best Locate Used Construction Equipment to Buy

Major equipment purchases take substantial research and planning. When buying a house or a car, potential buyers attend open houses and perform test drives before buying to compare various options. The same is true when searching for used heavy machinery and ultimately making an informed purchase.

Doing research and possibly even testing out the equipment is vital to making an informed decision. Below are a handful of suggestions to help make the best purchase decision for your equipment needs.

Determine The Use

If your family is growing, you may need to purchase a larger house or a bigger car. Similarly, someone looking to purchase heavy machinery will want to determine why it is needed and what purpose it will serve. Figure out why the equipment is needed, what type and size of heavy equipment will serve that purpose, if any additional attachments are needed to accomplish the purpose, and if you have the appropriate space.

New and used construction equipment comes from many different manufacturers. Although a specific type of equipment may serve the same general purpose or function, each manufacturer designs machinery with its own specifications and offers different features and attachments. Do the research necessary to determine which one is right for the specific task to be performed. Know the size and scope of the job and determine the correct size and style of equipment so that it isn’t necessary to go through the same buying process again in too short of a time period.

Inspect Used Equipment

When buying new equipment the inspection is not as important, but when buying used equipment you will want to determine the condition of the machine and all of its parts and components to determine the condition and whether it is worth the purchase price.

The engine provides the power for the piece of construction equipment that is under purchase consideration and should be examined accordingly for abnormal colors and smells in the exhaust smoke.

Check the condition of the tires to determine if they will need to be replaced in the near future as they can be a very costly expense. Look over the undercarriage thoroughly including hoses, cylinders, arms, and attachments to check for leaks, cracks, rust, dents, and scratches. Make sure that the machine fluids are clean as dirty fluids could be a sign that the equipment was not well cared for.

Consider the overall condition of the machinery and watch out for welds, missing pins, nuts, and bolts, and interior seats, controls, lights, air conditioning, and other miscellaneous components that might require costly repairs.

Read The Inspection Report and Maintenance Logs

The hours on construction equipment can often be an indicator of how much useful life is remaining on the machine. If a machine has a lot of operating hours, it could be a sign of substantial wear and tear. Although there are other extraneous factors involved as well such as the type of engine as diesel engines can last a longer time. Also, if the previous owner has performed regular maintenance then this can prolong the life. Examine the maintenance logs and inspection reports to determine if there have been any major repairs, that there has been routine upkeep completed, and that the overall condition of the machine is good.

After reviewing all of the above, a buyer may be better equipped to determine if buying a used machine makes more financial sense than buying new and offers the cost savings desired or if there would be too many significant costs to make the machine work ready.

Perform Background Research on The Equipment Dealer

To ensure that the seller meets the high standards desired and has a good reputation in the industry, a buyer should look at online business reviews, ask for industry referrals, and talk to friends and acquaintances in the industry that have dealt with the seller previously. Also, confirm that the seller is the actual owner of the piece of equipment and that it is not bank owned or they are not just brokering a deal.

Find out if they offer any warranties or provide good customer support in case there are any questions or concerns moving forward.

Consider Renting Out

By renting equipment, a buyer will be better able to determine if a particular machine will fit their business needs. They may want to rent different types or different sizes of equipment to help determine which one best suits the particular purpose. Buying heavy machinery can be a large and difficult decision as it requires a significant investment, so renting can provide a more incremental path towards a final purchase decision.

In conclusion, many factors go into making a purchase of construction equipment and it is important to do the research necessary to make the best choice for each particular business purpose. Determine what the equipment will be used for and which equipment is best suited to the task. Inspect the equipment. Read maintenance logs and inspection reports and be aware of operating hours. Make yourself familiar with the seller. If unsure about which heavy machinery should be purchased, then consider renting to test it out.There are also machine experts able to help you with your heavy equipment needs, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice.


This article is contributed by Kyle VonDeBur of

72 views0 comments