Buying Used Construction Equipment?


Ideally, when making the decision to purchase construction equipment for sale, one can plan on having that equipment for several generations. A good backhoe, excavator, or crane that has been well maintained will usually last an individual or company for decades. But there are some serious considerations to make when shopping used. To avoid any issues, these are the top mechanical malfunctions that should stand out as major red flags.

No Chance for No-Start Engines
Warranties play a big part in your decision to work with a possibly no-start system. The first consideration you’ll have to make is whether the assessed mechanical issues are actually the problem. You’ll want to perform a 150+ point inspection on anything under $20,000. But finding a warranty on used construction equipment for sale is much more difficult. If there’s no warranty, and it’s a no-start with no information, it’s not worth your time no matter how you look at the numbers.

Fluid Leakage
It’s essential to test your potential acquisition thoroughly for its various fluids and balance levels, as this will be a good sign of the previous owner’s attention to detail. Ask the dealer you’re working with, or seller for private parties, about each of the controls, even if you already know what they are. Watch them operate different sections and test the fluid levels afterward. If there is any mixture of oil and coolant, or vice-versa, that particular piece of equipment probably isn’t worth your time.

Seized or Stripped
It’s likely that if the multiple gear levels of a clutch or transmission have been chewed, stripped, or completely seized, the previous owner ran into some serious issues. Whether this particular piece of construction equipment for sale simply had the problem once or, multiple times, can be hard to tell unless the previous owner kept a record of their repair history. Thus, in all likelihood, repairing this engine type will probably cost you more in the end than it’s worth. The same applies to differential and drivetrain components with intricate sub-levels of gears that require complete replacement. And speaking of repairs, it’s important to note how previous repairs have been done in the past by inspecting them.

Welds in the Wrong Places
Go online and look up two things about your particular piece of construction equipment for sale: the first being the cost of replacement parts, and the second being a picture of your vehicle in its brand-new state. Bring these to the test drive and compare welded changes on the exterior to the original. There will probably be minor differences, but pay special attention to the formation and structure of the welding work and avoid obvious amateur modifications. Even loose bushings or pins throughout might be a red flag.

If the appliance has been well cared for over the years, you can rest assured that it will last for years to come.

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