Inspection Points When Purchasing Used Generator Sets

used generator set

If there’s a single investment in used equipment for sale that can really make a difference in your company’s performance, it’s used generator sets. Whether your need is a backup generator for an unexpected power outage or storm or a portable generator set that gives you power on a rough or remote work site, this type of machinery provides all the power you need to get the job done. But how do you know that the machinery for sale in the paper or online will perform reliably for years to come? By performing a quality inspection on the generators in question. Here are some tips on what to look for when inspecting a used generator.

Inspection Points When Purchasing Used Generator Sets

  • What shape is the engine in? Because the engine is the heart of the generator, a bad engine is the top reason for generator failure. It could be that it has bad seals because it has been poorly maintained. If possible, ask for a fluid analysis on the oil or pull out a small sample of the oil and investigate it. Is it relatively clear of debris? Is it too dark because the engine is running too hot? Does it have metal shards in it that could indicate serious engine problems? Just taking a quick look at the engine oil can tell you a lot about the machine in question.
  • Is there a load test available for you to review? This type of test looks at how large a load the generator can take and will help you determine what kind of output you can expect. If you’re buying a 10 kilowatt generator and the load test says it’ll only put out 5 kilowatts, you’re gong to fall far short of your expected output and may need to consider a different machine.
  • What is the surface condition of the generator? Does it have a lot of wear, rust or dents? Is the frame bent or does it show signs of poorly-made repairs? Does the hours meter appear to be in good repair or has it had damage that may limit its accuracy? Are the belts in good shape or are they showing signs of dry rot or cracking? Excessive damage or wear, especially when compared to a small number of hours in use, can indicate further problems down the road, as an abused machine almost always has a shorter useful lifespan than one that has been well maintained.
  • Take a look at the generator’s maintenance and repair records. If a log isn’t available, ask to see the receipts or for the contact information of the shop where the work was completed. Keep in mind that diesel engines often receive oil changes and similar maintenance at intervals that would quickly kill a gasoline engine. Are there any repairs that have not been undertaken? Could they cause more problems down the road? A well-maintained generator will provide long hours of reliable service.

By keeping these points in mind when you’re considering purchasing used generator sets, you can rest assured that you’re making a great investment in used machinery that will give you years of quality performance. But is your local or regional market providing you with the options you need? If it isn’t, consider looking at online auctions. Check out available heavy equipment auctions on our website.  Many buyers find great deals that go above and beyond anything they can find in their immediate area.

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