Getting the Most Out of Your Investment: Inspecting Used Compactors

construction equipment for sale

When it comes to ramping up for a large highway or commercial job, buying used compactors is a great way to quickly build capability and capacity without a huge investment in new machinery. But when you’re looking for used equipment for sale, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. Inspecting your used machinery before bidding or purchasing is the best way to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth out of the equipment you’re purchasing. Here are some details on how to inspect a used compactor.

Getting the Most Out of Your Investment: Inspecting Used Compactors

Compactors are basically a heavy piece of wheeled machinery that is used to pack road base, asphalt and concrete pavements to prevent settling later on as the road is in use. They typically have a pair of large wheels on one end and a heavy roller on the other. Here’s what to look for:

  • What shape is the cab in? Is the safety equipment intact and functioning properly? Check the lights, back-up alarms, gauges, instruments and horn for operability. Does the wear in the cab match the hours on the compactor? If it seems excessive, make sure the meter is working properly or look for other signs of abuse to the machine.
  • Is the articulation joint able to move freely or does it hit a pinch point and bind up? The articulation joint should be free to the full range of the equipment’s specifications. Check that it’s been lubricated recently.
  • What shape is the roller in? Make sure you can see it all the way around if you’re having to rely on pictures to determine its condition. No matter how it’s cooled, it should have no breaks or cracks with the cooling system fan and belt in good condition. Check the filters at the same time to see whether they’ve been changed recently.
  • On to the engine compartment. Take a solid look at any belts or hoses for dry rot or cracking that could lead to failure. To ensure you’re not stuck with a lemon at the end of the day, check for pitting, scarring or deep scratches on smooth drum machines or the condition the feet are in on a padfoot design.
  • Check the condition of the tires. You’ll want tires with at least some portion of their tread life left and in good repair, without any cracks, cuts or damage to the sidewalls. If the tires are in poor condition, remember to budget for that in your offer price.
  • Look at the undercarriage and frame for signs of abuse. If the frame has been bent, poorly welded or cracked, there’s a good chance the compactor will suffer a catastrophic failure shortly. This is a definite machine to walk away from with no further consideration, as it will have a shorter lifespan.

Now that you know how to inspect used compactors when considering used machinery for sale, it’s time to put that knowledge into play for your company. Many contractors, when looking for the right used equipment for their company, will turn to online auctions because the broad range of machinery available from a much larger geographic area provides a greater selection of options.

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