When you need to invest in utility lights, it’s very tempting to purchase used light towers to save over the cost of buying new equipment. But how do you know if that used equipment for sale is going to be a good buy or will just cost a lot of money while underperforming when you need them most? Here’s a guide to inspecting light towers to ensure you’re getting a great deal on used machinery for sale that will deliver reliable results for years to come.
Light It Up! How to Inspect Used Light Towers for a Quality Buy
Typically consisting of a towable generator with an attached light tower, this type of equipment is very useful in overnight construction or for emergency use in a disaster. You’ll have three separate systems to check out: the trailer, the generator and the light set. Here’s what to look for:
- What shape are the tires in? Though tires are easy enough to replace, it is an additional expense to take into consideration if there are problems with the existing ones being worn or damaged.
- Are the rims in good shape? Because light towers are often used in heavy-duty construction or emergency response situations, a damaged rim can be a serious liability, causing damage to the tires.
- Does the generator start easily? If it doesn’t, you’ll want to look at the engine to discover why it isn’t turning over. It could be the generator was stored with fuel in it that was not treated or that the starter battery, if so equipped, is bad.
- While you’re looking at starting the generator, what kind of shape is the oil in? If the oil has been very recently changed, is very dark or has metal shards in it, you may want to avoid that unit. It could have damage being hidden with fresh oil, wear from poor maintenance or other damage that needs to be addressed.
- What kind of fuel does the generator use? Though this seems like a simple question, it can affect how much use you can get out of the generator and the light tower as a whole. Diesel generators tend to run hotter, but are much more fuel efficient, require less maintenance and are typically much longer lasting. By comparison, a gasoline-fueled generator runs cooler on fuel that is more readily available and are more easily repaired and maintained by most mechanics.
- What condition is the light mast in? Take the time to fully extend and retract the mast. Are there any bends, cracks or broken welds along the mast? Because this structure will hold up the light set, you’ll want to make sure it’s in excellent condition. Take a good look at where it’s anchored to the trailer to ensure the connection isn’t damaged with broken welds or cracks.
When you take the time to perform a quality inspection on used light towers, you can rest assured that you’re making a good purchase. But what if there aren’t a lot of light towers available used in your area? Many people have had great success by looking at online auctions for equipment, due to the much larger geographical area that’s covered.