Whether you’re in construction, excavation, agriculture or another industry, used skid steers are a great way to get the job done. But when you’re looking for used equipment for sale, do you know how to inspect a skid steer to determine whether it’s a good purchase or will result in you losing money on the deal? Here are some tips on what to look for when you’re inspecting a used skid steer.
What you need to know to inspect used skid steers
- Take a good look at the cab. Are there any dents, cracks or bends in the frame that could endanger the operator if it were to roll over? What about the condition of the controls and other safety gear? Are they in a condition you would expect in a skid steer with this amount of use in terms of hours on the meter? If anything about the appearance doesn’t add up or looks unsafe, you may want to reconsider whether this is the right equipment for your use.
- What shape are the tires or tracks in? Tires are more easily replaced, but the replacement cost should still be added into the total cost you’re willing to play. Is there plenty of tread left on the tires? Tracks can be much more difficult and costly to replace, so bad tracks may make the price unreasonable. Be on the lookout for dry rot in a wheeled unit.
- Look under the hood. Actually, start under the hood – are there any drips underneath that suggest a leak? Try to determine what kind of liquid is leaking, as it will help you locate the problem system under the hood. What condition is the oil in? If you’re seeing metal particles, leave it be, because it may very well be a sign of a bad engine. If the compartment is spotless, it may have been steam cleaned to cover up a bigger problem.
- Check the chain drive and hydraulic systems. Because these systems are the muscle that gets things done in a skid steer, it’s vital that they be in good repair. Check for leaks, dry rot in hoses, bad links or gears and similar concerns. Is there excess oil in the compartment that suggests a leak? Hoses and chains can be replaced, pumps and drive motors not as easily or inexpensively.
- Are there any bends, cracks or dents of concern on the booms or hydraulic cylinders? These types of damage can create a safety problem if the booms or cylinders give way under a heavy load. Check welds to see if there are any cracks in the paint that may suggest a failing weld. You should see little to no lateral movement in the boom arms.
By knowing what to look for when inspecting used skid steers, you can tell whether the used machinery for sale is a great way to save a few bucks or will turn into a money pit. Many buyers find that online auctions are a great resource to find good quality used equipment because there is a greater variety of machinery available over a much larger geographical region.