When you run a construction company, you’re used to running on tight margins. One way you can improve profitability is by purchasing used construction equipment for sale. But when you’re buying used, you have a bigger responsibility to make sure that the equipment you’re purchasing will stand up to the work you’ll need it to accomplish in daily use. But how do you inspect used construction machinery? Here are a few tips on what to look for to help get you started.
How to Inspect Used Construction Equipment for Sale
When it comes to most used construction equipment, there are a few things you should check that are in common across the board:
- Maintenance and legal records: Is there a maintenance log or other documentation that shows that the equipment has been well maintained in the past? If so, this goes a long way to understanding the type of care the machinery has had over the years.
- Structural soundness: Are there bends, cracks or welded repairs anywhere on the frame? If there are, it could be signs that the machinery was overloaded in the past and may not be structurally sound for your purposes. Make sure to ask about any damage you see to have a better understanding of the equipment’s history.
- Engine/motor: Does the engine turn over easily and remain running or does it take a while to start or die out quickly? This will tell you a great deal about the condition of the engine. What about emissions – is there smoke, either black or gray, coming out after the equipment has warmed up? These could indicate there is a problem with oil or water in the reaction.
- Transmission: Does the equipment shift easily in and out of gear? Does it have power going up a slope or when hauling a load? If you have the opportunity, see if a fluid test has been run on the transmission fluid and learn what condition it was in, as this will tell you a great deal about the condition of the machinery.
- Brakes: Do the brakes see to have plenty of power behind them or do they need to be pushed to the floor before they bite? If the brakes are spongy or have virtually no stopping power, you’ll need to consider the cost of replacement when you negotiate on the purchase price of the machinery.
- Hydraulics: The hydraulics are the muscle that makes the machine work. Are there any signs of weakness, dry rot or in the hydraulics lines? What about the tracks, chains and pistons? Are they in good condition or are they unable to move freely due to bends or warping? Without this system in good condition, it can make an otherwise decent piece of machinery useless.
- Cab: Does the cab appear to have more wear and tear than the hour or mileage meter seems to allow for? If it does, it could be either the sign of a machine that has been badly abused or one that has had its meter tampered with. Either of these could be the sign of a machine that may not give you the best service.
By taking the time to inspect potential used construction equipment for sale, you can ensure that you’re not going to receive any unexpected surprises once the equipment has been purchased. When you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to actively inspect equipment and better evaluate its overall condition for your purposes.