Filling Out Your Fleet With Used Heavy Equipment

Heavy equipment is one of the most substantial capital expenditures faced by any construction company. Your crews rely on your gear to get their work done, so it makes sense to purchase the best equipment for the job. Unfortunately, construction equipment is rarely cheap, and the expense of new construction machinery can have a significant impact on the bottom line of most companies. If your fleet is lacking in capabilities, or you need to replace a failing piece of equipment that no longer makes sense to repair, used machinery can be an appealing option. Purchasing used equipment is not as straightforward as purchasing new gear, so there are several things to keep in mind as you begin your search for used heavy construction equipment for sale.

Usage History Matters

When purchasing a used vehicle, it's generally pretty easy to understand its usage history. Construction equipment is trickier. Many pieces of heavy equipment have multiple uses and may have seen use in a variety of settings, from relatively sedate residential construction projects to demanding work in harsher terrain. If you are purchasing a secondhand piece of equipment directly from its previous owner, then be sure that you fully understand how and where it saw most of its use. Dealers may not have this information available, but they may be able to provide you with the name or industry of the company that traded in the equipment.

Maintenance History Matters Too

Perhaps even more important than how the equipment was used is how it was maintained. Very few pieces of heavy machinery can go long without requiring significant maintenance. This routine servicing is a testament to how hard this gear works and the rough conditions that it must often face. Used equipment should always come with a detailed maintenance log that shows how well the previous owner or owners cared for it. You should expect a steep discount on hardware without a maintenance history and, more importantly, you should be sure to have it thoroughly inspected before purchasing.

Don't Be Afraid to Test Drive

You wouldn't buy a car without driving it first, and you definitely should not buy a significantly more expensive piece of construction gear without trying it out. If you aren't qualified to operate the machinery that you are purchasing, then make sure to bring along a trusted operator who is. Along with having your new (to you) gear inspected by a mechanic, this test drive is one of the most crucial elements of the purchasing process. You or your operator should ensure that the machine works as expected and that there are no unusual quirks or other notable problems that may indicate underlying maintenance issues.

While getting the right used equipment requires a few extra steps, the money you save will almost certainly be worth the extra time and effort. Buying used can get you high-quality gear at a fraction of the cost of new equipment, allowing you to keep your business in the black without sacrificing the quality of your work.