Purchasing used construction equipment has become much more popular in recent years. This is likely due to both the economy and the sudden increase in the quality of most used construction equipment. Although the quality has grown increasingly better, there are so many used construction equipment dealers now that buyers should be wary of a few warning signs.
Signs of Damage
If you go to buy a piece of used equipment and the engine does not start properly, you should move on to another seller. Engines that are damaged will seem weak when they start up, and they might even smoke. Smoke is only slightly normal when it is quite cold outside. Sellers might sometimes offer up explanations as to why it is not working properly and what you can do to fix it, but if they are trying to sell you a piece of equipment that does not start properly, then they should not be trusted. Try to test drive the equipment whenever possible.
You should not buy any machines that have leaking fluids. This often occurs on a backhoe loader and near the cylinders. Hoses and arms are also prone to leaking. If you find there are signs of oil in coolant or coolant in oil, you should be wary of a damaged engine. If any part of the machine is seized, this is an indication that it has not been maintained properly.
If you see welds on any part of the machine like the backhoe, the loader arms, or the buckets, take this as a sign that the equipment has gone through some serious wear and tear. This equipment was likely used roughly until something broke. The broken spots were likely then welded. Welding might temporarily keep the equipment working, but it is more like a Band-Aid solution. It would not be wise to purchase equipment that has obviously been beaten up over time.
If you hear odd noises or notice anything off about the brakes or the drivetrain, you should definitely be cautious. Damaged brakes in the rear differential can cost more than the equipment is worth, so be sure to avoid purchasing any used construction equipment with any hint of brake issues.
Another sign of bad maintenance is loose bushings or pins. In most cases, heavy construction equipment can last over twenty years. When it is time to sell, the value will be based on the quality of the maintenance. You should make sure the used construction equipment you purchase has been well maintained so that if you ever decide to sell, the resale value will be good.
Always try to get the most popular models and brands. More people are experienced in repairing this equipment, and the parts are easier to find. If you are looking to buy used construction equipment from someone you can trust, come to NLEQ. We sell used construction equipment that has been repaired by trustworthy mechanics for the quality you can count on.