Guide to Buying Heavy Equipment

buying second hand used heavy equipment

Heavy equipment is designed to be hard working and long lasting. With proper care and maintenance, high-quality construction machinery should last many lifetimes.

Here is our guide on what to consider when buying heavy equipment.

Buying heavy equipment

Whether new or used, buying heavy equipment for your business can be pricey so it’s important to buy right the first time. If you buy the best quality construction equipment on offer, your investment will pay off in the long run.

Investing in good quality machinery is also good for the overall value of your business, especially if it is equipment that is in high demand within the construction industry.

New, used or reconditioned?

If you need heavy equipment, you can either buy or hire. Hiring tends to be more cost effective and you don’t have to worry about maintenance but it doesn’t add value to your business. Buying is the far more attractive option because it’s cheaper in the long run but it also has some considerations.

Buying brand new heavy equipment might seem like the way to go if you want it to last, but this carries a much higher price tag. Used machines are a lot cheaper but can be problematic if they haven’t been properly looked after. Reconditioned machines are the best of both worlds. They look, operate and have the longevity of a new machine but at a fraction of the price.

What to look for when buying heavy equipment

Keep these key questions in mind when looking at second-hand heavy equipment.

Who is the seller?

Finding a reputable seller might not seem straightforward, but if in doubt, ask to see their inspection reports. You’ll get a good idea of what level of quality they deal in. Naturally, recommendations from other buyers are also a good indicator.

Is it still under warranty?

Try to find equipment that’s still under warranty. Lots of construction and earth-moving machines have fairly long warranty periods, in either years or work hours.

Does the machine have a good service history?

You want to be sure that the machine has been well maintained and regularly serviced. Ask to see the service records and query any noticeable gaps.

Is it a reputable brand?

Go for the more well-known and reputable brands where possible. If you’re unsure, so some research on which brands are known to be durable and reliable.

How many hours has it worked in total?

The age of the machine is a consideration but the work hours are more important. If you feel the hours are on the high side, consider looking for a different machine with fewer hours on the clock.

Does it pass inspection?

Give the equipment a thorough once over, making sure to check for leaks, damage, and signs that it’s been looked after. If you’re not sure what to look for, ask a friend or colleague in the know to help you.

Can you test-drive it?

Don’t consider buying any construction equipment until you’ve taken it for a test drive. If they refuse to let you test drive it, walk away.

Listen for unusual noises

When you do your test drive, let the machine run for a few minutes and listen for any unusual noises. These include knocking, whining or singing, creaking or squeaking when in motion.

New parts

Ask the seller if the machine has had any new parts installed as this can extend the life of the machine. However, if the new parts were installed because of an accident, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Discontinued brands

Avoid brands that have been discontinued. It will be harder to get replacement parts when you inevitably need to make repairs.

Signs of repair

Weld marks on the body or a new paint job might be signs that the machine was damaged. No matter how good the repair job is, this will affect the longevity of the machine.

Reconditioned CAT graders from KH Plant

If you’re in the market for a motor grader, KH Plant specialises in restoring Caterpillar 140G140H and 140K motor graders and components to as-new condition.

With a total rebuild, you’ll get an “as new” machine, re-engineered according to the original specifications, performance tested and capable of providing thousands of extra hours of excellent service.

Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.