Buying Used Heavy Construction Equipment: What To Look Out For

Heavy construction equipment can be costly, but is absolutely beneficial to your business. Whether you work in construction or landscaping, things like a mini excavator, dump truck, skid steer, and other large pieces of equipment are necessary for getting the job done. Buying used heavy construction equipment can mean a great deal of savings to you—if you know what to look for. Here are three key things to consider when buying used heavy construction equipment.

Hours in use

Cars are measured by the number of miles they have driven and used heavy construction equipment is measured by the number of hours they have been used. The common exception to this rule would be your vehicle equipment, such as a dump truck, which would be examined for its mileage. When comparing pieces of heavy construction equipment side by side, the one with the fewest amount of hours on it, even if it is older, is likely to have less wear and tear than its counterpart. Keep in mind as well that a diesel-powered engine can pack a lot more miles than a gasoline competitor. Always keep hours of use in mind when buying used equipment.

Exhaust on a cold start

The way heavy equipment starts is a strong indicator of its maintenance level and ability to produce quality work for you. Does the engine sound labored? The color and type of exhaust are dead giveaways as well. If a piece of equipment has very black exhaust, then there may be a clogged fuel or air filter in the system causing too much fuel to be used at a time. White smoke can mean that the wrong amount of fuel (not enough) is getting into the exhaust. This can be a fuel injector or compression issue, among others. Finally, blue smoke can mean that oil is burning in the engine and should be looked at promptly. Always start a piece of equipment prior to buying it—the start can tell you a lot about the mechanical condition of the piece.

Existing warranties

If you are in the market for a nearly new piece of heavy construction equipment, you may be able to buy a piece of machinery that is still under warranty. Always ask about existing warranties, guarantees, or return policies prior to buying. If something goes wrong with a gently used piece of equipment, you have the reassurance of a warranty or return policy to help you get your equipment back to running condition without losing money.

When considering used heavy construction equipment for sale, look for hours of use, the type of exhaust output a machine releases, and any warranties or guarantees that may come along with your equipment purchase, and you can have a beautiful, functional piece of equipment you'll benefit from for many years.