Most businesses like the idea of new equipment in the event that existing equipment suffers from catastrophic failure. It comes straight out of the box and should perform according to specifications. However, there are times when purchasing used equipment makes just as much (or perhaps more) sense than investing in new assets. The process of buying used equipment is not markedly different from the purchase of new equipment – but doing the research and ensuring that the equipment meets all the required specifications can be time-consuming. Here are some factors (including price and experience) to take into account before paying over your hard-won cash.
Here are six tips that can make buying industrial equipment stress-free.
Take into account your Unique Business Requirements
Always take into account the specifications of the equipment that you are purchasing. Pay careful attention to the size of the item, any attachments that are required and that may not be present – and performance. Do your research carefully, there may be other models and makes that could just as easily meet your business requirements, but cost less or be more widely available. The original owner of the equipment might have been extremely happy with it – but you might not be. Do some careful analysis of the unique requirements of your business.
Pay Attention to Equipment History
Review the history of the equipment you are about to buy – it is a good indication of how well it has been cared for and the conditions under which it operated. Make sure that there are no outstanding financial installments to pay ) remember, unless it has been paid off ownership cannot legally be transferred) – and ensure that the equipment actually belongs to the owner. you don’t want to land up handling stolen goods.
Ask for documentation that is evidence that there are no outstanding liens on the equipment. Your bank may be able to help you find an organization that will check on the lien status of the equipment. Alternatively, you could always do an Internet search to find organizations like this. Make sure that you trust the seller – it’s worth repeating that you don’t want to be handling stolen goods. Take note of the serial number of the machine (or the PIN – Product Identification Number). Use that service provider you have identified or contact your local police department to find out if the sale is above board.
Check Fluid Levels
Check essential fluid levels such as transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, engine oil, and coolant (among any others that contribute to the smooth running of the machine). Correct fluid levels will give you an indication of how well the equipment has been maintained, as well as its ability to perform for your business.
Dirty fluid or low fluid levels are warning signs. They could mean that the previous owner has not focused on the maintenance that any machine requires. Signs such as water in the oil may be an indication of much more serious issues.
Check on past Operating Conditions
Always ask for information about just how long the machinery has been in operation. It’s not always an exact science, but it does give a fair indication of just how hard that construction equipment has been worked – and that can have a direct impact on longevity and maintenance costs. A rough cost/benefit analysis is always useful when considering equipment that might be reaching the end of its operating life. The key question is whether you are going to save money by purchasing an older machine would be more than offset by the amount of maintenance that is going to be required due to regular breakdowns.
Ask for written proof that the machinery was regularly maintained by qualified personnel. If it has not been maintained, even if it has only operated for 1,000 hours chances are that you are going to be making an ill-advised purchase. Rather choose an older machine that has been regularly maintained, even if it has been in operation for 10,000 hours.
Look for Visible Wear and Tear
Any equipment that has been exposed to the harsh conditions of a construction site is going to show some wear and tear, but keep an eye out for potentially major issues. These can range from fine cracks in the casings, engines, or parts, rust, or anything that may require excessive maintenance in the short and medium term.
Repairing heavy construction equipment is expensive – but the impact of the associated downtime comes with a whole set of new challenges. You might even have to dispose of the asset. Don’t waste your time. Do the research. It guarantees your peace of mind – and ensures that the equipment adds value to your operation – and your bottom line.
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