While buying used construction equipment offers the best value, it also requires that you take particular care in its selection. Even if a machine has all the features and functionality you need, it is important that you take measures to find out if it is mechanically sound as well. If you don’t have access to a mechanic who can look into the equipment before you purchase it, there are a few indicators that you can look out for to secure a more solid investment yourself. Some of the signs that tell you not to purchase the machine include:
Leaking fluids can indicate fairly serious problems under the hood. Check along a backhoe loader and the cylinders to make sure that the machine you’re looking to purchase doesn’t have any signs of leaking. Also be sure to check any hoses or arms.
A no-start or slow-to-start engine
Having this problem from the get-go means there is a high risk of equipment malfunction down the road. Unless there is a solid warranty to back it, you shouldn’t purchase equipment that has trouble starting and/or produces an excessive amount of smoke upon starting.
Welds on the backhoe, loader arms or buckets
After equipment has been used to the point of breaking, owners will weld the equipment components to prolong its usability. While this will typically provide a sufficient temporary fix, a weld is never as straight or solid as the original seal. Welds may also indicate hard use that could have caused other mechanical problems.
Signs of poor maintenance
The life expectancy of a machine depends hugely on its use and maintenance. If a previous owner has taken care of a machine, it can be expected to run for you for years to come. However, if the machine has been abused, you may not get your money’s worth out of it. Look for signs like excessively loose bushings and pins to determine the machine’s previous quality of care.
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