7 Overlooked Red Flags When Buying Used Heavy Construction Equipment

Buying used construction equipment can save you thousands, especially if the equipment is well-maintained. But, shopping around for used heavy construction equipment isn't as easy as shopping for a used car. How do you know equipment is well-maintained? What are issues you should look for? When you're looking at used heavy construction equipment for sale, here are key red flags to look for:

1. Welds that aren't straight or smooth

Welds that are part of the original manufacturing process will be flawless. Jagged welds that bubble and look messy indicate clumsy repair work that you will have to pay to fix at some point.

2. Fresh paint

Reputable dealers often paint equipment to make it more attractive. Beware, however. Paint can hide bigger issues like rust, cracks, and hasty, shoddy repairs. When you see fresh paint, take your time and go through every inch of the equipment, inside and out.

3. Loose bushings and pins

Check all the bushings and pins you can reach. Even when buying used, these should not be loose. Loose bushings or pins will reduce the accuracy of the equipment and increase play.

4. Worn excavator teeth

If you're buying a used excavator, check the bucket carefully for unusual or excessive wear. The bucket teeth are a good indication of the overall condition of the excavator. Scalloped teeth occur when the bucket's teeth are worn down into half-moons, and generally means that the excavator has been improperly used, and is likely to break down later.

5. Missing bolts on tires or tracks

Check tires or tracks for missing bolts or nuts. This indicates that the tires or tracks were improperly replaced or are in dire need of replacement in the future. Missing bolts also decrease the safety of the equipment and can put you in a risky situation.

6. Old air filters

This is one tiny detail that screams red flag. When examining the engine, pull out the air filters and inspect them. Old, dirty, or clogged air filters mean that the previous owner did almost no preventative maintenance. Overlooking this small detail could mean big repair bills in the future.

7. Damaged ladder

Before getting into the cab of the machine, inspect the ladder. This is one component of heavy equipment that buyers have a tendency to overlook. Check the ladder for dents, cracks, rust, or other signs of wear and tear. Ladders on even old machines will stay in good shape if the equipment itself was well cared for.

These are seven overlooked red flags you should be aware of when buying used heavy equipment. 

About Me

Learning All About Heavy Machinery Maintenance and Repair

Hi there, my name is Trixie Pratts. I am excited to share my knowledge about heavy equipment maintenance and repair. As a young child, I always loved to check out the different types of equipment used on heavy construction sites. The equipment used on the sites often includes cranes, dump trucks, excavators, and cement mixers. All of the machinery requires regular maintenance to stay in good shape, especially in such a dirty environment. For example, the engine, transmission, and suspension components often require fluid changes to keep the components running as expected. When something goes wrong, technicians must quickly repair the equipment to keep the job on schedule. I will explore heavy machinery maintenance and repair in more detail on this site. Please come back again soon.