Key things to look for when buying used equipment

Key things to look for when buying used equipment

You should know exactly what to look for when buying secondhand heavy machinery. Buying used can save you money and still get you the quality equipment you need to complete the job. These are five key things to look for when buying used equipment!

Check all of the fluids

Checking the fluids will tell you if the maintenance on the machine has been kept up with. You should check all the fluids, including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid and hydraulic fluid. If you see low or dirty fluids, that indicates the previous owner hasn’t done regular maintenance, and if you see water anywhere you’ll be aware of bigger problems. If the fluids are at proper levels and everything else checks out, you can rest assured you’re getting a good piece of equipment.

Take a look at the operating hours

Operating hours will tell you how many hours the machine has been put to work. Think of it as checking the mileage when buying a new car. These types of machines can run for thousands of hours. If you think it’s nearing the end of its lifetime due to high hours, it may be best to consider another option unless you only need it for a short period of time. Even if the operating hours are low, make sure proper maintenance has been performed on the machine.

Review any maintenance and service records

Reviewing any maintenance and service records will show you how well the machine has been taken care of. Keep an eye out for any small repairs, fluid changes or any larger services that were needed due to something going wrong. Keep in mind that service records are sometimes not passed down from owner to owner, so a lack of paperwork doesn’t necessarily mean it hasn’t been well taken care of.

Look for signs of wear

There isn’t anything wrong with a little bit of wear. Any machine that has been put to work will show signs of use in some way, so small dings or scratches aren’t a bad thing. Things that indicate poor care or something going wrong in the near future are cracks and rust. You don’t want any added costs of having to repair something on this machine soon after you get it.

Evaluate the engine exhaust

Turn on the machine and see how it runs. You will also want to pay attention to the color of the smoke coming out of the exhaust. This can indicate poor maintenance and tell you if something is internally wrong. Black smoke tells you the fuel is too rich, indicating a dirty air filter or faulty injectors. White smoke means the fuel is burning incorrectly, indicating that the engine could have a faulty head gasket or a compression issue. Blue smoke means the engine is burning oil, indicating a worn seal or that there is too much engine oil.

Trust Lyon Auction’s second hand heavy machinery

We want you to have peace of mind when purchasing second hand heavy machinery. We maintain a quality assurance program and care about our customer’s needs. Buying used can be just as great as buying new, and it saves your company money. Contact us today about our upcoming auctions!


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