Three Questions To Ask When You Shop For Used Heavy Construction Equipment

When you're in the construction business, every dollar counts toward strengthening your brand. A need for heavy equipment to replace your existing machinery or add to it shouldn't automatically drive you to scour the new equipment market. Used heavy construction equipment can provide you with virtually the same level of machinery but at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

It's beneficial to seek out dealers in your community -- or even beyond it, given the deals that are possible -- to find a few that have what you're looking for. You can then visit or call to discuss the equipment's condition and ask several questions, including these three.

Can You Provide A Service Record For The Equipment?

Any reputable used heavy construction equipment dealer will ensure the machinery it sells is properly washed and serviced before it's listed for sale, but it's important that you know the back history on each piece of equipment you're considering. Specifically, see if the dealer can provide you with a service record -- ideally, the person who owned the equipment before you will have provided that information to the dealer.

This ensures you know how frequently the machine had its oil changed, went through regular maintenance and more. Knowing this information can help you feel confident that something you're considering buying is in proper working order.

What Deals Can You Make Me On Attachments?

When you're buying a piece of used heavy construction equipment, now is arguably the best time to see if you can work out a deal for some attachments that you'll need for using the machine. Given the money that you'll be spending on the machine itself, many dealers can work out a favorable deal for attachments. For example, if you're buying a large backhoe, it might come with the bucket attachment. You can ask about getting such attachments as forks, tampers and more, depending on your intended use.

What Are The Parameters Of Your Warranty?

You should only buy used heavy construction equipment from a reputable dealer that has an extensive warranty. In many cases, the original manufacturer's warranty will have expired, which means that you'll be relying exclusively on the dealer's warranty. Ask if elements such as the motor and overall power train are covered comprehensively, and for how long. You can also ask whether the dealer has a short, "no-questions-asked" return policy. This allows you to return the machine within a specific length of time if you're not 100 percent satisfied.