Inspecting Used Construction Equipment Before Buying

Now more than ever construction managers are opting for used machinery instead of new. Although it can be a more complicated process, the savings that come from purchasing used equipment instead of new are substantial. If you’re in the used equipment buying or selling market, here are a few tips on what you should be looking for before purchasing.

Review the equipment history

One of the most important inspections to carry out is to ensure you have a full detailed report of the equipment’s history. Ensure you check the title of the equipment, as the ownership cannot be transferred from the buyer to the seller if it is not paid in full. Confirm that the required documentation is in place which clarifies that there are no liens. You are able to carry out an online search or you can contact your bank to help you identify an organization that can assist you with checking out whether the equipment has liens against them or not. A simple solution is to shop with someone you know and trust, if possible, as this will avoid you receiving stolen goods.

Inspect for damage

The most common way to start a visible inspection of machinery is from the ground up. Signs for wear and tear may be visible with a used machine which can include digs and scratches that are of little concern. The worry is when you see hairline cracks or rust on the equipment. Inspect the wheels or undercarriage in the lower areas of the machine to see how it has been maintained, then examine the frame, attachments and other external components. When checking the tyres lookout for any bulges or punctures and make sure to check for uneven tread wear, as this could indicate alignment problems.

Examine the engine exhaust

If the machine you are contemplating buying omits black, white or blue-coloured smoke, then do not purchase this machine. Black means the engine is burning too much fuel. White indicates the fuel is burning incorrectly, and then blue shows the engine is burning oil which could be caused by a worn seal or ring or that the engine has been overfilled.

Check the hydraulics

One of the most significant parts of the machinery is the hydraulics therefore it is important they are well maintained. Inspect all the hydraulic cylinders for signs of leaks, breaks, scratches or dents. To check the hydraulics simply turn on the engine and operate the attachment, if you struggle to steer or notice a chattering noise then this could be a sign of hydraulic issues.

Check the buckets and forks.

Examine the bucket and forks before purchasing for signs of scalloping as this decreases the buckets cutting force. You should also check the thickness of the side panels and the condition of the bottom of the bucket to confirm what repair work may be necessary. For forklifts check the heel for signs of damage, if the machine has lots of welts, also if the heel for thickness is not the same as the fork shank, then the machinery has not been properly maintained and you should walk away from the sale.


Omnia Machinery is an industry expert in used construction equipment and a trusted machinery trader. We stock a wide variety of quality used construction equipment to suit many different jobs such as cranesroad equipmentquarryearthmovingconcretepiling and drilling and underground mining. We provide our customers with all information and pictures with their quotation before any sale is agreed. From inspections to shipping, we are here to support you through every step of the transaction and keep you informed throughout the whole process enabling you to purchase in confidence. Contact us today with your machinery requirements.